Winging It



Voiceover: Lucy Montgomery


The Wing Commander, played by "Himself"


Zeppotron for BBC Two, 18 April to 30 May 2009 (7 episodes in 1 series)


Young comedians are given a fake identity and some props and asked to improvise a talk to an audience who have been told they are a genuine expert in their field (e.g. careers advisor or environmental activist). During the task, they are wearing an earpiece and have to follow instructions from the "wing commander". At the end, the wing commander assesses their performance and announces whether or not they have successfully "winged it".

So that's comedians in real-life situations like The Sack Race, unpreparedness like Thank God You're Here, the concept of fakery, and the word "it", from Faking It, the hidden earpieces of, say, Remotely Funny, a mysterious unseen "himself" like Deal or No Deal, and narration pointlessly telling us things we've just seen for ourselves like... well, half the shows on the box, actually. But probably the show it reminds us most of is The Sack Race, and like that one, the main problem is simply that while it's amusing in parts, it's not consistently funny enough to make us want to tune in again the following week.


Although we've classed it as a "hidden camera" show, the cameras aren't actually hidden. The members of the public are told they're being filmed for a documentary, which no doubt saves a few technical headaches.

One of the young comedians featured in the show was Joe Thomas, better known as Simon from the E4 comedy, The Inbetweeners.

Broadcast during the BBC Switch programming block.

Web links

BBC programme page

Wing It, a radio improvisation game from the 2020s.


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