Never Mind The Buzzcocks - In The Press

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. Music.co.uk, 5th November 2009

Since Amstell left, my favourite remaining little pop show Never Mind The Buzzcocks has lost its way. Depending on the guest host it has either left you wishing for the return of Simon Amstell, or, in some drastic cases, the return of Mark Lamarr.

Written by Carl Greenwood. Low Culture, 5th November 2009

This week the pop quiz is the launch pad for the manic wit of regular team captains Noel Fielding and Phill Jupitus, guest host Alex James and panellists Peter Serafinowicz, Holly Walsh, Newton Faulkner and Jessica Origliasso. That means there's a range of comic styles as divergent as this show's musical tastes usually are from the current Top 40.

Daily Telegraph, 15th October 2009

We go behind the scenes at the comedy music quiz, where it's all "flowers and unicorns" according to Noel Fielding.

Written by Priya Elan. The Guardian, 10th October 2009

The music panel show continues as Noel Fielding settles into his new role as permanent team captain opposite the immovable Phill Jupitus. Comedian Rhod Gilbert takes the guest presenter's chair tonight (replacing Simon Amstell who has now left the series). Fielding is joined by sports presenter Gabby Logan and Jeremy Reynolds from trendy electro band Hockey. Facing them is a far more intriguing line-up comprised of Spandau Ballet's Martin Kemp and gravel-voiced comedian Greg Davies, who plays the angry head of sixth form in The Inbetweeners.

Catherine Gee, Daily Telegraph, 8th October 2009

The format remains the same, with Sorry No Refunds consuming about half of the show. Usually this isn't a problem, only this time James Corden and Jupitus' team had to regurgitate jokes about Blue from 2002.

The Custard TV, 5th October 2009

Pop World has never been the same since Simon Amstell left. Will Buzzcocks go the same way, particularly now it's going down the rudderless route of guest hosts? In fashioning himself into a TV personality, tonight's host, James Corden, hasn't been quite as funny as he thinks he is. Still, he made a good fist of things as a guest captain last year, and he's not the only newbie trying to impress here: achingly hip Noel Fielding is now a permanent fixture.

Sharon Lougher, Metro, 1st October 2009

For those worried that they'd not seen much of James Corden on their screens recently, relax, he's back. He hosts the umpteenth return of Buzzcocks - along with Noel Fielding, who's back as a team captain. The quick-witted Simon Amstell is gone, so now it's a revolving-door host policy, with the ability to read an autocue and laugh generously at unfunny gags by Phill Jupitus the only qualifications that seem to be required. Fine, anything that keeps Mark Lamarr from clawing his way back on to our screens.

Phelim O'Neill, The Guardian, 1st October 2009

Fans of the pop quiz will have been gutted by Simon Amstell's announcement he was quitting to concentrate on his live work. We hoped he was joking - but for once he was deadly serious.

On Amstell's watch Buzzcocks was unmissable weekly irreverence. He read an autocue like nobody's business but the best stuff came off the top of his head - scattering unpredictably like priceless comedy dandruff.

Guest hosts starting with James Corden will helm the new run - but generating that relaxed, free-wheeling chemistry that flourished under Amstell will be tough for anyone dropping in. Noel Fielding, who's been excellent value in the past, becomes a team captain opposite Phill Jupitus.

Jane Simon, The Mirror, 1st October 2009

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