This was Ben Elton's first stand-up comedy show since Tony Blair's 1997 general election landslide. As was the case with Mike Yarwood ( whose comic momentum disappeared when Margaret Thatcher came to power ), Ben's act lost its edge. He still came up with some excellent routines, including a mickey-take of the then-current 'Cool Britannia' fad, but the anger that defined his earlier stuff had largely evaporated. 'The Ben Elton Show' was no 'Man From Auntie'; seeming more like an ordinary variety show, featuring musical artistes such as Kylie Minogue, along with Australian comics 'Roy and H.G.' and our very own Ronnie Corbett. Ronnie's contribution consisted of the same 'chair' routines he did in 'The Two Ronnies', totally out of place in a show like this. Worse, poor Ronnie was forced to coarsen his material to try and match Ben's. The end result was not particularly successful, and Ben did no more of this kind, embarking on a new, lucrative career as novelist, film director and playwright.
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