i had assumed Never Mind the Buzzcocks died at the height of its success, as did Jimi Hendrix as Axel F’s Crazy Frog. outsourced to Sky Max, makes it a comeback.
The resurgent pop quiz risks falling between two demographic crutches: the kids who consider everything before Stormzy’s Glastonbury set old history, and the old quarters who are unsure if Arlo Parks won the Mercury Prize as the last stop is on the Piccadilly line. Trying to bridge that gap is like getting me to look at Love Island. Many ride on new hosts Greg Davies and team captains Daisy May Cooper and Noel Fielding, though they seem less representative of Britain’s diversity (as more relatable and brainwashed) than Boris Johnson’s cabinet.
This week was Cooper’s team — something I never remember happening to Buzzcocks before — all-female, proving what most of us already know is that women can be just as fiercely and cranially damaged with useless data as men like talking parrots. Fielding claimed not to have left the studio since Buzzcocks was last seen. Which confirms my suspicion that Bake Off is hosted by Sue Perkins in a Noel Fielding mask and that Matt Lucas Mel Giedroyc is in a fat suit.
Davies brings his ex-teacher’s skills to Taskmaster in the role of supervising a set of fractured children. For example, unprompted, Little Mix Davies told Jade Thirlwall that the worst thing that happened to her in 2021 was what a seagull did to her face. “I was really lucky it was a solid shit,” she thought, “because if it had been running, it would have gone into my mouth and my eye.”
The format continues, and I say this through gritty teeth, old favorites like the intro round and the one where participants have to sing the next line to an, open quotes, familiar, close quotes, song. What comes after “I believe it’s meant to be darlin ‘- I see you when you sleep'”? “I’m a dirty old man?” suggested Nish Kumar, sensibly. The correct answer was “You belong to me,” and the song is Eternal Flame by the Bangles. Or as the kids call them, The What Now?
Historically, the goal of the identity parade was to decide which of the four grumpy old duffers played bass on Tales from Topographic Oceans. But only after the teams age-abused on all four heaps, which is hard for the three-quarters of them who spent the 1970s stacking boards in Catford. And yet, among BBC hosts Mark Lamarr and Simon Amstell, this was how the pop quiz rolled: Buzzcocks was not as much a mockery of the weak this week.
Indeed, perhaps Buzzcocks was canceled by the BBC because it once seemed to be aware of the event horizon of its own toxicity in the black hole of its own respect. I feel so strongly about this because since Buzzcocks started in 1996, I have become a grumpy old duffer. Do not look so pretty. You will too.
Here, the ID parade had a twist. Instead of three cheaters, there was only one. Who is not a member of the Eurovision-winning combination Bucks Fizz, asked Davies. “Number four seems to speak to it with ghosts,” said Jamali Maddix. It’s number two, you plums, I cried to the screen.
To be honest, no one under 40 knows who Bucks Fizz is and the rest of us have been trying to forget for four decades. Let’s see: 1981 was so culturally zero that Eurovision was won by a quartet whose two men, at the height of their routine, tore the skirts of the two women, to reveal four legs of Cheryl Baker and Jay Aston, who ‘ t public drove from Andorra to Zagreb wild.
In 1981, #MeToo was not a thing, up-skirting was not a crime and off-skirting, far from being recognized as a symbol of patriarchal commodification of women’s bodies, helped Britain win Eurovision for the last but once.
In 2021, by contrast, the ID parade ended when number two, the old duffer who was not in Bucks Fizz, tossed his own pants and thereby revealed that he was the cheater. Nice touch, but that should not mean the patriarchy is over. Women have previously stumbled through the glass ceiling of Buzzcocks to have covered themselves with broken glass, guano and, if they make sense, regret it.