Micheal McIntrye’s Big Show
It’s good to see Michael McIntyre getting back to what he does best – stand up. In his new prime Saturday night BBC TV show, his opening monologue showed what a master he is at taking a comic idea and running with it, building through comparisons and observations from one very small idea. This time, his own children arguing amongst themselves to adults disagreeing about pressing a traffic light button. All comedic ally linked, with his physical facial features and voice impressions heavily supporting the material and in such a delivery we get far more than what is written. As the Telegraph observed ‘He’s like a Pied Piper doing waddly walks and silly voices, and he knows full well he’s got millions of viewers trooping along behind him’.
This family style programme worked a lot better than his former adult talk show which was ill received by critics. Yet his best section of mobile phone and texting routine devised as a part of the chat show reappeared in a slightly different mode taking a celebrity (Former ‘Spice Girl’ Geri Horner) mobile and sending an obscure message to all her contacts. ‘I’m doing a massage course and need to practise on different body shapes. I really think you would be perfect. G x. The shocked Geri with hands to face awaited the response. One being her mother and a farmer who she met while interested in purchasing a sheep. His text back read: ‘I’m full-time lambing at the moment, so it would have to be on a straw bale’.
In future episodes we are promised more mobile pranks of star names with McIntyre telling The Sun “Dragons’ Den’s Peter Jones was probably my favourite as I sent quite a brutal text from his phone about him having had a few drinks and wanting to give all his money away. A lot of people got back to him, including David Beckham.”
The format of the show worked very well combining Michael’s ability for stand up to comic interaction with the audience, plus a variety act and band, all set inside the Theatre Royle Drury Lane rather than a TV studio which certainly gave a different dynamic and feeling to the production.
Nowadays it seems one cannot produce a light entertainment show without some ‘reality’ factor or talent spotting moment, hence the main section of the night called ‘The Unexpected Star of the Show’. Step forward Welsh hairdresser and wanna be singer Natasha John who thought she was there as a back-stage stylist for a charity spectacular, but surprise, surprise, ended up singing a duet with Michael Ball.
As the Sun said ‘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’. The item will surely be a winner amongst viewers and a ratings boost.
Indeed, our little plump jester has experienced such hearty family entertainment as in 2011 he was a judge on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’. But humiliating losers and sparring with Simon Cowell wasn’t for him and he quit. After leaving that show Michael went on to embark on his sell-out comedy tour, made a DVD and pocketed a paltry £21 million. Not bad for someone who once chased me around the 2006 Edinburgh festival asking if I could get him some corporate gigs.
Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.