More Men Behaving Sadly than Badly, Neil Morrissey’s Risky Business (10pm, C4, 11 November) is charting the six-month journey of Morrissey and his best mate (and chef) Fox, as they open up their own pub and micro-brewery in Yorkshire and try to secure listings for their Morrissey Fox beer in supermarkets.
Distressingly, it wasn’t just their brewing ‘skills’ that were on display. There’s a fine line between laddishness and loutishness – being the wrong side of 40 doesn’t help – and Morrissey and Fox waltzed over it with alarming regularity.
Consider the following exchange, which took place after the charmless duo pitched their beer to a couple of Asda buyers (who were unlucky enough to be female and blond, though one suspects the overriding factor was that they had a pulse).
Driving down the motorway, Fox pipes up: “The only thing that worries me about Asda is it’s a lower-cost store and that means our product will be cheaper and our margins tighter.” “But, yeah,” smirks Morrissey , “hot totty.” Fox laughs: “We should do business with them on that basis.” “But please, you know,” says Morrissey, mock-seriously, “let’s keep talking with our mouths and not with our cocks.”
“You know that I will always do the right thing on a business level,” retorts Fox. “I’m quite prepared to sleep my way to the top.” Cue Beavis and Butt-Head-style sniggering.
If only the last laugh had been on them, but sadly no. Seemingly more by luck than judgement, they kept producing decent enough beer, beer, moreover, that the multiples were interested in stocking. It ended up being a toss up between Tesco and Sainsbury's, the former winning out.
It must be galling for those who spend years trying to break into the mults that these amateurs managed it so quickly – thanks mainly to Morrissey’s celeb status. On the plus side, the beer wasn’t for everyone. “It’s not up to our standard,” said the Waitrose buyer sniffily.
Fox’s response was typically unedifying. “Wankers,” he said. “I’m absolutely gob-smacked.” If only.