He struck many viewers as a red coat-esque practioner of a very broad style of comedy when he auditioned for Britain's Got Talent earlier this year - and indeed he is - but someone at ITV obviously saw some potential in impressionist Paul Burling and has given him his own primetime Christmas slot. Frankly, half the entertainment of his show was just in marvelling at how far he's come.
Burling's Harry Hill - for which he is best known - is very good, but sort of pointless, because he's doing an impression of a man already doing an impression. The real Harry Hill obviously doesn't speak like that naturally, so there doesn't seem to be much need to impersonate him.
The fun of impressions is picking out the grating little idiosyncrasies in a person and exaggerating them for effect; not repeating the ridiculous speech patterns deliberately adopted by someone else as part of their own act.
This aside, Burling made a likeable and surprisingly assured presenter and the show's producers had selected the perfect range of celebrities to mock and berate.
Our host was also joined by a couple of talented female sidekicks, who did an excellent job of sending up Ann Widdecombe, Stacey Solomon and Cheryl Cole, despite having to appear in some pretty weak sketches.
It was all well and good and it'd be hard to feel any ill feeling towards Burling, who was given a flattering little intro from Simon Cowell at the beginning of the programme, but the truth is that comedy as silly as this wouldn't be given a look-in were it not Christmas.Rachel Tarley, Metro, 23rd December 2010
Affable impressionist Paul Burling won the audience over during this year's Britain's Got Talent. Now ITV has given him a platform to prove himself. In this one-off show he takes a gentle pop at programmes including Downton Abbey, Coronation Street and The X Factor.Toby Dantzic, The Telegraph, 21st December 2010