Axe Rhod Gilbert

BBC One drops comic's panel show

Ask Rhod Gilbert has been axed by the BBC.

Gilbert revealed the news in a podcast interview, in which he also suggested that he may quit stand-up to become a primary school teacher.

The comic did not seem particularly fazed by the cancellation of the BBC One panel show, which also featured Greg Davies and Lloyd Langford, following its second series in 2011.

‘They’ve canned [Ask Rhod Gilbert]’ he said on Stuart Goldsmith’s Comedian’s Comedian podcast recorded at the Edinburgh Fringe but only now released online. ‘I think panel shows are really hard and some of them are brutal experiences. You feel like you’ve been sodomised after them.’

He rejected the suggestion that stand-ups are ‘coasting’ by appearing on them, adding, ‘when I did something like Mock The Week … I don’t like it. It’s not me, I don’t write topical stuff, I don’t especially like the environment.

‘If you get 80 pages of notes two or three days before a show and you’ve got to try to write gags about things you’re not especially bothered about, it’s enough to just wade through the notes they’ve given us, without trying to write top-notch material about stuff. Coasting? My God, no. Absolutely not, it’s panic stations for a lot of them.’

Gilbert also revealed that he’s working on a new TV project with Davies for this year but didn’t say more. His management confirmed that it’s ‘still early stages and there is nothing concrete’. Independently, he is also writing a sitcom.

Reiterating how stressful he finds comedy and his ‘obsession’ with it, Gilbert also disclosed that he’s considered becoming a teacher, after trying the job for three days at Monnow Primary School near Newport, as part of his BBC One Wales series Rhod Gilbert’s Work Experience.

‘I just fell in love with it totally, to the point where I thought maybe there’s a change of career coming up’ he said.

‘I think you can get out of it, you can escape [comedy]. But ‘I know that if I go and teach, I could be just as obsessive about that and just as workaholic and throw myself into that.’

Filming on a fourth series of Work Experience begins next month

His management stressed that Gilbert has no plans to retire from stand-up in the ‘near future’. But he has pledged to return to the school, telling the Times Educational Supplement last year that ‘many teachers I know are tired, stressed, downtrodden, poorly rewarded, overworked, over-examined and league-tabled to within an inch of their lives.

‘All teachers should have government-funded personal masseuses, drivers and personal assistants to massage their shoulders on the way to school, rub their feet and grant them sexual favours … The rest of us should be doing this ... or, at least, the rest of us in society who are paid pointlessly large sums of money for doing sod all.’

Both Ask Rhod Gilbert and Rhod Gilbert’s Work Experience have provoked controversy for their perceived similarities to the Irish programmes Great Unanswered Questions and Des Bishop’s Work Experience.

- by Jay Richardson

Published: 22 Feb 2013

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