Noel Fielding talks about returning as a Never Mind The Buzzcocks team captain, but with new people around him.
What did you think when you heard that they were bringing the show back and wanted you to return as a team captain?
Well, usually I'd be like, "Never go backwards. Never go back," but I did it for five years and I became really good friends with Phill Jupitus. I love Phil, and we just got on really, really well. So I was half thinking, "Should I do this without him?"
I knew he wasn't doing it. He's gone back to art school, he's in Scotland now living his best life. But the reason I said yes is because I'm such a big fan of Greg and Daisy. They're two of my favourite comedians, they're two people that really make me laugh. So, I just thought, "Well, I know this show and I can't not do it if those two are doing it, because they're so good."
I did Taskmaster, and literally I laughed all the way through it. Greg was cracking me up all the time. I just thought, "This is going to be really good. It's a deadly combination."
Did you feel any nerves at all sitting back in the captain's seat?
Not really, but I had to slightly reposition myself mentally, because I suppose when I did it originally, I was much younger. I still feel like I'm 32, even though I'm not. I'm looking forward to the John Cooper Clarke years, where you're still dressing ridiculously, you've got your ski suit on, and your crazy boots, and people go, "Oh yeah, it's him." John Cooper Clarke is my hero, he's still rock and roll, he manages to pull it off. And I saw him on Antiques Road Trip, and I just thought, "Well, if you can make Antiques Road Trip cool, that is the coolest thing ever."
You must miss the social element of the show then?
Yeah, I would love if there was a bit more of a social aspect to it, obviously, because I feel like bonding-wise, it's great if you can all go out and get smashed occasionally, because it just helps. But I just feel lucky that we can still do television, because of the pandemic, not everyone can do the job they were doing. So, we're really lucky with television, because it still manages to go on in some shape or form.
You're up against Daisy, how competitive does it get between the two of you?
Well, I've realised I'm getting thrashed, which is killing me!
I think Daisy has a really weird knowledge of Britney type pop music, that I don't have. That's slightly my weak point, is that I'm not big on that kind of pop stuff. I know it, but I just don't know as much of it. Daisy seems to know every lyric to every pop act. She knows Bieber lyrics, and stuff like that, which I'm hopeless at. I know Bieber exists, but I know it's not for me!
I think Daisy, so far, has been quite lucky with the guests. She's had Lauren Laverne, who's just like an encyclopaedia of music. In the last few weeks I've been getting thrashed, but I've never been that bothered about winning. I'm always trying to be funny, instead of giving the right answer, or I just have a laugh with my team. But I feel like I need to up my game, because I feel like otherwise I'm going to get thrashed by Daisy. Also, Daisy is a shambles, but somehow she has a magic about her, so she always makes it work. She seems to get there somehow.
Has there been any cheating going on?
There's load of cheating going on, yeah. She's not above cheating! You know what's hilarious now, is when I used to do the intro round, I was terrible at it, but now I feel like I'm sort of the dad going, "Right come on, we need to get this next part right," whereas I used to just ramble in, and go, "What's this song? I've never heard of it," and then just make it up on the night. But that's what happens when you have kids, you don't realise that you become much more like a dad on a camping trip. "Right guys, seriously. We've got four minutes; we need to learn this song."
Jamali floats between both teams, what's it like having him on the show?
Jamali's amazing actually, I knew he was going to be anyway, because a friend of mine works with him on his stand-up tour, and said, "Oh, this guy's really good, just check him out." So, I'd seen his stand-up and I thought he was really good, but he's been brilliant on this. He's quite a good counterpoint to Greg actually, because he's coming from such a different angle, of youth, because Greg is always playing the old man card! Jamali is the person that's going, "Right Greg, this is what's cool. This is what's happening", but Greg's like, "I've got no fucking clue," which is hilarious.
Some people might say that the music scene is perhaps not as wild now as it was back in the day. What do you think to that?
I think it's different. I think that there have been a few guests on that are definitely rock and roll, but they're just rock and roll in a different way to what was classified as rock and roll, I suppose, when I was that age. What was quite funny is, there's a rapper called Aitch, and I don't know how young he is. He's very young, 21, 22 maybe. And he was saying that his guilty pleasure was Razorlight, and I was laughing, "I used to knock around with Razorlight, wow, my generation are being described as a sort of guilty pleasure!" It was cracking me up.
