The Paul O'Grady Show

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The Paul O'Grady Show
Paul O'Grady Show.png
Title card (2008–09)
GenreEntertainment
FormatChat Show/Variety
Presented byPaul O'Grady
Voices ofPeter Dickson
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series10
No. of episodes929
Production
Executive producer(s)Robert Gray
Paul O'Grady
Location(s)The London Studios
Running time60 minutes (inc. advertisements)
Production company(s)Granada Television (ITV)
Olga TV (Channel 4)
Broadcast
Original channelITV (11 October 2004 – 23 December 2005)
Channel 4 (27 March 2006 – 18 December 2009)
Picture format576i (16:9 SDTV)
Original run11 October 2004 (2004-10-11) – 18 December 2009 (2009-12-18)
Chronology
Related showsToday with Des and Mel (2002–06)
The 5 O'Clock Show (2010)
Paul O'Grady Live (2010–11)
Fern (2011)
External links
Website
 
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The Paul O'Grady Show
Paul O'Grady Show.png
Title card (2008–09)
GenreEntertainment
FormatChat Show/Variety
Presented byPaul O'Grady
Voices ofPeter Dickson
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series10
No. of episodes929
Production
Executive producer(s)Robert Gray
Paul O'Grady
Location(s)The London Studios
Running time60 minutes (inc. advertisements)
Production company(s)Granada Television (ITV)
Olga TV (Channel 4)
Broadcast
Original channelITV (11 October 2004 – 23 December 2005)
Channel 4 (27 March 2006 – 18 December 2009)
Picture format576i (16:9 SDTV)
Original run11 October 2004 (2004-10-11) – 18 December 2009 (2009-12-18)
Chronology
Related showsToday with Des and Mel (2002–06)
The 5 O'Clock Show (2010)
Paul O'Grady Live (2010–11)
Fern (2011)
External links
Website

The Paul O'Grady Show is a British comedy chat show hosted by Birkenhead-born comedian Paul O'Grady. The format was originally devised by Granada Television and was broadcast on ITV before moving to Channel 4. The programme is a teatime chat show that consists of a mixture of celebrity guests, comic stunts, musical performances, and occasionally viewer competitions.

Contents

Show outline

The show ran weekdays, Monday to Friday, from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm, and has its last run on Channel 4. Each episode usually followed the same format: O'Grady was introduced, and walked to his desk with one of his pet dogs; Buster (a Shih Tzu/Bichon Frise cross), or Olga (a Cairn Terrier). O'Grady then read out viewers' letters, sometimes with disgust at the things viewers have sent (which included vibrating soap, a viewer's dead goldfish wrapped in tissue, knitting poo, and children's letters asking if Paul wears a wig or dentures).

The remainder of the programme usually consisted of interviews with two celebrity guests. Some episodes ended with a performance by the "Paul O'Grady Players". Children were also featured in segments of the show such as reviewing toys, games and films, or demonstrating skills (such as speed cup stacking).

The show was originally broadcast live, but was later filmed at The London Studios.[1]

2004–05: First incarnation

The original titlecard from the ITV series; used 2004–05

ITV commissioned The Paul O'Grady Show following O'Grady's appearance as a guest presenter for the (somewhat similar formatted) lunch-time entertainment show Today with Des and Mel (now defunct). ITV management were so impressed by his initial standing in—a last minute replacement for Des O'Connor—that he was brought back several more times to stand in for O'Connor, and subsequently O'Grady was given his own show (O'Grady also became good friends with co-presenter Melanie Sykes, who has since stood in for him on O'Grady's own show on occasion).

The series began broadcasting on ITV in October 2004, and had been greeted by ITV as the saviour of its 5–6 pm slot. The broadcaster previously had trouble filling the slot with a popular programme, with failed attempts including two daytime soap operas: Night and Day and Crossroads (the latter a revival of the soap which had been cancelled in 1988).

Guess the Tune (known as The Organ Game on the Channel 4 edition), a phone-in-competition where O'Grady plays tunes on his organ and the contestant has to guess them correctly to win up to £2000, became a popular feature of the programme. The tune that O'Grady played leading into the game was a truncated version of "Sing As We Go", by Gracie Fields. Also a stalwart of the show was O'Grady's Shih Tzu/bichon frise cross[2] dog, Buster, who appeared for a full five minutes at the start of each programme since the ITV incarnation of the show.

