You wonder how some shows get commissioned. It's not that Channel 4′s new Room 101-a-like King Of... is terrible - it really isn't, and its neat scheduling alongside 8 Out Of 10 Cats (now with added Jon Richardson) and Chatty Man means I'll probably end up watching it again - but it feels a bit... well, cable. Not primetime terrestrial, barely E4 even. One of those high channel numbers that you only get to on the EPG when there's *really* nothing on.
The premise, if you missed it, is pure pub conversation fodder: what is the best of everything? In this episode, we covered the best holidays, the best job and the best cheese. This is too many bests, people. The only reason these conversations are fun in the pub is because they go on so ruddy long; every angle analysed, debated and dismissed before a consensus is achieved. Here they just bashed through them, and came to ridiculously arbitrary decisions: Stinking Bishop was named king of cheeses because guest Chris Evans likes it, chocolatier got best job (yawn) because someone in the audience was one and the spa break won best holiday (what?!) because host Claudia Winkleman just took an executive decision.
It was fine. A penguin trainer came on with a penguin that chased Claudia around the studio. A mouse was given the choice of several different cheeses. Sarah Millican was funny. But that, I think we can all agree, probably isn't enough.Anna Lowman, Dork Adore, 20th June 2011
This new chat show hosted by Claudia Winkleman has already been called by most critics a "reverse Room 101", in that Winkleman attempts to decide which are the best things in a certain category, with the help of guests.
In this case, Sarah Millican and Chris Evans helped Winkleman choose the king of holidays, jobs and cheese - a somewhat broad choice of subjects, but Winkleman claims she was to cover everything, and put it down in a book she intends to give to her children.
This made for an interesting watch. Seeing Winkleman and Millican talk was like watching a funny Loose Women, or to put it another way, a good Loose Women that I might be tempted to actually watch. I especially enjoyed Millican's line about her attempt to discuss the future with her boyfriend at Euro Disney.
There were some turn offs, though, for me. The audience were a bit annoying, seemingly cheering at any point, and I would disagree with some of Winkleman's choices (surely the king of jobs would by king?) - but it was an interesting first watch and I'll probably take a look at next week's offering, too.Ian Wolf, Giggle Beats, 20th June 2011
Following 8 Out Of 10 Cats was brand new panel show King Of... hosted by the enormously pregnant Claudia Winkleman, who looked ready to pop if she so much as sneezed. Winkleman's become something of a cult in recent years, primarily thanks to her hosting of Strictly Come Dancing's irreverent sister show It Takes Two, where her brand of scatterbrained madness has endeared her to many. She's still very much a love/hate personality, similar to nutty face-puller Davina McCall, but King proves she's incapable of hosting what amounts to an optimistic version of Room 101.
The premise is very simple and, unfortunately, incredibly pointless and uninteresting. Winkleman's joined by two celebrity guests over the course of the show, who debate what the "king" (read "best") of any given topic is. King of snacks? King of holidays? King of music? King of pets? King of cities? You name. It's so trifling and inane that it would barely cover a column in Heat, and Winkleman's unable to spin any gold from the discussion.
The opener's guests were Geordie comedian Sarah Millican and presenter/DJ Chris Evans: the former a likable enough person who's extremely overexposed right now; the latter nowhere near funny enough to turn a tedious "what's the king of cheese?" question into comedy dynamite. Maybe it's my cynical British attitude, but there's nothing especially funny or interesting about listening to celebs state a case for something they adore, and essentially list favourites. It's radio's Desert Island Discs with wider topics of discussion, but without an soul. I'd much rather they bitch and moan about something they hate.
Winkleman's on record saying the show's "shit", thanks to a moment of candor a few weeks ago, and it's hard to disagree with her. What's the king of panel shows? Anything but this. I can only assume Winkleman needed the money to decorate her nursery.Dan Owen, Dan's Media Digest, 20th June 2011
Channel 4's new Friday night unspectacular King Of... a sizzling search for the best of everything. Twenty-five minutes of twee tellyfilla featuring ubiquitous guest Sarah Millican, Chris Evans and a penguin chasing host Claudia Winkleman round the studio. Truly hilarious. "King of ways to end a TV show," giggled Claudia. "I'm going with the salute." I'm going with the axe.Kevin O'Sullivan, The Mirror, 19th June 2011
Today we have something slightly different for you; not an interview with a comedian, but an interview with GoFasterStripe founder Chris Evans.The Humourdor, 17th May 2011