A pretty impressive lineup for tonight’s CHRIIIIIIISTMAAAAAAS episode- Vic Reeves is back after surviving some payback from Mark seasons ago, and Myleene is back after…a few pretty okay episodes. Also, Mark Ronson, future Uptown Funk artist and Amy Winehouse producer, is in the house, as well as Pigeon Detectives singer Matt Bowman.
Simon does dress Mark Ronson down a bit, especially by starting the conversation with “what did you do to Amy Winehouse?”. You can tell that Amy was his friend, and he hated what he saw back in Series 19. So…it’s emotional, but it’s eating into what could be a lively round.
Myleene, on the Geri video: “This is the Children in Need video? It’s a bit saucy!”
Bill: “Yeah, what kind of woman…hangs out in a bikini all the time [peers over at Myleene]”
Simon: “Any plans for a Hear’Say reunion?”
Myleene: “Funnily enough…I haven’t heard anything, but I don’t think we released enough songs…”
Simon: “You had, what, 3?”
After Simon sort of shocks Myleene by bringing up her fiancé.
Simon: “By the way, it took us three researchers for us to find his surname.”
Simon, still pissing off Myleene, shows a clip of a ‘Rowan and Martin’-esque comedy wall from Hear’Say’s short lived variety show.
Phill: “I haven’t been this angry about a wall since Berlin.”
Bill has an anecdote about the Spice Girls that is almost reminiscent of Alan Davies.
Bill: “What I love, that I found out about the Spice Girls…they offered the fans, via the website, the chance that they would play in any city in the world. And there was a massive internet campaign saying ‘Baghdad’. In the end they just ignored it, they went ‘Oh, you mean TORONTO! Yes, we’ll go there!”
As per…semi-usual with the Christmas show, the Intros round is done with instruments, but these ones are a little more practical, yet still silly. Phill and Mark get a pan flute and a tiny wooden guitar, and a percussion stick they make Vic hold.
Vic: “No, I know what it is, it’s very well-played. Back in Black.”
Mark: “No…is that what we were playing? Yeah, it is…”
I will say that Phill and Mark’s performance of Pet Shop Boys’ Go West may be one of the most perfect, spot-on intros anyone has ever done on the program. Phill knows the song by heart, which helps.
After Simon gives Mark shit for not covering Hear’Say
Matt: “Could you cover us, Mark? Please?”
Simon: “Yeah, could you make one of his songs good?”
Bill and Matt have 90’s German dub-teq instruments to do intros with.
Matt: “…I don’t know what we’re doing-”
Then the second Bill starts playing, smoke starts billowing out of the back of the set, so Bill just goes with it, fist pumps.
Simon, mid-intros, starts quizzing Myleene about her upcoming book about her pregnancy. And as Simon starts grilling her about it, Bill…gets this fantastic idea- he starts playing weird notes on his key-tar, and goes “…THE BABY…VHERE DOES IT COME FROM?’, just to crack her up.
Bill and Matt start to do ‘Back to Black’, but then realize that it’s getting very air-guitary and stadium-rock-y…so Bill just turns it into The Final Countdown.
Simon says he needs Myleene’s help for a joke, so he has her read off the setup, and by the time they cut back for the punchline, Simon’s sticking his head out of a door, a la the comedy wall from earlier. Myleene did start cracking up the second she saw the wall being set up though.
Once again, they must not have had enough time for ID Parade, as Biggie to Smalls is back.
Now…one of Bill’s Biggie to Smalls…erm…
This is actually a great round, as it’s about who has turned on the Christmas lights in a town the most times. Bill, of course, knows it was once, in some small town out of the way, and he remembers all these emo kids wanting pictures with him.
Simon: “Paul Carpenter, chairman of the high street traders association said [Bill] was absolutely brilliant. However, the North Devon shopkeepers union said they would have preferred Noel Fielding.
Next Lines: “All of the other reindeer used to call him lots of names.”
Bill’s entire panel: “….”
Bill: “Sometimes they’d…even call him by the actor Ving Rhames.”
Phill loses it here.
Simon: “He’s not sure what…He’s not sure what he should-”
Matt: “It’s English, Simon, just read!”
Simon, and most of the panel, cracks up at this.
Overall: Not perfect but a pretty nice Christmas show, helped by a superior Bill performances, one of the last truly great ones I reckon, and some fun stuff from Myleene and Matt. Mark played along with most of Simon’s barbs, and Vic…sadly didn’t have a ton to do other than rock the Intros round, but it was a fun show, bolstered by a very nice Intros round, Bill on fire, and a great Biggie to Smalls ft. Bill Bailey.
Best Regular: Bill
Best Guest: Myleene
Best Runner: Jesus and Javine’s Birthday.