Category Archives: Chat Show

‘The Michael McIntyre Chat Show’ (BBC1) Review

In an interview with The Telegraph in 2012, Michael McIntyre claimed that he ‘didn’t want to go down the chat show route’, and yet there he was last night, proudly presenting the first episode of the imaginatively titled, The Michael McIntyre Chat Show.

Of course, there’s been a long history in this country of stand-up comedians becoming chat show kings and queens: Graham Norton, Alan Carr, Paul O’Grady, Frank Skinner and Sarah Millican to name just a few, and there was quite an expectation for Michael McIntyre – one of the UK’s most popular and biggest-selling comedians – to join that hall of fame. But has he succeeded?

The truth is, it’s too early to tell. The format of idle chats with celebrities, punctuated by banter with the audience, is quite reminiscent of The Rob Brydon Show, which, although running for three series, did go under the radar, quite unnoticed by many. I feel that The Michael McIntyre Chat Show might live a similar existence.

Throughout the first episode, which saw the host welcome Sir Terry Wogan, Lily Allen and Lord  Sugar, I just felt that the BBC were trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. As I’ve said, Michael is one of the nation’s best-loved and most successful comedians – and he’s also one of mine; I saw  him during his Showtime tour in 2012 and can honestly say that there are few comedians who have made me laugh quite as hard and often as him. He’s at his best, though, when he’s messing about, exuberating his energy and making everyday, relatable observations. The opportunities for him to do this when he’s sitting behind a desk, in conversation with Lord Sugar, however, are few and far between. Hence, some moments felt quite stilted – look no further than Michael’s chat with one of Sir Tezza’s TOGs. Surely the epitome of awkwardness?

I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that The Michael McIntyre Chat Show needs some work. (Actually, I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that it would have made more sense for the BBC to simply commission a third series of Comedy Roadshow.) It appears at the minute that the host is stuck between two worlds: Chat and Observation. Sadly, the two have never been combined well and, while it would be nice to see Michael be the first to achieve this feat, the chances of him doing that are quite slim. Perhaps once he gets a bit more experience with the writing and posing of questions, the show will become an altogether more enjoyable, and less hit-miss, affair. Perhaps the problem is also that Michael has Paul Tonkinson helping with the writing, despite previously saying that he ‘can’t do someone else’s jokes justice’.

Whatever the issue, I hope it’s resolved soon, as the audience expects the show to be a hit and Michael certainly deserves it.

 

The Michael McIntyre Chat Show is on Mondays at 10:35pm on BBC1

What did you think of The Michael McIntyre Chat Show? Do you agree or disagree with my review? Please comment below or tweet me – @UKTVReviewer.

You can also see what’s coming up on TV in the coming week on this blog, published every Saturday at midnight.

‘Sunday Side Up’/’Sunday Scoop’ (ITV) Review

Be warned. This review contains excessive (yet unavoidable) use of the word ‘Sunday’.

At a time when Saturday mornings are filled with sports, black and white films and repeats, the public are crying out for a brand-new weekend morning show. You know, something interactive, madcap and fun for the kids – something reminiscent of, say, Live & Kicking, SMTV: Live, Tiswas or even – God help us – Dick & Dom. Well, ITV seem to be trying to fill that gaping chasm with Sunday Side Up and, to a much lesser extent, Sunday Scoop. Well, they might be a day late and not survive more than one (perhaps two) series on Saturday mornings, but I guess they’re welcome on an idle Sunday.

Sitting down, pen and paper in hand, this morning, ready to watch these two shows, I fully expected to be more taken with Side Up than Scoop. However, to my surprise, it was the other way around. I  much preferred the homely and relaxed feel of Sunday Scoop to Sunday Side Up – where there were awkward silences aplenty (note no cheering or applause when coming in and out of the ad breaks and ‘stings’, despite there being a Big Breakfast-esque throng of crew'Sunday Side Up' host, Stephen Mulhern visible on the set) and a general feeling of ‘Guys, we should have rehearsed this more’.

