Monday, 10 November 2008
I want my Bailey back!
Buzzcocks is one of my favourite shows on television. I am a huge Mark Lamarr fan and never dreamed they'd be able to replace him, I remember talk of him leaving the show for about 3 years before he finally did it do. But when Simon Amstell took the job it seemed that the show may have actually gotten better. I'm not T4's biggest fan on the whole. It shows The Simpsons and Hollyoaks so I put up with it occasionally but frankly I think it's absolutely lost touch with the audience it once commanded (it's the 10 year anniversary this year!), so I didn't get to see too much of Amstell on Popworld where he made his name. What I saw I found funny but I was never sure how much of his shtick was manufactured by clever editing. I remember him on Nickelodeon when he was younger though, not many people will. The last couple of series of Buzzcocks have made it an absolute favourite of mine because of his fearless bear baiting of B and sometimes C-List celebrities. Having the relief of a genuinely funny Bill Bailey was without doubt a great leveler for Amstell who seems to enjoy Bailey's brand of traditional comedy as much as we do. Phil Jupitus is a generally great guy, he knows a lot about music, I don't mean a lot like a lot, I mean, Phil Jupitus really knows music. He's pretty funny when he wants to be but that's not really his role.
This series has been something of a damp squib though. Bill Bailey's obviously making thousands and thousands of pounds touring and voicing things for people so it's understandable that he's decided to call his time on Buzzcocks but he really should have been replaced. Switching captains every week isn't working. As James Wignall pointed out in The Guardian over the weekend. Jack Dee, Bob Mortimer and Johnny Vegas plugged the hole to an extent but they never got comfortable enough to extend beyond their relative comfort zones while James Cordon was just awful, I mean, really shocking.
In the last series when Bailey was away for a few episodes they replaced him with Noel Fielding who did the job adequately. He's probably not available to take the job on a full time basis (he's busy over promoting The Mighty Boosh). They've got to come up with something though, the chemistry isn't there at the moment, the guests are getting away with being shit (Amstell let that Glasvegas guy slide completely) and you know how ready the BBC are to take a potentially brilliant show and put it's stars in regular light entertainment broadcasting over at BBCThree. We don't want an Amstell clip show, or an Amstell sit-com. We really don't.