Well, as we do indeed have Noddy Holder in the room tonight, I feel it’s quite appropriate to give a full-on “IIIIIIIIIIIIIT’S CHIIIIIIIISTMAAAAASSS!!!”
Actually, this is a pretty nicely stacked Christmas show. Aside from Noddy, we have Bananarama’s Siobhan Fahey, one-time QI contestant and comedian Jackie Clune, and ‘Ollie’, who was singing with Freefaller, who’s a rocker of sorts.
Mark, starts the show off with what I THINK is a slip up (but knowing him, could have been intentional), “Hello, and welcome to a special festering- sorry, FESTIVE…”
Jackie: “Bon Jovi here, achieving what most men dream of doing, kissing his own balls.”
Mark: “Do ya HATE men, Jackie?”
Mark: “Lucky you’re not sat next to one.”
Bill: “Yes, for i am Ozymandias…KING of the woodland.”
Mark, cracking up: “Beautiful work there…”
Jackie, on the Perry Como video: “Also, Leo Sayer is there…”
Noddy: “Well, I thought it was a lookalike, but apparently the lookalike was too expensive so they had to get him…”
Oh, dear lord.
Mark: “As a sort of Christmas gift to you, but mostly to Bill, your intros are gonna be performed by the Wurzels.”
Bill’s already applauding them as they set up.
Of course, the first intro that they play is, in fact, Combine Harvester, so Bill has no choice but to stand up.
Jackie: “Ooo Arr Ooo Arr!”
Mark: “Yeah, well worked out, the Ooh Arr Oo Arr. D’you think if they were playing the 1812 Overature (does a rendition of it)- OOH ARR OOH ARR!”
After the first intro turns out to be Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Bill guesses the second one.
Bill: “I know what it is, but it’s probably something you’ve tried to do, like, uh…Firestarter, or SMACK MY BITCH UP.”
Mark: “That was like an old judge trying to be hip.”
The whole bit with Bill basically crying at the Wurzels being there is all great. Of course, right afterward, Phill gets his own dream come true, as Bad Manners, featuring the immortal Buster Bloodvessel, come out to do some Christmas Intros.
Bad Manners just does a five second horn intro, and that’s all they get. I do find their first one, which turns out to be a wonderfully ska-infured version of Walking in the Air by Aled Jones, to be one of the most delightful things I’ve seen- even Phill’s absolutely loving it.
Mark: “All them people thinking…’THEY can’t follow the WURZELS….”
Noddy just starts completely rocking out to the second intro.
Mark: “Noddy don’t care, he’s just like…’BLACK COUNTRY METAL!”
The most amusing part of Mark’s ‘music stars we WISH we’d lost this year’ is when Westlife come up, a good portion of the audience is heard going ‘AAAAYYYY!!!’
Phill’s ID Parade is a member of the boy’s choir in Pink Floyd’s Another Brick Pt. 2, but wasn’t in the video, just on the record (“so that should help”)
Mark: “And can I just say, for whoever books people for the lineup…HE WOULD HAVE GOTTEN OLDER BY NOW….IT BEING A WHILE AGO…”
Well, once again, as it’s the Christmas show, the Next Lines are performed by various bands. This time, Bill’s are performed by a German oompah band.
Mark does say for them to sing them back in the same style, so for the first Next Line, ‘i Will Survive’, Jackie and Bill end up YELLING them back in German accents.
German Guy: “Relax/Go do it, when you want to get to it, Relax, go to it.”
Bill, emulating Dolph Lundgren: “VEN YOU WANT TO *come*”
Mark: ‘Arnie Goes to Hollywood?”
Aaaand Phill’s is done by a Barbershop Quartet.
I do absolutely love the visual of Noddy, Phill and Ollie singing ‘Come On Feel the Noise’ in absolutely perfect harmony.
And of course, Noddy polishes off that one with a good old fashioned ‘IIIIT’S CHRIIIIISTMAAAAAAASSS!”
Mark: “I’m actually gonna give you a bonus point for that one, not for the It’s Christmas, although that was pretty great, but for being the only version of that song I’ve been able to listen to the whole way through.”
Overall: A really fun, really enjoyable Christmas show that certainly pulled out all the stops. noddy and Jackie were in fantastic moods, and Ollie gave some nice answers. The Bad Manners, Wurzels and both Next Lines performances were all wonderful and brought out some of the best moments. However, like the rest of Series 15, it was just kind of thin panel-wise.
Best Regular: Mark
Best Guest: Noddy
SERIES 15 SUPERLATIVES!
Best Episode: Episode 1, featuring a surprisingly calm Preston, Matt Goss combing over Bill’s hair, the most ridiculous Intros round ever (featuring Bonanza), and a bizarre troll-like guy having to fix the lightning effect.
2nd Best Episode: Episode 7, the most fun and relaxed Christmas show in years, featuring Noddy Holder and co. melodically singing ‘Cum on Feel tha Noize’, and one of the most entertaining Intros rounds in recent memory featuring Bill fawning over the Wurzels and Bad Manners absolutely rocking Aled Jones’ ‘Walking in the Air’.
Worst Episode: Episode 6- without Katie Melua and Jane McDonald, this episode would be absolutely nothing.
Best Regular: Mark, for keeping his regular demeanor through a fairly uneven and light series of shows.
Best Musician Guest: Tough one, as most of the standouts this year were musicians. After close consideration, I’m giving it to Joe Brown, Episode 5, for immediately getting the hang of the game and having a ton of fun with Mark, even putting up with all his Cockney jokes. Though Noddy Holder, Toyah Wilcox, HarMar Superstar and Buster Bloodvessel (showing up and running away with TWO SEPARATE EPISODES) were all in the running.
Best Dartboard for Mark: Lisa Scott Lee, episode 4. Not only did she get a lot thrown at her, but she took every Steps jab with humility and class. You don’t get that everyday.
Most Confused Panelist: Preston, Episode 1. But that’s just Preston.
Best Runner: ‘Showaddywaddy’ being a euphemism for oral sex, Episode 2.