Stephen Mulhern was at the helm of Sunday Side Up and, to be fair, he did make a decent fist of it. Even when he was handed mediocre games to play (which were seemingly ‘inspired’ by Catchphrase, The Saturday Show, TV Burp and the ‘You Say We Pay’ segment of Richard & Judy) and guests with merchandise to plug or a work diary to be filled, he managed to soldier on with an eye roll and a wise crack. I can only hope that Bruce Forsyth was watching, so that he could learn that that is how you read an autocue gag – and get a laugh.

Without the brilliant-as-ever ad-libs of its host, I don’t think I would have stuck around for the duration of Sunday Side Up, though. The fun that they all thought was obvious was actually lacking, meaning that the show limped through its sixty minute slot, instead of sailing through.

Of course, as Stephen quite rightly pointed out, this was only the first episode and teething problems were inevitable. It’s somewhat hard to ignore those teething problems, however, when they involve the show itself being dry and clunky. There was nothing there to make it seem new and fun and exciting. Sorry.

Sunday Scoop, on the other hand, was much more enjoyable and easier to watch, mainly because I didn’t feel on edge in case anything went wrong (well, apart from Nadia Sawalha coming close to burning the Sunday dinner (or “lunch” if you’re in the south, I (L-R) 'Sunday Scoop' guest host, Peter Andre with regulars, Kaye Adams and Nadia Sawalhasuppose) that she was apparently cooking throughout the show).

Sunday Scoop sees returning Loose Women, Nadia Sawalha and Kaye Adams present a mixture of news, chat and cookery alongside a guest presenter (this week Peter Andre) and a celebrity guest  or two, and unlike its sister-show feels very casual and comfortable to watch, as its hosts flit between the kitchen and the sofa, as if they’re inviting you round for a bite to eat rather than presenting a TV programme. Like Lorraine – but on a Sunday.

I mean, don’t get me wrong: there were some little annoyances in this final hour of ITV’s new Sunday line-up. For instance, Kaye and Nadia’s every word to each other had the subtext of ‘We’re friends, it’s banter, it’s fine!’ and the, albeit rather satisfying, end to the show, which saw the presenters and guests all sit round and have a natter while tucking in to a Sunday roast, did include clips of two of the topics of conversation (The Escape Artist and Philomena) which were all too readily available, meaning that the chat didn’t seem quite as spontaneous as they all wanted us to think it was. But then hey, come on, what TV programme isn’t meticulously orchestrated nowadays – eh, X Factor producers?

So, overall, it appears that ITV have served up quite an entertaining two hours of weekend morning fun here. I suppose there is an argument for it making more sense to just bring back This Morning Sunday (perhaps with Stephen and Nadia as hosts..?) but for the time being these will do. Hopefully Sunday Side Up will manage to quickly iron out those few problems and we’ll be able to look forward to at least another nine weeks of entertaining gossip and games.

Image credits: Thanks to ITV Studios and Nicky Johnson, ©ITV

Sunday Side Up and Sunday Scoop are on…you guessed it, Sundays, at 10:30 and 11:30am, respectively, on ITV

What did you think of Sunday Side Up and Sunday Scoop? Do you agree or disagree with my review? Please comment below or tweet me – @UKTVReviewer.

You can also see what’s coming up on TV in the coming week on this blog, published every Saturday at midnight.

‘When Miranda Met Bruce’ (BBC1) Review

2013 marks seventy years since the legend that is Sir Bruce Forsyth took his first tentative steps into the world of showbusiness as part of the musical act, ‘Boy Bruce, the Mighty Atom’. He was just fourteen-years-old at the time and of course went on to become a regular fixture of family  viewing, with much-loved and fondly-remembered appearances in variety and game shows, sitcoms and of course the odd dancing competition.

It is Bruce and his illustrious career which were celebrated in this one-off special, as the man himself was joined by host Miranda Hart and house band McFly for an evening of music and mirth.

Now I have to admit that I’ve never understood the appeal of Brucie’s humour and delivery of gags (and I know that I’m not alone there), so I found his attempts at jocularity as nauseating as ever, but other than that it was a jolly little romp through a showbiz legend’s life, interspersed with the odd dance routine, piano recital and singsong.

I was worried that When Miranda Met Bruce would force a pair of rose tinted specs onto its viewers and blatantly omit the…well shall we saw lower points of Bruce’s career. Thankfully, though, it wasn’t too sugary (although it did come dangerously close). For example, Big Night was touched  upon, as was its lack of success. Of course, Big Night wasn’t a bad show – as Bruce himself rightly pointed out, it would probably be commissioned today – but its problem was that it was hyped-up too much, leading to disappointment, a critical mauling and low ratings. I suppose the modern day equivalent is 10 O’Clock Live.

