OUT OF THE BOX: This baby took hold as a bit of a classic, par John Millar (Daily Record, 25 janvier 1997).
A comedy clicking on its very first episode is a rarity. Classics such as Dad's Army and Last Of The Summer Wine took time to make their mark.
But I reckon, on the evidence of a single screening, that Holding The Baby (ITV) is a hit. From the off, the main characters - Nick Hancock as Gordon, a single dad whose missus has run off with a toy boy and Joe Duttine as his lager-swilling brother, Rob - aroused our interest.
Gordon, who comes from the 'poor me' school of modern men, is so distraught at losing his wife that he even leaves a sobbing 'Kate doesn't live here any more' answerphone message.
After that failed relationship, he's also desperate to prove to himself that he can still attract women.
So far, though, his success rate is nil. A girl at the office went out with Gordon only because she thought he was gay and therefore she was safe from groping attempts.
Young brother Rob - a role that should make the charismatic Joe Duttine a star - meantime reckons that he's God's gift to women.
There's no trick he won't pull in order to .. er .. pull. He even shamelessly pretended that Gordon's toddler son was his and that his wife had died tragically, to try and chat up a potential victim.
THE differences between the brothers already looks like providing enough comedy material to sustain a high standard.
As a bonus, there's child minder Laura (Sally Phillips) a save the lentil sort who uses a type of Sloane hand-jive - of which John McCririck would be proud - as she talks.
Best of all, Holding The Baby has some really funny lines. One of the best proved that Granada's show isn't afraid of having a dig at the TV company's icons, like Richard and Judy.
After Rob had persuaded Gordon to go to the supermarket, big brother wailed about how he looked in denims.
"Why am I the only person in the world who doesn't look right in jeans," he said. "Apart from Judy Finnigan, obviously."
Keep this up, lads and you've got a regular viewer here.
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