You Cannot Be Serious!. Alistair McGowan. Copyright: Avalon Television.

You Cannot Be Serious!

ITV sketch show about sport. 6 episodes (1 series) in 2012. Stars Alistair McGowan.

Press Clippings

You Cannot Be Serious! gets complains from John McEnroe

Bosses of Alistair McGowan's new show You Cannot Be Serious! have received a complaint about the title - from the man who first shouted it.

Colin Robertson, The Sun, 7th July 2012

There should be plenty of fodder for this edition of the sporadically amusing topical sport-based sketch show now that the Euro 2012 football tournament is in full swing, not to mention the Wimbledon competition starting on Monday. Presenter Alistair McGowan has reportedly worked on 150 new impressions for the show so there won't be many safe from his scrutiny. His impressions of England manager Roy Hodgson (for which he wears a rubber mask) and coach Gary Neville have proved most popular.

The Telegraph, 22nd June 2012

Alistair McGowan interview

Alistair McGowan on channelling Roy Hodgson, Harry Hill and Jedward for his new comedic sports show, You Cannot Be Serious!

Steven MacKenzie, The Big Issue, 21st June 2012

You Cannot Be Serious! drops below 2m on ITV

New ITV comedy show You Cannot Be Serious! has tumbled to a new low of under 2 million viewers.

Paul Millar, Digital Spy, 18th June 2012

To be a success, Alistair McGowan's new TV Burp-style comedy sports review show You Cannot Be Serious! needs two things: a) access to the pick of the week's sporting footage, and b) a gifted host who can elicit top-drawer comedy from said footage. On the evidence so far, point a) could end up being a huge headache. And b) already is.

Ian Hyland, Daily Mail, 9th June 2012

Interview: Alistair McGowan

Master impressionist Alistair McGowan has no worries mimicking Roy Hodgson's speech impediment.

Laura Caroe, The Sun, 9th June 2012

More topical sporting impressions, silly clips and irreverent sketches from Alistair McGowan, in what's trying to be Harry Hill's TV Burp - but he's wearing shorts rather than big collars. With Euro 2012 football, French Open tennis and Test cricket, not to mention the build-up to the London Olympics, there are plenty of talking points for McGowan to get his teeth into.

The Telegraph, 8th June 2012

You Cannot Be Serious! review

As you would imagine with Alistair McGowan's past experiences, the highlights of the show are the impressions themselves, with the comic expertly capturing the mannerisms of England manager Roy Hodgson.

George Zielinski, The Comedy Journal, 4th June 2012

When Harry Hill's TV Burp aired for the final time I mentioned that I hoped that ITV1 would cancel the show rather than find someone else to take over as host because it simply would not be the same. It seems ITV1 agreed. That said, instead of ressurecting TV Burp with a new host they're just ripped the entire format for this new sports satire starring Alistair McGowan.

Obviously, You Cannot Be Serious! covers different topics and has a different host, but the format is almost identical. The show begins with a Have I Got News for You style weekly round up featuring funny clips - most of the comedy comes from looking at recent TV footage (along with voice-over impressions), special guests making cameos and the show ends in a song. However, given that Harry Hill is credited as an executive producer, perhaps these similarities are not surprising. At least there's no fight in the middle, otherwise the show might have breached copyright law.

There are some unique touches, however, that make this show differ from its predecessor.

For starters, due to McGowan's impressionist abilities, he can do the voice of Adrian Chiles while interviewing himself playing Roy Hodgson on a pre-recorded segement (complete with a large false nose).

For me, though, the similarities outweigh the originality. I can understand why ITV1 wants to replicate the success of TV Burp, but I wished they could do something a bit more inspiring. The show's also fundamentally flawed. Namely, everyone who owns a TV set would have a slight interest in watching TV Burp, but not all TV viewers are keen on sport, so I would presume that audience figures may be hampered...

And finally, I've got another complaint: you know the sketch featuring Far Eastern athletes knocking into hurdles? I don't mind seeing the footage, but did they really have to call one of the athletes Lu Sing Now?

I'm not the only one a little uncomfortable, right?

Ian Wolf, Giggle Beats, 4th June 2012

Taking its title from John McEnroe's infamous on-court diatribe against a tennis umpire, this new entertainment show, presented by Alistair McGowan, skewers all the funniest and quirkiest clips from the week's televised sport. Featuring sketches and impressions, too, it's essentially Harry Hill's TV Burp but for sport fans.

Patrick Smith, The Telegraph, 1st June 2012