That was the only low point of Bruce’s career that was discussed, however, as the focus was well and truly on celebrating his time in the nation’s living rooms. That celebration even gave him a chance to talk about his childhood, how his parents were very supportive of him wanting to become a dancer, and how he got his big break when he succeeded Tommy Trinder as compere of Sunday Night at the London Palladium. Is it just me or did that really highlight how we need a show like Palladium right now? I suppose the closest things we have at the moment are Saturday Night Takeaway and The Royal Variety Performance, but I really am hard pushed to think of any more, and with the latter occurring just annually, there’s surely a gap in the market for a real variety vehicle (without the promise of £250,000 at the end of it) like Sunday Night at the London Palladium to be made? Actually, may I take this opportunity to suggest Saturday Night at the Sunderland Empire? I’m sure there’ll be a dynamic, enthusiastic young man from the region who’ll host it…

Ahem, moving on…

For fans of Bruce, a lot of the revelations in this show would have been nothing new really – it was basically a very much more light-hearted version of his interview on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories – but for young fans of Strictly who perhaps didn’t know as much about him, it will no doubt have been a very enjoyable way for them to gain a bit of background knowledge and insight. Plus, it doesn’t really matter who the interviewee was: Miranda Hart hosted it! Therefore it was automatically enjoyable, and they both appeared to have such chemistry. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Bruce will be Penny’s new squeeze, if and when Miranda comes back.

Such fun!

I tried to resist it, I really did.

Image credits: Thanks to BBC and Guy Levy, ©BBC 

When Miranda Met Bruce is available on BBC iPlayer until Saturday 28th September

What did you think of When Miranda Met Bruce? Do you agree or disagree with my review? Please comment below or tweet me – @UKTVReviewer.

You can also see what’s coming up on TV in the coming week on this blog, published every Saturday at midnight.

‘Ronna and Beverly’ – Episode 1.1

Ronna and Beverly: two excitable American chat show hosts (played by Jessica Chaffin and Jamie Denbo, respectively) exploded onto our screens on Monday on Sky Atlantic. What was shown in the trailers was the promise of a brilliantly funny take on the talk show format: one which will see the guests being grilled with ridiculous questions and being made to feel uncomfortable by equally ridiculous hosts. What came across on-screen was far from this, unfortunately.

RONNA & RUBY?

As soon as Ronna and Beverly (who for some reason reminds me of Ruby Wax) bounced onto the set, the former positioning herself on the stage looking quite serious and professional, and the latter doing something akin to a lap dance for the front row of the audience, you could tell that this was going to be a colourful, camp and quite-over-the-top hour of chat. And it was. However, you may notice that I deliberately didn’t use the word ‘funny’. That’s because the entrance was entertaining, but the subsequent fifty-nine minutes just wasn’t.

HAVE THE JOKES DONE A RONNA?

Admittedly, I did laugh at Beverly asking Game of Thrones star Charles Dance if, because he’s an OBE, he has ever had sex with the Queen. I realise that to some, this will be offensive – perhaps those who have been contacting Ofcom about the supposedly racist and Islamophobic content in Citizen Khan will have heard Beverly ask this and choked on their Horlicks but, hey!, I thought it was funny.

I also raised a smile at Ronna saying that the one thing she’d put in Room 101 is Argos. However, I only smiled at this because I in fact work at Argos. If I didn’t, I doubt I’d even remember her saying it.

Apart from these quips, though, it was just a bit tedious and wholly disappointing. Even guest Frank Skinner looked disheartened and regretful about having agreed to have appeared on the show.

Beverly’s constant fidgeting, swaying and repetition of “Yep” was infuriating! It worked well the first couple of times, I suppose, but it very quickly became irritating.

A CONUNDRUM

You might expect me to suggest that, because I didn’t really enjoy Beverly’s contribution, it would be better if it was hosted by Ronna alone, but there lies the problem: Ronna is the ‘straight’ character, against her outrageous co-host so, get rid of that co-host, and you only have the ‘straight’ one. Therefore, you’re left with a normal chat show, i.e. not a comedy one. Forgive me for this ludicrous comparison but it would be like Morecambe without Wise.

