THERE was a curious light entertainment battle going on this weekend.

On the one hand, we had a host of mystery celebrities belting out a few hits whilst dressed as a the most bizarre collection of characters to have been put together since that bar in Star Wars : A New Hope.

And on the other, comedian Jason Manford leading the charge for mediocrity in new gameshow First and Last.

As in all simplistic premises, this is fiendish in its set-up - contestants must literally avoid winning, or losing, each of the rounds and then at the end ask for a middling amount of the £10,000 cash prize in order to take that sum home.

All this doesn’t sound too ingenious, but it was just what I wanted to watch early doors on a post-Christmas Saturday night.

Who decided they would put everyone in a cardboard box and wait to see who popped out first ? or who would get a headstart in one of the rounds by inviting them all to bring in a potato ?

Yes, you got it, the middleweight spud was the winner.

It’s not clear if there will be different challenges each week - I am going to assume there will be.

Chucking tatties on a scale was amusing once - they need to up their game next week.

On paper, you would have thought this would have been far less entertaining than the Masked Singer, the show of the many dubious costumes on the other side.

But it wasn’t. It made it look positively exciting - and since Jason Manford has wisely taken the self-deprecating route of presenting - they weren’t trying that hard.

The problem with the singing show is all it has going for it is its vague air of mystery surrounding the identity of the eponymous warblers.

I would be more than happy just to nip over five minutes before the end in order to witness the unveiling.

And, if the quality of the two who have already taken their giant sparkly heads off are anything to go by, the level of famous types is not very high.

In a show which relies heavily on the input of the panel, who are meant to be guessing who the contestants might be, it seems a tad unfair to have slightly obscure soap stars and politicians in there.

Maybe I am doing American star Ken Jeong a great disservice here, but how on earth would he ever have guessed former Home Secretary Alan Johnson or Eastender Patsy Palmer ?

Sorry, should have done a plot spoiler warning.

Yet, on the bright side, I have just saved you two hours of your life. You’re welcome.

Television definitely needs a Generation Game style, family friendly show like First and Last.

And Jason Manford surely deserves a show which actually garners a bit of success.

As with all of these sort of things, whether something like this succeeds or fails is often down to who you have fronting it and the chemistry with contestants.

Having said that, poor old Joel Dommett needs more than just the ability to chat amiably with people dressed up in grotesque costumes.

Even he isn’t enough of a draw for me.

I really don’t want to listen to any more of that questionable singing.

I will just have to google it next month to discover the identity of Hedgehog, Unicorn et al.

The suspense is not exactly killing me, however.

Who can produce the most average root vegetable ? now that’s more my bag.