2006–09: Second incarnation

The New Paul O'Grady Show titlecard; used 2006–2007
The Paul O'Grady Show titlecard; used 2007–2008

On 10 January 2006, in a shock announcement, O'Grady said that he had decided to leave ITV for Channel 4, following a dispute between O'Grady and Granada Television (who made The Paul O'Grady Show for ITV) after Granada 'forgot' to renew O'Grady's ITV contract.[3] O'Grady was believed to have left ITV not only due to his contract renewal issues nor his salary, but rather he wanted more creative control over the show (Granada had promptly refused when the show was under their production). His own television production company, Olga TV (named after one of his pet dogs), subsequently took over production of the programme.

ITV informed O'Grady that they were unhappy with his move to Channel 4, and he became entrenched in an ongoing dispute with the broadcaster regarding the use of the same set design, props, and names.

The programme was renamed The New Paul O'Grady Show and began airing on Channel 4 in March 2006, in the same 5:00–6:00 pm early evening slot, alternating in this slot every three months or so with Richard & Judy. When this new series started on Channel 4, ITV decided to air repeats of the original show in the same slot (this is partly why the Channel 4 show adopted the name The New Paul O'Grady Show). However, ITV quickly abandoned this after these repeats attracted just less than a million viewers (and was decreasing), while the new Channel 4 show was gaining over 3 million viewers.

The Paul O'Grady Show was broadcast live on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays at 5:00 pm. Thursday's and Friday's episode are pre-recorded on the Tuesday and Wednesday of that week, respectively, at 12:30 pm (the same set-up occurred when the programme was under Granada's production).[4]

Series 1

The first Channel 4 series of The New Paul O'Grady Show began airing on 27 March 2006 and ran until 16 June 2006 (repeats of the show were broadcast on More4 the following lunchtime). The new show was recorded at the BBC Television Centre instead of the original home, The London Studios, due to an apparent dispute with ITV.

Series 2

The second series was planned to start on 4 September 2006, but was pushed back to 25 September due to O'Grady suffering a second heart attack. The second series ran until 26 January 2007.

Buster did not appear for the first two weeks due to a serious eye infection, so O'Grady's other pet dog Olga took his place instead. On 16 January 2007, viewers noticed that instead of the scheduled live show, a repeat show was aired instead. This was due to O'Grady pulling out of the show at the last minute due to illness, later discovered as a sickness bug.[5] O'Grady returned live the next day.

Series 3

The show returned for the seventh series (the third on Channel 4) on 17 September 2007, running until December of that year. The New from the show title was dropped from this series and the show went back to its original ITV title. The show's opening titles were retinted red, and subsequently the set backdrop was made red. The programme returned to The London Studios from BBC Television Centre.

Following news of premium rate phone in scandals, The Organ Game was suspended (as it relied on people calling in to enter the game). On the first episode of the new series (broadcast on 17 September 2007), Paul went over to play The Organ Game near the end of the show to find it tied up and him unable to use it. He invited viewers to telephone or e-mail Channel 4 bosses to allow him to play the phone-in game. On 22 October 2007, O'Grady announced on his show that The Organ Game would be returning; however there were only four special organ games leading up to Christmas, primarily for people who deserve the cash prize being offered (the phone line entries which used to be on the show have remained suspended). On 19 November 2007, the first of the four special Organ Games aired.[6]

Series 4

The fourth series began on 17 March 2008. The new series ran throughout the spring until 16 June 2008, at which point Richard & Judy returned for its last series. The studio set was given a slight revamp with added studio lights on the floor and walls.

On Tuesday, 15 April 2008, Melanie Sykes hosted the show, although it was not announced that she would be hosting. Sykes informed the audience that O'Grady was ill with the flu, and as such was unable to present. Sykes hosted that week's shows before O'Grady returned on Monday 21 April. However, O'Grady hadn't fully recovered, and Sykes had to be called in to do the following show on Tuesday. It was announced that Lorraine Kelly would host Wednesday's show, Brian Conley would host Thursday's show, and Shane Richie would host Friday's show. O'Grady finally returned on 28 April 2008.

Series 5

The new series returned on Monday 22 September 2008 for a new series which ended on Friday 19 December 2008. Brand new titles were introduced as well as a slight revamp to the set.

Series 6

Series 6 of the show began on Channel 4 on 23 February 2009[7] and concluded its run on Friday 22 May 2009.

Series 7

Series 7 of the show began on Channel 4 on 21 September 2009. The series concluded on 18 December 2009 and was the last to air on Channel 4. During this series, it was announced that the popular pet, Buster, had retired, and on 23 November it was announced that Buster had died aged fourteen on 19 November 2009. A spokesman for the comedian confirmed the news by telling The Mirror that O'Grady is "absolutely gutted".

