Britain's Got The Pop Factor And Possibly A New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly On Ice - In The Press

Of course, were Peter Kay to do anything as good as Phoenix Nights again we'd be happy. Sadly it was almost impossible to judge Britain's Got the Pop Factor... with an open mind as the man hasn't done anything for four years except mime to other people's records and release the same DVD over and over again. The sheer scale of this one-off Channel 4 comedy spectacular was a big problem. Running for two hours may have been accurate, but it meant jokes were stretched to breaking point. Once you've seen one inappropriate musical segue, you've seen them all. Plus, surely we have now bled dry that seam of comedy that sees celebrities sending themselves up? Here it was like one prolonged back slap, and while it may make sense of the plot to record a generic song for the winner, singing it three times on the programme and then releasing it is not comedy, it's advertising.

Off The Telly, 2nd January 2009

What is the point in spoofing something that's already self-consciously funny? Still, with The X Factor officially over for the year, you may need this dummy version to help you break the habit. Ben Shepherd is hosting, a cut-price Dermot if ever there was one, and you get a lot more from the only real novelty act, Geraldine McQueen.

Zena Alkayat, Metro, 19th December 2008

Simon Cowell is facing a further ribbing - Peter Kay's X Factor spoof star Geraldine McQueen is making a telly comeback.

The Sun, 7th November 2008

It crammed in so many songs, they were never all going to be funny whilst the second hour-long results show confirmed what a seriously indulgent exercise it all was.

It's one thing getting Pete Waterman, Nikki Chapman and Neil Fox to send themselves up but having a parody of The Pop Factor without a Simon Cowell figure was a major cop out by Kay.

Having said that, Marc Pickering's performance as Leon, I mean, R Wayne, was brilliant - particularly his version of Ebony and Ivory with his ventriloquist's dummy of Stevie Wonder. The cameos by Rick Astley, the Cheeky Girls, and Macca doing the themes from Blankety Blank and Home and Away were better than most of Extras.

The one moment of comedy genius was Michelle McMammoth look-a-like cum-transsexual Geraldine's medley merging seamlessly from Born To Run to Born Free to Free Nelson Mandela and Umbrella.

Jim Shelley, The Mirror, 20th October 2008

Comic Peter Kay has beaten X Factor winner Leon Jackson in the singles chart with his spoof reality TV show song, 'The Winners Song'. Kay's single - taken from his Channel 4 comedy Britain's got the Pop Factor, in which he satirises TV talent shows - charted at number two.

BBC News, 19th October 2008

You can't spoof the unspoofable. Peter Kay's show was a complete mess - a laboured, unfunny spoof that could have made the same point in a brief sketch but went on for two hours.

It did poke fun at the self-importance of these formulaic programmes and their bombastic enthusiasm for unremarkable acts who are essentially cruise-ship entertainers, but even Kay himself as Geraldine, an enormous transvestite who lives to sing, failed to land a real blow.

The problem is that The X-Factor and its ilk are infinitely more ridiculous than this send-up, but then how would you satirise Jordan or Jade Goody or Damien Hirst or Roman Abramovich? Modern culture is unsatirisable partly because no comic exaggeration is possible and partly because for satire to work at all it requires some modest capacity for shame in the world it is mocking.

Stephen Pile, The Telegraph, 18th October 2008

A greedy, self-indulgent, not-all-that-funny advert for Peter Kay, who might well take the mickey out of The X Factor's rip-off phone lines but he's also clearly not above taking the p*** out of viewers, who voted with their remote controls on this one. Over half of the six million audience deserted, mid-show.

Written by Ally Ross. The Sun, 17th October 2008

Well, what can you say - it's split the nation, pretty much like the subject matter, but Britain's Got the Pop Factor and Possibly a New Jesus Christ Soapstar Superstar Strictly on Ice was an absolute triumph for Peter Kay and Channel 4 on Sunday evening. A triumph.

Quintessential Comedy, 14th October 2008

The Peter Kay X Factor spoof did incredibly well last night - 6.1m viewers on C4? Superb numbers there. And as a big fan of Mr Kay (more in the consistently funny sitcom Phoenix Nights than his nice-but-trad stand-up act) I was waiting with baited breath for it. The first hour was one of the biggest disappointments of the year for me. They forgot to put any jokes in.

TV Insider, 13th October 2008

The first part sailed far too close to becoming homage rather than parody, and was torturous and needlessly reverential towards some of the former talent show conspirators. The second part was much better, and very funny. However, we're not sure if this was cruel enough to be the satirical zenith about the most culturally destructive and loathsome programme of its generation.

