Riding a motorbike, reading Jim Al-Khalili's tricky book and watching cricket - it's not quite essential listening.Priya Elan, The Guardian, 15th January 2015
"It tastes like ... woman." So came the verdict of 54-year-old Benjamin Zephaniah, on drinking tea for the first time ever as part of I've Never Seen Star Wars (Radio 4). Hosted by Marcus Brigstocke, the programme dares famous types to try common experiences brand new to them; so the poet also had to read Pooh and listen to One Direction. Genuinely funny.Nosheen Iqbal, The Guardian, 24th January 2013
Kathy Burke's appearance on I've Never Seen Star Wars did nothing to dispel that notion that she is a national treasure (and made me think how good she'd be with her own show, just playing stuff she likes and chatting to people).
As the title indicates, the show - shunted off for this fourth series to the railway siding, relatively speaking, of Radio 4 Extra - exposes its subject to new experiences, and it always makes for a jolly half-hour. The studio-bound format is slightly frustrating, though: Burke had never been to Harrods, and judging by the account she gave the host, Marcus Brigstocke, it could have been a programme in itself. She clearly had some fun in the pets department, with the full-body grooms and blueberry and vanilla facials for dogs. And she wasn't put off by the general snootiness: at one point, she said, she asked one of the uniformed types hanging around, "Are you called a shop assistant?" He leaned over and said, "No, madam, we're sales associates."
Another thing she'd never done - true to the title - was see Star Wars, and it proved to be a revelation. "The parodies made sense all of a sudden ... I was in a French and Saunders sketch and I had these buns on - that's who I was supposed to be." Go on, you BBC suits - sign her up and let her loose.Chris Maume, The Independent, 9th October 2011
Have I Got News For You veteran Ian Hislop this week finally got his hands on computer game Grand Theft Auto for the first time. His verdict? "Execrable" - but that's not to say the encounter won't raise a titter.Computer And Video Games, 6th September 2011
The format of this show is perfect for Ian Hislop's reputation for dodging much that's modern or wildly popular. Take jeans for example - he's never worn them.Elisabeth Mahoney, The Guardian, 5th September 2011
Marcus Brigstocke - Radio 4's adenoidal prince of light comedy - returns for a third series of this half-decent celebrity chat show, in which each guest is compelled to try five things they've never done before. (Actually it's the fourth series if you count last year's BBC Four TV version, but it seems the BBC has chosen to forget this ever happened.) This week's guest is Sanjeev Baskar, whose experiences include watching Sex and the City, reading PG Wodehouse and visiting a Pentecostal church on men-only night which, he says, was "like a really bad audition".Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 9th March 2010
I found this series to be quite excellent, though I am somewhat ashamed that I have taken so long to discover it. It is a brilliant format and one that could easily be adapted for television.Ian Dunn, One Giant Leap, 5th February 2009
According to the continuity announcer, I've Never Seen Star Wars is
a journey outside the comfort zone. Every week, a guest will be invited to try a series of things he or she has never done before, and then engage in witty banter with Marcus Brigstocke: this week, for example, Phill Jupitus tried foie gras, pigs' trotters, Findus Crispy Pancakes, and - understandably, after that lot - colonic irrigation. Brigstocke sat in on this one with him, and their reminiscences about the process were jarringly candid.
That episode aside, it all felt oddly well-worn: celebrity guests are by definition familiar; Brigstocke is now established as the Mark Lawson of comedy - reliable but perhaps a tad overexposed - and his gags here were based largely on confirming prejudices: when Jupitus admitted he'd never read Dan Brown, Brigstocke chimed in for an easy laugh with
Course not. What's the point? Ho-hum: BBC light entertainment business as usual.
Marcus Brigstocke's new show was proof of the richness of the English language, particularly in euphemism.Chris Campling, The Times, 23rd September 2008
I've Never Seen Star Wars is a great idea: getting people to try out new things on air. As presenter Marcus Brigstocke explained, this might be because you haven't wanted to do something before (get a tattoo, eat in a Harvester restaurant) or have been too scared (to go through US customs and immigration with a beard).
It is very funny indeed. Last night, Phill Jupitus tried a Findus Crispy Pancake (
one of the words isn't true, he quipped), foie gras, and pigs' trotters. The latter wasn't much of a revelation (
as you might expect, Marcus, they taste of pork), but an impromptu combination of pancake and foie gras proved more exciting.
It's like class war in my mouth, he said.
He also tried colonic irrigation, and the recording of that was one of the funniest bits of radio this year. The therapist explained the process in a deadpan manner that was quite majestic, especially when she let her 'tubing clamps' make their worrying sound effect. Jupitus fretted that she'd find
some hidden G-spot of delight and that he'd become
sexually addicted to having my arse pumped out. Rather worryingly, then, he has already booked his next appointment.