Al Murray's a satirical mastermind, sending up bigotry and xenophobia with his rip-roaring stand up as the Pub Landlord. The only trouble is that some of the audience don't realise they're not meant to be agreeing with him...UKTV, 25th May 2011
The latest offering by Dave is the new quiz hosted by The Pub Landlord, Al Murray, in which contestants fight it out to win the grand prize of a frozen chicken. The big question is, is this show a turkey?
It started off well enough, with Murray interacting with his audience like he does in his normal stand-up act, picking on individual people. However, it went a bit downhill when he introduced the "Celebrity" Top Table, which consisted of comedian Olivia Lee, footballer Peter Shilton, and Dominic Littlewood who... does whatever he does.
Also there are Murray's assistants. One is Mr. Giblets, who is a man dressed up as a frozen chicken, who is no doubt glad his face is covered to save him the humiliation of people recognising him in the street. There is also Zoe Salmon, who I have never heard of before and I will probably never hear of again outside of the context of this programme.
With regards to the quiz itself, there were some fun categories (e.g., "Salt", "Body Matters", "Moustaches") and featured questions like "which of three members of the audience carried the most change", and "how many pickled eggs were there in a jar that Frank Skinner was holding". There was also the physical "Last Chance Saloon" challenge which featured contestants playing shuffleboard using various items of pub grub.
While there are good moments this show is mostly just OK. What we want from a show with Al Murray is him to do his stand-up in character. While we get some of that, it isn't enough. Why does there have to be a quiz? Can we not just have a show in which Al Murray just does his stand-up please?
On one final note, a bit of advice for Murray - don't end the show by singing "Eye of the Tiger", it just sounds naff.Ian Wolf, Giggle Beats, 23rd May 2011
Overall, Compete For The Meat is a decent idea and a reasonable way to give Al Murray's Pub Landlord a new format to apply his brand of jingoistic idiocy, but the mechanics of the format need serious attention and 20-minutes of fat carved away.Dan Owen, Dan's Media Digest, 20th May 2011
Al Murray's Compete For The Meat was familiar ground for the Pub Landlord but it wasn't that funny the first time.Keith Watson, Metro, 20th May 2011
Compete for the Meat is diverting, bizarre and broad enough to entertain, and Dave material through-and-through. How much you enjoy it will ultimately depend on how much you like, or dislike, the beer, history and politics dispensing presenter.Alasdair Morton, On The Box, 20th May 2011
Al Murray has managed to spin an entire career out of a single character by engaging his audience with his Pub Landlord's familiar prejudices and weaknesses. Now the Landlord is back with a quiz show perfectly tailored to his needs - it's a rumbustious pub quiz, with additional physical challenges, that doesn't so much entertain the studio audience as soften them up. And with this hour-long show, there's plenty of opportunity for banter and no rush to get down to the quiz. In fact, although some of the questions are fair enough, this is not a show for quiz buffs. The clue is in the categories, which include animal noises and moustaches and in the grand prize, a frozen chicken. To be honest, we're in post-pub TV land (so why the 9pm timeslot?), and this is after hours with a vengeance. Did the guests on the celebrity top table - TV car dealer Dominic Littlewood, comedian Olivia Lee and ex-footballer Peter Shilton - have any idea what they were in for?Geoff Ellis, Radio Times, 19th May 2011
Because heaven forbid that he should simply be allowed to stand on stage, interact with an audience and be funny, here's yet another new TV format for Al Murray's pub landlord, which he's been touting live for a while. He hosts a pub-style quiz in which ordinary contestants vie with a VIP celebrity team for the prize of a frozen chicken. There's no mercy for the defeated - "It's time for losers to lose!" - they must slope away to the jeering chant of "thick and slow". Thankfully there's plenty of "beautiful British name"-style opening banter. "Dog groomer? Disgusting. What do you do, make friends with them on Facebook?"David Stubbs, The Guardian, 19th May 2011
Al Murray returns in his Pub Landlord guise for this pub quiz-themed comedy gameshow in which contestants compete to win a frozen chicken. He's assisted by former Blue Peter presenter Zoe Salmon and a man in a giant frozen chicken costume called Mr Giblets. Those who score the fewest points in a round are branded "thick and slow" and sent to the "sin bin". Having an hour to fill, Murray spends ages bantering with Salmon, the crowd, the contestants and the celebrities at the "top table" (ex-footballer Peter Shilton, and TV stars Olivia Lee and Dominic Littlewood) before actually asking any quiz questions. It's all very silly and not remotely challenging but will no doubt entertain pub quiz fans after a couple of pints.Catherine Gee, The Telegraph, 18th May 2011