Nevermind Watchdown: S6E4, or Ah, Gaffer Tape…

And now, another round of ‘What The Hell Are You Doing on NMTB???”

Marianne Faithfull is most famous for banging Mick Jagger back in the day. To Millennials and stoners, she’s best known for singing backing vocals on ‘The Memory Remains’, aka the one good song off that shitty two-part Metallica album. What the hell’s she doing here? I mean, I’m excited because Sean Lock’s sitting next to her, and we get to see him on NMTB. But Marianne is confusing me a bit.

Stuart Adamson is the lead singer of Big Country, because there’s got to be at least one Scotsman on this program at all times. And because Stuart wasn’t enough Scotland for one show, they through in TV presenter Gail Porter.

Phill, analyzing the Shaking Stevens song: “Hang on, hang on. It’s a really crap song, and they’re all wearing denim. Is this a Gap advert?”

Marianne eventually says the song’s about a dead body he found in a house:
Sean: “So what’s all this about the roof and the floor and everything?”
Phill: “This Old House has a stinky corpse in it…”

Mark: “In 1987, Shakey revived Gary Glitter’s ‘Little Boogie Woogie’….the punchline for that joke is currently under legal review.”

Mark, after the REM set-up: “I will give extra points for spitefulness towards Michael Stipe.”
Sean: “…what a tosser, he is!”
Mark: “ONE POINT!”

Stuart, a line that could only work with his accent: “You stopped the clip right at the money shot, where Peter Buck rams his guitar up Michael Stipe’s arse to stop him from singing the next verse.”
It’s like Frankie’s in the room…and had a top-charting hit in the 80’s…

Mark makes a comment, after one Stuart guess, that “I think you’re on the wrong quiz show…”
Stuart: “Either that, or it’s about Ken Barlow, and how many times people keep asking him if he’s gonna go back to Deirdre.”
Mark: “BLUFF.”

Gail: “I remember REM was on Sesame Street…”
Sean: “What are the kids gonna learn from that? 3 letters, one show. Emerson, Lake and Palmer, they been on?”

Gail’s the only one who hasn’t ‘slagged off on Michael Stipe’, and then Marianne offers to, which Mark agrees to give the other team a point if she does.
Marianne: “Well, he’s short and bald…”
Mark: “There’s enough, that’s a point.”
Marianne: “He’s on drugs, he’s bisexual, he’s all sorts of-”
Mark: “You’re racing into the lead, here.”
Phill: “He’s on drugs and he’s bisexual? Practically everyone you met in the 60’s was on drugs and bisexual!”
Mark: “Yeah, hold on Marianne, are you sure you’re not getting him confused with all your mates?”

Mark: “REM started out with various odd names, and were once called Cans of Piss, and to me…they always will be…”

Around here starts a running gag with Phill and Marianne about a time they met somewhere, and Phill mentioned gaffer tape, and Marianne, fondly, went “Ah…gaffer tape.” The whole rest of the show they keep bringing it up.

Marianne, before her 2nd Intro: “Oh, God, are we doing it again?”
Phill: “Oh, we’ve got two more…cello-tape yourself in!”

Like on QI, the Sean and Phill dynamic is so good that they can barely start an intro without cracking up entirely. They must be really good chums.

Mark, to Stuart: “Didn’t you do that thing where you made a guitar sound like bagpipes?”
Stuart: “Yeah.”
Mark: “And didn’t you make a digeridoo sound like bagpipes?”
Stuart: “Yeah.”
Mark: “You are from Scotland, right?”
Stuart: “Right.”
Mark: “I know where you can get, like, *bagpipes.*”

ID Parade, Phill: “Can we race them, in the studio?”
Mark: “I think you’d lose…”

Great moment where Marianne tries to get through ID Parade without a smoke. Then, after the Hazel O’Connors leave, she has one him her right hand. Mark, not missing a beat, goes “HEY! ARE YOU SMOKING AGAIN?”

Mark: “This is brilliant, Marianne. All the heroin you’ve had in your life, and I’m going “‘ey! None of that!”

Gail, on the 5 drummers: “Can they play?”
Mark: “4 of them can’t. We only booked the one drummer from Chaz&Dave. They gave up that 5 drummer lineup many years ago…”

Next Lines:
Mark: “No sleep.”
Sean, calling back Marianne’s story: “CAUSE YOU’RE LIVING ON A WALL!!”

