Never Mind The Buzzcocks - In The Press

Continuing their trend of rotating hosts, the music panel show is back for a staggering 25th series with cheesy David Hasselhoff taking the chair. Regular team captains Phill Jupitus and Noel Fielding return. This week's guests include Amelle Berrabah, from troubled pop trio Sugababes, cutting comedian and actor Peter Serafinowicz, and impish reality star Louie Spence, whose manic campery should guarantee maximum mayhem.

Toby Dantzic, The Daily Telegraph, 30th September 2011

A one-off live episode of Never Mind The Buzzcocks ended in Phill Jupitus leading a packed-out comedy tent in Rolling Stones' Satisfaction.

Such Small Portions, 16th July 2011

You may be forgiven for thinking you'd somehow slipped through a hole in the space-time foam if you tuned into BBC Two at 10pm - as a new episode of Never Mind the Buzzcocks aired with Simon Amstell at the helm and Russell Brand, restored to lascivious form, as a team captain.

The episode was discarded during the furore over Russell Brand's 'Sachsgate' scandal in 2008 and it seems the BBC only saw fit to air the Buzzcocks episode - shot around the same time - some two years later.

It was rather nostalgic to see a rakish Brand on our screens again leaping about energetically and humping female panellists.

It shouldn't be a prerequisite for a comic to be single-and-ready-to-mingle, but he carved a persona for himself so fixated around sex and promiscuity that it remains to be seen if his act will be as successful now he is Mr Katy Perry.

For once in his life the attention (and the laughs) were not directed at Brand however.

Buzzcocks has been ailing somewhat since the exit of its acid-tongued host Simon Amstell and this episode reminded us exactly why.

Be it his surrealist remarks aimed at guest Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall ('Hugh is it true you keep a pork chop in your pocket at all times?') or his cruel but hysterical volley of zingers aimed at Rachel Stevens, Amstell more than stole the show, displaying a fast wit that Brand's theatrical way with words could not match.

One highlight even saw Amstell impersonating Brand's Ponderland demeanour, gesticulating wildly with his limbs and talking in riddles, which, in fairness, Brand took very well.

Both comedians however showed off their talents and reminded us why at its height Buzzcocks was so much sharper than the slew of mildy amusing panel shows such as Mock The Week and 8 Out Of 10 Cats that our screens are now littered with.

With Amstell's subsequent sitcom Grandma's House flying under the radar somewhat and Brand off playing himself in Hollywood movies, I just hope we haven't lost these two comedic talents for good.

Christopher Hooton, Metro, 20th January 2011

A Never Mind the Buzzcocks episode with Russell Brand, pulled after the furore over his on-air phone messages to Andrew Sachs, is to be shown more than two years after it was filmed.

BBC News, 17th January 2011

Simon Amstell has said that he does not think he was too mean as host of Never Mind The Buzzcocks.

Digital Spy, 26th November 2010

Simon Amstell rose to fame as the cheeky and irreverent presenter of PopWorld, whose sarcastic interview style bewildered his popstar guests. As the host of Never Mind The Buzzcocks, his venomous wit was legendary and his ability to cut musicians down to size became a defining characteristic of the show. After winning several awards for his work on the programme, he left in 2009, to the dismay of many fans. He explained his decision to BBC Breakfast.

BBC News, 22nd November 2010

Planet Jedward takes over the Buzzcocks studio tonight - a surreal experience that's as painful to watch as it is snortingly hilarious.

Jack Dee is the host as the pair, the type of act that could have been invented just for this show to ridicule, join Noel ­Fielding's team.

Despite prattling on 10 times as much as one normal person, John and Edward only count as one guest. Perhaps this was decided by a tally of their IQs, or, as team captain Phill Jupitus puts it: "You make Dappy from N-Dubz look like Stephen Fry."

The twins' machine gun chatter would test the patience of a saint and Jack Dee - as you may have noticed - is no holy man, although some of his crueller put-downs have sadly been cut out. Also trying to get a word in edgeways tonight are Eliza Doolittle, Katy Brand and Charlie Higson.

Whichever poor soul was given the task of having to edit this deserves a month on a sun lounger in the Maldives, wearing earplugs and an eye mask.

