Never Mind the Buzzcocks (lost pilot of revived music comedy panel game show; 2020)

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Logo for the revived show.

Status: Lost

Never Mind the Buzzcocks is a long-running British comedy panel game show. It was originally broadcast by the BBC from 1996 to 2002, centring around quiz questions and comedy surrounding pop music. After a six-year hiatus, it was announced that the show would be revived by Sky in September 2020, following a successful pilot hosted that same month.


Never Mind the Buzzcocks typically featured two teams of comedians playing four different music-related rounds.[1][2] Whereas Round 1 differed over series, Rounds 2-4 remained typically the same.[1] Intros Round saw a team member being asked to sound the instruments to a particular song's introduction, with their musical guest teammate needing to figure out the song's identity.[1] Identity Parade tasked the teams to identify the musician from a line-up, with the studio and television audiences being the only ones clued in as to the musician's identity as they would see a music video featuring them.[1] Finally, Next Lines involved the host stating a line from a song, with the team being required to say the song's next line.[1] The show was originally presented by Mark Lamarr in its first 17 series, before Simon Amstell took over from series 19 to 22.[2][1] After guests hosted the show between series 23-27, Rhod Gilbert presented the final series in the show's original running.[2][1] The teams were usually captained over the years by Sean Hughes, Phill Jupitus, Bill Bailey, and Noel Fielding.[2][1]

After a long successful run, Never Mind the Buzzcocks began a ratings decline during the early-2010s.[3][4] A revamp in 2014 did little to boost ratings, prompting the BBC to end the show.[4][3] Nevertheless, the show still proved immensely popular enough for Sky to consider a revival six years later.[5][6] In September 2020, it announced it filmed a pilot featuring Greg Davies as host.[5][6] One source stated that Sky still saw potential in the show, with minor alterations made.[5][6] Among guests featured in the pilot included Dizzee Rascal and Paul Chowdhry.[6] Recorded at Riverside Studios in West London, it was produced by Talkback Productions, who were also responsible for the show's original running.[5][6][1][2] Ultimately, the pilot was a success.[7] Therefore, Sky announced in July 2021 that the show would be returning on Sky Max with Davies remaining as host.[7] Fielding reprised his role as team captain, with Daisy May Cooper becoming the first regular female captain, Jamali Maddix also becoming a recurring panellist.[7][1][2] The first series aired from 21st September to 1th December 2021.[8] Sky later renewed the show for another series, the 30th overall.[9]


Ultimately, the pilot was merely filmed to determine the appropriateness of a full series.[5] It was never intended to be air based on initial reports, and as of the present day, has remained locked away.[5] Another issue affecting the pilot's chances of publicly surfacing involves Dizzee Rascal, real name Dylan Kwabena Mills, who experienced legal trouble in 2021, eventually being convicted a year later for domestic assault.[10][11] Rascal not only appeared in the pilot, but was also set to appear in the revived series, the latter ultimately not transpiring.[10][9] Rascal's recent conviction will likely further prevent Sky or Talkback from releasing the footage due to reputational damage it may incur.

See Also