Entertainment & Arts

Never Mind The Buzzcocks to end after 18 years

Never Mind The Buzzcocks
Image caption The show launched in 1996 with host Mark Lamarr (centre) and captains Sean Hughes (left) and Phill Jupitus

The BBC has pulled the plug on comedy panel show Never Mind The Buzzcocks after 18 years and 28 series.

First broadcast in 1996, the music trivia quiz has been hosted by Mark Lamarr, Simon Amstell and, most recently, Rhod Gilbert.

It had a reputation for upsetting its guests - with Lemmy, Huey Morgan and Preston all storming off the set.

A revamp in 2014 failed to improve ratings, and the BBC has now dropped the show.

Image caption Guests have included Amy Winehouse, who appeared with Rich Hall and Phill Jupitus in 2004

Phill Jupitus has been a team captain for all 28 series, while Sean Hughes, Bill Bailey and Noel Fielding have filled the opposing captain's chair.

"After 28 series we've decided not to bring Never Mind the Buzzcocks back to the BBC," said a spokesperson. "This will create space for new entertainment formats in the future.

"We'd like to thank the team at Talkback, Rhod Gilbert, all the brilliant hosts over the years and of course Noel and Phill for the years of enjoyment they've given BBC Two viewers."

Named in tribute to the Sex Pistols' Never Mind The Bollocks album, the show took a similarly anarchic approach to the TV quiz show format, delighting in insulting its guests.

Ordinary Boys frontman Samuel Preston appeared to take umbrage as soon as Simon Amstell introduced him as a "professional celebrity" at the beginning of a 2007 episode.

He stuck around until Amstell read extracts from his wife Chantelle Houghton's biography, including the line: "The photoshoot was for the Daily Mail, which made me feel really posh and upmarket."

Image caption Preston later said he regretted walking off the TV show

Declaring "I can't be bothered with this", the singer stormed off with half an episode left to record. Audience member Ed Seymour was drafted in to fill the vacant seat.

BBC 6 Music presenter Huey Morgan also saw the red mist descend during his appearance in 2013, violently smashing a mug after an altercation with guest hosts Rizzle Kicks.

Meanwhile, Mark Lamarr used his stint as host to berate the British public for voting Robbie Williams' Angels the best song of the last 25 years.

"I've done a quick list of other songs that maybe should have been considered. Number one, Ghost Town by the Specials. I think that's a better song than Angels.

"Number two, every other song recorded in the last 25 years."

Image caption Phill Jupitus and Noel Fielding were the resident team captains for the last five years of the show

Phill Jupitus was the show's mainstay, taking part in almost all of the 270 episodes.

But he briefly considered quitting the show during Amstell's tenure.

"It struck me with Simon that people were being booked especially to have the piss taken out of them in a very overt fashion," he told the Guardian in 2010.

"Mark [Lamarr] didn't book people to rag on them, it was just in the flow of the show that people suddenly went a bit weird and Mark could turn on them. It became something else with Simon and started to get a bit wearing."

However, ratings never recovered after Amstell left, dropping from an average of 2.5 million viewers in 2008 to 1.1 million for the most recent series.

Related Topics

More on this story

Around the BBC