Deja vu as Ross returns with identical chat show
Talking Point: ITV show is exactly the same as before, but with annoying ad breaks and no poofs
Jonathan Ross's new chat show on ITV, which debuted last night, may be on a different channel and a different day from his old BBC Friday night series, but according to the critics the programmes are practically identical… though that should not put you off.
"The producers of The Jonathan Ross Show have been nothing if not cowardly," writes the Telegraph's Serena Davies, pointing out that ITV had plumped for "precisely the same format" as the popular BBC show: an opening routine of topical jokes, interviews with three guests (one of whom performs), a live feed to the green room and a string of witty intermissions from Ross.
Not that this is necessarily a criticism. 'Wossy' has been largely absent from our screens since leaving the BBC last year in the wake of 'Sachsgate' and according to Davies there is "nothing like absence to make the heart grow fonder". The show was an "enjoyable hour: the cringe-worthy moments weren't too numerous," she wrote, before noting with surprise: "Ross even made a funny joke at one point".
Other reviewers were in general agreement as they watched Ross host Sarah Jessica Parker, Lewis Hamilton and Adele. "Ross is back" wrote the Independent's Nick Duerden. "Same-ish hair, similar suit, different desk, but identical format".
There had been fears that Ross's risque humour might be curbed by ITV, but according to Duerden little had changed. "He made a joke about Lord Sugar's scrotum, and boasted: 'I've learnt nothing!' But then this is a relief. You don't tune in to Jonathan Ross expecting Adrian Chiles, do you?"
The Metro's Christopher Hooton was worried by the new backdrop of a dark city skyline. "The whole set design is so reminiscent of the shows of Letterman and Leno as to be almost un-British and there is a slight dissonance between the very US-style set design and the unmistakably English bawdy jokes that Ross is famous for."
There were other small changes. Ross's house band on BBC – Four Poofs and a Piano – had not survived the channel switch, while the advert interruptions irked some Twitter users. "Was so shocked when the Jonathan Ross show went to an ad break," tweeted one person. "It's not the same on ITV." Overall, critics disagreed: this may be a new show, but it's the same old Jonathan Ross. ·
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