Mock The Week

Next series due to start in June.

Hugely popular and sometimes controversial topical panel show which takes a satirical look at the week's news

MTW; Mock The Week Again
Panel Show
2005 - 2013  (BBC Two)
120 (12 series)
Dara O Briain, Hugh Dennis, Andy Parsons, Chris Addison, Frankie Boyle, Russell Howard, Rory Bremner
Dan Patterson, Mark Leveson, Simon Bullivant, Rob Colley, Dan Gaster, Ged Parsons, Giles Pilbrow, Steve Punt, Colin Swash
Angst Productions

A panel show featuring a combination of stand-up, off-the-cuff games, performance rounds and discussion; all of which is focused around satirising the week's news.

Dara O'Briain hosts, with a team of three located on each side of him. The current regulars are Hugh Dennis, Andy Parsons and Chris Addison. In previous series Rory Bremner, Frankie Boyle and Russell Howard were regular panellists.

Our Review: This programme has delivered some great topical humour - with Frankie Boyle dominating in many of the earlier series. However, one look at our message board shows that there is no agreement on who are the best and worst panellists.

For a number of series the guests hardly got a look in with the main comedians and the host so comfortable in their roles. There was also a very competitive 'bear pit' atmosphere in the studio as the panellists all fought for time in front of the microphone. Whilst some guests complained in the past about this set-up, it did result in 30 minutes of quality gags for the TV audience.

Changes were afoot though - the departure of regulars Frankie Boyle and Russell Howard meant there's was now more space for guests and, in these latest series, the producers have been giving a number of new comedians the opportunity to take one of the guest slots (notably there's still never been two female guests on the same episode though).

Mock The Week is well-known for broadcasting some fairly controversial gags. In fact, many of the jokes delivered by the comics during the studio recording are too rude to broadcast (they are included on the DVDs), but with so much close-to-the-edge humour in the show some pretty risky gags have from time-to-time still make it through the edit. Famously, a Frankie Boyle joke about the Queen caused such a stir that it ended up being discussed on Newsnight.

Here's two bug bears we do still have about the show, which we hope they'll address eventually:

Firstly, they should give up the pretence that the stand-up round is random. We all know the contestants have pre-prepared routines, and viewers may have spotted the one-liner comic will also go last.

Secondly, someone needs to take the buzzer away from Dara O'Briain in the final round. His habit of interrupting and cutting off punchlines is pretty consistently aggravating. Dara: the performers are quite capable of working out when they need to move away from the microphone themselves - sit there quietly please!