I understand that the humour in Ronna & Beverly pretty much revolves around the two hosts bouncing off of each other and you can’t have Ronna without Beverly or vice versa. However, for them ‘bouncing off of each other” to work, at least one (or ideally both) of the characters must be funny. But they’re not.

‘DRAGGED OUT’

Another problem seems to be the running time: the show seems dragged out. I began watching it thinking it would only be on for half-an-hour, but no: a full hour is the amount of time I had to sit and watch. It was just too long for Chaffin and Danbo to maintain any fast pace and I couldn’t help thinking that my time could be better spent watching something else.

 

Fingers crossed it improves and this episode was focused on familiarising us with the characters, as opposed to making us laugh. If I’m not convinced by thirty minutes into Monday’s edition, however, I don’t think I’ll bother returning.

 

Twitter – @UKTVReviewer

Also, keep up-to-date with the latest TV news, reviews and interviews at www.thecustardtv.com, where some of my articles will also appear.

‘The Rob Brydon Show’ – Episode 3.4

Boyzone’s Ronan Keating, comedian Jason Manford and actor Neil Morrissey joined Rob on the show this week.

‘IT WASN’T BORING, IT JUST WASN’T HILARIOUS’

I sort of expected this episode to be one of the best but there wasn’t a lot in it and nothing much worth reporting. It wasn’t boring, it just wasn’t hilarious.

There were, however, some highlights. Rob’s interaction with the audience remained a favourite as he commented quite a few times on a woman called Tracey, who sat and laughed extremely loudly at anything he said at all. In Rob’s own words, she “cackled like a mad witch”. Maybe Rob should have booked her instead of the guests we got!

My second – and, I have to say, final – highlight was Rob cheekily asking Ronan Keating if he had any idea why Louis Walsh picked the name Boyzone… It was perfectly timed on Rob’s part, the raising of his eyebrow only added to the humour – it was quintessential Brydon, just as we see many times on Would I Lie To You but, unfortunately, not so often on The Rob Brydon Show.

‘SAFE’

I’ve said it in every review I’ve written about this show since this year’s series began a few weeks ago – it’s good but it’s not great. It doesn’t exactly stand out in the chat show field but it can hold its own. In fact, the word I’d use to describe it is ‘safe’. It certainly doesn’t take many risks, that’s for sure! Rob’s not on par with those of Wossy or Norton – or even Carr – but it’s a good enough vehicle for him and quite enjoyable to watch.

 

Twitter – @UKTVReviewer

Also, keep up-to-date with the latest TV news, reviews and interviews at www.thecustardtv.com, where some of my articles will also appear.

‘The Rob Brydon Show’ – Episode 3.3

The likeable Rob Brydon Show continued this week, with comedienne Sarah Millican, artist Grayson Perry and singer Newton Faulkner joining in the fun.

QUITE GOOD GUESTS

I thought the guests were quite good this week – they all brought something to the show with Sarah as her usual funny and lovely, albeit rude, self and Grayson providing my biggest laugh of the night when he told an impressed Rob and audience that his artwork could fetch anything near to£100,000 and then said:

“But you’ve got to think I’ve got to pay tax. I know that might be a foreign idea to some comedians…”

Rob and Sarah didn’t seem to be too comfortable with it, though…
The musical guests usually aren’t all that entertaining before their performances but Newton Faulkner actually managed to turn The Rob Brydon Show intoSurprise, Surprise! briefly by singing his hit ‘Dream Catch Me’ to two friends in the audience. When the song ended, the male friend turned to his female companion and asked her to be his girlfriend. Needless to say, she said ‘yes’!

EXTENSION NEEDED!

The only complaint I would have about The Rob Brydon Show is that the guests aren’t kept on for long enough to excel. I usually find Sarah Millican absolutely hilarious but last night – whereas I found her funny – I wasn’t in the hysterics which I usually am.
Perhaps the episodes should be extended. An hour would be too long (I’m sure even Rob would run out of questions then!) but certainly an extension to somewhere between forty to fifty minutes would be an improvement.

