Is David Walliams a National Treasure and the Saviour of TV Comedy ? I'm afraid, with both BBC and ITV now major investors, the jury is out.
As Andrew Billen noted in yesterday's Times, his new comedy sketch show, Walliams and Friend,. has brought limited returns in its first two outings. The series opener, with Jack Whitehall, attracted just 2.8m viewers (13% share) in the overnights - two million viewers left BBC1 after Have I Got News For You ? The second, with Harry Enfield, dipped to 2.57m (11.8%).
Previously occupant of the slot - the Scottish comedy Still Game - didn't drop below 3m. But then, it had more than half of the available Scottish audience watching. And it wasn't up against I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.
This week, Walliams features another National Treasure, Sheridan Smith, and is up against an Alfie Boe/Michael Ball special on ITV. Must do better.
Meanwhile, ITV will be anxiously reviewing the pilots of The Nightly Show recorded over the last ten nights at the Cochrane Theatre. The host of the first week proper in the New Year is David Walliams.