At one point, the iconic character who was this week's guest announcements on Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, joked he was coming dangerously close to violating ITV guidelines by nearly mentioning P&O Ferries.Kirsty McCormack, The Mirror, 3rd April 2022
It could never be described as cool or cutting-edge, but it does what it does pretty well - much like its host.Jeff Robson, i Newspaper, 20th November 2016
Telly host Alan Carr is teaming up with even chattier man Noel Edmonds for a new flagship show. Channel 4 chiefs are plotting a Saturday Night Takeaway - of viewers from ITV's hit show hosted by Ant & Dec.Nigel Pauley, The Mirror, 26th March 2016
It's Vic and Bob's silver jubilee! We meet the absurdist comedy heroes to talk about their 25 years on our screens.Ben Williams, Time Out, 9th February 2015
That Puppet Game Show is another attempt by BBC1 to create the next big weekend family entertainment programme and this time they've called in Jim Henson Productions for help. The company behind The Muppets have created a whole new set of puppet characters to front a game show which every week welcomes two celebrity guests who battle it out to win money for charity.
This first episode saw Jonathan Ross and Katherine Jenkins being the unwilling victims of host Dougie Colon and his team of experts. The challenges were all reminiscent of ones we've seen on The Generation Game or any of Ant & Dec's game shows. They included Ross and Jenkins attempting to squeeze hotdogs in the right order, punch themselves, give an awards acceptance speech and be observant while jumping up and down on a trampoline. The game show elements of the programme were counterbalanced by backstage skits involving the show's experts and producer Mancie O'Neil. The plot of this first episode saw the programme's boss Udders McGhee, who for some reason was a giant bull, forcing Mancie to fire one of the employees. Mancie's issue was that they were all as useless as each other and she had more than enough reasons to fire every single one of them.
It's easy to be cynical about a programme like That Puppet Game Show however I feel like it will appeal to families who want to watch TV together. I feel that the little kids will enjoy the games involving hotdogs, the teenagers will enjoy the jokes involving the weird creatures backstage and the adults will appreciate some of the ruder gags that fly over the heads of their children. As I'm not part of the target market for That Puppet Game Show, I found it hard to get into it but I rather enjoyed some of the games especially the awards acceptance speeches. Ross and Jenkins were both game guests who didn't seem to have an issue interacting with puppets and sort of had an attitude of 'we're both in this together'. Though the humour employed in the backstage skits was hit-and-miss, the gag ratio was high so if you didn't like one joke there was another one along in a minute. The programme was incredibly surreal at times, including a segment where a family at home was commenting on how they weren't being entertained by the show, but I felt it had its heart in the right place.
I thought that the programme never outstayed its welcome and the forty minute runtime suited it perfectly as it would definitely have run out of steam had it been given a full hour. Though it's not everybody's cup of tea, I do applaud BBC1 for at least trying something different and That Puppet Game Show is a thousand times more enjoyable than the horrendous I Love My Country. It will be interesting to see if the show will find an audience, early rating suggest that it didn't too well, but for now at least I would say that this was an entertaining piece of early-Saturday night programming that would more than appeal to its core audience.The Custard TV, 16th August 2013