Jane Simon, Metro, 4th November 2010

Mentally prepare yourself: Jedward are on tonight, appearing as one guest, and looking and being utterly ridiculous. But don't worry, because host Jack Dee and team captain Noel Fielding eat them alive. 'They're like a simpleton Bros' is just one of many, many insults hurled at them. Addictive viewing, sadly.

Metro, 4th November 2010

Happy Shopper Russell Brand, Noel Fielding has had a pop at Simon Amstell for "ruining" Never Mind The Buzzcocks by being too rude to the guests, which suggests that he hadn't watched any of the series before Amstell was on. Or after. Or even tonight's episode in which Jack Dee describes Jedward as the "greatest musical meeting since Chapman met Lennon".

tvBite, 4th November 2010

The Buzzcocks studio can handle most things, but can it handle the prattle-storm of Jedward? It's a close call. Seated side by side as one guest on Noel Fielding's team, they nearly capsize the show. At one stage even the benign Fielding has to abandon them and swap places with Phill Jupitus because he can't cope with their daft interruptions (many clearly edited out). "It's like a simpleton Bros!" he wails. Other descriptions of the pop twins include "A production of Oliver! styled by Vivienne Westwood" (from fellow guest Katy Brand) and "the greatest musical collaboration since Lennon met Chapman". That cruel offering comes from guest host Jack Dee's autocue. He's just the man for the occasion: for much of the show, it's essentially Jack Dee versus Jedward - and cryingly funny.

David Butcher, Radio Times, 4th November 2010

The music quiz show was this week hosted by sketch show queen Catherine Tate on typical grating, nasal form. Come back, Simon Amstell, all is forgiven.

Written by Rachel Tarley. Metro, 29th October 2010

Mark Ronson has an incredibly dull voice and when doing the interlinking piece-to-camera sections he couldn't hide the fact that he was clearly reading off a screen, so the majority of jokes fell flat. It's all in the delivery.

Written by Steven Cookson. Suite101, 22nd October 2010

There was life before Simon Amstell, though Never Mind the Buzzcocks doesn't seem to know it. A full series after the catty, facetious quiz host left to write and star in Grandma's House, programme-makers are still fumbling around without a replacement.

Instead, they have stuck with a rota of guest-hosts who, if not the most adept at cracking jokes, at least offer punchlines for some. The concept worked last series: Amstell was so strong in his role that a revolving door created a pleasing sense of differentiation. By now, though, they should have settled on their candidate. No longer novel, the post-Amstell gimmick just seems like a compromise. Which, most of the time, it is.

Last night, particularly so. Mark Ronson - a previous contestant on the programme - took centre stage, offering a (fairly) amusing line about his hair (recently peroxided a ghostly white-blond, it boasts, observed one contestant, an uncanny resemblance to the style favoured by Tintin). Aside from the opener, he wasn't up for much. Not his fault; he's not a comedian.

The team captains did rather better: Phill Jupitus is still there, alongside newer arrival Noel Fielding. One of the big successes of the post-Amstell era has been Fielding's recruitment. Not just because he is hilarious - which he is - but also because he brings in some of the funniest guests. The format dictates that each team captain brings a guest to their benches: Fielding, like a naughty child at show-and-tell, produced fellow funnyman Paul Foot who, it transpired, would provide the biggest laughs of the whole thing.

Elsewhere, offerings were rather less lively: rapper Tinie Tempah, Mollie King of The Saturdays and safe-bet Alesha Dixon (she's been here before). No one was made fun of quite as they once were; when they are, the joke remains snugly PR-friendly. The competition rounds are much the same as they ever were; everyone knows what obstacle they'll face. Never Mind the Buzzcocks might be back, but - from the 'slebs' point of view - there's not that much to mind.

Alice-Azania Jarvis, The Independent, 22nd October 2010

The pop quiz is back for its second series without Simon Amstell - it coped just fine last year. On Phill Jupitus's team tonight: syntax-mangling Strictly judge Alesha Dixon, and Mollie King of the Saturdays - a girlband so nondescript, Mollie could appear in the line-up round. With Noel Fielding, it's rapper Tinie Tempah and comic Paul Foot. Even the guest host has something to promote: it's Mark Ronson, who has a new album out. But if he's still got the bleached hairdo he sported on Later, that's one laugh in the bag already.

