Like its predecessor, Bishop covers a range of different topics using both stand-up and sketches. However, this time around the sketches are all performed by the sketch trope Pappy's, and there are no pre-filmed segments with celebrities or members of the public.
I must say that this worked rather well for most of the time. I especially liked the opening sketch about the Greek economy, which featured two Greek men trying to mend their broken plates to save money. However, I was annoyed by the pasty tax sketch which featured another lazy John Prescott gag. You'd think we've moved on from such a basic gag, or at least changed that target to someone more current (no doubt that would be Eric Pickles)...
However, there's one problem I do have with this programme and all programmes of this type, really. Namely it doesn't cover all of the year. Bishop's show aired in November, which is just ridiculous. I don't want to sound like someone from the Daily Mail, but these review programmes just seem to keep coming around earlier every year. It's just not right...Ian Wolf, Giggle Beats, 3rd December 2012
Light entertainer de nos jours John Bishop presents the first of two shows in which he combines stand-up, sketches and clips, to take what is inevitably described as 'a light-hearted look back' at the last 12 months of British life. There's plenty for JB to talk about; we suspect we'll hear rather more about the Jubilee and the Olympics than we will about the recession and the Leveson Enquiry, but then Bishop's nothing if not a populist. Nothing wrong with that, but don't expect anything too searching from the amiable Scouser.Phil Harrison, Time Out, 30th November 2012
It's a mark of the rapidity of John Bishop's comedy ascent, and the place he's hollowed out in the national consciousness, that he's been given his own review-of-the-year show.
This is a rare honour, but we are in good hands. Bishop is a sharp and clever observer of the British character (see John Bishop's Britain) and an astute commentator on our little foibles, from our obsession with naan breads the size of duvets to our fear of arm-breaking swans.
In John Bishop's Big Year, the comedian performs two stand-up sets (the second will be shown next Friday) in front of a studio audience. Both focus on the events of the past year, so there's plenty of material. The Jubilee, the Olympics and Paralympics, the terrible washout summer, even the success of Fifty Shades of Grey - all are fair game.
Both shows will be peppered with news footage and silly sketches.Alison Graham, Radio Times, 30th November 2012
Like Christmas decorations, it seems TV Reviews of The Year start earlier and earlier. It's not even December and the BBC can't wait to analyse 2012's highs (the Olympics) and lows (everything else).
Typically, it's John Bishop who gets the honour of being first to get in there. The former pharmaceutical salesman should just change his name to The Man Who Can Do No Wrong.
He personally has had an amazing year - with his performances in dramas such as Accused and his triathlon for Comic Relief. But stand-up is still what Bishop does best and it makes a nice change to see him in front of a small studio audience rather than the huge arenas he usually plays.
His look back at 2012 uses news footage and, perhaps unnecessarily, comedy sketches.
Whether he's talking about the Jubilee, the Olympics, England's failure at Euro 2012 or the phenomenal success of 50 Shades, Bishop manages to be both mocking and enthusiastic. His observations, particularly when they involve his wife or kids, will strike a chord with everyone.Jane Simon, The Mirror, 30th November 2012
Purists might argue that reviewing 2012 before the end of November is, well, a little premature. But comedian John Bishop reckons he's got plenty of material for two half-hour round-up shows. Here he has harvested archive news clips, which he'll splice together with his trademark stand-up riffs and a few what-if sketches. There'll be a look back at Britain's economic woes, and comparisons to those of Greece. Plus the Royal family, politics, sport - and the perplexing successes of Fifty Shades of Grey and One Direction.The Telegraph, 29th November 2012
Taking a brave punt on nothing much of interest happening between now and the end of December, Merseyside mirthmaker John Bishop presents the first of two shows delving into the guts of 2012. From the diamond jubilee, London Olympics and Paralympics, to the gloom of continued economic woes and Yet Another Bloody Twilight Film, no event can expect to be spared Bishop's comedic spotlight. Although it's safe to assume that the comic potential of Fifty Shades will feature more heavily than anything too grim.Mark Jones, The Guardian, 26th November 2012
Some might argue that November 30 is a little too early to air a TV review of 2012, but John Bishop disagrees. The Scouse funnyman will be kicking of a season of retrospectives with Big Year, looking at all the great and not-so-great stuff from the past 12 months.
In addition to joking about topics like the Diamond Jubilee and 50 Shades of Grey (we hope those two aren't linked somehow), Bishop will be mixing in some stand-up and sketches to create a show that'll make you ready to see the year out in style.Digital Spy, 26th November 2012