Next week’s guests are Ronan Keating, Jason Manford and Neil Morrissey. I think Rob will be the only scandal-free man on the sofa!

Twitter – @UKTVReviewer

Also, keep up-to-date with the latest TV news, reviews and interviews at www.thecustardtv.com, where some of my articles will also appear.

‘The Rob Brydon Show’ – Episode 3.2

Rob’s guests this week included Carry On and EastEnders legend Barbara Windsor, experimental chef Heston Blumenthal and band The Overtones.

‘BONUS’

Once again, The Rob Brydon Show entertained me, but didn’t blow me away. The host’s interaction with the audience is always one of the highlights, however, and this week he spoke to Pete, who is the Chairman of the British Tarantula Society. The chat could have been quite forgettable if it wasn’t for Pete recalling his honeymoon when he saw a tarantula on the bathroom floor: “Just as I walked into the room, there was a nice big tarantula sitting on the floor. Bonus.” Rob, quick as a flash, did exactly as we all expected him to do and said, “Well I knew you were pleased to see it, but not that happy!” That is why Rob excels with audience participation.

I HAVE A DREAM THAT ONE DAY ACTORS WILL BE PUNCTUAL…

Barbara Windsor was much better than I expected, too. Hearing her use such words as “wank” and “blow job” was hilarious – I didn’t see that coming…if you’ll pardon the pun.
On a more serious note, it really was refreshing to hear Barbara speak of always being polite and patient for fans, willing to take time out to sign autographs and pose for photographs, as well as being punctual for jobs. I want to get into the business of acting or scriptwriting and have had it instilled in me right from the moment that I expressed an interest from a very young age that this is the way to behave. In fact, that’s true not just in show business but in all walks of life.

‘ANGER, FRUSTRATION AND OUTRAGE’

Plus, Rob’s barbecuing lecture to Heston was fantastic, as he desperately tried to ‘get one up’ on the chef by trying to prove he knew more about barbecues than him. It was full of the anger, frustration and outrage Rob often displays on Would I Lie To You, particularly when talking to Lee Mack.

So, I haven’t any real qualms about The Rob Brydon Show this week – I never do, to be honest. It’s a nice little show, and I think I speak on the behalf of everyone when I say that I don’t miss the stand-up section.

Twitter – @UKTVReviewer
Also, keep up-to-date with the latest TV news, reviews and interviews at www.thecustardtv.com, where some of my articles will also appear.

‘The Angelos Epithemiou Show’ – Episode 1.6

The first series of The Angelos Epithemiou Show concluded on Friday. If you’ve read any of my reviews about the previous episodes of this show, you’ll have gauged that – bar a few imperfections – I love it and actually find very few things to criticise. This week, however, I found quite a few. Before we get to that, though, let me tell you what I thought was great about this week’s show, because there were quite a few highlights.

THE HIGHLIGHTS…

Firstly, I thought the opening dance sequence was brilliant this week – call me naive but I didn’t see Angelos’s fall through the stage coming, therefore when it happened I found it all the more funny.

He then went on to explain how EastEnders works with the aid of a few pictures of characters from the soap and the Queen Vic on a stick (I’m a poet and I didn’t know it!). Once again, this was really funny and actually even better than the Dragons’ Den explanation last week. You’ll understand what I’m talking about if you watch it.

Angelos’s guest this week was model-turned-body builder Jodie Marsh, whom he introduced as having an arm which “looks like the Sixteen Chapel”. Hilarious on more than one level. He then kicked off the interview by asking Jodie about her marriage to Matt Peacock with the marvellous question: “To find this husband, you lived with a load of blokes in a house on the telly, you picked one, you married him but you divorced him. Why do you think that didn’t work out for you, Jodie?” What a question! It was so reminiscent of Mrs. Merton (Caroline Aherne’s 90s chat show host character) asking Debbie McGee the infamous question, “What first attracted you to the millionaire Paul Daniels?” – very rude and ill-mannered but taken in the best way possible, because it’s a comedy show!

