14 May 2020 22:33
Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker is back on our TV screens tonight as his Bafta Award-winning Wipe format returns for the first time in four years. The satirical news show is back for a one-off special, Antiviral Wipe, taking a look at life under lockdown. Comedian and critic Brooker will be joined again - at a safe distance - by the ever-insightful Philomena Cunk (Diane Morgan) and dim talking head Barry Sh*tpeas (Al Campbell). They'll be dissecting the rolling news coverage of the coronavirus crisis, and what else we're watching in lockdown, in their own inimitable way. Watching the news, he says, is like eating apples: "good for you in moderation, but consume too much and you'll give yourself the s***s." "I haven't been able to ignore it because of this show but generally I think it's sensible to limit your consumption to one bulletin a day," he said.
Spawned from earlier works including his TV review show Screenwipe, Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe ran for three series between 2013 and 2016, along with four reviews of the year and a 2015 election special. Brooker, 49, said he had decided to return to the format after production had to be postponed on a new Philomena Cunk spin-off. (Image: BBC/House of Tomorrow/Adam Lawrence) "We've done the scripts and everything - when this whole thing kicked off, and that got postponed," he said. "We wanted to keep as much of the team on as possible - the BBC asked if we'd make a new Wipe show instead, and I initially said no, before relenting when it became clear the format itself would still work under lockdown." The 45-minute special was filmed during isolation with a DIY approach to production. "It's basically a locked-off shot, so you don't really need a big studio, and it's about as complex as Gogglebox," he said. "As luck would have it both Al Campbell and Diane Morgan are directors. So the equipment basically got dumped on doorsteps, and from that point on it was all a bit DIY." Charlie Brooker's Antiviral Wipe is on BBC Two at 9pm on Thursday.