Have you seen Ant and Dec’s new Saturday night show, Push The Button? Of course you haven’t, because you have lives and thus places to go of a weekend. But I’ve seen it. It’s dreadful, and surely the nadir for a pair of presenters whose recent career has definitely been on the decline.
Now don’t get me wrong, I like Ant and Dec – or at least I did, before those godawful Nintendo adverts. They’re about the only tolerable part of I’m A Celebrity… and Saturday Night Takeaway was perfectly serviceable brain-off junk-food light-entertainment nonsense. But you have to go back some way until they were at their very best – and that was when they were hosting kids’ Saturday morning show SM:TV.
The best part of the show was almost certainly Wonkey Donkey (sic) – a segment where the hosts would hold a cuddly toy in an unusual outfit or situation and invite kids to phone in to guess the rhyming name. So a gopher dressed in a suit and hanging out of a limo would be Chauffeur Gopher.
The beauty of this was the daft guesses the kids would come up with and the hosts’ response to their feeble answers. One guess for the aforementioned gopher was “rich duck”, to which Dec responded incredulously “I can’t even get angry”. Yet Dec’s seemingly genuine anger towards the viewers – well, anyone who tried an answer that didn’t rhyme – was part of what made it one of the funniest three minutes of telly each week, and worth tuning into SM:TV for alone.
Below are two of my favourite editions of Wonkey Donkey, courtesy of YouTube. Well worth a watch.