Best Of Friends
“We all like to go round to Oscar's house, to play on his Xbox, and, err, play with each other and...”
Best Of Friends is a reality children's television programme produced by CBBC, and first premiered on 11th March 2004. It is presented by Michael 'Abs' Absalom and Rani Khanijau. The programme's format follows five friends as they go through a series of three tests designed to challenge friendships.
The Selection Process
"Round one in Best Of Friends is down to luck" as Abs grandly puts it in every episode. In the first round, contestants are instructed to take a sweet from the 'Unlucky Dip', and suck it, in which Abs and Rani use the catchphrase "Suck it baby!". Three of the sweets will turn the contestant's tongue blue, and every contestant with a blue tongue will be going off to do the first task. However, two of them will keep two contestant's tongues clear and this means they will be going off to do a treat. The presenters have to go through the same ordeal every round to see who will accompany the contestants on the tasks and treats, and both put sweets in their mouth, and whoever ends up with a blue tongue always physically conveys emotion. In the second round, the team of five friends are given more options, people can volunteer or the Unlucky Dip can be used again (this varies depending on how selfish one, two or four of the team members are), and in the final round, it's the same but this time, they have one more option: they can all do it together as 'friends'.
These were a series of what seem like fatiguing mental and physical tasks on paper, but when put into practice, seem as much fun as watching a blonde or a brunette (stupid woman or boring woman, which do you prefer?) on University Challenge. In other words, they look even more fun than the 'Treats' (see below). The tasks can generally range from cleaning up animal faeces, being the headmaster's personal slave, to shovelling sh*t at the Zoo.
These are a series of fun things to do which generally are more boring, and physically/mentally challenging than the tasks. The treats, like the tasks, can become better and better over the three rounds, with the round 3 treat being the best. Treats undertaken in the past included: Throwing paper plates loaded with shaving foam over somebody in a sports hall, having an ego massage lesson, and speed dating with grown-ups.
The presenters, Abs and Rani, will use every trick in the book possible to change the groups decisions. Usually resorting to emotional blackmail on behalf of a suffering group member, the threat of getting a team member plastered in their weekly debauchery sessions or even telling one contestant that his goldfish is being held for ransom. Abs and Rani tend to talk to the contestants in low, patronising tones at various points throughout the episode. And always insist that the entire team get into a 'Circle Of Friendship', a huddle involving the five contestants and the presenters, the team usually chant a loud, unimaginative and usually sexist rhyme during this huddle, whilst Abs and Rani grin like cheshire cats, thinking 'I've got a mortgage to pay, hang on in there...'.
The contestant Oscar, known for spitting whilst singing 'Goldfinger' was one of the group of 'friends' that was hated by all, including the viewers, presenters and even his 'Best of Friends'. At the beginning of the episode, where they all say how they're best of friends, the four say 'Hi we are the sexist boys and Best of Friends' and afterwards Oscar says, 'And I'm Oscar' before spitting ferociously at Abs.
"Best Of Foes"
Talent Television and CBBC are currently in talks to create a Best Of Friends spin-off, entitled "Best Of Foes" involving five sworn enemies who want water flowing under the bridge. The BBC director general however, regards the idea as 'poohsticks'.
The programme has come under controversy numerous times in the past. In the 16th March 2007 edition of the Daily Telegraph, Rani Khanijau came under fire for referring to a female contestant as "Oh, you bea-uty!" during the 'Kids Court' task.
Abs has been lambasted for his frequent homosexual tendencies. One time mentioning to a bowls player "I think I'll jack off now!".