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The state of video game TV

Ex-England goalkeeper David James – who in the late nineties infamously blamed his poor form between the posts on playing too much Tekken 2 on his PlayStation – is button-bashing at Tekken 2. He’s awful, but the audience is cheering him on regardless.

I’m at Fountain Studios in Wembley to watch Dara O Briain’s Go 8 Bit recorded live. It’s a funny few hours, and while the energy level of the audience noticeably dips after the second hour, we give our best as required. Dara O Briain directs the panelists with his trademark fast-acting wit, and there’s an easy-going chemistry with his “gaming expert” Ellie Gibson (yes, our Ellie). David James is actually pretty good, despite having a pop at Street Fighter, the heathen. He’s as tall in real life as you’d expect. After the show is recorded, I see David chatting with Dara by the bar. Dara O Briain is taller in real life than you’d expect.

Go 8 Bit originally found success as an Edinburgh live show. There, creators Steve McNeil and Sam Pamphilon were joined onstage by comedians who played classic video games to avoid stupid forfeits. Dara O Briain’s Go 8 Bit is a bit different: as the title of the show suggests, it’s fronted by one of the most well-known comedians in the land. But really Dave’s Go 8 Bit and the original Go 8 Bit are kindred spirits; they both set out to make people laugh.

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