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Steve Williams3,022 posts since 1 Aug 2008
It got very poor ratings, it only kept being recommissioned because Kevin Lygo liked it personally


Quite the opposite, I think, Kevin Lygo was one of the reasons why Harry left Channel Four initially - he signed a three series deal in 1997 and the first series was a critical and ratings hit, but then Lygo arrived as Head of Entertainment in 1998 and didn't like it, hence the second series was at 11pm and the third sat on the shelf for months and was finally shown on a Sunday, a dead night for C4 at the time. And the character of Gary the Controller of Channel Four in the third series was, as far as I know, a bit of a parody of Lygo and his team coming up with "ideas" for the show. Hence his move to ITV.

What is the case is that Alien Fun Capsule never rated especially well it was a big critical hit, I remember after the first series the editor of Broadcast saying every exec and producer he met was raving about it.

Didn't Harry Hill reboot 'Stars In Their Eyes' too?

Yeah, that was a complete flop.


I mentioned this on another thread the other day, it didn't work out but I would suggest much of that was because it was promoted as a straight revival of Stars In Their Eyes and people tuned in expecting that, which it was never going to be. A straight reboot of Stars In Their Eyes would have looked pretty old hat next to X Factor and The Voice. It was absolutely a Harry Hill vehicle which just happened to be Stars In Their Eyes, much like Keith Lemon's Through The Keyhole, but nobody else seemed to see it like that. I'm not desperately broken-hearted he never did it again but there was enough in there to enjoy.

It's easy to overlook that TV Burp that was something of a Trojan horse for Harry's surreal humour to get onto primetime ITV. Personally I think he's hilarious but whilst his style is pretty polarising, the format was very accessible. It's sad but not too surprising he's struggled with primetime since, and I think AFC was his best shot by far.


I don't think it's sad, most comedians never get anywhere near primetime and he was on it for over a decade and over a hundred episodes (plus You've Been Framed of course). I've said this before but I reckon if he'd just done his C4 series, that would have been a decent return for him on TV. If TV Burp had stopped after the three post-watershed series, it would have been a great run. But he went on to phenomenal success. He's not done anything as big since, but how could he? It was an exceptional series. It's like saying nothing Jerry Seinfeld has done has been as big as Seinfeld.

Before TV Burp he was a very successful stand-up who regularly toured and released DVDs, and a regular face on TV and he could have happily stayed post-watershed for his entire career and done alright for himself, as many of his peers have done. But he also spent over a decade on primetime ITV.

He was pretty well received on Junior Bake Off.


Yes, and he was on Catsdown the other week so C4 certainly seem to be interested in him. Clubnite was OK, his routines were the best thing in it and the other acts were of fairly variable quality, some were really good and others not so, but it was an interesting series and quite valuable in giving new acts some exposure.

If he ends up doing the odd series, a bit of hosting like Junior Bake-Off and various voice-overs, panel shows and stand-up, that seems alright to me. When he was promoting Clubnite on The One Show he said he hadn't done stand-up on telly for years and it was nice to do it again, so maybe he wants to concentrate on that for now. He has been a regular on TV for nearly 25 years now, which is pretty good going.
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JasonB5,301 posts since 20 Sep 2003
London London
I saw Harry live once at the Apollo. His routine was very well written. He tells a story about something then the show progresses further to tell a story or show some sort of trail which leads back to the bit he does at the start of the show.
Have you washed your hands?
mannewskev535 posts since 2 Sep 2011 Recently warned
I saw Harry's Sausage Time live show about 7 years ago and it was far and away the funniest comedy show I've ever been to. The whole thing was about 2 and a half hours long (with interval) and built and built and built to a surreal crescendo. It was utterly superb.
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Steve Williams3,022 posts since 1 Aug 2008
I saw Harry's Sausage Time live show about 7 years ago and it was far and away the funniest comedy show I've ever been to. The whole thing was about 2 and a half hours long (with interval) and built and built and built to a surreal crescendo. It was utterly superb.


He is brilliant live, the comedian I've seen live the most, three times in three separate decades. It's a bit like Frank Skinner, a decade or so ago he was a regular on TV with his chat show, but these days while he doesn't have a regular TV vehicle he seems happy enough with his stand-up, his radio show and various panel shows and guest appearances.
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VMPhil10,241 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
I saw Harry's Sausage Time live show about 7 years ago and it was far and away the funniest comedy show I've ever been to. The whole thing was about 2 and a half hours long (with interval) and built and built and built to a surreal crescendo. It was utterly superb.

I saw him on the Sausage Time tour at the Liverpool Empire. At one point, he got someone in the front row to come on stage and, IIRC, jump on a mattress while Harry sang. About ten seconds into this, the man walked off stage, all the way round the back of the theatre and promptly left. Cue everyone being speechless and the man's name becoming a running gag for the rest of the night. To this day I wonder why you would get front row tickets to a Harry Hill gig if you're not happy with the idea of audience participation.
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adamiow178 posts since 2 Jul 2006
Real shame that they have not recommissioned Alien Fun Capsule - it was a great show. I would love a second series of Clubnite just for Harry's bit, as the quality of the acts was hit or miss, but I don't hold out much hope.

He was supposed to be doing a new show for Channel 4, Remote Controller, but there has been no news for a while so I guess it isn't happening.
Larry the Loafer5,763 posts since 2 Jul 2005
Granada North West Today
Real shame that they have not recommissioned Alien Fun Capsule - it was a great show. I would love a second series of Clubnite just for Harry's bit, as the quality of the acts was hit or miss, but I don't hold out much hope.

He was supposed to be doing a new show for Channel 4, Remote Controller, but there has been no news for a while so I guess it isn't happening.


I wouldn't be overly surprised to see Clubnite back given that post-Last Leg slot is often reserved for slightly less safe programming. The acts were definitely VERY hit and miss but it might look good for Channel 4 to keep a platform open to the neo-alternative scene (or whatever you call it).
kernow1,474 posts since 18 Jan 2006
I'm guessing the Saturday evening repeats of Shopping with Keith Lemon haven't been rating well, hence the shift from 10pm to post-midnight from this week.
kernow1,474 posts since 18 Jan 2006
I'm guessing the Saturday evening repeats of Shopping with Keith Lemon haven't been rating well, hence the shift from 10pm to post-midnight from this week.

How anyone likes that character just beggers belief.


I wonder if Through the Keyhole will be returning? There's normally a Christmas special followed by a series in January, but that hasn't happened this year.