Hot Gossip. Claudia Winkleman. Copyright: TBI Media Productions.

Hot Gossip

BBC Radio 2 panel show. 26 episodes (5 series), 2008 - 2012. Stars Claudia Winkleman and Sara Cox.

Press Clippings

Has Radio 2 missed the style train with its line-up today? Here's a celebrity-based panel show in which comedians and commentators vie to come up with gossipy quips about showbiz personalities.

Somehow all of those ingredients sound a bit past their sell-by date these days. After a decade of chitterchat by so-called entertainers about nonentities, not to mention public enquiries into the dodgy provenance of some of the gossip in the past, it all feels a bit stale. But, who knows?

Maybe Claudia Winkleman, hosting, can raise a little glitter from Andrew Maxwell, Katy Brand and Russell Watson.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 20th January 2012

Radio 2's Hot Gossip is a panel show hosted by Claudia Winkleman about celebrity tittle-tattle, but not in the shameless we-don't-care-if-you-think-we're-shallow sense. It is, in fact, propelled by shame.

Winkleman's job is to ask questions about the latest goings-on among the rich and famous to a gaggle of publicity-hungry comics who then spew damning one-liners about said celebrities whom they deem to be lower down the food chain than they are. It's less a case of scraping the barrel than tipping it sideways to see what is lurking beneath it. This explains why Winkleman shrieks and whoops at her guests' every utterance as if living in fear that a nanosecond of silence will bring the audience to their senses and prompt a stampede for the exit.

All on the programme seem to think they are above discussing the antics of bed-hopping footballers or reality television alumni, despite the fact that this is exactly what they have signed up for. This week, Jason Byrne was quizzed about a star of the TV series The Only Way Is Essex; he pleaded ignorance both of the show and its well-known acronym TOWIE, which he said he had assumed was "some sort of slang for a tramp". In another instance, Winkleman puzzled over the identity of the former X Factor singer Cher Lloyd. "Wasn't she in the singing thing?" she asked, making out as if she spends her Saturday nights working through her Tarkovsky collection. She wasn't fooling anyone.

Hot Gossip is for people who claim to loathe Hello! magazine, but make weekly dentist appointments so that they can inhale its contents in the waiting room. Why it exists remains a mystery. If the format seems tired, the people who appear on it sound positively knackered, their exhaustion presumably compounded by their round-the-clock schedule of appearances on identikit BBC panel shows.

Fiona Sturges, The Independent, 19th January 2012

Acerbic tongues have been licking up the lemon juice in preparation for the return of Claudia Winkleman's deliciously scurrilous take on celebrity life. Joining her to tell us things that are not necessarily true about events that probably did happen are Dom Joly, Nick Hancock and Jo Caulfield. A crack legal team are on standby.

Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 7th January 2012

BBC Radio 2's Comedy Season launches with the return of the irreverent comedy panel show hosted by Claudia Winkleman. Comics and commentators are thrust into the silicon-filled world of glossy magazines and showbiz columns, for a unique take on the week's most "important" celebrity news. As with the people they are laughing at, there are no teams - it's everyone for themselves. Guests on the opening show are Rufus Hound, Jo Caulfield and Dom Joly.

Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 17th July 2010

A comedy panel show about celebrity news, chaired by Claudia Winkleman who bubbles away nicely but (going by her Radio 2 Arts Show on Fridays) can't quite manage to read out a script as if the words have meaning.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 17th July 2010