James Delingpole James Delingpole

Oh, Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn was on the show stressing his extreme normalness by consuming crisps with his tea

This week I want to put the boot in to Gogglebox (Channel 4, Fridays). Not the mostly likeable, everyday version, whose stars include our very own and much-loved Dear Mary, where ordinary-ish people are filmed reacting amusingly to the week’s TV. I mean the recent celebrity special, featuring former Oasis singer Liam Gallagher, a cricketer, a footballer, Ed Sheeran, Ozzie and Sharon Osbourne, the actress formerly known as Jessica Stevenson and Jeremy Corbyn.

The last couple were filmed together sitting on a yellow sofa at a smart-looking terrace address in Edinburgh. No explanation was given as to what the leader of the Labour party was doing with the former star of Spaced — Jessica Hynes, as she’s now known. Perhaps the producers were hoping we’d go: ‘Oh, how nice. Two old, old mates, probably, hanging out, as you do.’ But to me it all seemed very rum.

Corbyn didn’t exactly help himself. Though he’s clearly had a lot of media training in the past year — his dress is snappier, he’s less tetchy and defensive — he still comes across like an early-model replicant where the programmer couldn’t quite get the ‘normal’ function right.

This was noticeable in the establishing segment, where Jessica asked Jeremy if he’d like some tea. Jeremy assented with such enthusiasm I was reminded of those scenes in Went the Day Well? where the Nazi-paratroopers-in-disguise give the game away by getting key details of British behaviour slightly wrong, like drawing sinister foreign horizontal lines on their number sevens. Yes, we do like tea in Britain, Jeremy. No we don’t respond in the manner of a crack-starved junkie suddenly asked: ‘Fancy a quick pipe?’

Jeremy was not done stressing his extreme normalness just yet. Jessica asked whether he wanted anything with his tea.

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