Entertainment

7 Zoom Talking Points From Charlie Brooker's 'Antiviral Wipe'

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Five months into 2020 and already it feels like a lifetime. Every day brings another barrage of bad news and many of us have lost touch with what exactly is going on in the fight against coronavirus. Luckily, Charlie Brooker's brand new show Antiviral Wipe is about to bring you right up to speed, analysing every major event from the outbreak of the pandemic right up to "Stay Alert" era we find ourselves in now.

As the man credited with predicting the current crisis and a dab hand at dystopian fiction, Brooker is well-equipped to take us through the timeline of COVID-19. And Antiviral Wipe is made all the more entertaining thanks to the occasional appearance of Brooker's wife: Blue Peter veteran and all-round top TV babe Konnie Huq.

With so much packed into 45 minutes, it's hard to choose highlights from Antiviral Wipe, but here are the moments I'll be talking about for weeks to come.

01
Brooker On Brexit

Before the news cycle became dominated by COVID-19, the UK was preoccupied with officially leaving the European Union. In one of the show's most insightful moments, Brooker describes the paradox 'leave' voters may now find themselves in, "finally able to banish unskilled workers like fruit pickers, delivery drivers, carers, and all those other people we don't need and definitely won't ever stand outside our homes to applaud weeks from now."

02
The Good Doc, Sad Doc Combo
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For weeks we've all been obsessed by a certain epidemiologist with a brain so big it actually appears to be bulging out of his head. I'm talking of course about the man, the myth, the legend, Chris Whitty. A regular feature of the government's daily press conference, the Chief Medical Officer quickly became a muse for a number of artists across the country, and even has his own fan club. But of course Brooker came up with the perfect descriptor we've all been waiting for. While Patrick Vallance is the "happy doctor with glasses and a friendly demeanour" Whitty is the "sad doctor resembling Tin Tin prematurely aged after watching his dog drown."

"The classic good doc, sad doc combo," Brooker explains.

03
Brooker's Take On Harry & Meghan

It may not feel like it, but Meghan and Harry stepping back as senior royals was the major talking point around the world back in January. I know, right?

Some call it "finding freedom," some call it "Megxit." Brooker? He describes the event as Meghan and Harry "writing themselves out of series 43 of The Crown by quitting the monarchy and withdrawing from public life, like we all have."

04
The Throwback To Mitchell & Webb

Commenting on the weird set ups of shows like Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway with no audience or the distance between One Show hosts, Brooker refers to a skit from That Mitchell & Webb Look of a quiz show set after an apocalypse. Looks like David Mitchell, Robert Webb, and Brooker have prescience in common. Cute.

05
Brooker's Advice On How To Keep A 2 Metre Distance

Markings in supermarket queues have helped, but as Brooker notes, some people "don't seem to understand" how far away two metres actually is. He advises imagining Richard Osmond laying down.

Alas, the Pointless star can't be everywhere at once, "but he f***ing well seems to be if you watch TV as much as I do right now." Go off, Brooker.

06
Highlighting The Inequality In Infection Rates
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In one of the show's more poignant moments, Brooker points out that this virus appears to be disproportionality affecting "frontline workers, ethnic minorities, and the impoverished." As the writer so perfectly puts it, "we may be all in this together but some are sadly more in than others."

07
Philomenia Cunk's Interview With A Professor

Probably my favourite moment of the show, Philomenia Cunk (played by Diane Morgan) decided to video call Professor Andrew Pollard, who is the director of the Oxford Vaccine Group.

In true Cunk fashion, the interview is awkward AF and involves her eating a sandwich and asking whether it would be possible to miniaturise a doctor to combat the virus with hand to hand combat. I can't.