Tool Academy and Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents

ALASDAIR PAL: "Chalk this one up as a victory for tools and teenagers everywhere."


I’m pretty sure I’d fall for the premise of Britain’s Ultimate Lad. Fame! Fortune! Just think of the bragging rights! Unfortunately though, we’re not at Camp Lad; we’re at Tool Academy (4od), and things are a bit tense.

The premise of the show is its real selling point. Our heroes think they’ve been entered by their girlfriends as a little treat. Instead, it’s actually a sort of kennel for blokes, but with more howling and barking.

It all starts so well. The lads stroll through the front door of the Academy, and their partners slink in the back, to watch the action on TV monitors. As night falls, the party bus heads to a club, for lesson one: commitment. They don’t know anything about it, of course. It doesn’t go well.

Liam, aka Randy Tool, is the first to succumb to temptation. The camera follows him in to the toilet, where something untoward is going on. What are you up to Liam?

“I were fingering ‘er”, he says, in perhaps one of the greatest unscripted lines of TV ever. His girlfriend will not be pleased.

And he’s not even the bluntest Tool in the box. There’s Temper Tool, who doesn’t like being made to look a fool (yikes!), and Massive Tool, a self-proclaimed “loveable twat”. Jealous Tool has, er, “major trust issues”.

Most of them are pretty agreeable though, and here lies a problem: their girlfriends are far, far worse. Joe (Twinkle Tool) is an inoffensive, if effeminate guy, but his piece thinks he’s a “girly boy” and “a bit gay… you are a bit gay, aren’t you?” He cries, which is a nice touch.

The reveal in episode one – fireworks, bunting, and a pack of angry girlfriends – was pretty spectacular, but this week’s programme feels a bit flat. Bring back Camp Lad, I say.

Meanwhile, in Ibiza, things are also not what they seem. Holly, a trainee builder, and Rob, a student who bears striking resembelance to Twinkle Tool, have been packed off to the island by their doting parents. Except they’ll also be coming with them, lurking behind tinted windows and rifling through their luggage when they’re out. Welcome to Sun, Sex and Suspicious Parents (iPlayer).

Holly is from Burnley, and is delighted with her hotel. It’s even got an “arse wash”, or bidet to you and me. While she writhes around on the floor of a club like a slippery jellyfish, softly-spoken Rob is enjoying the sunset with his mates.

There’s comedy in this contrast. “I need a wall building actually”, says Rob’s dad when Holly’s mum tells him what she does for a living. But it comes as an intense disappointment that the pair are actually quite well-behaved.

The charges, m’lud? “They’ve got cream, but they really should have taken it to the beach with them”, says Rob’s mum. “He hasn’t used his condoms; I don’t know whether to be pleased or disappointed”, his dad adds.

At the end, all is revealed, and everyone gushes about how the experience has brought them closer together, and how both kids have finally matured. Not like the grown-ups then.

Chalk this one up a victory for tools and teenagers everywhere.

  • quinny

    i really enjoyed this article ali. thanks.

  • Commander Sirol

    Top stuff again Mr Pal, tells you exactly what you need to know, but with strings of effortless brilliance woven into the fabric of your words.


  • jealous guy

    I particularly liked the constant judgement that went beyond the individual, serving mainly to confirm that the class divide is still going strong!

    • Mowbray Guy

      Presumably you meant the constant jovial musings that were very much focussed on individuals?

      I'm pretty sure the review of 'Tool Academy' contains at least 4 named references of people and their antics, but at no point were the 'lads' or even their – correctly labelled far, far worse – other halves, branded collectively according to their class.

      The article is not derogatory or judgemental, it instead does exactly what every viewer at home does, and is meant to do, in laughing at these frankly ridiculous, although hilarious, people.

      I would go on to explain how the rest of the review renders your frankly irrelevant comment even more ridiculous, but I fear that dragging this reply on too long might make me appear as boring as you.

  • historian of art

    most on my course aspire to be on shows such as this

  • ROFLad

    There is nothing 'flat' about a group of squealing, blindfolded morons inadvertently electrocuting their angry moronic counterparts. on the bum. classic viewing.

  • bearman

    some of the females on tool academy are definitely fair game. do hope randy tool tries it on with one the other girlfriends. truelad.

  • NoToolsAt St Johns

    On the US version of Tool Academy the Tools' dormitory was wallpapered with a photograph of St John's College's New Court. Nice.

  • hollie hutton

    dear whom this may concern,

    first of all this program was a laugh witch my i add pompous idiot who wrote this short and not so intresting article first if you are going to wrirte and comment on something spell the name correctly Hollie not Holly, first of all did you even watch this or just 5 mins of this ???……….

    please reply
    Yours faithfully
    highly confused ars wash queen.
    Hollie Hutton

Get the best of The Tab on our app.

Anglia Ruskin and Hughes Hall clash leads to capsize

Rowing is turned on its head – literally.

QUEXIT: Queens’ JCR Call for referendum on CUSU affiliation

QUEXIT joins PEXIT to call for JCR disaffiliation from CUSU

, Assistant Editor

Music festivals on terror alert

Nightclubs and festivals are both at risk of Isis suicide attacks

, Features Editor

Everything Mizz magazine taught us about life in our twenties

Mum thought Sugar and Bliss were too sexy

Review: The best supermarket gin and tonic tins

Because there’s more to life than Gordon’s


NUS disaffiliation: The story so far

Three SUs have voted to disaffiliate and three have to remain

The best cheap supermarket prosecco, according to a wine expert

‘This one tastes like it’s been left in the fridge for a week’

, TabTv producer, The Tab Trent

How to be single

There’s an art to it