Never Mind The Buzzcocks - In The Press

A best-of compilation proving that this has been yet another strong series. Your hosts include Tinie Tempah, who was confident enough not to try to be funny all the time, but was funny when he did try; and James Blunt, who was even more confident in that he did try to be funny all the time, and was. At one point Blunt had Phill Jupitus doubled over laughing at a naughty joke about the Pussycat Dolls. We can only hope Blunt devotes more and more of his time to comedy.

Meanwhile, the myths surrounding Alice Cooper's rock antics gave the show's gag-writers one of their best nights, and earlier this month Cilla Black made a surprise appearance.

Jack Seale, Radio Times, 29th December 2011

Never Mind The Buzzcocks has been through many phases in its long life. There were the early Lamarr years when the laughs didn't come so thick and fast, but it did feel passionate about music. There were the Amstell years, when the jokes may have become increasingly abusive, but they were damned funny. And then there are the guest host years, where the show is about...well, what IS the show about these days?

Such Small Portions, 10th November 2011

Singer Will Young tries to be So Macho - dressed in all yellow as 1980s pop star Sinitta.

The Sun, 31st October 2011

I just recorded Never Mind The Buzzcocks. It's quite an odd experience these days, post-Amstell. He used to chat to the pop guests so much it felt like Parkinson. Nowadays they don't get much attention at all. And the rounds whizz by with markedly less banter because whoever's hosting tends to try and follow producers' instructions, which generally run along the lines of 'stop those people talking about anal sex' or whatever the riff du jour is.

Strangely, after 25 series, Buzzcocks is starting to resemble a pop quiz again.

Still - I was never much good at banter so it suits me quite well to sit there and finish off the odd song lyric. I wore a suit, if you like that kind of thing. The show was hosted by Will Young, who is charming. And it mostly centres around Paul Foot. Who is very funny. You can watch it on Halloween night, if you're not too busy dressing as a cat or Satan.

Mark Watson, , 19th October 2011

The 25th series of Never Mind the Buzzcocks contains some new elements from the previous editions: new rounds, new set. But it still sticks with ever-changing hosts.

This week, following his stint on Ask Rhod Gilbert, it was David Hasselhoff's turn in the hot seat. Guests included Peter Serafinowicz, Louie Spence, and the usual two musical guests than no-one has ever heard of and whose names I can't remember.

The only contribution these musical guests made that stuck in my mind is that one of them was able to read the answers on Hasselhoff's question cards (possible flaw with the new set design maybe?). Here we see the key problem with panel games - it relies on the right guests. Yes, they know a lot about music, but you watch the show for the comedy they're a bit of a waste.

Obviously there are some good moments, whether it is Hasselhoff making fun of himself, the panel making fun of him, or Louie Spence merely doing anything; but Buzzcocks has never been the greatest panel show ever made...

Ian Wolf, Giggle Beats, 10th October 2011

The music quiz returns for a 25th series with an unsafe pair of hands at the tiller: fresh from baffling the nation as a judge on Britain's Got Talent, David Hasselhoff is your host. Bracing themselves to laugh uncomfortably as the Hoff delivers jokes he doesn't get to a spot six inches to the right of the camera are regular captains Phill Jupitus and Noel Fielding.

Among tonight's guests are replacement Sugababe Amelle Berrabah, chronic jazz-hander Louie Spence and comedian Peter Serafinowicz.

Jack Seale, Radio Times, 3rd October 2011

Never let it be said that David Hasselhoff can't take a joke, so prepare for some ill-advised gyrating as he takes the helm for the start of the surreal music quiz's 25th series.

Adding to a very animated atmosphere is the never-knowingly-understated Louis Spence, Sugababe Amelle Berrabah, ­Twitter's pre-eminent off-the-cuff comedian Peter Serafinowicz and singer Loick Essien.

To mark the show's silver jubilee, there have been a few face-lifts to bring the show bang up to date: there's a slick new desk, a shiny new logo and even some surprising tweaks to the final round.

What's not changed, of course, is the top notch banter between rival captains Phill Jupitus and Noel Fielding, who treat this quiz with the ­seriousness it deserves.

Jane Simon, The Daily Mirror, 3rd October 2011

It's been with us some 15 years now, and, in the wake of Have I Got News For You, has reached that stage of its maturity where it has guest hosts. This week it's David Hasselhoff, whose career of affectionately parodying his Hasselhoff persona has outlasted his earlier, un-ironic one. Regular team captains Phill Jupitus and Noel Fielding are on hand, joined by Pineapple Dance Studios star Louie Spence, Amelle Berrabah of Sugababes and the ever-reliable Peter Serafinowicz.

David Stubbs, The Guardian, 3rd October 2011

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

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