DIANNE BUT­LER OUT OF THE BOX

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page -

IKNOW — I’m miss­ing the foot­ball as much as you. Which is why I’m urg­ing you to get on to Pete Ver­sus Life. Think of it like this: it’s like watch­ing the foot­ball but with big­ger laughs. We even get a cameo tonight from David Beck­ham and Wayne Rooney. Sort of. Yes, when I said foot­ball I meant soc­cer. This time of year we call it foot­ball though, re­mem­ber?

This show would be a nor­mal lad­dish sit­com if it didn’t have two foot­ball com­men­ta­tors named Colin and Terry call­ing Pete’s moves.

Pete (‘‘a so­cially in­ept would-be sports­writer’’) doesn’t re­alise they’re there or any­thing, they come up at the start, the end, at cru­cial times in the ac­tion, sit­ting in the cor­ner of the screen with their head­phones on. Per­fect.

The show opens with Terry and Colin in­tro­duc­ing who’s ap­pear­ing and list­ing their stats — likes, dis­likes, trivia and so on — with ac­com­pa­ny­ing graph­ics. Tonight, they tell us, Pete takes on a daunt­ing ar­ray of top-flight op­po­nents, in­clud­ing Anna, Pete’s best mate’s fi­ancee, whose goal is never to have to use pub­lic trans­port again. And Jake, Pete’s ex-flat­mate, who likes the environment ‘‘ but also likes a laugh’’.

If you had the sound turned down you would al­most think you were watch­ing Match of the Day. Colin and Terry use re­play, an au­dio iso­la­tor and ap­pear with pie charts at id­i­otic mo­ments, such as when they run us through the pub con­ver­sa­tion Anna’s de­voted to talk­ing about canapes. Colin: ‘‘ Now, she’s men­tioned this place set­tings idea be­fore, hasn’t she, Terry?’’ ‘‘ Yeah, on the fourth of March and on the 12th. It’s also the 114th time she’s crow-barred in the fact she went to Ox­ford.’’ Colin: ‘‘ As­ton­ish­ing to think she was only there for two terms.’’

I found this hys­ter­i­cal. The idea alone is ge­nius. The third episode where Pete goes out with a 50-year-old wo­man is too aw­ful to miss. Pete Ver­sus Life ABC2, 9pm

On the ball: Rafe Spall as Pete.

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