TV Highlights

Vicious

ITV - 9pm

Who's in it?

Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi are back to trade barbs and put-downs as the camply quarrelling couple in this utterly retro sitcom.

In a nutshell

Anyone super-sensitive to stereotypes may have been cringing through the first series of Vicious. First up, the theme song was an old club hit by iconic gay band The Communards. Then we had Derek Jacobi whooping and camping it up enough to make Christopher Biggins sound like Johnny Cash. Was a radioactively un-PC meltdown about to take place before our eyes? Well, kind of. But the whole thing was saved by two things.

One, the knowingly retro feel of the thing (it looks a bit like a poshed-up Rising Damp). Two, the sheer warped genius of seeing A-list uber-thesps Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi gleefully getting stuck into a tacky 70s-style comedy. It’s the acting equivalent of Usain Bolt doing laps at your local leisure centre, or Placido Domingo doing Eurovision. So it’s good to see the two rogues back in bickering form tonight, as they deal with best friend Violet’s request for an instant husband… All will become clear, honest.

What's the verdict?

With Celia Imrie joining the already spectacular cast in this opening episode, Vicious is a show to put a big silly grin on your face – if for no other reason than you’ll get to see Gandalf pratting around in a butler’s outfit.

Record Vicious now on Virgin TV Anywhere

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07-07-2011