The Custard TV, 13th October 2008

On the surface, it may have seemed a bit too slick, a bit too like the shows it was sending up. Still, moan aside, this was a tremendous show. A definite highlight in the autumn schedule.

Written by David Sharpe. Cool Blue Shed, 13th October 2008

Well, tell me something I don't know and do it in less than an hour and three-quarters. I guess I wanted the satire to have more bite. As it was, what we got was, bar the occasional acerbic moment, a fairly gentle pastiche. But perhaps the TV talent show - simultaneously slushy and calculating - is beyond parody.

Written by Gareth McLean. The Guardian, 13th October 2008

Overall, it might have been better to schedule the results show the following day, as 105 minutes of intense parodying was slightly overwhelming, but this was otherwise a spot-on appropriation of talent shows that fulfilled its aim. This was a superb television lampoon that sneaked up without much pre-publicity from Channel 4 - which was a shame, as I don't think we'll see anything funnier this year.

Written by Dan Owen. Dan's Media Digest, 13th October 2008

One major failing was that Kay was clearly so intent on making the show as realisitic as possible, that he forgot to make it different enough to be worth the exercise - there were barely any jokes in the results show at all.

Written by Anna Lowman. TV Scoop, 13th October 2008

The fact that 5.5 million people tuned in (Channel 4's best ratings of the year), means that I was not the only one who enjoyed Kay's exceptionally well-observed skewering of the reality talent format. So imagine my surprise when about 50% of the office confessed that they hated it.

Written by Stephen Brook. The Guardian, 13th October 2008

Peter Kay's spoof reality show attracted Channel 4's biggest audience of the year so far.

Media Guardian, 13th October 2008

This is Peter Kay's first major new work on TV for four years in which he spoofs - you guessed it - reality talent shows with characteristic accuracy and affection. Cat Deeley presents a 'live final' of an X-Factor-style extravaganza and it's down to three finalists - R Wayne, foursome 2 Up 2 Down, and Geraldine, played by Kay himself. The judges are Neil Fox, Nicki Chapman and Pete Waterman, and the results follow straight after a documentary about his record-breaking 2002 stand-up tour. If you are doing something else on Sunday night, you probably shouldn't be.

David Chater, The Times, 11th October 2008

Peter Kay's first new TV comedy work for four years has been heavily trailed by Channel 4, and who can blame them? I still think Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere was a brutal misfire for the popular (and undeniably brilliant) comic actor, but hopefully this will bring him back to comedy greatness. The explosion of reality talent shows might be an easy target for satire, but Kay, steeped in popular TV culture, should be able to get something from the show. Kay is Geraldine, a finalist on a talent show, hosted by Cat Deeley and judged by Pete Waterman, Nicki Chapman and Neil Fox. But is Geraldine keeping a deep, dark secret, and will 'she' win out in the end?

Mark Wright, The Stage, 10th October 2008

Some photos of Peter Kay recording the show.

TV Scoop, 10th October 2008

Since Peter Kay became one of the hottest talents on television, through Phoenix Nights and standup, there has been understandable excitement about where he might go next on TV. It turns out that he has chosen to go for TV: the tongue-busting title of his new Channel 4 show, broadcast this Sunday, is Peter Kay's Britain's Got the Pop Factor and Possibly a New Celebrity Jesus Christ Soapstar Strictly on Ice - a highly evolved satire on reality TV. Using genuine personnel from wannabe programmes (presenter Cat Deeley, judges Nicki Chapman and Pete Waterman), Kay has devised a competition between fictional contestants, including Kay himself in drag as big-hearted chanteuse Geraldine. For extra realism, the send-ups will be broadcast in two parts on the same night: an early evening heat and a late-night results show.

Written by Mark Lawson. The Guardian, 9th October 2008

Julian Bellamy, head of programming for Channel 4, describes the show as an "affectionate spoof". "It features TV auditions, bitchy judges, performance anxieties - they're all there", he said.

Daily Mail, 23rd August 2008

Peter Kay is to return to Channel 4 for the first time in four years with a new satire on reality TV as part of a special night dedicated to the comedian.

Written by Leigh Holmwood. The Guardian, 22nd August 2008

The spoof reality show, shot both on location and in the studio, features more than 100 hours of music. It will air as part of a Peter Kay night on the channel, which also includes Raider Of The Pop Charts, a documentary about his pop videos.

Chortle.co.uk, 22nd August 2008