On Friday 18 December 2009, O'Grady presented his final ever show with an array of special guests Beverley Callard and William Roache OBE and surprise guests including Honor Blackman, Natalie Cassidy, JLS, Scott Maslen, Joe McFadden, Linda Thorson, Melanie Sykes, Catherine Tate (appearing as Joannie "Nan" Taylor), Kate Thornton and The Teletubbies. Plus, other celebrities including Kim Cattrall, Mark Linn-Baker, Whoopi Goldberg, Jonas Brothers, Alan Menken, Stephen Collins and Enrique Iglesias. O'Grady's own daughter, her partner and his grandchildren made special good luck VTs to say goodbye to O'Grady. All of O'Grady's best bits were also shown, as was the viewers' favourite ever clip of the show.

Other

Guests

For the full guest list, see List of guests on The Paul O'Grady Show

Stand-in hosts

While recovering from his heart attack, Channel 4 insisted O'Grady should take a week off from presenting the show. His first break occurred from 23 to 27 October 2006 and guest presenters hosted the programme a day each. Since then, there have been three more scheduled guest-hosted weeks and in total there have been 27 different celebrity guest hosts.

In April 2008, there were two unscheduled guest-hosted weeks. O'Grady hosted the Monday show during these two weeks, but was taken ill after contracting a flu virus for the remainder of the weeks. Melanie Sykes guest-hosted five of the eight remaining shows, having previously hosted the show three times. In total she has been stand-in host 7 times.

On 15 October 2009, O'Grady had to go to the dentist for some dental work with Joe Pasquale standing in for him.

2006

2007

2008

2009[8]

The Paul O'Grady players annual pantomime

Every year, the show had an annual Christmas pantomime. Roughly 15 guest stars appeared in the panto. There was always one narrator, which told the story throughout the panto. This had been Antony Cotton, Dawn French, Kate Thornton, Sandi Toksvig and Stephen Fry. The panto run roughly for the whole show, with usually five minutes left at the end when O'Grady and the stars answered the questions that have been e-mailed in by the viewers. However, in the 2006 panto, Peter Pan, the panto only ran for roughly 40 minutes, ending around 5.40 pm. After this, O'Grady interviewed Dawn French, who was the narrator, as he would do on a normal show. There was then, as usual, the organ game and O'Grady and all the stars then answered e-mails sent in by the viewers. The panto was always on the last Wednesday before Christmas, this means that it was always broadcast live. The pantos were:

Jo Brand is the only celebrity who appeared in the panto every year. O'Grady thanked Brand for her appearance in every annual panto on the show after the fifth and final panto on 14 December 2009.

Animals

O'Grady's use of animals has often been the target of criticism,[citation needed] citing it cruel to expose his pet dogs (in particular Buster) to harsh studio lighting for up to 55 minutes per day. However, his dogs only usually appear in the first part of the show for around 7–8 minutes.

The show regularly features animals other than O'Grady's pet dogs, such as a homeless animal feature, where animal rescue shelters bring in homeless pets in order to find them homes.

O'Grady currently has three pet dogs; Olga, who is a black Cairn Terrier and was adopted from the homeless animals feature on the show. Louie (short for Lucifer), and Bullseye who was also recently adopted from the show.

Buster, who had worked beside O'Grady for 15 years, featured in his last ever show on 11 November 2009, and officially retired after 15 years of working with Paul. Buster was put to sleep on 19 November 2009, after suffering from cancer. This was announced on 23 November 2009 by O'Grady on the show. O'Grady decided that putting him to sleep was the kindest approach "It was the kindest thing to do. Keeping him would be selfish."[10]

Buster was popular on the show, and a limited edition Nodding Buster toy was produced and given out as a consolation prize, and thereafter as a prize from the tombola draw. In November 2008, Paul revealed that a Nodding Olga toy was to be produced. O'Grady alluded that Bullseye would be taking over from Buster once fully trained.

In total, O'Grady has 28 pets, which he mentioned on his show when responding to a viewer's question.

Guest appearances

The Paul O'Grady Show appeared in a series three episode of The Catherine Tate Show, where Tate's character Joannie "Nan" Taylor made an appearance. Originally she acted very sweet, but later revealed her true colours. When O'Grady mentioned that they had replaced Joannie's old chair with a new one and placed it in her flat, she became enraged at them for intruding her flat. Nan started swearing and walked off the set, much to the disgust of O'Grady.

Controversies

See also

References

External links