Michael McIntyre’s Big Show: Big laughs, big stars

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Michael McIntyre’s Big Show: Big laughs, big stars

April 17, 2016 - 10:03
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Average: 4.1 (9 votes)
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Now that The Voice is history and everyone’s already forgotten the winner, the BBC is boldly trying something completely different. A Saturday night programme that’s worth watching.

Michael McIntyre’s Big Show

Now that The Voice is history and everyone’s already forgotten the winner, the BBC is boldly trying something completely different. A Saturday night programme that’s worth watching.

The imaginatively named Michael McIntyre’s Big Show promised to serve up big stars, big laughs and big surprises. Big deal.

But did it deliver? I’m tempted to say three big fat yeses, but that’s probably a bit over the top. And in any case, I refuse to resort to clapped out clichés.

Combining traditional variety and Ant & Dec-style pranks, matey McIntyre’s mainstream offering definitely had the feel-good factor. Family entertainment with genuine appeal. Whisper it quietly… but this could be a hit.

The generously proportioned host might look and dress like a well-fed rural solicitor, but he knows how to work an audience. And at London’s Drury Lane Theatre he had them in stitches. 

Not that all his quick-fire repartee with the punters went according to plan. McIntyre: “Where’s the other gran?” Answer: “She’s gone to the toilet.” Which was accidentally very funny.

Although the world’s highest earning comedian wisely jacked in his horrible BBC1 chat show after one awful series, he didn’t come away empty handed. His Celebrity Send To All phone game is born again.

And the first Big Show victim was former Spice Girl Geri Horner (nee Halliwell) who handed over her mobile and watched in horror as McIntyre composed a spoof text.

When a friend improbably called Farmer Clive received Geri’s request to practice her massage technique on him, he replied: “I’m permanently in the lambing shed at the moment so it would have to be on a straw bale.” The mind boggles.

Meanwhile, after a spirited turn by Tinie Tempah kept it real for da kidz and a troupe of acrobats performed their old school circus act, it was time for the main event. The Unexpected Star Of The Show.

Step forward Welsh hairdresser Natasha John who thought she was there as a back-stage stylist for a charity spectacular… but ended up singing a duet with Michael Ball.

By no means perfect, but likeable Natasha carried the tune in style and her magical musical moment struck a memorable chord.

When the wall of the fake salon fell forward and she found herself standing open-mouthed in front of a 2,500 crowd it was hilarious. If Mr McIntyre manages to repeat this kind of money shot every week he’s onto a winner.

Of course, our wisecracking hero is no stranger to the rigours of Saturday night telly. In 2011 he was a judge on Britain’s Got Talent. But humiliating losers and sparring with Simon wasn’t for him and he quit.

Now he’s switched sides to the Beeb and he just might have hit upon a format to bring in decent ratings and give ITV something to think about.

Leaving Planet Cowell wasn’t a decision Michael regretted for long. If at all. The following year he embarked in his sell-out tour, made a DVD and pocketed a paltry £21million. That’s one big fat pay packet.

There are 2 Comments

PhilipStar's picture

It still on BBC One Saturday night but everyone stopped caring ages ago, I do not blame Michael at all. Just the fact that Saturday night on TV is not the draw it used to be. That and it was moved to later slot because of FA Cup final.

Social buzz is Saturday night and this doesn't fit the bill so doesn't get ratings, Simple really.

LeceWoody's picture

I personally have absolutely loved this series. Michael has been thoroughly entertaining, really appealing to all audiences alike, and this show just has the right format for Saturday night entertainment. It's not at all schmaltzy and doesn't pretend to suck up to the celebs. Send To All is, weirdly, a simple but great concept, and the unexpected star setup is genius - although now it's a 'thing', I'm not sure people will be as 'in the dark' as they should be about it.

All in all, a fantastic show and Michael is, as always, hilarious.