Television’s golden era is over. After 18 years, Matthew Wright is leaving Channel Five’s The Wright Stuff to do something else, presumably. This leaves Channel Five with a problem, because it has made the foolish mistake of naming one of its longest-running shows after a fallible human man and so, even if it revamps it with a new host, will have to throw away all its old boxes of letterheaded stationery, register a new website domain and smash up all the promotional mugs up with a hammer.
Do not fear, Channel Five: here are nine ways you can reboot the show but retain (mostly) the same title to avoid an expensive rebrand that’ll only confuse search engines and readers of the Radio Times.
1. The Wright (Brothers) Stuff
Minor celebrities discuss current affairs while being launched into the sky on the prototype planes built by dead aviation pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright. Viewers are invited to call in with aeronautics advice, or vote by text to determine which guest’s plane will be forced to crash into a quarry.
2. The (Ian/Iain/Ian) Wright Stuff
Ex-footballer Ian Wright, former Labour MP Iain Wright and travel TV presenter Ian Wright each host a separate daytime show, but filmed in the same studio at the same time, due to a misunderstanding. Chaos ensues. Guests include Olympic bronze medallist rower Ian Wright, the cofounder of Tesla Motors Ian Wright, the Ian Wright who illustrated the cover for Teenage Kicks by the Undertones, and any other Ian/Iain Wrights who are added to Wikipedia by the time the show is commissioned.
3. The W Right Stuff
A show entirely for and about people who have names beginning with W, and are also right-handed. Guests to include Will Carling, Wendy Craig, and Warwick Davis, them not being left-handed permitting. Although at first glance a slightly limited concept, it does have spin-off potential.
4. The (Edgar) Wright Stuff
Actors who have previously appeared in Edgar Wright films discuss hot button issues from the perspective of the characters they played in those films. Bill Nighy, but as a zombie step-father from Shaun of the Dead, thinks health and safety culture has gone too far. The swan from Hot Fuzz disagrees.
5. The (Phoenix) Wright Stuff
For no readily apparent reason, made-up Japanese video game lawyer Phoenix Wright shouts his catchphrase “Objection!” at confused members of the public who have called in to discuss whether a primary school in Leicester was right to ban pears.
6. The (Frank Lloyd) Wright Stuff
Is it OK to breastfeed in a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright? That is the sole topic of discussion allowed in this ultimately unsustainable new iteration of the daily daytime show.
7. The W*R*I*G*H*T Stuff
Will, Ruth, Ivan, Gemma, Hannah and Tim are members of the hottest new pop group on earth! But whenever the environment is threatened by the Climate Clowns they must connect their magical medallions to summon an oily TV presenter for some reason or other.
8. The (Will) Wright Stuff
Will Wright, the inventor of video game The Sims, hosts a virtual discussion show, ostensibly about topics of the day, but featuring guests that babble on for hours in their own incomprehensible language. No change there, then!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you get really desperate for ratings, delete all the toilets.
9. The Wright Stuff
Woodworking professionals from the 8th century, when they were known as wrights because the word “carpenter” only arrived in England after the Norman invasion, discuss what the best sort of wood is, and whether Jeremy Corbyn is good or bad.