What a Sorry Mess: ‘Sorry I Didn’t Know’ – Review

Star Rating: *
ITV1
4 Episodes – Broadcast: 6th, 13th, 20th and 27th October 2020

Sorry I Didn’t Know (SIDK) was the much hyped new panel show during ITV’s Black History Month season of programming that was intended to be a programme highlighting Black history with humour with a range of comedians and actors. The show is capably hosted by Jimmy Akingbola, of ‘In The Long Run’ fame (Sky) with regular team leaders Chizzy Akudolu and Judi Love.

Each round of the show features a set of question comprising working out the name of a famous Black person from Yes/No questions, naming inventors of particular products and technologies, finishing a quote and putting a date to famous historical events.

Whilst ITV brought viewers a small range of entertaining, humorous and sometimes educational Black History programmes during October including ‘Alison Hammond: Back to School’, this regrettably wasn’t one of them. SIDK is very much a poor man’s QI, without the wit and humour of that legendary series. This one missed the mark by a country mile, dismally failing to be funny and any nuggets of information (and there were some) were lost in this very poor programme.

Jimmy Akingbola, Host

Whilst there was good natured banter between the team leaders and host, for the most part the panelists didn’t really gel well. I’m not saying they didn’t get on, more that the  spark and camaraderie between team members and opposition you usually see on panel shows was missing and it’s that what makes for good television.

Whilst I understand the need for social distancing when recording TV programmes in these Covid-19 times, there was s a hugely un-necessary social distance separating the two teams, yet the respective teams on each side sat quite close to one another, easily less than 2m apart, so there’s a glaring inconsistency in that.

In episode 1 Paul Chowdhury was aggressively rude in his attempts at humour, using an offensive term as his main recurring joke.

In episode 2, I don’t know what happened to the effusively entertaining Judi Love, but this Judi was a terrible, cringe making embarrassment. Bring back the real Judi Love. In a Guess the Name segment where she got to ask the panelist’s one question at a time to help her guess the famous person’s name, she would ask for instance, “Is it a man?” No. She’d then bizarrely follow up with a pointless, wasted question, “Is it a woman?” Her overall line of questioning was similarly appalling. I don’t think ‘Line of Duty’ will be calling her in to join the team any time soon!

Her team mate, celebrity comedian Russell Kane was not un-surprisingly visibly and vocally exasperated with Judi, asking why she was asking follow up questions with self-evident answers. It was as if she either didn’t know the game and/or was extremely tired. Something seemed very wrong. It wasn’t a good look at all and she’d have been better off not filming the episode at all than putting in a sub-standard, car crash of a performance. She was so bad, if it was a football match she’d have been substituted within the first 10 minutes.

Nathan Caton was on Chizzy’s team but didn’t say a single funny thing and presumably he wasn’t booked for his historical knowledge.  In fact, he didn’t say very much at all. Very odd. Russell Kane was this episode’s saving grace with his whining dance and witty asides. Other than that it was an awful episode.

The history board section where the team leaders have to point out historic dates was a good concept but didn’t work well at all. The board isn’t sufficiently well demarcated to enable the team leaders to put their marker on precise enough dates and with both team captain’s displaying limited history knowledge it was painful watching. Surely if you’re appointed team captain for a Black history show you would brush up on your history knowledge? Or maybe they took the title of the show too literally!

The series had some excellent, high profile guests including Angie Le Mar, Colin Salmon, Tom Allen, Russell Kane and Kerry Godliman. The latter 3 were a reversal of the norm for these type of panel shows, as they were the ‘token white’ guest on an otherwise all Black line up. I expected a lot more with the range of talent on each episode but it just didn’t work.

SIDK was first piloted by ITV in November 2016. It was rejected by all the major channels in the 4 years since. On the evidence of these 4 shows it’s obvious why that was. The premise of the show was fine and it has a lot of potential, but this just didn’t work. It would be great if it could be given a chance to improve and return for a second series, but sadly I think that’s highly unlikely. Never mind ‘Sorry I Didn’t Know,’ sorry would have covered it.

© Tiemo Talk of the Town

Links

  1. Craig and Danny: Funny, Black and on TV – Tiemo review – 3rd November 2020
  2. Sorry I Didn’t Know – ITV Player – Available to watch for a limited period of time.
  3. Black Voices – 1 minute videos – ITV Campaign – October 2020
This entry was posted in Comedy Reviews, Comedy Reviews 2020, TV and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to What a Sorry Mess: ‘Sorry I Didn’t Know’ – Review

  1. Pingback: Craig and Danny: Funny, Black and on TV – Review | tiemotalkofthetown

  2. Dunstan Creavalle says:

    Given that I recall trying to watch this in 2016 and not getting through the first episode, I’m not surprised with your review. What I found most amusing of all is the amount of Whatsap messages I received in numerous groups, urging me to watch and support the latest version of this show.

    Against my better judgement I did have a flick through on catch up, and even watched 1 of the shows from start to finish. The most polite thing I can say is, It was not for me!

    As someone who has been taking part in Black History quizzes for over 20 years, it wasn’t a show that added any value in the knowledge or humour stakes. But I appreciate everything is not for me. All I do know is that I will stick to my instincts next time I am bombarded with Whatsap messages trying to make programmes sound like ‘ must watch if you are Black’. The truth is I’m sure there were probably many Black people who enjoyed it, but my standards are much higher, and just having a majority Black cast is not a reason to watch a show. In the same way, simply because you own a Black businesses doesn’t mean I will support it, as the business will need to meet my needs and standards.

    Maybe the programme will be revamped and will improve, but the chances of me giving it another try are extremely remote.

  3. Pingback: Mo Gilligan: Black British and Funny – Review | tiemotalkofthetown

  4. Pingback: McQueen Playing Silly Games with Lovers Rock | tiemotalkofthetown

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