I've Never Seen Star Wars. Marcus Brigstocke. Copyright: BBC.

I've Never Seen Star Wars

BBC Four and BBC Two chat show. 9 episodes (1 series), 2009 - 2011. Stars Marcus Brigstocke.

Press Clippings

This week the BBC attempted to re-launch Radio 4 chat show I've Never Seen Star Wars, where guests try out things they've never done before, for television. Why they needed to do so I don't know.

The TV version was first broadcast in 2009 on BBC Four with the host of the original radio version, Marcus Brigstocke, still hosting it. This new "pilot" was hosted by Jo Brand, and I do have to say that this edition does look better than the original series. The set is much crisper and cleaner, and they kept the original theme tune from the radio series rather the altered version from the first TV series. However, they still kept the annoying musical inserts between each item. They aren't needed and they end up just get up your nose.

The guest for this new edition was Stephen Fry. In this edition his first time experiences were his first ear piercing (an experience which gave a score of 8 out of 10), putting together flat-pack furniture (1 out of 10), watching Only Fools and Horses (9.5 out of 10) and boxing (10 out of 10). My favourite section was the furniture sequence, during which he sweat so profusely his skin looked like a waterfall. He looked like Lee Evans in the middle of a gig.

I've Never Seen Star Wars was an enjoyable show, but I still don't understand why they needed to replace Brigstocke with Brand. She was a decent enough host; but so is Brigstocke and I don't think there was any need for such a change...

Ian Wolf, Giggle Beats, 3rd January 2012

I've Never Seen Star Wars: 2011 special - review

A decent enough Christmas treat - and it's good to see this very versatile format has arrived in the mainstream. But it's slightly disconcerting to see it reformatted so drastically, and it's puzzling to consider why Jo Brand got the job ahead of Marcus Brigstocke.

Liam Tucker, TV Pixie, 29th December 2011

This amusing long-running Radio 4 show - which invites celebrity guests to try activities completely new to them - first arrived on television back in 2009, presented by its radio host Marcus Brigstocke. Now, at the end of 2011, it returns with an overhaul. Jo Brand is installed in the presenter's chair and her first guest is Stephen Fry. He, rather gallantly, agrees to have his ear pierced, take a boxing lesson, watch his very first episode of Only Fools and Horses and attempt to assemble flat-packed furniture.

Catherine Gee, The Telegraph, 23rd December 2011

Stephen Fry gets piercing for I've Never Seen Star Wars

Stephen Fry has had his ear pierced for a TV show.

The Sun, 14th December 2011

TV revival for I've Never Seen Star Wars

Jo Brand has been lined up to host a second TV version of I've Never Seen Star Wars.

British Comedy Guide, 6th September 2011

While his rants on Radio 4's Now Show have garnered a cult following, Marcus Brigstocke has yet to go truly mainstream. That's by no means a bad thing, in that Brigstocke doesn't turn up endlessly on panel shows, so it's always good to see him. Here, in a series first broadcast on BBC4, he gets celebs to embark on five new cultural experiences. Tonight, that means broadcaster Emily Maitlis listening to Dolly Parton, watching The Godfather, reading The Satanic Verses, playing a videogame and riding a motorbike.

Jonathan Wright, The Guardian, 21st August 2009

If you didn't catch it on BBC4, here's your chance to see Marcus Brigstocke chum up with celebrities and get them to do things they've not done (Nigel Havers: Watch The Simpsons, get a tattoo and listen to The Smiths) and then mark them out of 10. It's a radio-based format and the only people who will find it improved are the people who like seeing Marcus Brigstocke while he blunders leaden-footed over his guest's jokes. Ah, he's not so bad, really. And neither is this show. It's certainly less irritating than Newsnight Review, which this repeat replaces.

TV Bite, 14th August 2009

This Radio 4 show moved to BBC4 earlier in the year, and now gets a terrestrial repeat on Friday nights. The format is simple: take a good-for-a-chuckle celeb (eg Clive Anderson, Esther Rantzen) and film them as they try a new experience. Tonight Nigel Havers tells Marcus Brigstocke what it's like to watch The Simpsons, get a tattoo and listen to The Smiths for the first time . . . As far as R4 banter-comedy goes, it's not bad. File alongside, if not necessarily in, Room 101.

The Guardian, 14th August 2009

How Emily Maitlis discovered her inner Hells Angel

Emily Maitlis talks about how it was something of a shock to find herself at the European headquarters of Harley-Davidson, awaiting her first motorbike lesson thanks to the BBC4 show I've Never Seen Star Wars.

Emily Maitlis, Daily Mail, 2nd May 2009

Thanks to the miracles of modern technology, it is now possible to watch Radio 4 on the television. Not by tuning in to digital channel 704, where one can listen to the Today programme while watching a soulless blank screen, but by watching BBC4, where insufferable self-satisfied discussion programmes have taken on a new and horrific visual form. Your genial host: the bourgeois Frankenstein* Marcus Brigstocke, whose approach to off-the-cuff conversation is to count silently inside his strange elongated cylinder of a head until his guest has shut up, before stomping in with the leaden tread of an asphalt welder to deliver a series of scripted quips.

And when it comes to smug, middle-class chat shows, the half-arsed format is king. Here, they're never sure whether to point and mock (John Humphrys has never had coffee from Starbucks!!!!! Can you imagine!!!!) or to trawl the depths in search of slapstick (Clive Anderson, if you can credit it, has never once in his life practised judo!!!! How humorous). Perhaps, with a Brigstockean constipated sneer, it should be renamed Never Seen Room 101.

TV Bite, 25th March 2009