In Edinburgh (I’m not sure why) Jeremy and Jessica are on the sofa, drinking tea while watching University Challenge. Jeremy knows that Williams Jennings Bryan stood as the Democratic party candidate for president of the United States in 1900. In a picture round, Jessica recognises Dame Maggie Smith. And that’s it really, two correct answers between them.
Well, neither of them went to uni themselves, though they’ve done all right since. Jessica is Jessica Hynes, the funny actor from W1A. He’s leader of the Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn. And this is Celebrity Gogglebox, for charity.
To be fair, none of them shines watching Paxman’s smartarse student quiz. “I don’t understand the question, I don’t understand the answer, and I don’t understand why this thing’s still on the fucking TV,” moans Ozzie to his wife Sharon, chez Osbourne.
Ed, a famous flame-haired singer-songwriter, thinks Iggy Pop is The Clash, embarrassingly. Liam, a famous brother though today he’s being more of a son and a dad (he’s with mum Peggy and son Gene) – is not going to watch University Challenge ever again, it stresses him out.
And mates Freddie, a former cricketer, and Jamie, a former footballer, know very little about anything but are amusing and likable about it, in a giggly, laddy kind of way.
Especially in the next show, Nigella: At My Table, when Freddie finds it hard to focus on the food. “I’m not going to say it,” he says, then does. Careful Flintoff. Nor does Jeremy play a blinder; he doesn’t understand that Nigella is straining away the stringy bit of white from her egg and not separating yolk and white completely.
Listen! And then he chips in with his own egg recipe, with olive oil, and herbs … shut up about your coddled eggs, Jeremy, no one cares.
Anyway, at least he’s here. There’s no Theresa in central London. What, she’s got other things on her mind? Too busy? Nonsense, and it’s for charity. The two Stand Up to Cancer films they watch, Eve’s Story and Annalesha’s Story, are almost unbearably sad, tears in every living room. Slebs are humans too. Liam even, who reaches over to his own son for a cuddle.
What else do we learn from Celebrity Gogglebox? That Liam Gallagher can’t swim, Noel neither (says Liam), but mum Peggy can. That Freddie Flintoff didn’t try guacamole until he was 34.
That Big Narstie has never seen Strictly, or University Challenge, or even heard of Nigella Lawson, for which it’s impossible not to love him. I’d give him a run on the show, Liam and his mum too, plus Freddie and Jamie Redknapp because they’re funny.
But not as funny as Umar Siddiqui in Derby, who while discussing Michael Gove’s Harvey Weinstein “joke”, says the environment secretary probably has a joke book of similar humour, that goes from Auschwitz to Zulu.