Lycett says: "We had the most terrific fun recording the new series of It's Not What You Know and I personally can't wait for audiences to hear about Adrian Chiles' worrying eating habits, discover Nish Kumar's homicidal mother, and enjoy me having an argument with Vanessa Feltz."Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 22nd September 2016
If ever a programme needed no introduction it's this venerable panel game, which has been on air for nearly 47 years and here begins a 69th series.
The secret of its success? A deceptively simple concept that requires razor-sharp skill to execute. Debutante Vanessa Feltz does well enough to suggest she'll be back. She's up against Julian Clary. "It is the most difficult game in the world", the stalwart confirms. "To play it makes your brain hurt."David McGilivray, Radio Times, 19th May 2014
The fly-on-the-wall mockumentary has surely run its course, but Trinny and Susannah: From Boom To Bust, succeeded in finding a little life left in the format.
The show followed the celebrated fashion counsellors and bosom gropers as they struggle to arrest a potentially terminal career decline. We witness a lucrative advertising contact fall through, their agent desert them, publicity stunts backfire catastrophically and their appearance at a golf convention fail to generate interest in their anti-fat underwear range.
Vanessa Feltz, David Furnish, Lulu and Prince Edward - I kid you not - are amongst the luminaries featured in supporting roles, but the programme stands or falls on Trinny and Susannah's performances, and they are pitch perfect. The pair pull off the difficult trick of playing the comedy whilst maintaining authenticity, and what could so easily have descended into self-indulgence proved a funny, poignant and strangely moving portrait of friendship in adversity.Harry Venning, The Stage, 11th October 2010
This could possibly be the most deranged variety show you'll ever see, the only place on earth where you can watch Christopher Biggins pretending to be Boris Johnson, and Jerry Hall impersonating Katie Price. If that doesn't draw you in, how about Joe Pasquale as Lady Ga-Ga? Or Ulrika Jonsson as David Beckham? No? Surely Vanessa Feltz masquerading as James May is irresistible. As is Eamonn Holmes as Elvis Presley. And David Gest as Elton John. Les Dennis as Gary Barlow... The list goes on, and just gets odder. The All Star Impressions Show could be completely awful or it could be enjoyably barmy. It certainly has a very good pedigree, being co-produced by Steve Coogan's and Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer's production companies. And it has a certain surreal gloss that could be quite winning. Harry Hill will make a guest appearance, though we don't know whether he will reprise the Morrissey impression that won him Celebrity Stars in Their Eyes all those years ago.Alison Graham, Radio Times, 26th December 2009
If you thought that George Galloway pretending to be a cat on Big Brother was bizarre, ITV1 has cranked up the weird-o-meter with this programme, which must have been conceived after a heavy-drinking session among channel executives. It involves one famous person doing an impression of another - a concept that could result in an awful abyss of ineptitude and sycophancy, with Stephen Mullhern's commentary digging it into an even deeper hole. But read this line-up and defy yourself not to be horribly compelled to watch. Joe Pasquale as Lady Gaga, David Gest as Sir Tom Jones, Jerry Hall as Katie Price, Christopher Biggins as Boris Johnson, Vanessa Feltz as James May, Tim Healy and Paul Daniels as an elderly Ant and Dec. Pardon?Alex Hardy, The Times, 19th December 2009
We Need Answers is now in its second series. This is an excruciatingly student-y comedy quiz hosted by Mark Watson, Tim Key and Alex Horne, which was transferred to television after proving a hit at the Edinburgh Fringe. Two celebrities (in this week's case, Vanessa Feltz and The Inbetweeners' Simon Bird) are quizzed on themed questions originally sent by members of the public to the text message answering service. Watson is the host and link to the audience, Key is the quizmaster (who is spat out into the studio on a railed leather armchair through a concealed door), and Horne provides supportive music cues, sound effects, action-replays, and homespun graphics from a laptop.
It's incredibly cheap, very silly, and not particularly funny. I suspect that by crossing over into my 30s, this kind of comedy has stopped looking hilariously anarchic and intellectual-but-daft, to just become annoying and puerile. That said, the trio behind it are aged 29-33, so maybe it's just me who's stonily bored by Shooting Stars-esque absurdity, particularly when it's in the guise of a cheapo '70s series. We Need Answers ran at the Fringe for two successful years, but I'm guessing it helps if you're a half-drunk festivalgoer attending the show in a live format. On television, it's another matter. There's a distance that Watson, Key and Horne can't bridge.Dan Owen, Dan's Media Digest, 10th December 2009