TV Review: Michael McIntyre's Big Show, BBC1

Well it's certainly got plenty going on. You don't have to do a forensic assessment of Michael McIntyre's Big Show to spot traces of Noel Edmonds, Jeremy Beadle and Ant & Dec. There's even a whiff of Candid Camera and Don't Forget Your Toothbrush in there too if I'm not mistaken.

In the first episode of the new series there's a new segment, entitled Midnight Game Show, in which MM and his camera crew sneak into someone's bedroom in the middle of the night, wake them up - if they haven't already woken and shat themselves – and do a quiz on them. Obviously MM had been given the door key by Dean's wife Zoe who had, presumably, made a point of not having sex with her husband in case MM walked in on them. And i hope health checks are done so that there is no chance of a heart attack. Anyway, Dean the plumber survived and enjoyed it, even if he did briefly think Bill Oddie, who also popped in, had stolen his phone.

Elsewhere the hyperactive show featured sporting Ed "Gangnam Style" Balls doing the Send To All game, with MM using his phone to invite everyone to a hot tub party with Balls, Stormzy, Anton du Beke and Delia Smith. Though I did wonder if it was actually Send To All, or maybe Send To Some. The latter might be the case if this story is correct anyway – Balls reportedly texted someone after the show to say "I chose you as one of the contacts as I thought you would enjoy the laugh.”

But maybe I'm just being cynical. I'm also the kind the person who can't quite fathom the Unexpected Star Slot. How can a woman go from being an opera fan who works in a cattery to singing note-perfect arias in front of a full theatre with minimal rehearsal? If it was me I would certainly have needed hours to prepare. But then I'd have also needed years of singing lessons and there was no doubting that Stella had that skill already. Maybe Dr Theatre worked its magic and guided her through it*.

This is a show that wants to be everything for everyone. It even harked back to McIntyre's Live at the Apollo roots with a stand-up set from special guest Joe Lycett, who did a winning routine about scamming a scammer who was trying to get him to pay a deposit on a possibly non-existent flat. I'd heard him do that gag so long ago it harked back to those happy carefree days before Brexit. But then in that way this is a show all about nostalgia. Apart from Send To All there is nothing truly new in it. But do you know what the weirdest thing is about it? It all happened so fast I was too busy enjoying it at the time to notice.  

 Michael McIntyre's Big Show, Saturdays, BBC1

*Update: After this review appeared I received this email from Stella's father Stuart: "Loved your comment about my daughter Stella being 'note perfect', but your scepticism is unfounded. She is 100% amateur, and obviously did not have much time backstage. She was totally unaware of what she was about to face. Fortunately she had been rehearsing that song for a local Christmas show, that's why she chose it. We were so relieved when it all worked."


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