Popworld, Channel 4

by | Sep 17, 2005 | All, Reviews

What to say if you liked it

By a long way, the best TV pop show we have at the moment.

What to say if you didn’t like it

TV pop shows should all be bland, homogenised and easy to digest. They should have no sense of self-awareness, feature the same acts as every other pop show, credit the audience with no intelligence whatsoever and remember to suck up to all the self promoting celebrities that appear on it.

What was good about it?

• The “odd couple” pairing of goofy joker Simon Amstell and sassy tomboy Miquita Oliver. Both are good presenters and personalities in their own right, and their differences compliment each other rather than compete with each other.

• They celebrated moving to Saturday mornings with a brass band parade and some breakdancing. “Now we’re going to get as many viewers as a Friends repeat,” Amstell bragged

• The New Releases, reviewed by John Lydon. He hated all of them. Our favourite comment was on Damien Marley: “He looks like some posh Rasta man that came out of Oxford University.”

• The Arctic Monkeys we’re marvellous. I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor is an amazing song. With any luck they should be huge.

• Other highlights were Ladytron’s lovely snowy video for Destroy Everything You Touch, Hard-Fi’s Living For The Weekend (great performance, great song), and even Liberty X’s Song For Lovers is growing on us.

• Miquita introducing Hard Fi’s Living For The Weekend: “It’s all about how much people work in the week then it’s the weekend, and then it’s Monday – it’s the same, monotonous circle of life. But in a happy, joyful way, with guitars and everything!”

• The Big Ones with Sean Paul. The humorous and utterly random questions asked always makes this segment fun to watch. We learned that Sean Paul’s favourite magician is Houdini and his favourite religion is Hare Krishna. Surprisingly he came across really well; his new single is awful, though.

• Cup My Ballots, a section in which Amstell asked Franz Ferdinand questions allegedly taken from three male plumbers, a woman with a verruca, Simon Amstell’s mum and “a man with only four toes, but nice shoes which certainly made up for it”.

• Mutya from the Sugababes named the father of her child as “Jay”. When she confirmed he wasn’t a pop star, Amstell replied “Then he should have a surname”.

• Amstell managing the near impossible task of making an interview with Jamie Cullum seem entertaining. He told him that critics have called the release of Cullum and Katie Melua’s albums on the same day “the battle of the blands” and asked him whether he preferred being called “a jazz hobbit, a jazz pervert or a little pianist?”

• The new title sequence and set design has a far less gaudy colour scheme than before (it was yellow, blue and pink; now it’s red, orange and yellow).

* There’s A Rat In McCutcheon – a segment in which questions are hidden in a rat-infested effigy of “TV and film starlet” Martine McCutcheon, the kind of wonderfully bizarre moment we’ve come to expect from Popworld.

What was bad about it?

• The Audio Bullys’ I’m In Love. With the remix/brutal murder of Nancy Sinatra’s Bang Bang already on their criminal record, their second offence is flogging this cheap imitation of The Streets’ Dry Your Eyes.

• Jamie Cullum’s tedious new single Get Your Way, which is “about sex” and is accompanied by an “abstract” video which looks like an Argos Christmas advert.

• The live performances are still overdressed. We’d be much happier seeing the bands just perform their song rather than be detracted by glossy, over-zealous production.

• Heidi from the Sugababes was very dull. She would like to have three children with her boyfriend, useless ex-CD:UK presenter Dave Berry, and thinks Girls Aloud are “really nice”.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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