Into the Simon Amstell era we go. The one thing about Series 19 on is that the tone of the show changes drastically. Since Simon, up to that point, was known for teen-based TV like Popworld, the show’s gonna end up being a bit more youth-oriented, and a bit more pop-based. If Mark were still hosting, he’d probably commit suicide.
Literally the first moment of the show is Simon talking to the producer, saying he loves the show but hates pre-opener sketches, and walks off, leaving a heavily costumed Phill and Bill looking kinda awkward. Also important to note that for the first time since Series 3 or 4, Phill is completely clean-shaven.
Also thanks to the Simon era, we get a new title sequence, a new set, and a new, cool feel to everything. They definitely made it a point to change things up thanks to the changing of the guard.
Simon, to start, says he wants to keep the tone the same, so he reads a joke Mark Lamarr left for him, which is simply ‘Chris Moyles…he’s a bag of shit!’.
Alesha Dixon’s the only member of Mys-Teeq not to be on NMTB, so this is an obligatory bit I think. Anthea Turner’s a legendary presenter, best known for Blue Peter. Ricky Ross is the scottish frontman of 80’s band Deacon Blue. Phil Nichol’s a Canadian comedian and actor.
Bill, to Alesha: “Have you had stuff thrown on you at your gigs?”
Alesha: “Yes. A pair of pants, with skid marks!”
Phill: “HEY! I WAS ENJOYING THE SHOW!”
Bill: “So, by process of elimination, we’re going with A”
Simon: “You’re going with A? All right, let’s have a look…at the auto cue now to find out”
And Simon, disjointed, just tries to find the auto cue now. After a few beats, he goes “…You’re right!”
Simon: “Eamon was better at this, wasn’t he?”
Simon: “Eamon Holmes.”
Bill: “Oh? Jabba!”
Simon: “Or C, Nicola Roberts couldn’t stop crying after a phone call from her mother?”
Phill: “From her mother?? What the hell did her mother say? Do we have any idea?”
Simon: “‘I wish you were in the Sugarbabes?'”
Phil: “As you can see, Cheryl Tweedy has to knick a tire during the shoot…”
Phill: “Yeah…’AH’M HAVIN’ THESE! We’re meehkin’ a veed’yo, and there’s a load of canny tires lyin’ about!’ She’s got the look on her face there that says ‘OOHH NOO, I FORGOT THEY WERE FILMIN’ US!”
Phil: “AH’VE BEEN CAUGHT!”
Simon, to Phill, about Ricky: “How long’s he been in a band?”
Phill: “How would you know?? You’re twelve!”
Simon: “I don’t know anything pre-McFly.”
After that round, Simon reads another Mark Lamarr punchline: “Patrick Kielty…what a cock…”
Simon, to Anthea: “Didn’t you do a show with Patrick Kielty once?”
Anthea: “I did! He’s a friend of mine. I love Patrick Kielty.”
Simon: “It’s not my opinion…”
Anthea: “Somebody wrote that down for you?”
Simon: “It’s one of Mark’s old jokes he used to do…”
Anthea: “I’ll see you outside later…”
Simon: “No, I think Patrick Kielty-”
Anthea: “Is fantastic!”
Simon: “Eh, i’d say more of a cunt, but…”
The whole panel blows up. Man, Simon’s gonna be a joy to watch.
Anthea, still going: “You can’t say that word! You don’t have one.”
Simon: ‘So I can’t say it?”
Simon: “But I haven’t got an umbrella….”
Anthea: “You do HAVE an umbrella, you do OWN an umbrella…”
Bill: “You don’t get it out indoors!”
Phill: “LET’S ALL SAY THINGS WE HAVEN’T GOT! PERSONAL HYGIENE!”
Bill: “A GRIP ON REALITY!”
Phil: “A CAREER!”
Anthea: “Okay, A PENIS!”
Simon: “Hey…you’ve *got* a penis…”
Alesha, before the 1st intro: “Now, I’m not very good with this song, but I’ll just do any beat and you just hum the tune.”
Simon: “…Just like you did in Mys-Teeq.”
Alesha flips him off before they go on.
Bill and Alesha’s first intro takes so long for Anthea to get that Simon just starts reading Anthea’s book.
Anthea: “Could you give me a clue.”
Bill: “Uhh…it’s a song.”
Simon: ‘Don’t worry, it’s not like your career’s at stake!”
Simon also takes some time to read some excerpts from Anthea’s book. Unlike a future occurrence of this, Anthea’s probably not going to walk out.
#5 in Phill’s ID Parade, a rather large guy, is intro’d at ‘topping himself when he gets home’
Phill: “Could you leave #5 alone…for he is my SON…”
Simon: ‘So you’re going with #1?”
Phill: “Right, and i’m going HOME with #5…”
Simon, Next Lines: “You’re a bum, you’re a punk…”
Alesha: “You like to smoke skunk?”
Alesha: “IN SPUNK??”
Bill: ‘NO, I NEVER SAID IT!”
Phill adds his own lyrics to Lionel Ritchie’s Hello: “I can see it in your eyes, I can see it in your smile, I’m trying to shag a blind lady, who goes to the same art class as me…”
Overall: A huge way to start the Amstell era. All four panelists did some funny things tonight, though I’d put Phill’s panel a bit lower than Bill’s, because Phill’s were more intentionally funny. Anthea was pretty great, especially with Simon’s ribbing. Alesha became a big character as the show went on. Phil and Ricky were funny, but did less. And Simon came out in a huge way tonight, stepping away from the Mark Lamarr era in spirit, which was a bold choice.
Best Regular: Simon
Best Guest: Alesha
Best Runner: Can’t say it if you don’t have it.