Interview: Michael McIntyre On The Wheel

Q&A with Michael McIntyre

What can you tell us about the new series?

High drama and hilarity is the best way I can describe the new series of The Wheel.

Which celebrity experts are taking part?

Lots of new famous faces spinning around on the new series with fun categories - Richard E Grant on Movies, Bill Bailey on Birds, John Bercow on Parliament, Claudia Winkleman on Art, Michael Ball on Musicals, Penny Lancaster on Rod Stewart is a fun one. And some returning guests like Dermot O'Leary on Jaws and Carol Vorderman on Maths. The Reverend Richard Coles didn't get spun in to answer a question on the first series, came back and didn't get spun in again!

Did any of the celebrities surprise you with their knowledge or lack of knowledge in subjects?

Big Narstie came on the show with his expert subject being 'Dogs' - all I can say is what he lacked in knowledge he more than made up for with humour. Peter Andre had a similarly disappointing but hilarious time on The Wheel. And Melvin Odoom who came bottom of the celebrity rankings in the first series had obviously been revising ever since.

If you were one of the experts sitting on The Wheel, what would your specialist subject be and why?

I genuinely seem to have no particular area of expertise. I am useless at trivia and never know the answer to any of the questions on The Wheel. Even when I watch the shows back with my family when they're on TV I forget what the answer was.

Where you surprised at the reaction to the first series?

We made the first series in the pre-vaccine time of the pandemic when things were even more uncertain than they are now. It was so exciting to be working again with a semblance of normality. I loved the show from the very first recording and am so pleased that it was not only an instant success but continues to grow in popularity as viewers see how many exciting variations in gameplay there can be.

Michael McIntyre presents gameshow The Wheel, wearing a dark suit jacket and a maroon shirt.

Do you enjoy hosting a gameshow?

Before the pandemic I had no plans to ever host a gameshow. Unique circumstances lead to the creation and hosting of this show and totally unexpectedly I think this might end up being the best vehicle for me. There is so much for me to play with comedically on The Wheel; the celebs, their subjects, the contestants, the questions. I also get to dance. What's not to like?

Did you help create that catchy theme tune?

I remember being sent all the options for the theme tune and being very apprehensive about listening to them as, not only is it very hard to like any music until you've heard it a few times, I also expected the suggestions to be so cheesy I wouldn't like any of them. I actually ignored the email for a while but then played the would-be them tunes in the car with my whole family to listen to on the way to a staycation. Predictably we were all cringing and laughing throughout the embarrassing options, but as soon as we all heard this one the car went silent and my wife said, "that's actually brilliant". We then we all spent the whole holiday singing The Wheel to each other. It's everything a theme tune should be.

Some of the contestants have said that watching The Wheel helped them during lockdown, how did this make you feel?

Lockdown was such a bizarre time for so many. Whether it be families with young children trying to get through the day or people living alone - it was a difficult and scary time especially when watching the news on TV. So to have something new on TV that was a distraction was much needed. I've had lots of people approach me saying they found salvation watching The Wheel or my stand-up and that has been amazing to hear.

What do you hope viewers will take away from the show?

For me the Holy Grail of great TV is to make viewers laugh and cry, the full spectrum of emotion. That's what I tried to do on The Big Show and it can be the same on The Wheel as there's lots of laughs as well as highly dramatic gameplay.

Can you describe The Wheel in three words?

Spinning, Laughs, Drama.

The Wheel, Saturdays from November 13, 8pm, BBC One.


Interview supplied by BBC.

Picture: Hungry Bear



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