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30th Oct 2018

Takeshi’s Castle is returning to TV

Kyle Picknell

The greatest TV show in the entire world is back

Listen to it. Listen to the sound. It’s Craig Charles. It’s Craig Charles and Craig Charles’ deliciously soothing, buttery smooth scouse accent. It’s Craig Charles, as enthusiastic as anyone has ever been about anything, laughing hysterically at people getting stuck on giant rolling pins, falling into lakes, and getting knocked over by plastic cannonballs being fired at them.

It’s Craig Charles, narrating it all as though he were Attenborough, and these people were a herd of Antelope grazing in the wild.

It’s Craig Charles and it’s Takeshi’s Castle, it’s you, curled up on the sofa, not a care in the world, watching a group of hapless Japanese people take on a task literally designed for them to humiliate themselves over and over again. Running into things. Falling into things. Falling off things. Running into things and bouncing off them and then falling into things. Running towards a thing, dodging it, and then slipping and falling into it anyway. Running and falling and running and falling and crashing and falling and having stuff thrown at you and getting chased by guys in monster costumes through a terrifying maze of horror and falling in some mud and trying to climb an actual vertical wall with no rope and running over stepping stones and getting crushed by boulders and pelting head first into fake doors and falling into some mud again and it’s about four people out of 600 getting to the final round and losing, horribly, with their pathetic water pistols and go-karts they can’t steer whilst Takeshi’s guards absolutely drench you with their modified super soakers on top of a comparative fire engine and it’s Craig Charles, there through it all, whispering gently, an ocean of calm until something really tickles him.

Oooh, that’s gonna hurt in the morning. And then the Craig Charles laugh. And then you’re laughing too. And everything in the world is ok, everything is alright, as long as we have Takeshi’s Castle and Craig Charles and Craig Charles and Takeshi’s Castle and there is no death, just life, and the beauty of it, the pure joy of existence in people falling over repeatedly.

Comedy Central UK has announced that a brand new series of Takeshi’s Castle sprinting face-first into your television screen on 22 November at 8pm.

Alas, there is no Craig Charles, because nothing is sacred, so Roman Kemp is taking over commentary duties. I do not know who Roman Kemp is, nor do I care, because he is not Craig Charles.

(He’s the son of Martin Kemp. He was in Spandau Ballet and EastEnders. Played bass on ‘Gold’ and ‘True’, two of the greatest pop songs of all time. He now has a son, apparently. Called Roman. Yeah.)

Even worse, he will be joined on each episode by a ‘celebrity’ guest who will assist in commentary duties. Even, even worse, is one of the confirmed guests is that horrible Tory who won I’m a Celebrity and is just now semi-famous for being a complete and utter void of a human being who hates poor people because, presumably, she couldn’t complete a law degree and just had to resort to the fallback career option for someone like her (grammar school, couldn’t hack it, Daddy sends her to one of the most costly private schools in the country, also couldn’t hack it, Daddy gives up and packs her off to a boarding private), which is: just be an obnoxious Fiat 500 private-plate, perpetual brunch date waster to the extent that you can scrape your way onto Made in Chelsea and take it from there. You know, a career in being a ‘media personality’ which is a career in ‘offering absolutely nothing of worth to the world for your entire pointless life’.

This isn’t about her, anyway, but her presence on the new series underlines the problem. Takeshi’s Castle with Craig Charles was a rare kind of stupid, time-capsule happiness that can’t really be recreated. Not with Roman Kemp, not even with Martin Kemp.

With a thrill in my head and a pill on my tongue, I’ll be watching the old ones on YouTube, picture quality like the very first camera phone. I’ll be listening to Craig Charles, this the sound of my soul. This is the sound.

Takeshi’s Castle with Craig Charles was the greatest tv show of all time. It will never die. I want the truth to be known.

I know this much to be true.