#112: Robert Kilroy Silk
He's deciding whether to suck.............or to blow


Host: Shafted (ITV: November 2001)

As I said before, hosting a game show isn't easy.  If you are good at what you do, then you'll be fine.  However, if you are too over the top or really terrible at it, you will be mocked endlessly.  In the US, we mock Patrick Wayne, and MadTV has always mocked Louie Anderson when they parodied Family Feud in the beginning of 2000.  In the UK however, the list is a bit shorter.  Once the big boom of game shows happened after Millionaire premiered, there always seems to be one show to be really dark and needed a very schmaltzy and over the top host.  When Shafted debuted in 2001, it was piloted by Richard Madeley.  However, his wife Judy probably told him to do something else with his time, namely taking their chatshow to Channel 4.  So, enter Robert Kilroy Silk.

Robert Kilroy Silk is a former MP for the Labour party before he became a talk show host.  He was so overbearing on his talk show that he got parodied the hell out of it on various sketch comedy shows.  Yes, he was a gigantic tool box, but he was a tool box with a name.  So, in the world of game shows where having a name would surely bring in some eyeballs.  Well, knowing how that usually goes over here, you can draw your own conclusions how it went there.

From the top, we get to see Kilroy being slick and being a complete douche.  Sure he looks all nice, like Chris Tarrant, but for Robert, his schtick comes off as being schmoozy and wooden.  Another thing that irked viewers was the fact that he tried to bring some of his Daytime charm, but instead it completely fell flat on his face.  His style was meant to be up close and personal, but being behind a podium made it fell so farcical.

It doesn't get much better when we got the questions to the show.  He reads it in the most hollow way possible, and doesn't bring anything to it.  He will make some comments when it comes to the betting of the money in Shafted, but I'll talk about the gameplay itself in a future induction, maybe save it for UK Month 4.  He played it by the script and didn't get too off the cuff, unless the situation demanded it.  After the questions, the leader gets to eliminate aka shaft any player he wants to.  He would put his lame talk-show host skills to use, but this isn't daytime tv, so he has to be a bit more harsh and blunt.  Once again sadly, it's more forced than normal.

Speaking of forced drama, the end game is the old Prisoner's Dilemma scenario.  Or in this case, to share or to shaft. 

When they both share, he's happy, but when they shaft, he has to go into this exasperated shock that two people can screw each other out of thousands and thousands of pounds.  It's forced, and it's pathetic on all accounts.  He's probably the only one that's happy about that, well aside from the producers, but that's neither here nor there.  He feigns disappointment like a parent who watched their kid screw up royally.  It's just pathetic.

I've basically spent about 1,500 words describing how bad he sucked.  Well, why should I waste any more when I can post this.

There.  Thanks Paul Merton.  He sucked as a host of a game show, talk show, MP, speaker.  Go the hell away Kilroy.  You're like the British version of Karl Rove, just without the personality and shiny bald head.

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