COUCH POTATO: Michael McIntyre - don’t get too fond of chatshow chair
Updated 12:58pm Friday 14th March 2014 in News
Good old El Tel offered a timely nugget of wisdom to the world's top-earning comic on Monday night.
"As you'll find the hard way," Wogan said, "the only thing you're remembered for as a chat show host are the disasters."
Speaking of which...
It's The Michael McIntyre Chat Show.
A diabolical 45-minute celebration of the fact he has a chat show, on BBC1.
And he was intent on letting no one forget it: "I'm a chat-show person now. It's a new me."
(Can you get a refund?)
"Right, shall we have a chat show?!"
But he wasn't listening.
"My first guest on any of my chat shows, my first chat-show guest ever is..."
You have a chat show? Well, why didn't you say?
So, with chat show status firmly established, he then broke every golden rule.
Upstaging guests, constantly bringing the conversation back to himself, pillocking around the studio on his office chair on castors and drawing dangerous comparisons with predecessors.
Beginning with a montage of Wogan's greatest interviewees.
De Niro. Caine. Mirren. Thatcher. Prince Philip. A topless, karate-kicking Nicolas Cage.
McIntyre's first two shows? Alan Sugar, Abbey Clancy, Jeremy Clarkson.
Frost/Nixon it isn't. Heck, it's not even The Gaby Roslin Show.
For BBC1's continuity woman, though, he's: "Stepping into the shoes of the late-night chat show greats."
Yet I don't recall Michael Parkinson or David Letterman ever high-fiving the audience up and down the stairs, milking them for all they're worth, barking and gesticulating wildly for standing ovations or yelling guests' names.
It's so appalling that I started thinking there was a point to BBC3 after all.
A place to shovel horrible embarrassments like this.
You just knew from the on-set warm-up tomfoolery before the opening titles that was never intended to be aired that the programme itself wouldn't live up even to that.
The BBC clearly has little confidence in it, consigning it to 10.35pm on Mondays.
And while Jonathan Ross may be currently giving his chat-show career the last rites on ITV - asking Claudia Schiffer if she "likes a sausage" and Davina McCall whether her "undercarriage" is tender - McIntyre is killing his own at infancy.
He's fallen for a host's biggest trap - sucking up.
"Terry, you're a legend. You're unflappable."
"Lily Allen has sold millions and millions and billions and trillions of albums. She's sensationally talented. I absolutely love her."
"Lord Sugar, ladies and gentlemen. How exciting is this?"
Not one smidge.
You only have to watch the best in the business, Graham Norton, at work to see where McIntyre's going so very wrong.
It would help if he stopped cackling at his own jokes, had more than one line of questioning ("Tell me about...") or if they're even
meaningful: "I've got a desk. What are your thoughts about the desk?"
Let alone if they made sense: "Let's talk about business. Your new album. Is that right?"
It was, apparently. Whatever the question was.
He'd be well advised to ditch the well-worn embarrassing old photos of guests and attempt wit in response to lines that leave him floundering like Sugar's: "Some of my friends admire the manner in which I can adapt with the different company that I'm in. Notice that I'm doing so well now, despite your demeanour."
But he'd be even better advised to abandon this lark and return to stand-up.
Otherwise he'll be remembered like every other chat show host.
In his case, The Michael McIntyre Chat Show.
Fast and Fearless: Britain’s Banger Racers.
lI Was There: The Great War Interviews
lLine of Duty’s absolutely belting penultimate episode.
lThe unflinching brutality of Paralympic sledge hockey.
lPointless contestant Matt: “I have a three-and-a-half-month-old daughter.” Alexander Armstrong: “That’s lovely. How old is she?”
Mark Wright on ITV2’s Party Wright Around The World: “You’re an earl? How did you get that title?” “My father died.”
Lesley Joseph on ITV’s You Saw Them Here First: “I’m the only person I don’t know who didn’t do Midsomer Murders.”
The One Show’s Alex Jones to Ricky Wilson: “Will.i.am has sent a question in. We’ve had to fast forward some bits because it went on a lot.” Sit up and take notice, The Voice editors.
A deluded Phillip Schofield on the final Dancing On Ice: “We will certainly miss this.”
The Voice failing to leave a will.i.am toilet break on the cutting-room floor in a 4h 20min Battle Rounds blur.
Janine’s EastEnders murder trial judge announcing Alice Branning’s absence: “The case can continue without her presence because...” Because otherwise there’s a hole in the plot the size of Tajikistan.
Kenny Dalglish’s daughter and C4 Paralympics host Kelly Cates explaining the intricacies of sit-skiing: “You’re so much closer to the snow than you are if you’re a standing skier.” Never.
C4’s continuity man introducing Live From Space: “Over to Mission Control and Dermot O’Leary.” Houston, we have a problem.
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