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'Through The Keyhole' - Hit Or Miss With New Format Of Keith Lemon Replacing Loyd Grossman AND Sir David Frost?

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'Through The Keyhole' came bursting back on Saturday evening... but not as we knew it. In a strange bit of TV timing, just as Sir David Frost was slipping away on board a cruise ship, one of his most enduring TV creations was returning to our screens, albeit in almost unrecognisable version of its former self.

For 20 years - incredible, but true - Sir David chaired the studio end of proceedings with his fits-all-sizes gravitas.

through the keyhole
Keith Lemon has replaced Loyd Grossman AND Sir David Frost in the new show

Beyond the studio walls, Loyd Grossman bobbed around the houses of the selected luminaries - Derek Jameson, Beryl Reid - hardly daring to pick things up, and whispering in hushed tones as though he, cameras and we had all sneaked into some hallowed chamber, and would set off some riff-raff radar if we so much as sniffed.

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Perhaps such respect for other people's private territories is right and fitting, but it has no place in Keith Lemon's universe.

This perma-tanned, white-suited, blond-coiffed creature has managed to replace both Sir David AND Lloyd in the revamp, which debuted on Saturday. While he decanted his customary Bo Selector/Celebrity Juice banter/abuse with the assorted panel - a bemused Eamonn Holmes, Martine McCutcheon and DJ Dave Berry - it was in his Grossman guise that he came into his own.

through the keyhole
A bemused panel was the target of Keith Lemon's banter in the studio

Lemon turned into everyone's worst house-guest nightmare, laying on beds in his boxers, turning out and trying on his subjects'/targets' clothes and, in boyband Blue's case, purloining their vast quantities of fake tan. And, most significantly, he JUDGED - wiping his finger to check for dust, asking "What the f*** is this top?" and looking significantly at the camera when signs of ill-taste presented themselves.

This new version is not to everyone's taste. Julia Raeside in the Guardian wasn't happy, and neither was Christopher Stevens in the Mail.

But can you imagine a show like the one peopled by Messrs Frost and Grossman in this day and age? Because there have been two seismic changes since then.

The first is that celebs sell themselves for Hello magazine spreads, lucrative branding opportunities, and all the faux-intimacy that comes with them. It's lucrative, but with a tax. They're putting themselves up for praise and contempt both, and a show full of fawning, hands-off reverence in the middle of this zeitgeist would be a very sore thumb.

Secondly, with our fingers on the Twitter trigger, we're all happy and quick to make our opinions known.

Keith Lemon is just getting there first, saying what viewers are thinking, with his raised eyebrows, his condemnation of ineptitude, his questioning of lifestyle choices. "You're shit at this," he tells Martine "Which side of the bed do you sleep on?" he asks of Duncan James sharing his house with bandmate Lee Ryan.

'Through the Keyhole' drew a very respectable five million viewers to this weekend's debut, so it'll be interesting to see if numbers go up or down, now viewers know they're getting rudeness in place of reverence. Perhaps, just as nations get the leaders they deserve, so we get the presenters we deserve. Watch this... hole.

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