So far, this seems like a step in the wrong direction for the series, when it should have just stayed as it was. This episode seems a bit more optimistic, with Pop Idol winner Will Young behind the desk tonight, and with panelists such as Mark Watson (YAAAAYYY!) Paul Foot (YAAAAAAYYYY!!) Sinitta (…yay, I guess…) and Toddla T (…uhhh..?), a DJ and spouse of AnnieMac (oh…uh, yay?)
This one has another cold open, with Noel and Phill walking in on a weird Will Young pre-show ritual. At least there’s enough nice timing by Phill in this that makes it semi-watchable.
Will asks about any panelist hobbies
Sinitta: “I’ve taken to tweeting with my left hand so that my right doesn’t get all funny…”
Will: “I do that, but with something different.”
Noel looking at his card for the ‘draw this story’ round: “Oh, well that’s easy”:
Noel: “He wrote a letter to…”
Paul: “The ocean. He said ‘dear ocean, please stop getting bigger and bigger and swallowing up those pacific islands. You cover two-thirds of the world…that’s enough.”
Paul guesses that it’s a killer whales.
Paul: “But why’s it got a big penis? Is that how it kills people? I never knew that! You learn something new all the time…”
Noel, on Tommy Lee: “As if he could write a letter. I mean, I’ve read his book. How could he write a letter…”
Will: “So we know he kissed a baby…and perhaps something has happened.”
Mark: “Normally you kiss someone, and a baby is what happened…”
Mark, trying to get it: “GERMS? GERMS. I’m gonna keep saying germs until we get a point.”
Sinitta: “He kissed a baby…”
Mark: “WITH GERMS!”
Ah…Paul has to do intros with Noel.
Noel: “Just thinking about Paul, and the last thing that he listened to was Ella Fitzgerald…”
Paul: “I don’t know any of these…”
Noel, to Toddla: “…good luck…”
Though, Paul trying to do an intro, and trying to do some sort of rhythm section, is one of the more entertaining things I’ve seen in a while.
Before the 2nd intro, Noel: “Okay, for this one, try not to look like you’re operating an imaginary train…”
So far, there are a lot of nice moments, and the rounds are nice, plus the presence of Paul and Noel doing intros is pretty classic, but Will’s being pretty minimalistic as host, and isn’t doing a lot thus far.
Will: “Tinie Tempah says he once had sex in a cinema, which is a shame, because he missed the bit where Schindler makes his list…”
(there’s an audible OHHHH from the audience)
Will actually reveals he had sex with someone in a dumpster once, which is met with a nice reaction from the panel.
Mark, after Phill and Sinitta’s first intro:
Mark: “Is it the Killer’s song “DUMANUMADUMANUMAWOW”?”
Will: “Is that your final guess?”
After Phill and Sinitta’s really nice Sweet Caroline intro:
Paul: “Oh, that was an E Flat then. Ooochhhh…”
Mark: “It sounded a lot like Bohemian Rhapsody to me…”
Will, trying to give a hint: “They play it at a lot of weddings.”
Paul: “The organ???”
Will: “You are correct, it was indeed the organ…”
Will then turns, confusedly to Paul, wondering exactly what he just did.
Paul, after the song’s been played: “So when you say it’s played at weddings, you mean, like, later, and not actually in the church…”
Noel, on the Cheeky Girls lineup: “Did the Cheeky Girls disappear, and turn up as Jedward?”
Noel, after Paul does a bit about a ventriloquist dummy: “Or we could do a bit where you’re the dummy and I’m the ventriloquist…”
Noel: “You’ve gotta speak you fucking idiot…”
Paul: “OH! Oh, I thought you were a genuine ventriloquist…I see…”
Noel: “Where d’you think my hand is???”
Paul: “So what you’re saying is…I speak and you just sit there…”
Noel: “Well that’s the benefit of having a real person there, instead of a puppet!”
Paul, as the dummy: “I don’t think it’s #5, as she doesn’t seem very interested in the proceedings, as she was just looking away into the distance…thinking of a former lover from long ago…who betrayed her…in the Seychelles. Well, not really in the Seychelles, they were about to go to the Seychelles but he abandoned her at Gatwick airport…”
Noel: “You’ve got such a bony ass! It’s unbelievable! Get off, cause your ass is boring a hole through my kneecap…”
Phill’s team gets an X-Factor contestant, so Sinitta knows it…and Phill has no idea. Mark reveals he watched this guy’s season, and he also knows it.
Mark: “D’you want me to get on your lap like Paul did?”
Phill “…both of you get on my lap…”
Noel, as they do: “That just looks like you’re going to ask them what they want for Christmas…”
Phill: “Mark, have you been a good little boy?”
Mark: “…this is weirdly sexual, I didn’t expect this when I started…”
Phill: “oooohhh, I’ve got something in my sack for you…”
Will: “I’m gonna push you for an answer…”
Phill: “You can push me all you want, Bin Boy, you’re a dirty little pig…”
Phill: “I think it’s #2. Would I be correct?”
Mark: “Well, you’re in the right ballpark. You’re within 5…”
Sinitta: “Andy, #3, how are you?”
Mark: “That does spoil the suspense a little bit…”
Phill: “And THAT, Sinitta, is why you were never on MORSE!”
Will: “Your guess?”
Mark: “Our guess is #3, that’s based on the fact that Sinitta knows Andy Abraham personally, and it’s him.”
Phill: “It’s all very well you saying it is Andy, but I think it’s #2….I LIKE HIM! #2, TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF, BIG FELLA! #2, WOULD YA LIKE TO COME BACK TO MY *BIN!*”
Once Andy steps forward, he reunites with Sinitta with a cute little kiss.
Phill: “#2, GIVE ME SOME LOVE! DON’T LEAVE ME HANGING!”
Sure enough, #2 runs over and embraces Phill.
Mark, just to keep the tradition, calls over #4, and immediately hides behind the desk.
More with tailoring the Next Lines round, and the show, to the host! Will likes birds, so the final round is all bird questions! Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, producers!
Will: “Bonus point, name the bird.”
Noel: “Is it a yellowtit?”
Will: “No, it’s a blue-tit!”
Noel: “OH, FUCK OFF!”
Overall: A much better show, thanks to some fantastic moments, a pretty nice panel, and a host that was game enough, despite not really bringing much to the table. With the exception of Toddla T, the panel was pretty tight- Sinitta seemed happy to be there, Mark was really well-paired with Phill, and Paul…was at his best, as usual. Will’s best moments were when the panel was interacting with him. The entire first round, Paul and Noel’s intros, and Phill’s ID Parade are pretty classic moments, I think.
Guest Host Rating: 7.5/10. Imperfect.
Best Regular: Noel
Best Guest: Paul
Best Runner: Shagging in a bin.