John Bishop has a way about him. He is the master of turning the overcooked sprouts of observational gags into the bubble and squeak of watchable comedy. Even when his material is tired, like a routine about Nativity plays, he sweeps us along in its silliness. As usual, the contributions from celebs and members of the public are the best bits.David Butcher, Radio Times, 27th December 2011
Fish and chips, the weather, accents and local rivalries are all part of Being British, the theme for the final John Bishop's Britain. These are well-trodden comedy paths, but they're given a new flourish with a smattering of funny stories. Like Bishop's tale of how he auditioned for a car commercial voice-over, and the apoplectic reaction of the producer to his Scouse pronunciation of Vorsprung durch Technik.
He also lets us in to some of the horrors of life as a stand-up comedian, including telling his kids off over the phone, and the perils of facing unforgiving Northern audiences. And again, there are minor joys among the vignettes featuring members of the public. The fantastically languid Fletcher, a "model from Dalston" is my favourite.Alison Graham, Radio Times, 3rd September 2011
It's interesting the way the credits proudly announce it is "written and presented by John Bishop". But just as you're admiring the wealth of comic material Bishop has written, you notice the six names listed under "programme associates", all of whom are, er, comedy writers. Cheeky.
Still, whatever their contribution, it's a reliably funny show. The theme this week is our love/hate relationship with animals and that means some fresh light on the ancient dogs versus cats debate and mildly predictable routines from Bishop on how wasps are annoying and hamsters pointless.
Bishop's delivery is always good, but it's the interview snippets that provide the best bits. And they're so lovingly filmed: look out for the swordfight going on in the background of one interview and stick around to the end to catch a chihuahua in a West Ham shirt.David Butcher, Radio Times, 20th August 2011
Here's an exclusive: cricketer Andrew Flintoff used to collect soaps when he was a youngster. "It doesn't really fit with my image, does it... my soap addiction?" he says, looking a little shame-faced at his admission. John Bishop's topic this week (we've already had music and fashion and food) is hobbies and leisure time, which means some seaside-pier-style routines from him on the perils of buying underwear for your wife and childhood memories of the fun you could have with a lolly stick. But it's the filmed contributions that made me laugh most. You've got to love WI member Jackie Huck with her shoebox collection of erasers, one of which, she says excitedly, smells like a custard cream.Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 13th August 2011
This week's theme for the Liverpudlian stand-up is hobbies, as he riffs on our childhood love of collecting and grown-up penchants for karaoke, shopping and DIY. He's joined by former cricketer Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff, who reveals how he hoarded soap as a boy.Michael Hogan, The Telegraph, 12th August 2011
John Bishop's Britain showed its resilience against tough ITV competition last night, according to the latest overnight data.Paul Millar, Digital Spy, 7th August 2011
There are big laughs in this series - and not just from Bishop's stand-up routines. The filmed inserts where members of the public sound off are brilliantly done, with echoes of Creature Comforts and Little Britain, except with with real people - the ghost-walk tour guide, the dinner lady, the life model and the jolly Glaswegian funeral director. Tonight they're all sounding off on food, so a stately home manager tells us of his love of kebabs, before Bishop opines: "I'm not keen on kebabs - it's like pole dancing for dogs." Comedy with a warm, human edge to it.David Butcher, Radio Times, 6th August 2011
The Liverpudlian returns for a second series of his show, mixing stand-up, sketches and interviews, covering a different subject affecting the British every week.
In this week's episode, Bishop covered the subjects of "Music and Fashion". Bishop is rather Peter Kay-esque in his methods. Quite a lot of his humour is nostalgic, looking back at things from when he was young, such as his routine about going into Woolworth's and buying a record.
This is also evident during his interview section which featured among other things people talking about records they have brought and their guilty pleasures. One pair of identical twins admitted buying a record by The Smurfs (speaking of which, now that The Smurfs have been made into a 3D film, what's Mark Kermode going to compare them unfavourably too?).
For me, the best parts of the show were the sketches. There were two sketches in this week's episode, one covering the time Bishop went to see U2 during their "Make Poverty History" page, and what was the perfect way to get back at them; and other being about Bishop's confusion about the phrase "kiss vigorously" when he was filming Skins alongside Ronni Ancona.
These bits were simply brilliant. The images depicted were hilarious, as were the gags. When you think that the sketch had ended, it didn't, getting even better as it went along.
A very enjoyable and funny programme. Like Peter Kay, but not so full of himself.Ian Wolf, Giggle Beats, 2nd August 2011