Jack Seale, Radio Times, 21st October 2010

The pop quiz's new season gets under way not, we're sorry to say, with the eagerly awaited edition in which guest host Jack Dee reportedly "almost" reduced irksome pop twins Jedward to tears with his barbs. Instead, ice-cool "pop sensation" Mark Ronson hosts - but there's still fun aplenty as team captains Phill Jupitus and Noel Fielding are joined by Alesha Dixon, Mollie King of The Saturdays, rapper Tinie Tempah and surreally coiffed comedian Paul Foot.

Gerard O'Donovan, The Daily Telegraph, 21st October 2010

Continuing its post-Amstell coping strategy of a HIGNFY-style rotating host, Buzzcocks is back for a 24th series, showing more longevity than most of the popstars it has on it. The surprisingly affable Mark Ronson takes the chair and attempts to rein in returning team leaders Phill Jupitus and Noel Fielding[, who get Alesha Dixon, Mollie King from the Saturdays, Tinie Tempah and Paul Foot as their guests. Future hosts look likely to include Josh Groban, Tim Westwood and Frankie Boyle. No Dappy from N-Dubz?

Rebecca Nicholson, The Guardian, 21st October 2010

Never Mind The Buzzcocks is back!

Written by David Thair. BBC Comedy Blog, 18th October 2010

Veteran broadcaster Terry Wogan and music producer Mark Ronson are to be guest hosts on the next series of BBC Two show, Never Mind The Buzzcocks.

BBC News, 13th October 2010

Jack Dee left X Factor twins Jedward on the brink of tears after bombarding them with insults while recording Never Mind The Buzzcocks.

Written by Gordon Smart. The Sun, 30th September 2010

Hey Pop Quiz Fans! Have you ever wanted to ask Phill & Noel a question that they can answer in a contractually obliged, shortform, format? No? Neither did we... until now!

Written by Steve Saul. BBC Comedy Blog, 16th September 2010

As his new book is published, the comedian speaks about the row that led to him leaving 6 Music, the 'amoral weasels' at the BBC and why he nearly quit Never Mind the Buzzcocks.

Written by John Plunkett. The Guardian, 9th August 2010

Currently, the Wednesday night TV schedule is the most boring in the UK, unless you watch Spooks. I've never been so grateful to see pop music panel show Never Mind The Buzzocks (BBC2, 10pm) as I was yesterday evening, with Frankie Boyle as the week's guest host. Is it just me, or has the guest-host format worked wonders for Buzzcocks? I was expecting Have I Got News For You-style tedium (where they insist on making everything look amateur and distracting by keeping in outtakes of the host fluffing their lines, etc), but Buzzcocks has avoided all that redundant inanity.

It helps that Buzzcocks can afford to be uncontrolled and slightly meandering under the guiding hand of guests (with various levels of presenting skill), because that's always been part of its makeup, whereas HIGNFY was a razor-sharp satirical quiz in Angus Deayton's day, but has since devolved into a light entertainment panel show. Anyway, I thought Frankie Boyle did a surprisingly good job of keeping Buzzcocks focused (or was it good editing?) and he came across as more human than the acerbic quip-machine from Mock The Week. And guest Richard Herring's "career bounce" just goes to show that celebs in danger of being forgotten about should try co-hosting a ribald podcast instead of munch insects in the Australian jungle.

Dan Owen, Dan's Media Digest, 10th December 2009

We've had eight episodes now since Amstell's departure - and the guests hosts have generally been enjoyable, if not as much of a success as they were post-Deayton on Have I Got News for You.

Written by Will Dean. The Guardian, 25th November 2009

X Factor host Dermot O'Leary stunned a Never Mind The Buzzcocks studio audience with a string of bad-taste X Factor jokes.

Written by Colin Robertson. The Sun, 16th November 2009

Jamelia appeared on Never Mind The Buzzcocks last night and had a very odd encounter. Maxwell D, a London based MC, was star of the line up. It turns out he attempted to sell a story on Jamelia back in t'day.

Written by Rob Taylor., 5th November 2009

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