Rob Beckett reveals why Alison Hammond has an ‘unfair’ advantage on his new panel show

Virgin Radio

28 Feb 2024, 11:07

Rob Beckett talks to Chris Evans at Virgin Radio

Comedy star Rob Beckett has spoken about how his pal Josh Widdicombe is “desperate to win” his new panel show, and Alison Hammond wants to make sure he doesn’t!

The stand-up joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with cinch ahead of the launch of hosting a brand new panel show, Rob Beckett’s Smart TV, which begins tomorrow (29th February) at 9pm on Sky Max and NOW.

He told Chris: “It's a proper quiz. You can play along at home as well. And it's really funny.”

The show was made by the creators of Never Mind the Buzzcocks. On being asked to host the series, he said: “Normally whenever they go, ‘Do you want to do a show? We've got some ideas for team captains,’ that's normally when I tap out, but they absolutely nailed it. They went ‘It's Josh Widdecombe, who I do the Parenting Hell podcast with, who I love, a friend of mine who I’ve been doing comedy with for 15 years. And then Alison Hammond, who I love. She’s unbelievable. 

“The best thing about panel shows is the dynamic. And Josh is obsessed by TV. He’s a bit of a TV nerd and so he's desperate to win the quiz. And Alison doesn't really care that much, but she really wants to make sure that Josh doesn't win.”

Rob continued: “We do have a Bake Off round that she was answering questions on, which felt unfair, and Big Brother, but it's hard to find a show she hasn't done! Strictly, she's done that, the jungle, This Morning, she's all over it.” 

Each week host Rob and team captains Josh and Alison are joined by actors, comics and presenters. “We had David Tennant on as well, David Morrissey from The Walking Dead, Cush Jumbo, all these proper, big actors,” Rob explained. “Richard Ayoade, Romesh, Jon Richardson were all on as well. So it's like a real mix. But what I found is, I thought the actors might be a bit serious, but they they see it as an opportunity just to go wild.”

The stars compete across a series of fun, chaotic rounds to see who knows the most about TV. Parenting Hell star Rob said: “There’s a great TV showdown round where we get somebody who's an expert on a show to go up against a whole other team. And so they were doing it on their desks, but they were winning a lot, because obviously they're obsessed by that show and the other team, even though there's three of them, may not know as much. But then I said, ‘Why don't we just make it more stressful?’, because we can't give them more knowledge, so we just put them really close to each other, face-to-face like a boxing staredown, and they just lose their head. It’s amazing.”

He added: “It's the equivalent of doing a pub quiz, but having to answer the questions in the urinal an inch from someone's nose.”

Rob is heading out on a new stand up tour, called Giraffe, in November. It runs until 2026! Read what he had to say about it here.

Rob Beckett’s Smart TV begins tomorrow (29th February) at 9pm on Sky Max and NOW. Giraffe tickets are available now at

For more great interviews listen to The Chris Evans Breakfast Show with cinch weekdays from 6:30am on Virgin Radio, or catch up on-demand here.