Never Mind The Buzzcocks

A new series of this comedy is in production.

Panel game based on the world of rock and pop music, featuring comedians and musicians

Now That's What I Call A Pop Quiz (Working Title); NMTB; Buzzcocks
Panel Show
1996 - 2013  (BBC Two)
269 (27 series)
Mark Lamarr, Simon Amstell, Phill Jupitus, Sean Hughes, Bill Bailey, Noel Fielding
Adam Bostock-Smith, Fraser Steele, Pete Sinclair, Mark Burton, Jim Pullin, Simon Bullivant, Jeremy Simmonds, Shaun Pye, Kevin Day, Martin Trenaman, Dan Gaster
& British Broadcasting Corporation

Never Mind The Buzzcocks is a long running panel game which takes a satirical swipe at the world of popular music. Each edition features sarcastic humour and attacks on the current state of rock and pop music.

The show was originally hosted by Mark Lamarr, and then by Simon Amstell. Since 2009, the show is fronted by a different guest host each week.

One of the teams is lead by Phill Jupitus. The other side was originally lead by Sean Hughes until 2002, and then Bill Bailey took over until 2008. The current team captain is Noel Fielding.

Our Review: Like any panel show, the quality of the episodes very much depends upon the guests booked. Because this particular programme books at least one musician per side each week, it is more prone to the peaks and troughs than other shows. It has to be said: it is often left to the host and team captains to make up for the musical guests' lacklustre attempts to make the audience laugh.

Something always guaranteed to start a fierce debate is whether the show was best under the reign of Simon Amstell (the 'fearless pop bitch') or original host Mark Lamarr (the more subtle 'attack dog'). Fans were spilt 50/50, some believing that "Amstell's lack of reverence and quick wit rejuvenated things", whilst others found Amstell "too annoying".

Although it would appear that you can't please the comedy fans on each side of the argument, the wider picture suggests Amstell's appointment was definitely a good move for the programme - it resulted in a boost in both the ratings and the show's appreciation index.

Never Mind The Buzzcocks has never been a stranger to controversy, but putting Amstell in charge (a man who was not afraid to ask guests awkward questions) saw notable moments increase ten-fold. Perhaps the most fun of these was when Samuel Preston from The Ordinary Boys walked off the show after Amstell mocked a number of un-intentionally humourous extracts from Chantelle Houghton's autobiography (who was his wife at the time).

The installation of a series of guest hosts over recent series have, unfortunately, significantly weakened the format. It is still often laugh-out-loud funny, and transient fan-groups keep weekly viewing figures at a relatively healthy level, but only Jack Whitehall, Jack Dee and Frankie Boyle have dared to be rude to the guests like Amstell or Lamarr used to be.

A format 'reboot' for 2011's Series 25 was presumably intended to address some of this bite defecit. Unfortunately all it managed to do was reinforce what a shadow of its former self Never Mind The Buzzcocks has become.