More TV Memories – Never Mind The Buzzcocks.

Never Mind The Buzzcocks (BBC2, 1996-2014)

Never Mind The Buzzcocks was a comedy panel game all about the world of pop and rock music. It was originally hosted by the “cheeky cockney conman” himself Mark Lamarr, alongside the regular team captains Phill Jupitus and Sean Hughes, and every week they would be joined by two panellists, usually rock stars, TV presenters or comedians, and they would take part in various amusing rounds where their musical knowledge (or lack of) would be tested. vlcsnap-00547

Although of course the show was played for laughs more than points, there were various rounds that featured during the whole run of the series. The first round usually featured a question such as trying to guess what connects two seemingly unconnected groups. The second round was the intros round, two of the three team members sang the introduction to a few songs, and the third member had to guess it, and this often ended up being rather chaotic. vlcsnap-00548

The third round was the identity parade round, where a short clip of a formerly big group was shown to the viewers (but not to the teams), and they had to guess from a group of five people which person is the band member featured. The final round is against the clock, teams are given a line to a song and they have to give the next line. Sometimes lines from songs performed by someone on the team are given too, and it was surprising how many pop stars didn’t seem to recognise their own work. vlcsnap-00549

After a while Hughes left the show and he was replaced as team captain by Bill Bailey, and later he was replaced by Noel Fielding, Jupitus was a team captain in every series. After about a decade of hosting the show, Lamarr insisted that he’d had enough and after a series of Have I Got News For You-style guest hosts Simon Amstell became the new host, putting the style of mocking bands that he had developed on Popworld to good use. After he left, the show went back into guest hosts before Rhod Gilbert hosted the whole of what turned out to be the 28th and final series. vlcsnap-00552

Never Mind The Buzzcocks became a very popular show in the late-90s, there were lots of special editions made and there was even a book and a board game released. In the later years some of the most memorable moments were released on DVD too but I don’t have that. I didn’t watch the show much in later years, and when it came to an end after 18 years it had turned into the equivalent of one of those past-it bands that carries on with only one original member that in its early days the show used to so sharply mock.

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