COUNTLESS career paths lie before a humble television presenter.
But you’d really have to go some to out-weird that of Channel 4’s Mark Evans.
He’s a vet whose on-screen CV reads: “Bigfoot Files (searched for the Abominable Snowman but found five bears, three cows, three horses, two dogs, one deer, a racoon, a porcupine, one person and a piece of fibre glass).
“Foxes Live (met a bloke who’d kept one in his freezer for two years “with a couple of dead squirrels for company”).
And who could forget: “Easter Eggs Live (two hours staring at eggs not hatching in a Perspex box).”
So for his latest escapade he’s taken the next logical step.
Attempting to explain the Holocaust.
You heard correctly.
It’s called Dead Famous DNA and, in his own words: “I’m constantly looking to scoop up body parts of historical figures,” which he takes to a lab to extract the genetic codes and explain personality traits and undiagnosed health problems.
Horizon it ain’t.
It’s dressed up as worthy, pioneering science but delivered like a dreadful spoof with knowing glances to camera to rival Harry Hill as the experts, usually out of focus so as not to detract from Evans, relay their findings.
He’ll willingly hand over a small fortune to get his mucky paws on authentically highly dubious former bits of the famous.
And more often than not, the lab discovers they don’t contain enough DNA for testing.
Evans blew £6,000 on locks of Marilyn Monroe and JFK’s hair which were damaged beyond repair by sunlight and £3,000 having been suckered by this yarn: “A huge clump of Mad King George III’s hair ends up on a rubbish dump in a hat box in the middle of America. You couldn’t write this stuff!”
That’s because it’s a wig, you doughnut.
He even resorts to emotional blackmail when all else fails, telling an Elvis Presley superfan who refused to part with The King’s wart: “Imagine how disappointed Elvis fans the world over are going to be with you.”
There was still hope, however: “I’ve received a tip-off that a friend of Elvis’s barber has a whole jarful of hair cuttings.”
And with no proof offered, he paid “Elvis’s barber’s friend” £1,200, which did at least lead to the finding Elvis, or whosever hair it was, had a dicky ticker.
It’s all leading to Wednesday’s finale when scorched fragments of “Hitler’s rib and Eva Braun’s neck bone” will be tested by the world’s only team of geneticists who were not mad enough to say no.
But it will have a task topping this week’s episode with Evans trying and failing to buy Napoleon’s willy, after squandering £1,800 on a lock of the Little General’s hair to cross-match the DNA with his, ahem, little general.
Staring at it, Evans said: “If that is Napoleon’s penis sitting on my knees, the last place I would’ve expected to find it is New Jersey.
“It’s strange how the withered penis has ventured further around the world than Napoleon did.”
You say that. But unlike “the withered penis”, the Emperor Napoleon didn’t have Channel 4 funding his trips.
This week’s Couch Potato Spudulikes...
Timothy West acting the EastEnders cast out of their socks.
Peter Andre’s Mysterious Girl turning out to be Ant with a ponytail, on Saturday Night Takeaway.
Gary Barlow’s cutting putdown to The Michael McIntyre Chat Show host: “You’re my wife’s second favourite comedian.”
Newsnight’s Stephen Smith reporting on Wu-tang Clan’s new album being available only at art galleries: “For me this has absolutely virtuoso shizzle.”
And Loose Woman Andrea McLean announcing: “Brace yourselves, we’re going to be taking off all our make-up live on air.” Presumably for anyone who missed the previous night’s finale of The Walking Dead.
This week’s Couch Potato Spuduhates...
This Morning devoting its Tuesday newspaper review to April Fool’s stories while pretending to treat them as genuine. (Ha-de -ha-ha.)
Holly Willoughby inventing the word: “Mischevious.”
Daybreak conducting its Saharan toxic cloud interview with asthmatic Eddie Connor, who said: “This is my worst nightmare. I’ve been struggling for breath. I’ll be inside all day. I can’t be out in it,” on the roof.
All the singing bits of Our Gay Wedding: The Musical (everything apart from the legal vows).
Marvin Humes, TV’s blandest presenter, personifying everything about The Voice. Plus the control freak nightmare that is the show’s solitary pop career prospect Christina Marie.
Jockey School turning out not to be a search for the next Jocky Wilson.
And Michael McIntyre opening his interview with Nigella Lawson, the guest they all want, with the brutally probing: “How do you make fudge?”
You go, Michael. She’s reeling from that.