There's definitely loads of rock and roll people out there, they're just different, it's different now. The kids are always doing something different, and as you get older, you think, "Oh, it's not as good as my generation," but, it probably is, it's just different. I'm sure I used to say that to my mum and dad. They were very rock and roll, so it was very hard to out-rock and roll my parents. They used to go to see David Bowie, and Led Zeppelin.
When I was growing up, the only way I could really rebel was by listening to Adam Ant, and stuff like Duran Duran, which they thought was just pop stuff, because they were the real deal rock and roll. It was very hard to rebel when I was growing up!
This programme has had some really iconic moments over the years, what is the vibe that you guys are going for this time around?
Well, I feel like because Greg's in control, it's a little bit out of control to begin with, and I feel like Daisy's energy is quite mad as well. And then I'm quite weird! The young pop stars that are coming on, and rappers are going, "I was a bit nervous, I thought I was going to get torn to pieces, but actually I really enjoyed that."
The great thing about Buzzcocks is it's a place where you can see your favourite bands, or singers, or rappers, or whatever, and you can get to know what they're like. There are not many programmes where that happens anymore. You don't get to see those people in that sort of situation, in that kind of zone. So, I feel like we're giving them space to shine a bit as well.
I feel like Greg's really warm and giggly, but he's also so funny. Daisy's a sort of wild card, and I'm quite surreal. And Jamali's got a whole different thing going on, so I feel like we're coming at it from loads of different angles.
I feel like the vibe is quite mad tea party. It's nice, it's a little bit out of control. I feel like if there were less restrictions, because of the pandemic, we'd probably be all rolling about together, it feels like that kind of show, where Daisy would be jumping on you, and Greg would be rolling about. I feel like it would be quite a tactile show. One of my big memories of doing Buzzcocks before was being chased around the set by Lorraine Kelly.
If there will be another series, then do you think there is going to be carnage?
Basically, yes! I feel like another series would just descend into absolute carnage, definitely. Because I'm not sure you can contain Daisy, she's hilariously out of control. I feel like Greg's happy to go anywhere, and I'm like a child at a birthday party. You've got three people on the team, and you've got a lot of people who are just rolling about, so I feel like it could turn into carnage, which will be amazing, definitely. It's just TV gold, right there.
What have the guests been like?
There's been some great guests. Obviously, we had Bez and Shaun Ryder, which was fantastic, because we were all just laughing all the way through that, because they're such a brilliant double-act, and such funny characters. Also, they're heroes to me Greg; we were like, "Oh, my God. The Happy Mondays." So that was pretty wild, as you can imagine. There's been a lot of stuff that we've been laughing at, that I'm not sure will make the show. Daisy said to me she really hopes there's just an extra episode of bloopers and outtakes!
One of the games looks at pre-show rituals, do you have one?
It's quite difficult now because [of covid safety protocols] you're not allowed to come out of your dressing room until the last minute, so it is like a hostage situation, where you go somewhere, you're in a room, you're not allowed out. Then, you do the show, you get bundled into the taxi, and you're gone. It's a bit like a dream, it's like you've been kidnapped, and then put in front of a TV audience, done some stuff, shown off for a bit, and then you're back in the car. You go, "Did that happen?" Often, the next morning, I think, "That was a dream, wasn't it? That didn't really happen did it?"
Apparently, Daisy revealed her obsession with ghosts during filming?
Daisy's the weirdest person I've ever met, because she says stuff where you're just like, "I was not expecting that to come out of your mouth." She's so hilarious. I think her cleaner, who came to the show, is a medium as well. You couldn't really write that, could you? You'd just get, "This is a sitcom, what's happening?" She's quite out there! And, oh my God, she literally loves dancing. She's always out of her chair, busting moves. I think she'd probably win Strictly if she was ever invited on it. She should definitely do it!
It sounds like this series is going to be a lot of fun!
It will be amazing. The thing is, do you know what I haven't done yet, which I'm going to do? I'm going to steal one of the Buzzcocks cups, because I've still got an old one. It's all cracked, and faded, but it was white, and the cups are black now. They look really stylish, so I'm going to have to steal one, aren't I? They're really tight with cups, if they see you walking off with one, they're like, "What you doing? Bring that back." You're like, "Oh, sorry." So on the last episode, I'm going to pocket one of those cups!