The Independent employs reporters around the world to bring you truly independent journalism. To support us, please consider a contribution.

Lockdown may be easing for the rest of us, who are celebrating by fighting on the beaches and landing grounds, but for TV channels the strain of coronavirus is only just beginning to tell. There is a gap between cause and effect, so the commissioning dilemmas of April are only now bubbling up onto our screens.

Celebrity Snoop Dogs (Channel 4) is as pure an expression of desperation as you will see in a 23-minute format. We won*t talk too much about the title, which seems like a test to see whether rappers have lawyers, but we ought to emphasise right at the start that this is a shoddy programme and emphatically not worth your while, even in a ※funny§ way. It*s less a series, more a Zoom meeting that got out of hand.

Nevertheless, you can imagine the spirit of Newtonian revelation when the producers realised what they had created, a light entertainment idea that doesn*t need cameramen and which combines dogs, celebrities and property with a shameless bait and reveal structure. Dogs are equipped with backpack cameras and sent around mysterious properties. We try to guess who the owners are while watching the dogs sit on the furniture, sniff trainers and generally rummage around the place.

Download the new Independent Premium app

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

The footage from the houndcams is unsurprisingly shaky, so it is mixed up with some exterior and remote camera interior shots, to stop viewers feeling seasick. There*s even a little Attenborough-style ※making-of§ section at the end, where we learn that coaxing dogs around a living room requires extensive treats.

The protagonists in the first episode are Charlie, a four-year-old lhasa apso, and Annie, a seven-year-old labrador cross. I don*t want to ruin any surprises, but I hope it is not too much of a spoiler to reveal that the owners in the first episode are not Bob Dylan and Michelle Obama.

In one sense, Celebrity Snoop Dogs is a troubling insight into the state of minor British celebrities during a pandemic. Starved of their usual diet of 24/7 obsequiousness and simpering flunkies, they are going slowly mad, stopping themselves in their own hallways to ask for selfies and saying yes to anything 每 literally anything 每 that will get them a bit of airtime.

The narrator is Kevin McCloud, set to maximum ham. Although you can hear the contempt dripping from his voice when he says things like ※although the house was built in the 1980s, there*s a definite Georgian flavour here§, or ※the overall aesthetic is wide-ranging and carefully understated§, on the whole he keeps things superficially positive. It*s a shame, because the real dogs* dinners here are the interiors. There are waxy pleather sofas, miniature furniture for dogs, incongruous statement lights. As far as I can see, there is not a book to be found in either property. Through Grand Designs McCloud has seen more dodgy laminate floors than any voiceover artist working today, except possibly Dave Lamb from Come Dine With Me. We*re dying to know what Kev really thinks. Perhaps that could be the sequel: Kevin McCloud*s Celebrity Bitches.

Comments

Share your thoughts and debate the big issues

Learn more
Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines.
  • You may not agree with our views, or other users*, but please respond to them respectfully
  • Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable
  • Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties
  • We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification

You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.

Create a commenting name to join the debate

Please try again, the name must be unique Only letters and numbers accepted
Loading comments...
Loading comments...
Please be respectful when making a comment and adhere to our Community Guidelines.
  • You may not agree with our views, or other users*, but please respond to them respectfully
  • Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable
  • Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties
  • We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification

You can find our Community Guidelines in full here.

Loading comments...
Loading comments...