Big Show a Surprisingly Late Show

The same weekend Britain’s Got Talent ends its run on TV One, TV3 will have another crack at light entertainment on Sunday nights with the premiere of Michael McIntyre’s Big Show (July 17, 9.30).

The slot seems surprisingly late for a variety series that The Sun said definitely had the feel-good factor and was “family entertainment with genuine appeal. Whisper it quietly but this could be a hit.”

And indeed it was, with the UK premiere rating strongly — despite some rubbish reviews.

The Mirror called it “a mash-up born out of desperation.

“His most recent BBC efforts – Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow, The Michael McIntyre Chat Show and Michael McIntrye’s Big Christmas Show – were forced into a giant BBC mincer and the results were plopped out on the stage of the Theatre Royal like a great big variety burger.”

The Daily Mail accused him of trying to copy BGT and Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.

“Trouble is, Ant and Dec do all this so much better — and quicker and slicker. In the time it took Michael to thank the acrobats, with endless appeals for applause, the Geordie boys could have crammed in two extra sketches.”

But The Telegraph overcame its scepticism: “A funny thing happened: I laughed. Not once but several times, and sometimes continually for more than 10 seconds. I soon had to wipe the sneer from my bien-pensant face: McIntyre had me in the palm of his hand.

“His new Saturday night jamboree shows him to be a light entertainer squarely in the [Paul] Daniels tradition, and I realised this is something that should be celebrated, not scoffed at.”

It’s strange that TV3 is electing to screen Michael McIntyre’s Big Show so late when it was a 7pm Saturday crowdpleaser in the UK.

TV3’s last 9.30 Sunday stab at the genre, Live at the Apollo, tanked but at least was more adults-only for that hour.

And with BGT exiting its chief rival’s line-up, you would have thought the timing perfect for TV3 to launch its own variety staple in a similar slot, as a point of difference to TV2’s movies and the return of factual fare on TV One.

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