It’s been off our screens for seven years, but riotous pop quiz Never Mind The Buzzcocks is making a very welcome return to TV this month – with a brand new series set to air on Sky.
A brilliant line-up of comics has been assembled to reboot the series, with returning team captain Noel Fielding set to go up against This Country star Daisy May Cooper, while Taskmaster‘s Greg Davies takes the presenter’s chair and Jamali Maddix joins as a regular guest.
And while the new series looks set to be a sure-fire recipe for comedy gold, the new ensemble will have a tough job reaching the highs of the previous versions of the show – which regularly provided some of the finest moments in panel show history.
Whether you were a fan of the Mark Lemarr era, the Simon Amstell years or perhaps one of the many guest hosts, the series was consistently hilarious during its original 28 series run, and we’ve done our best to select some of the very best moments from that time.
Slash gets his own lyrics wrong
The final round, Next Lines, always saw the teams charged with reciting lyrics from a well-known song after being supplied the preceding line – and the hosts often liked tormenting guests by using their own songs. Many musicians were stumped by their own lyrics during the show’s run, but few were as memorable as Guns N’Roses guitarist Slash, who entertained viewers with a tale about some alternative lyrics.
Intros round – with a twist
Perhaps the most iconic Buzzcocks round of all was the famous intros round, which saw two team members provide a cappella renditions of famous hits for their teammate to guess. On a couple of occasions, though, this round was compromised a little, including one memorable time in which Lionel Blair and Bill Bailey conveyed the tunes through mime instead – a reference to the former’s charades-based game show Give Us A Clue.
And an even more outrageous twist was applied during the 2003 Christmas special – in which Phil Jupitus and DJ Sammy made use of some Dance Dance Revolution mat, much to the dismay of their teammate Allison Goldfrapp.
Everything Morrissey hates
Morrissey is hardly known as being the most cheerful figure in the world – and Mark Lamarr had great fun poking fun at the The Smiths frontman’s supposed list of hates, which included not only Elton John and George Michael, but also Branston Pickle, the phrase “Mr. Morrissey, you require three snookers!” and brilliantly, pointless lists without punchlines.
Everything with Donnie Tourette
There were many unruly guests during Simon Amstell’s tenure as host, but few quite as memorable as Towers of London punk rocker Donnie Tourette. Highlights from the episode include Donnie’s failed attempt to put down Bill Bailey, Simon’s brilliant impression, and the truly outrageous moment when Donnie decides to smoke a cigarette – “a thing you can legally buy in shops!”
All of Dappy’s appearances
N-Dubz star Dappy was a regular guest during the Amstell era, and his inclusion on the panel was always a good signifier that it was going to be a good episode – whether that be because he was explaining the complex N-Dubz lexicon or trying to start a dialogue with the audience. And who can forget the time when he was dramatically parachuted into his seat from above…
Preston storms off
Preston might not have been the only person in Buzzcocks’ original run who took issue with being the butt of the joke – and indeed he wasn’t the only person to storm off – but the moment the Ordinary Boys singer and former Big Brother contestant removed himself set relatively early into his appearance has gone down as one of the most unforgettable moments in panel show history. Thankfully, the panel were able to source a lookalike in the crowd to take his place for the remainder of the show.
Simon torments Jermaine Jackson
If Preston was the worst sport in Buzzcocks history, then Jermaine Jackson was probably the most patient guest – with the Motown legend withstanding a barrage of jokes from Amstell, unsurprisingly including several at the expense of his brother Michael. And although he showed admirable restraint, there was a great moment when he mock strangled Amstell when he judged that the host had gone a little too far.
Lily Allen is frustrated during the Next Lines round
Lily Allen was one of the more competitive guests of the Amstell era, and didn’t take too kindly to the host deliberately wasting time as her team tried to catch up during the final round. The best moment was when Simon decided to spend several moments offering a hug to comfort her – only for the time to run out as soon as she was sat down again.
Simon’s embarrassing moment
While he regularly dished it out, it wasn’t too often that Simon got a taste of his own medicine, but when guest team captain Davina McCall brought up an old clip of a very young Amstell making a rather bizarre appearance on TV, the host looked desperately embarrassed. “I was 12 and I had a mortgage to pay and kids to feed!” he says.
Frankie Boyle as guest host
Buzzcocks had many guest hosts for a time after Amstell departed, but none of them made the show their own quite to the extent of Frankie Boyle. The brutal comedian made two appearances as host and on both occasions no one was safe from his rather vicious barbs – some of the best of which can be found here.