Couch Potato: The Michael McIntyre Chat Show... Frost/Nixon it isn’t

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Good old El Tel offered a timely nugget of wisdom to the world’s top-earning comic on Monday night.

“As you’ll find the hard way,” Wogan said, “the only thing you’re remembered for as a chat show host are the disasters.”

Michael McIntyre - St George's Hall, July 13 - Tickets on sale NOW

Michael McIntyre - St George's Hall, July 13 - Tickets on sale NOW

Speaking of which... It’s The Michael McIntyre Chat Show.

A diabolical 45-minute celebration of the fact he has a chat show, on BBC1. And he was intent on letting no one forget it: “I’m a chat-show person now. It’s a new me.”

(Can you get a refund?)

“Right, shall we have a chat show?!”


But he wasn’t listening.

“My first guest on any of my chat shows, my first chat show guest ever is...”

You have a chat show? Well, why didn’t you say?

So, with chat show status firmly established, he then broke every golden rule.

Upstaging guests, constantly bringing the conversation back to himself, pillocking around the studio on his office chair on castors and drawing dangerous comparisons with predecessors.

Beginning with a montage of Wogan’s greatest interviewees. De Niro. Caine. Mirren. Thatcher. Prince Philip.

McIntyre’s first two shows? Alan Sugar, Abbey Clancy, Jeremy Clarkson.

Frost/Nixon it isn’t. Heck, it’s not even The Gaby Roslin Show.

For BBC1’s continuity woman, though, he’s: “Stepping into the shoes of the late-night chat show greats.”

Yet I don’t recall Michael Parkinson or David Letterman high-fiving the audience up and down the stairs, barking and gesticulating wildly for standing ovations or yelling guests’ names.

It’s made me suspect there was a point to BBC3 after all. A place to shovel atrocities like this.

You just knew from his warm-up tomfoolery, never intended to be aired, that even before the opening titles we’d seen the best bit of a show the Beeb has shunted to Mondays, 10.35pm.

And while Jonathan Ross is giving his chat-show career the last rites on ITV, McIntyre is committing infanticide on his own.

It’s death by suck-up: “Terry, you’re a legend. You’re unflappable.”

“Lily Allen has sold millions and millions and billions and trillions of albums. She’s sensationally talented.”

Watch the best in the business, Graham Norton, at work to see where McIntyre’s going so very wrong, like cackling at his own quips and asking meaningless questions: “I’ve got a desk. What are your thoughts about the desk?”

Which at least made sense, unlike: “Let’s talk about business. Your new album. Is that right?”

He also needs to ditch the guests’ embarrassing old photos plonkery and show an ounce of the wit he clearly thinks he has, the lack of which enabled Sugar and Wogan to play him like maracas.

But he’d be better off abandoning this lark and returning to stand-up.

Otherwise he’ll be remembered like every other chat show host.

For a disaster of Michael McIntyre Chat Show proportions.


This week’s TV Question of the Week award goes to...

Pointless’s Alexander Armstrong after contestant Matt said: “I’m a golfer and I also have a three-and-a-half-month-old daughter.”

“That’s lovely. How old is she?”

“Three-and-a-half months.”


Party Wright Around The World’s Mark Wright before a sleepless night in a haunted mansion: “If I see a ghost, I promise you I’m going home.”

Right you are.

*goes behind curtain*

Wooooooo! Woooo-ooooo! Wooooooo-ooooo!


This week’s Couch Potato Spudulikes...

Fast and Fearless: Britain’s Banger Racers.

I Was There: The Great War Interviews Line of Duty’s absolutely belting penultimate episode.

The unflinching brutality of Paralympic sledge hockey.

Mark Wright on ITV2’s Party Wright Around The World: “You’re an earl? How did you get that title?”

“My father died.”

Frank Skinner denying Steve Jones gym etiquette into Room 101: “I’m quite noisy at the gym because I take my own cox for the rowing machine.”

And The One Show’s Alex Jones to Ricky Wilson: “ has sent a question in. We’ve had to fast forward some bits because it went on a lot.” Sit up and take notice, The Voice editors.


To Sport Relief’s Top Dog on Friday where Peaches Geldof talked down her and pooch Parper’s chances of winning a ball game: “Parper’s worst thing is fetching so this is going to be humiliating.”

She wasn’t wrong. The poor blighter was bamboozled by the slightest movement, confused by a simple task and bounded around aimlessly while looking vacantly dazed.

The dog didn’t fare much better.


Down on the Twickenham touchline at halftime in the Six Nations, it’s BBC1’s Sonja McLaughlan with footballers Joey Barton, of “QPR and England”, which must have come as a surprise to Roy Hodgson, and Robbie Savage.

“Robbie, you’ve played on some big occasions...”

Yes, there was that time he skippered Derby County to relegation in 2007/08, helped Wales to a goalless draw at home to the might of Armenia, and of course who could forget his moment of glory at Wembley?

Dancing the salsa in an undone sequined purple shirt, to Robbie Williams’ Let Me Entertain You, with Ola Jordan on Strictly.

Career highlight.


Cheryl Fergison, Famous, Rich & Hungry?

You do surprise me.


This week’s Couch Potato Spuduhates...

A deluded Phillip Schofield on the final Dancing On Ice: “We will certainly miss this.”

Janine’s EastEnders murder trial judge announcing Alice Branning’s absence: “The case can continue without her presence because...”

Because Jasmyn Banks couldn’t be arsed reprising her role. And otherwise there’ll be a hole in the plot the size of Tajikistan.

Kenny Dalglish’s daughter and C4 Paralympics host Kelly Cates explaining the intricacies of sit-skiing: “You’re so much closer to the snow than you are if you’re a standing skier.” (Never.) Plus co-presenter Arthur Williams inventing the word: “Monumentous.”

And C4’s continuity man introducing Live From Space season: “Over now to Mission Control and Dermot O’Leary.” Houston, we have a problem.


BBC4’s The Walshes? Even less funny than distant relative Louis.


C4’s Jonathan Edwards on Paralympic GB’s Anna Turney skiing out of the slalom: “The positive thing there was that actually she was quite positive, wasn’t she?”



Priceless moments on ITV’s You Saw Them Here First...

Malcolm “Norris Cole” Hebden’s first Corrie appearance, in 1974 as Mavis’s smooth-talking Spanish date Carlos.

Brian Blessed branding BBC1’s Musketeers “fairies”.

And Lesley Joseph revealing: “I’m the only person I don’t know who didn’t do Midsomer Murders.”

If you say so.