Nevermind Watchdown: S25E08 or TONIGHT…FORTY PERCENT!

As we begin to wind down Series 25, which is just now beginning to catch fire, we hand over the guest hosting gig to one of those ‘punchline hosts’, similar to David Hasselhoff, or…eventually Michael Bolton. James Blunt, famed for ‘You’re Beautiful’, and….yeah, is in the chair tonight, after a decent enough panel performance last year. The panel doesn’t look bad either, with Sarah Millican and ACTUAL JAMAICAN RAPPER SEAN PAUL, as well as McFly’s Harry Judd, who was appearing on Strictly at the time, and ‘requisite comedian’ Matthew Crosby

The cold open is a particularly odd one- thanks to all the barbs NMTB has had toward James Blunt over the years, and thanks to an Apocalypse Now-esque flashback, James Blunt arrives at BBC studios with a gigantic tank, only for Noel and Phill to flag him down, saying they want him to host. Again, these cold opens got to be pretty high-concept, even for a cheap panel show.

On Rihanna’s S&M video, Noel: “I don’t know what it means, but I’ve got an erection…”

After Sarah, with her South Shore accent, and Sean, with his Jamaican accent, try to communicate with each other.
Noel: “I’m gonna be interpreting for these two tonight…”

James: “Sean, what is Rihanna all about?”
Sean: “Oh, S&M…that sort of thing…”
Sarah: “I’m more about M&S…”

Noel: “I never thought that pyramids had steps, I thought they were smooth. So when I was out there, and saw that it had steps, I said ‘fuck it’, and went home.”
Matthew: “You’d brought your BMX, hadn’t you? You were gonna ride it down?”

On Rihanna’s supposed ‘oversexualization’ of a traffic cone.
Sarah: “Like, is there an appropriate amount of sexual behavior towards a traffic cone? Like ‘oh, it was a bit too much, though…’ I mean, I thought they were much better. Now that I’ve seen them up close, it’s probably feasible, isn’t it?”
Noel, with the cone: “What way would you put it in??? SIDEWAYS??”

Once Noel hears that the cone answer was wrong, and it was actually giving tattoos without a license, he just tosses the cone off the desk. It’s a nice little moment.

After saying that Rihanna tattooed someone a picture of an umbrella without a license.
James: “I think it’s desperately sad when a talented singer like that becomes associated with just one song.”
[“You’re Beautiful” plays in]
James: “…I delivered that [joke] incredibly badly, I’m sorry…I know my weaknesses. I’m a singer.”
Noel: “…sort of.”

Phill does a joke about Myleene’s babies punching to get out, “you know, at the bottom”
Matthew: “Hang on a second, it doesn’t come out the BOTTOM, does it?”
Phill: “I don’t know, I haven’t got a MAP!”
Noel: “I have got a womb map, if you want to borrow it…it’s like an old treasure map.”

Noel, a la Sarah: “Duuble Dicka!”
Phill: “I’d love to hear her say Toblerone.”
Sarah, shrugs: “TOOBLERUNE!”
Phill: “I’d like a Sarah Millican SatNav. “Oooh, DOON’T GOO THAT WEEIGH!”

On the Pope Toilet Roll:
Sarah: “I’d rather have somebody I like on my toilet roll, just to see them more often.”
Matthew: “Yeah, and then rub shit on their face??”
Sarah: “If they were a true friend, they’d take it.”

James: “I’m gonna have to push you for an answer…”
Phill: “You can push us all you want, tank boy…”

Noel: “I was telling Sean that I had a friend from Jamaica, his name was Jason. They’d say ‘oh, what’s your name’, and he’s say ‘JEEEAAASAAAAN….” And he’d just…immediately get laid.”

