Jonathan Melville: It’s time to play the music

Miss Piggy. Pic: PA
Miss Piggy. Pic: PA
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MULTIPLE frogs, singing dogs, mistaken identities and celebrity cameos are just some of the things I look for in a film, so imagine my surprise when Muppets Most Wanted, the eighth film in the Muppets franchise, delivered them in spades.

I’ve been following the progress of Kermit, Fozzie, Piggy and friends for roughly 38 years, thanks to The Muppet Show debuting on STV the year I was born.

It was a madcap throwback to vaudevillian music hall entertain-ment that had long gone out of fashion, featuring deliberately disastrous songs, jokes and dance routines that made Britain’s Got Talent look good.

The Muppets became a global phenomenon, leading to albums, merchandise and a series of films, all masterminded by their creator, Jim Henson. Its fair to say that Henson was a genius in his field, a man who could make people feel for pieces of felt, but following his untimely death in 1990 the Muppets became a problem for anyone who touched them.

Holly-wood didn’t know what to do with the characters for many years, offering them a short-lived TV show and some TV movies. It would be another 15 years until Disney finally put them in another film, in the shape of 2011’s The Muppets.

Muppets Most Wanted begins moments after The Muppets ended and takes us around the globe in a search for fame and fortune. It’s very funny, there are some fantastic songs and it includes enough references for old school fans to be satisfied Kermit is in safe hands.

Hopefully there’ll be another film in a few years, though I’d still like to see them back on TV in a weekly show. We’ve had enough of amateur talent shows, it’s time to let the professionals have another shot at the big time. Come on ITV...