John Bishop's Only Joking was Sky1's take on ITV's legendary stand-up show The Comedians. Only this time, as well as stand-ups it had celebrities and civilians telling jokes while John Bishop acted as compere.
More often than not the civilians delivered the best gags, especially the ten-year-old schoolboys. But nobody could compete with Mock The Week's star man Stewart Francis. Here's his best effort: 'The thing I don't like about my children is that when things go wrong they have a tendency to blame other people... They get that from their mum.'Ian Hyland, Daily Mail, 12th January 2013
Easy-going Scouse stand-up John Bishop is rarely aware from TV screens these days. His laid-back, cheeky humour has made him a must-have booking for TV producers and he's done it all while still selling out arenas across the UK.Alex Fletcher, Digital Spy, 11th January 2013
John Bishop's new vehicle is a resolutely family-friendly throwback to the days of The Comedians, when TV standup was a relentless stream of "fella-walked-into-a-bar" jokes that steadfastly avoided any reference to life as actually lived. A cast of thousands are involved, including celebrities from Ricky Hatton and Robbie Williams to ordinary folk, telling creaky jokes that at least crease them up. All this is peppered with occasional pellets of non-abrasive observational humour from smirk-merchants such as Jason Manford.David Stubbs, The Guardian, 11th January 2013
John Prescott shifts his buttocks around in an armchair. 'So the doctor asks me: "What do you mean you want a flu jab in your left arm AND your right arm?". "Well, why do you think they call me 'two jabs'?".' Such is the quality of gags in this joke-based half-hour presented by John Bishop.
This 'show that always makes you laugh' goes for the funny bone by combining snippets of stand-up from the likes of Jason Manford and Ed Byrne with pre-recorded Christmas cracker-worthy contributions from D-lebrities and members of the public. The stand-up is far and away the highlight in comparison to the cast of Chingford health instructors, Wiltshire factory workers and Heather from EastEnders reeling off funnies that range from the bizarre to the hackneyed.
Entertaining enough, but could probably have done without the to-camera spots from a curiously vacant Bishop.Alexi Duggins, Time Out, 11th January 2013
Laughing, John Bishop reveals eldest son Joe told him to take a break to come up with some new material.Simon Boyle, The Mirror, 11th January 2013
Half an hour in the company of John Bishop would be reason enough to tune in, but he's plundered his address book and persuaded his celebrity pals to dust off their favourite one-liners.
Robbie Williams, John Prescott, Ricky Hatton, Freddie Flintoff and Warwick Davis all do their best to make us giggle, along with fellow stand-ups Jason Manford, Jason Byrne, Andi Osho and Mick Miller.
Members of the public are also given the chance to exercise their funny bone, including an impish schoolboy with a joke about poo (naturally) and a side-splitting laugh. As you'd expect from that line-up, it's a mixed bag but squeaky clean, so there's no need to cover young ears.Claire Webb, Radio Times, 11th January 2013
Comedy king John Bishop reckons having a laugh is the best way to beat the January blues.Emily Fairbairn, The Sun, 11th January 2013
John Bishop's new series serves scant purpose other than for the comedian to act as compere for a series of clips of fellow stand-ups (among them Jason Manford, Jason Byrne and Mick Miller), celebrities (including Jamie Redknapp, Ricky Hatton, John Prescott and Freddie Flintoff) and members of the public, telling jokes. The series runs to 10 episodes and is entirely dependent on the quality of jokes, which on tonight's evidence aren't very good. They are, however, squeaky clean, so at least it's an option for entertaining family viewing.Simon Horsford, The Telegraph, 10th January 2013