Never Mind The Buzzcocks has entered it’s 28th series and what could possibly make this all-inclusive and sharp-witted musical-based panel show any better? Rhod Gilbert, that’s what.
There are an array of valid reasons as to why my love Buzzcocks never falters, with Noel Fielding being pretty high up on that list, of course. Not only does this panel show exhibit a rare trait, being that it welcomes those people, mostly comedians and musicians, who aren’t necessarily the most popular in their field, but also because it is timeless: Buzzcocks gives us a break from politics and satire and focuses purely on music and funny things.
And Rhod Gilbert truly is the icing on the cake, with his deadpan sarcasm and astute comic timing. He makes the tasking job of hosting such a programme look effortless whilst inviting his contestants to get involved and partaking in hilarious small talk that is obviously unscripted.
It is easiest to observe Gilbert’s talent when we compare it to the countless other celebrities who have sat in the hosting chair over the past five series since Simon Amstell’s departure in 2008. Think back to the episodes of Dizzee Rascal, Peter Andre, Jack Whitehall and James Corden, just to name a few, for name’s sake. Everyone did well; they had the correct level of control over the teams whilst maintaining a relaxed, enjoyable atmosphere, they successfully read their lines, they earned quite a few laughs.
Though many guest hosts have simply got the job done and little more, a rare few have shown great skill and ease whilst sat in the hosting chair, such as Adam Buxton, Sir Terry Wogan, Alice Cooper and musical comedian Alex Horne. I am a firm believer that a great host, with a firm hold over contestants and audience alike, can really make a panel show brilliant.
This new series of Buzzcocks has also welcomed many excellent comedic talents, with Roisin Conaty, Sara Pascoe, Katherine Ryan, Aisling Bea, Joe Lycett, James Acaster, Paul Foot, Romesh Ranganathan and Bobby Mair being amongst some of my favourites.
The Never Mind The Buzzcocks Christmas special is on Monday on BBC2. You can catch up with the rest of the series on iPlayer.