Mark gives Gail an answer, and she gives a sarcastic thanks. As the buzzer goes out, Mark goes “don’t get cross with me.”
Then, as he starts the next round: “They’re not gonna make it. They need 12 to win. But I’m gonna give ’em 4 for every right one.”

Mark: “Oh Mickey, you’re so fine, you’re so fine you bl- SAY WHAT YOU WANT!”
Phill: “TROUSERS!”

Mark: “You shake my nerves and you rattle my brain.”
Phill: “WITH A BUDGIE!!!”
Mark: “Yep.”

Marianne: “BUT THIS ISN’T RIGHT!!!”
Mark: “No. Oh, Marianne Faithfull, sitting there and telling ME what’s right!”
Marianne: “I don’t wanna play anymore.”
Mark: “You sulking Marianne?”
Marianne: “Yeah.”
Mark: “Oh well (continues)”

Mark: “Fly me to the moon, let me play amongst the stars.”
Mark: “I don’t mind if it’s phonetic, as long as it sounds right.”

Announcing the scores for the 42-17 Phill win: “I don’t think we’ve ever had a landslide quite like this…”

Mark signs off with “I’m Mark Lamarr, and thank god, I’m off to Marianne’s wall this evening.”

Overall: To give you an idea, I usually get 900 words out of a good QI, and 600 out of a good NMTB. I’m at around 1000 now. This was an amazing show, stemming from a number of different sources, including the arrival of Sean Lock, who translated pretty well to here, the personality of Stuart Adamson, the quarrel between Gail and Mark, and the whirlwind tour of narcotics that was Marianne Faithfull. Even if Marianne was desperate for a smoke, didn’t always get the rules, and threatened to walk off once or twice, it was still a fun show, and there was a ton of really nice running gags in here, most of which I tried to include.

Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Sean by a nose
Best Runner: Gaffer Tape.


7 thoughts on “Nevermind Watchdown: S6E4, or Ah, Gaffer Tape…

  1. From what I heard, Gail Porter walked off at one point, upset at Mark’s constant teasing of her. What was broadcast appears to be relatively tame, so just imagine what was cut out – a load of cruel shit he could have unleashed upon her wee heid that would make even Frankie Boyle cringe.

    • It’s weird- I remember the Marianne Faithfull stuff in this episode, and I always forget the whole monolith that was Phill’s Next Lines round wouldn’t be possible without Gail and Mark’s quarreling. Hard to believe it got worse than that.

      • Might just have been the press shit-stirring, as in Gail’s autobiography, she says Mark came to her after the show astonished that someone got him back. She said they became friends after the recording, and talks about how she went shopping with Mark and the press got hold a photo of them coming out of the shop and started shipping them.

  2. Sean gets his Joy Division songs mixed up as he sounds like he’s doing “Transmission” rather than the intro they’re meant to be doing (the timeless and tragic “Love Will Tear Us Apart”)

  3. Mark: I think you’re on the wrong show. Here’s a cricketer’s arse, feel it up for me!

    A reference to Talkback’s other successful* format, the sports-based panel show “They Think It’s All Over”. The round Mark’s referring to is the Feel the Sportsman round, where the regulars would be blindfolded and asked to identify whoever was between them by touch alone (or in the case of Rory McGrath or Wossy, grope). Wossy guested on a few episodes before becoming a regular in 1999. Sean Hughes appeared as a guest in the final episode of series 11 in June 2001.

    *Well, it was successful until the original team captains, former cricketer David Gower and former footballer turned potato crisp salesman Gary Lineker, left the show in 2003 to be replaced by the less-than-worthy Phil Tufnell and David Seaman respectively, and then their replacements, Boris Becker and Ian Wright were even worse, and then the original host, Nick Hancock, ended up being replaced by that guy from The Sketch Show, a certain jobbing comic called Lee Mack (a whole two years before he really started his rise to stardom via a team captaincy on Would I Lie To You?), then BBC One shoving the show into whatever slot it could find, and you wonder why the show was cancelled in the summer of 2006.

    • I’ve not got any plans to get to They Think it’s All Over, for a few reasons. One, I’m American, and I don’t really follow UK football, or cricket, or anything, and Two, I cannot for the life of me stand Rory McGrath. The fact that I’ve got to do a few of his Whose Line episodes in a bit is making me sad.

      • Fair enough. Bet you’re shuddering at the thought of going through those early episodes with John Sessions as well…

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