Noel and Sean’s first intro for Sarah is, well, “you’re Beautiful”
Sarah: “I know this one, it’s the one that really grated everyone, what was it…annoying, what is it…”

And, of course, James has to do a joke about himself.
James: “a six year old woke up from a coma after hearing that song on hospital radio. It was a beautiful moment, until she sat up and said “turn that shit off…”

After Sean cracks up reading the intro card
Noel: “Don’t look at me like some…happier, friendlier Mr. T…”

Sarah doesn’t know Sean and Noel’s next one, but the tune’s so catchy that the entire panel, and some of the audience, start singing and pounding along to it.

After a James standout about Kelly Jones from the Stereophonics
Noel: “Wait, Kelly from the Stereophonics says ‘people might see me as a hard man’? WHO?? He’s a hobbit in a leather jacket!”
James: “Have you looked in a mirror recently?”
Noel: “YOU CAN TALK…we had to get you a rope ladder for the tank…”

The panel has a nice discussion about Sesame Street, after James says he got on there.
Noel: “Was Mr. Snuffleupagus Sesame Street?”
Matthew: “Yeah, he was Big Bird’s best friend.”
Noel: “Was he imaginary, or was he real.”
Matthew: “I mean, I think they’re all *FAKE*…”
Noel: “HOW DARE YOU…you’ll be telling me Fraggle Rock wasn’t real in a minute…”

On Phill and Harry’s Pussycat Dolls intro:
James: “Can we hear that one more time, please? I just need to really…get into that.”
Phill: “I think you’ve been into this enough, from what I understand, Mr. Blunt…”
James, slightly embarrassed: “Oh. You heard about that.”
Phill: “Yes, I think the world has heard…about you and your dirty penis…which I’m sure you keep scrupulously clean, I mean, you know…”
James: “I would like to assure our viewers that it is absolutely clean…”
Noel: “It’s not dirty, that’s just camouflage…”

After the song plays in
Phill: “How many of them, be fair James…”
James: “20%”
Noel: “Have you ever done it in a tank?”

James, introing ID Parade: “For Noel’s team, how about some late 90’s girl group sex- GIRL GROUP POP…”

Noel, to Sean: “You’re a musician…”
Sean: “Yeah. I think so.”
Phill: “I know you smoke a bit, Sean, but to NOT REMEMBER WHAT YOUR JOB IS…that is taking a habit way too far…”
Noel: “Sean, what do you do? ‘Let me just check on my passport…”

Nice gag before Phill’s ID Parade: a lineup of girls in camo uniforms come out after the intro clip, and James quickly goes “Ah, no, SHIT, that’s a cock-up. Those girls weren’t supposed to come here, they were supposed to go to my dressing room. I’ll be through in a minute when I’m rid of all these guys…”
Sarah: “Will you be sorting one of them out? Just 20% of that lot?”
Phill: “I looked in his eyes then, and d’you know what I saw? ‘TONIGHT…40%!”

On the actual ID Parade, of 5 keyboardist guys
Noel: “Are you taking THIS lot to your dressing room?”
James: “This is all for you, baby…”

Harry: “#2 looks like a grown-up baby.”
Matthew: “As in, like, AN ADULT?”

James: “You can do all the things you’d like to do…”
Phill: “And tomorrow…do the other 80%..”

James: “I like big butts and I cannot lie.”
Noel: “…James Blunt?”

After James completely butchers some Sean Paul lyrics, and Sean does a great deal back to him…and then James does the actual line.
Noel: “That’s like the football scores…’East Fife, 4, Dem Shoogy Shoogy, 3…”

James: [reads another Sean Paul line]
Sean: [doubles over laughing]
Noel: “…Everton, 2…”

James’s signoff is “I’m off to see how many models I can fuck in a tank- FIT IN A TANK. Goodnight!”

Overall: Our fourth really great show in a row, thanks to James Blunt not only being a good host, but being game enough while everyone on the panel was fucking with him, including the writers. The panel was quieter, but Sarah and Matthew had good nights, Sean had a lot of fun, especially in Next Lines, and Harry was pretty quiet. Good show, with some fantastic moments.

Guest Host Rating: 9/10. Great job James.
Best Regular: Noel
Best Guest: Sarah
Best Runner: 20%


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