Two people we’ve seen before, but only one I’m especially pleased to see again, and that’s Billy Bragg, who is rightfully back next to Phill this week. Mark Steel is also back, but I bet that won’t be the reason this episode succeeds or fails.

Ian McLagen was in the Faces and the Small Faces, and worked with the Rolling Stones. Gay-Yee Westerhoff is a member of the string-quartet Bond. I only know them from Johnny English. Sue me.

Mark mentions in his intro for Mark Steel that he’s known for TV appearances and such, “but he’s currently known for being a last-minute replacement for Janet-Street Porter.”
If this is true…you couldn’t have gotten someone funnier?

On Mud and railings:
Billy: “We did think this had something to do with them pissing up railings, but railings are really hard to piss up, aren’t they? Cause…”
Phill: “They’re more gap than railing.”
Mark: “It’s a challenge, isn’t it.”
Phill: “Requires a lot of precision-”
Ian: “Not if you’re dressed as a lobster.”
Billy: “There speaks the voice of experience.”
Mark: “There speaks the voice of the 60’s I think…”

Bill: “They used railings to make the guitars?”
Mark: “What, covered in piss?”
Bill:” Yeah, the piss-stained railing guitars. It was a hit in 1973.”
Mark: “That’d be ‘While my guitar gently weeps’, wouldn’t it?”

Mark Steel, on Barry White and a Tire: “He got a tire and tied it to his tree, so he can swing and all, but his weight was too much for it, and brought the WHOLE TOWN down…”

At the beginning of Phill and Ian’s first intro, Mark just starts singing My Sharona to throw Billy off…and it actually works. He just keeps bringing it back, too.

After Billy misses ‘Judy in Disguise’
Ian: “It’s a shame, the next one’s My Sharona, isn’t it?”
Phill: “Oh, yeah.”
And while they’re doing the next intro, Mark even buts in a ‘Sharona’, so halfway through the song, Phill just flat out turns the intro into My Sharona.

Mark: “Michael Jackson claims he likes to put on a fatsuit and fake beard and walk the streets unrecognized. Although it backfired when he was spotted and hired to appear on a pop quiz and HAS BEEN STUCK THERE [Phill] FOR THE LAST ELEVEN SERIES!!”

Phill’s entire team just starts dancing to ‘Popcorn’, which is kind of hysterical, but even Mark joins in. And they continue this into ID Parade.

It’s weird. Phill’s team is having so much fun, and is so in tune with each other, that it really hurts that Bill’s is so dead tonight. This is a very imbalanced show, because Phill has two people he can really work with, and Bill…does not.

#5 in Bill’s ID Parade is a bearded big guy.
Bill: “#5 seems weirdly familiar. It’s the ghost of me…future.”
Gay-yee: “#5 is your dad…”
They keep cutting back to #5, and back to Bill, and it’s hysterical.

Now, this week in Bill’s Next Lines:
Bill: “Somewhere over the rainbow…there is a…finer bit of china…”

Mark: “Somebody told me his name was Bill.”
Bill: “da do…run…run…”
Mark: “Why are you so scared?”
Bill: “Well, I’ve got anominal dysphasia, I can’t remember the thing I’m supposed to be saying!”
Bill: “Those are the only two words I can remember!”

Overall: Fairly middle-of-the-road episode. Billy, Ian and Phill were all wonderful, and there were a ton of great Bill moments, but this episode dragged on towards the middle, and there was a ton of radio silence from Bill’s panel. Imbalanced, but not without its merits.

Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Billy
Best Runner: My Sharona


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