Don’t write Michael McIntyre off as a chat show host just yet

The comedian may not have stormed the ratings with his first show, but he gets big guests and is improving fast - a recipe for success, says Mark Jefferies

It is not cool to say you like Michael McIntyre or find him funny.


In stand up comedy terms he is middle of the road, mainstream, safe and popular.

So faced with the prospect of a new chat show on BBC TV, some critics have taken the easy option of not giving McIntyre a few weeks grace before dishing out the abuse and jokes at his expense.

One paper has even gone so far to say the show could be axed after one series because ratings have dipped.
Were this to happen, McIntyre would not be the first host to face misfortune, Davina McCall suffered the same fate and was axed.

But I can tell you now there is almost no chance Michael’s show will go the same way.

Firstly, despite people not all watching it when it goes out on Monday nights, with iPlayer the series it is rating pretty well. Consolidated figures for episode 1 are over four million now and the other are not too far behind.

Secondly, look at his guests! Sir David Jason, Jeremy Clarkson, and this coming Monday night Nigella Lawson.
These are not people who will agree to go on Loose Women or This Morning, these are people who like McIntyre or find him funny.

And thirdly, and most important of all perhaps, McIntyre is improving as a chat show host.
He is never going to be Michael Parkinson in his prime, teasing great admissions out of people, but he will make his guests laugh and that in its own way can relax them into talking candidly.

Perhaps in week one there were too many gags and not enough chat.

But having been at the recording of Monday’s episode I can tell you he coaxed some soundbites out of a teary Nigella, got some new lines from Gary Barlow and ended up spooning Bear Grylls with some hilarious scenes learning survival techniques.

Trust me, as long as his confidence grows McIntyre has the ability to be a chat show for years to come and laugh in the face of his early reviews.

If you don’t believe me look up what the critics said about Graham Norton when he started. They weren’t all kind then either.


Mark Jefferies is Showbiz Editor at the Daily Mirror