…NOT THE HIGHLIGHTS

However, like I said, it wasn’t all good in this episode. Earlier today, I read a review online of Verry Terry – the Channel 4 comedy chat show pilot hosted by Kayvan Novak’s Face and Fonejacker character Terry Tibbs – to see whether others agreed with my negative review. The writer of the review I read earlier basically said that Verry Terry trumped The Angelos Epithemiou Show but I couldn’t have disagreed more. I certainly wouldn’t have gone as far as to say Verry Terry is better but this week I definitely did spot some more flaws in The Angelos Epithemiou Show. I don’t think it was necessarily because anything in this episode was weak in itself but maybe because it was the last show in the series, more things became apparent. For example, there are moments in the show (and particularly from the latter half of the series) when ‘Angelos’ laughs, even the remotest titter, the character slips somewhat and the man behind him – Dan Renton Skinner – shines through. This happened this week when Angelos bravely challenged Jodie to an arm wrestle – there was a laugh and it was obviously that of Dan, not Angelos. Usually I find this endearing in shows: I love going to see a play or watching something on TV during which something clearly goes slightly wrong and the actors very briefly acknowledge it as themselves, not as their characters. To me, it’s like they’re saying ‘Oh dear, that wasn’t meant to happen! Oh what the hell!’, it’s a cheeky reminder that they’re just people on a stage or in a studio trying to convince us in the auditorium or our living rooms that what we’re seeing is real. It can work, and it did the first time I noticed Angelos do it (when he interviewed Sir Ranulp Fiennes) but when it happened the third time I just thought, ‘Oh this is getting silly now.’ Where comedy is concerned, I find that there needs to be an element of not taking it too seriously but an assurance from the performer that they know we’re investing time – and often money – in their production so they will do their best to remain in character, the way we wanted them to when we decided to buy a ticket or switch on the TV. Unfortunately, Skinner has slipped out of character – however briefly – a bit too often to leave me with that assurance that he knows what he’s doing.

In addition, Gupta’s sketches (which I’ve previously taken umbrage with) got very tiresome towards the end. We knew exactly what was coming – brief interview, Gupta gets bored or annoyed, which then gets his interviewee bored or annoyed and then a slapstick fight begins, lasting for far too long to keep my interest. To the end, it felt like we’d seen them all before. What with this and Gupta’s constant claim that he and Angelos do a specified activity “for kicks” or “for shits and giggles” (which was funny for the first few episodes), it suddenly became apparent to me during this episode that the series was full of running jokes which were funny for the first couple of episodes but soon became predictable and which we could see coming a mile off.

In summary, it simply became obvious in the final episode that there are more recurring jokes in The Angelos Epithemiou Show than new, original ones. Shooting Stars had recurring jokes and themes but even Vic and Bob bothered to think up some new material for every episode! If there’s to be a second series, I suggest these jokes are either reduced or removed altogether and replaced with new, fewer ones.

Twitter – @UKTVReviewer

‘Verry Terry’ – Episode 1.1

As part of Channel 4’s Funny Fortnight, the big wigs have given Facejacker favourite Terry Tibbs (played by Face and FoneJacker creator Kayvan Novak) a chat show pilot. Was it a wise move? Well, in my opinion, no.

NO PRECONCEPTIONS

I’ve never been a huge fan of Fone or Facejacker and was vaguely aware of the character Terry but didn’t know a great deal about him – other than the fact that Novak plays him, he’s very popular and is a car dealer. Therefore, I watched Verry Terry merely curiously – I didn’t have any preconceived ideas. In fact, the only Facejackers I’ve seen are the first two episodes of the second – and most recent – series and the only character I found properly funny was Terry, but it’s only now that I remember him: it didn’t conjur up any memories when I sat down to watch this show on Thursday night.

‘THE F-WORD’…FAILURE

Maybe it’s because I haven’t watched either of Novak’s shows extensively before but I didn’t really ‘get’ the humour of Verry Terry. It just didn’t seem to me that there was anything funny or any jokes in the show. I must say that I think Novak – who wrote this show too – decided he could carry a thirty minute-long programme simply by repeatedly saying the F-word every time something even slightly unexpected was said by a guest or audience member.

