This programme screens on BBC Wales on 19th January. If you don’t want to know anything about it, it’s best to move on to another article right now…!
Sometimes, you don’t need a big budget or fancy gimmicks to make a solid TV show. In the case of Rhod Gilbert’s Work Experience, the key to the programme’s success is firmly in the title of the show. Stand-up comedian Rhod Gilbert – and if you’ve never had a chance to see him live, you really should try and get a ticket – will be spending the next few weeks tackling some jobs that, it’s fair to say, are tougher than his day job. And he soon freely admits that.
For his first outing, he spends a day as a binman. Actually, it’s a bit more than that, as he has to go through a bit of training first as well. Given that Gilbert, as he confesses, is neither a physically fit man nor a morning person, he seems just about the ideal fit for the job (ahem), and so it proves. He’s soon declaring that if he ever becomes prime minister, that he’ll get everyone to spend a day on the bins, to give some appreciation of how the job is.
The programme itself settles down into a comfortable and fairly predictable routine, as Gilbert throws in a good few funnies alongside his work. We particularly enjoyed him putting a warning sticker on a long abandoned television, and there’s a sequence where he’s trying to clear up dog shit that’s a real highlight too. Especially as he’s hanging around waiting to catch culprits at work.
But the treat is the characters that Gilbert meets, and here’s where he comes into his own. Just because his name is in the title, there’s no mugging to camera here, and he’s generous with the screen time, allowing his co-workers to step forward. They’re a funny bunch too, and generate just as many chuckles as Gilbert himself.Rhod Gilbert’s Work Experience is, to be fair, hardly a revolutionary piece of television, nor is it the most demanding half hour of telly you’ll get. It’s very funny though, whether it’s Gilbert staring in despair as he gets told which round he’s just been put on, or him ranting about the disposal of used nappies just away from the rest of the bins. It all bodes well for the rest of the series…
Rhod Gilbert’s Work Experience is on BBC Wales on Tuesday nights at 10.35pm