Iconic music-based comedy programme Never Mind the Buzzcocks will be returning to television screens in August of this year.
The revival was first announced in September of last year, but no official timetable for the show’s return was given during the initial announcement. The original Buzzcocks run ended in 2015, just a year shy of crossing the 20-year mark. 28 series, 281 episodes, and an endless parade of formerly famous and questionably funny guests later, the powers that be at Sky have decided to revive a lifeless corpse of the silly half an hour panel show past.
The revival will be hosted by Greg Davies, whose previous panel show experience includes guesting on Mock the Week, Would I Lie to You?, and hosting Taskmaster. Noel Fielding will return as one of the two team captains, with Daisy May Cooper filling the spot that was previously held by Phill Jupitus for the original’s entire run.
Quick indulgence on my part: when I took my one, and so far only trip to England in the early to mid-2010s, my family and I were so jet lagged that we couldn’t even go out of our hotel room the first night. Instead, we mindlessly flipped channels in between snoozes until we came across a strange show none of us had ever heard of before. It featured music and comedy and snarky wit and playful banter that didn’t seem to take anything, much less the show’s own rules and format, very seriously.
As it turned out, we were watching a marathon of Never Mind the Buzzcocks during Simon Amstell’s tenure as host. What we saw delighted and surprised us: this was far more sarcastic, trivial, and hilarious than any of the game shows or sitcoms we had watched in our native United States. We had been introduced to the “Panel Show”, the likes of which didn’t really have any parallel in American culture at the time. Shows like Hollywood Squares and Match Game were firmly in the past, and new revivals like Hollywood Game Night and Midnight wouldn’t crop up until later.
As a result, my first direct and tangible connection to British culture, outside of taking in of movie and music from across the pond, was Never Mind the Buzzcocks. It introduced a completely new style of humour, a completely new world of slang and vernacular, and a completely new world of entertainment that I would latch on to. I had no idea who Preston was, but when he walked off the set during what most have been the eighth or ninth episode we watched in a row, I was completely hooked. It might not be a direct line, but I think it’s likely that Never Mind the Buzzcocks is at least partially responsible for me currently working at a British culture magazine. The show might be silly, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t had a far-reaching impact, even on yanks like myself.