HE’S NO ROB BRYDON…

On the subject of the guests, they were abysmal. Mickey Rourke and Anthea Turner? What the hell possessed the Verry Terry team to book these two? Even looking at or hearing their names, they don’t scream comedy potential, do they? Or, perhaps they were secured in order to give Terry a chance to prove himself as a funny and potentially popular chat show host? As it turned out, the guests didn’t fulfil their extremely minimal comedy potential and neither did Tibbs prove himself to be a good chat show host.
When I wrote my review of The Rob Brydon Show, I wrote about Blur’s Alex James being a difficult guest for Rob but how the host made the interview somewhat bearable. To say Mickey Rourke was a difficult guest for Terry Tibbs would be an understatement – a major one! Chat kings like Norton or Ross have previously made interviews with Rourke successful (so successful, in fact, that he was actually a guest on Jonathan’s last ever BBC show) but – obviously – they have experience, whereas Tibbs doesn’t (and neither does the man behind the rubber mask, Kayvan Novak). However, you would expect someone starting out in this genre to show at least some competence with such guests as Rourke but there was none obvious, not even with Anthea Turner – who didn’t give a lot, but didn’t give too little which – you would have thought – would have been ideal for Terry as it gave him something to work with but didn’t leave him to put all of the effort in, either. Alas, however, he didn’t seem bothered to give being funny a shot.

…OR ANGELOS!

It would be easy to say the poor quality is because Terry is a character, not a real chat show host like the aforementioned Jonathan Ross or Graham Norton but this isn’t an excuse! Mrs. Merton (Caroline Aherne’s perfect creation) was extremely successful (so successful in fact that it allowed Aherne’s to give the BBC the ultimatum of commissioning The Royle Family or her not do any more Mrs. Merton). And then there’s Angelos Epithemiou (AKA actor Dan Renton Skinner), whose chat show is still in its first series on Channel 4 but whom is proving himself to be a master in the field already. Sure, his pilot was a bit shaky but it at least showed promise (hence why Channel 4 commissioned it), unlike Verry Terry!

This was only a pilot, however, and if Channel 4 actually decide to take the leap of faith and commission Verry Terry for a full series, let’s hope Kayvan Novak has some real jokes to hand before the cameras start rolling!

Twitter – @UKTVReviewer

‘The Rob Brydon Show’ – Episode 3.1

Rob Brydon returned to BBC2 tonight with his chat show – the imaginatively titled The Rob Brydon Show. The past two series have been good, but not outstanding so I’m fairly surprised each time I read that it has been recommissioned. Having said that, I must admit that I find Rob’s interview style refreshing. I wouldn’t say he’s the next Parky or even Norton but his technique is very laid-back and relaxed: he’s quite happy to just sit and let his guests do the talking. This was a blessing with his first guest, Michael McIntyre, but an absolute curse with his second, Alex James.

THE KING OF COMEDY REIGNS

McIntyre is always a gem on chat shows (despite previously stating that he’s not interested in hosting one himself. Shame.) and his appearance on tonight’s The Rob Brydon Show was no exception! I laughed so much from the beginning of his interview to the end – it’s quickly becoming a cliché to dub Michael the King of Comedy but I genuinely think it’s true. His impression of Grace Jones at June’s Jubilee Concert (although I’ve seen Dara O Briain do a similar impersonation on Mock The Week) was hilarious, and his story of checking into a hotel for a foreign receptionist to ask him “You want wanky?” was my highlight of the show, and you could tell that it was probably Rob’s too. Because, you see, without McIntyre, I don’t think this show kicking off the third series would have been up to much. Michael provided the biggest laughs of the night and without him, we would only have had Amy Macdonald (lovely as she is (and lovely as her acoustic version of Springsteen’s ‘Dancing in the Dark’ was) she wasn’t there to provide humour, was she?) and Alex James. Bloody Alex James.

THANKS, ROB!

Real, real credit to Rob Brydon for managing to inject all the humour he could into what – if it had been left to James – would have been a very dull and boring interview. Believe it or not, Alex, discussing your collection of meteorites and giving us a brief history of them isn’t comedy gold and wasn’t suited at all to The Rob Brydon Show, and wouldn’t have been to any chat programme, whether it be a comedy show or not. Even Wogan would have looked as bored as Michael McIntyre did sitting on that sofa! I’ve never really been a fan of Alex James and I have to say that his lecture about meteorites hasn’t endeared me to him any more.

Next week, Rob is joined by EastEnders and Carry On legend Barbara Windsor, and I have a feeling she could be next week’s answer to Michael McIntyre!

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