It’s hard to imagine a better time for the introduction of The Fantastical Factory Of Curious Craft.
The new, six-part Channel 4 series offers viewers a window into the world of craftmanship by challenging skilful competitors to create prop-like, mic-drop makes of epic proportions.
And who better to front it than comedian and master crafter Keith Lemon and co-host Anna Richardson?
“It’s like we’re evil geniuses – like Walt Disney brought out Disney+ just at the right time!” Lemon, 47, quips, with the show an ideal watch in lockdown.
“It will give people something to do if they’re interested in craft, but it’s a nice idea that would work even if we weren’t locked in. It’s a lovely programme.”
“I think people are generally getting a bit low, so this is bright, bubbly, fantastical and magical, and it’s definitely going to encourage people to get crafting” Richardson, 49, reasons.
“And what’s so nice about it is that it features ordinary people who just happen to be able to do something creative and extraordinary.
“And it’s family viewing, so you can have mum, dad, kids, grandparents watching this, going, ‘I can do that, let’s have a crack’.”
Filmed on a surreal factory set, each episode sees four grafting crafters navigate their way through a number of tasks, from creating a bespoke item in response to a brief from Lemon, in the role of factory owner, to fulfilling a commission set out by an impressive roster of famous guests.
While experts Harriet Vine and Zak Khchai will help choose the three most impressive makes in the first round, with the worst being dramatically recycled, the ultimate winner is only declared following the second celebrity-driven finale.
Expect the likes of Nick Grimshaw, Mel B, Eamonn Holmes, Martin Kemp and Katherine Ryan to star.
As for the tasks at hand, there’s everything from a 3D model of Lemon’s head – “That was the most self-indulgent task ever and I felt really weird about it” – to a mythical creature puppet, and beyond.
“This guy, Samuel, came in chopping wood – he looks like Ashton Kutcher so he is going to be so popular with the ladies!” recalls Lemon, whose mum stars as the show’s resident tea lady.
“He literally came in with a lump of wood, an axe, and a couple of tools…” Richardson continues, explaining how he took on the puppet task.
“So you’ve got a log, you’ve got four hours, and within that time he handcrafted an articulated Phoenix. It’s amazing!”
The Fantastical Factory Of Curious Craft, Channel 4, today, 8pm.
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