There’s Shakespeare the Roadman, life lessons from Grey’s Anatomy, and everything Gemma Collins has ever said or done. In the first of a series in which Guardian critics unearth the best of TikTok, our writer takes on its TV-related content

TikTok and telly go together like Ant and Dec before the drink-driving ban. Most obviously, TikTok is good for reliving highlights from daytime and reality shows past. Remember that iconic “Dear-lord-what-a-sad-little-life-Jane” moment from Come Dine With Me? Or that time an indignant Curtis from Love Island chose coffee-making over morning cuddles? Or everything Gemma Collins has ever said and done? All these have been faithfully chopped, churned, lip-synced and lauded by accounts such as Greatbritishmemes, Qualitybritishtelly and Loveofhuns. It makes the enforced ad breaks on All 4 and ITV Hub just whiz by.

That’s only the beginning of this sweet symbiosis however, because TikTok also provides a glimpse into TV’s future. The outrageously talented Munya Chawawa has finally reached Channel 4, as co-host of Complaints Welcome, but his viral music parodies have long-threatened to spill out of the small(er) screen and into the mainstream. And since TikTok allows quality content to bypass the traditional gatekeepers and connect directly with an audience, there’s plenty more where he came from. The likes of Bigmiko (if Shakespeare was a roadman …), Abi Clarke (relatable queen of banal office chat) and Harry Trevaldwyn (he’s already been cast in the UK remake of Call My Agent) are shaping up to be the panel show regulars of tomorrow.

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