Although Sunday Night At The Palladium will mainly be fronted by a number of comedians, this first episode was hosted by the rather bland Stephen Mulhern. I've never really been a fan of Mulhern's and find him to be somebody who is severely lacking in the charisma department. As a result I found this opening episode of Sunday Night At The Palladium to be fairly lacklustre especially when Mulhern was interacting with the audience in some obviously scripted moments. Thankfully the show was saved by the special guests including Bryan Adams who knocked out a couple of hits and Alan Davies who performed a selection of jokes from his new tour. I liked how the variety of acts would appeal to certain members of the family with the kids lapping up Little Mix's performance whilst the older generation probably enjoyed Alfie Boe's warble through a Les Miserables number. Additionally I enjoyed the mixture of memorable names with a couple of variety acts that I'd never encountered before. For example quick change act David and Dania were an unexpected highlight and Canadian novelty trio Les Beaux Feres were equally surprising. I'm sure that Sunday Night At The Palladium will vary in quality depending on who the host is but on the whole I found the opening episode fairly entertaining. More than anything else it's great to see an old-fashioned variety show with features recognisable rather than yet another reality programme in which normal people attempt to find stardom.The Custard TV, 22nd September 2014
Sky comedy is hitting its stride, but this vehicle for Jessica Chaffin and Jamie Denbo's bickering Jewish matriarchs feels like a sideways step. The comic chat-show is fast resembling a dead-end format, it's a schlep at an hour and the so-so line-up for this opener doesn't help. That said, there are a few belly laughs, and kudos to the hosts for making an old pro like Frank Skinner look truly uncomfortable at the sex-obsessed, scatalogical line of questioning. Dirty old cove Charles Dance, meanwhile, positively revels in the prurience, and Alfie Boe looks shellshocked when he isn't hooting with bewilderment. The ad libs are delivered with more conviction than the scripted stuff (and enough with the 'outrageous' Holocaust gags), but there's certainly something to work with here; the prospect of Will Arnett next week is delicious.Gabriel Tate, Time Out, 10th September 2012
Jewish Brooklyn housewives Ronna and Beverley (comic actors Jessica Chaffin and Jamie Denbo) bring their relentless maternal banter to UK shores. Something about that "Excuuuuse me. Terrific. Thenk you" accent makes almost every joke land, no matter how daft. Beverley shoulder-dances nervously throughout while kvetching about her labia. Ronna cuts through celebrity egos with her verbal exocets. They're terrifying and great fun once you get used to the kinetic speech patterns. Frank Skinner, Charles Dance and Alfie Boe are their first victims.Julia Raeside, The Guardian, 9th September 2012
You can tell Ronna and Beverly's new chat show has been honed by their stage act, so easily do they spark off each other. Ronna and Bev are thirtysomething writer/actors Jessica Chaffin and Jamie Denbo, who play two bickering fiftysomething Jewish mothers who give relationship advice based on their book, You'll Do a Little Better Next Time. Described as Dr Ruth meets Mrs Merton with, perhaps, a touch of Ab Fab, they grill their guests about the more personal sides of their lives. In the chair tonight, undergoing Ronna and Beverley's often inappropriate "cross-examination", are Frank Skinner, Charles Dance and Alfie Boe.Simon Horsford, The Telegraph, 7th September 2012
It's been a funny old year and Jason Manford and Alistair McGowan intend to milk it for laughs while they still can with a whole bunch of (mostly) family friendly topical gags that haven't had an airing yet on all those other topical comedy shows and are in danger of passing their sell-by date if they don't get used up soon.
One comedian who had an excellent 2011 is Patrick Monahan, winner of ITV1's Show Me The Funny. He does well here, while we can only assume headliner Jason Byrne didn't get the email saying his material was supposed to be about 2011.
And don't miss tenor Alfie Boe with a performance that provides the best surprise of the night.Jane Simon, The Mirror, 20th December 2011
The return of this annual comedy special, which sees comedians deliver their verdict on the past year. Jason Manford, Alistair McGowan, Jason Byrne and Patrick Monahan join silvery-haired, perma-smiling host Phillip Schofield to run through their highs, lows, loves and loathes of the past 12 months. There's also an appearance from much-loved West End tenor Alfie Boe.Michael Hogan, The Telegraph, 19th December 2011
Theirs is the most unlikely of friendships - the opera singer from Lancashire they call the Park Bench Tenor and the comedy actor who created Little Britain's Vicky Pollard. But Alfie Boe and Matt Lucas see nothing strange about their closeness.David Wigg, Daily Mail, 4th November 2011
Alfie Boe and Matt Lucas met last year when they starred in the Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert at the O2. They immediately hit it off and have since become good friends. Now they are both returning to the musical, Alfie Boe will play 'Jean Valjean' and Matt Lucas will play 'Thenardier' from Thursday 23 June at the Queen's Theatre. They spoke to BBC Breakfast about singing, performing and being good friends.BBC News, 24th May 2011