Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

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(2004) ★★★

BBC1: Saturday 3 October, 11.55pm

The 1970s… when people believed everything they heard on TV. Old School fool Will Ferrell as nincompoop local TV newsreader Ron Burgundy, outraged by the San Diego station’s decision to bring in Christina Applegate as his co-host, Veronica Corningstone. It’s the 70s – women simply don’t read the news. It’s a man’s job. And Ferrell wants to make sure it stays that way.

He’s basically Ted Knight’s idiotic newscaster Ted Baxter from Mary Tyler Moore’s hit 70s TV show and easy targets are splattered in a diverting retro comedy. Funny cameos include rival stations’ mad-as-hell newsmen – Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller and Tim Robbins are all looking to rumble in the concrete jungle.

And Steve Carell – Jim Carrey’s rival reporter in Bruce Almighty – is newsroom colleague Brick Tamland, an obtuse character who’s possibly even more dense than the utterly insensitive, self-absorbed Burgundy. “How’s the divorce?” he asks a party guest. “Horrible,” says the stooge, “looks like I’ll never see my children again…”

Ferrell’s already on his heels, carelessly waving “Fantastic!” The legend continues in Anchorman 2 on Sky Movies Showcase, Friday. The 70s have moved on to the 80s, but there’s nothing new. Sometimes funny is enough.

Certificate: 12

Duration: 95min

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