More laughs with The Horne Section TV Show

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The Horne Section TV Show (Channel 4, 10pm & 10.30pm)

If you’ve ever seen Taskmaster, you’ll know that Greg Davies gets to play the titular role – he’s the one who gives out the points, his portrait is all over the Taskmaster house, and the trophy is supposed to be a model of his head, even if it doesn’t actually look that much like him.

However, the person who came up with the entire concept of the show is his sidekick, the man Greg has dubbed ‘Little’ Alex Horne (even though he’s 6ft 2inches tall).

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So, at first glimpse it might seem like Alex’s new sitcom, The Horne Section TV Show, is an attempt for him to get top billing for once – the first episode, which aired last week, even saw him ask Davies’ permission to be the leading man.

In reality, that’s not quite the case – it seems Alex is usually happy not to be centre stage alone. He says: “I hate being the front man and in the sitcom, it becomes apparent more and more that I don’t like it. It’s quite lonely being the front man and having all the weight on your shoulders.

“So, it’s quite true to life, I much prefer being with other people so I normally have Greg next to me, or the band – so it’s odd being nominally in charge but in reality I’m never in charge because there are always people undercutting me.”

There’s also a difference between the Alex Horne on this show and the real man. The comedian explains: “I think he’s quite a lot different. He’s definitely got a bigger ego and he thinks he deserves to have his own show. I think I’m more modest in real life, but maybe it’s not that different… It’s definitely me but just an ever-so-slightly more monstrous version.”

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If you missed last week’s opening double bill, the comedy follows Alex and his band, the Horne Section, as they try to get their own late-night chat and music show, to be broadcast from Alex’s house.

That might all sound a bit meta, but Alex says he was aiming for something a little simpler than that. He says: “I think it’s quite a silly, heartfelt comedy about a band made up of old friends who spend their lives trying to make each other laugh. We mainly wanted to be funny. There’s a lot of TV comedy programs that delve into deep issues, we don’t do that… The main idea is that every time we’re on screen we’re trying to make you laugh.”

Based on the opening episode, the critics seem to agree he’s succeeded, but in tonight’s double bill. it seems the fictional Horne Section TV Show isn’t doing quite so well – the pilot episode caused a full-on social-media backlash.

Luckily, that doesn’t seem to have deterred Channel 4 from commissioning a full series. So, Alex and the band throw themselves into the making their show, with a little help from guest Dr Ranj Singh, who is very eager to talk about his new car.