DIANNE BUTLER OUT OF THE BOX
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.