Don't Sit In The Front Row. Jack Dee. Copyright: Citrus Television.

Don't Sit In The Front Row

Sky One and Sky Atlantic stand-up. 16 episodes (2 series), 2012 - 2013. Stars Jack Dee.

Press Clippings

Jack Dee hosts a new panel show in which three comics mine four pre-selected members of the audience for joke-worthy material. After round one, they ditch the punter with the least comic potential and keep going until one audience member is the "winner". Although it's not clear why. Heavy reliance on members of the public recounting anecdotes slows things, and even with editing, there's too much dead air between laughs. You want someone to release a caffeinated monkey into the studio just to liven things up a bit.

Julia Raeside, The Guardian, 29th October 2012

While it's brilliant to see Sky investing in British comedy again, Jack Dee's new entertainment show Don't Sit in the Front Row feels less 'great idea' than 'there's a good idea in there somewhere'. With four pre-selected members of the public plonked in the front row, it's up to a team of three comedy panellists to question them and probe their lives, with the person sparking the least comic inspiration eliminated by the comedians at the end of each round. The first round works quite well, with a simple Q&A format providing plenty of laughs, but the latter rounds feel muddled and slightly aimless, particularly the phase in which the comedians re-enact events from the panellists' lives. There's more than a hint of awkwardness from the comics themselves, as if they're not sure what to do. Funny at times, but a mixed bag.

Dylan Lucas, Time Out, 29th October 2012

When a comedian chats with someone in the front row of the audience, it's often the funniest part of the show. The performer spontaneously proving their smarts is a thrill.

Now imagine a panel game where comics grill punters who sit in designated seats and have been chosen because their lives or personalities are funny. Sounds great in theory, but you can't regiment banter. Even with Frank Skinner on the panel and Jack Dee hosting, every joke here is forced - until it emerges that one of the stooges used to be a porn actor, after which it's groansome easy wins all the way.

Jack Seale, Radio Times, 29th October 2012

Comedians to take on the hecklers

The Independent on Sunday spoke to some of Britain's greatest stand-ups about their heckling nightmares.

Emily Dugan, The Independent, 28th October 2012

Jack Dee is finally smiling

Jack Dee's known for his grumpy stage persona. But a new show has finally got him smiling.

Daily Post, 27th October 2012

A new comedy series in which three comedians (this week Frank Skinner, Josh Widdicombe and Roisin Conaty), presided over by Jack Dee, mock the lives and habits of four selected (and willing) audience members. Each round sees the spectator with least comic value being voted off. Desperately unfunny.

Simon Horsford, The Telegraph, 26th October 2012

Jack Dee: 'I'm actually really an optimist!'

British comedy's favourite misanthrope will be positively encouraging members of the public to get involved as he hosts a new Sky Atlantic comedy panel show, Don't Sit in the Front Row.

What's On TV, 24th October 2012

Jack Dee interview

A quick Q&A with Jack Dee, who hosts Don't Sit In The Front Row.

TV Choice, 23rd October 2012

Our new panel show is female-friendly says Jack Dee

Jack Dee has promised that his new panel show will be more friendly to female comedians than the likes of Mock The Week.

Chortle, 1st June 2012

Jack Dee comedy series ordered by Sky Atlantic

Jack Dee will host a brand new comedy series for Sky Atlantic, focussed on members of the studio audience.

British Comedy Guide, 4th April 2012