We Recommend: The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2011

Channel 4 have been running these end-of-the-year comedy panel shows since 2004 now, and frankly they sound like an awful idea. If there are two things we don't need more of over Christmas it's review-of-the-year shows and eggnog. But if there are three things, we can add in panel shows. But nevertheless, somehow the Big Fat Quiz of the Year always proves itself worth watching. Just maybe leave the eggnog in the bottle.
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Hosted by Jimmy Carr and running for around two hours (another two reasons to be put off!) the show somehow becomes far more than the sum of its parts. Much of this stems from the wonderful panels the show has featured: such as the year Noel Fielding and Russell Brand were on the same team, with the self-styled Goth Detectives eventually conspiring to win, despite getting all the answers wrong. Or when one team featured both Charlie Brooker and David Mitchell, who took the whole thing very, very seriously.

This year sees some new faces: Davids Mitchell and Walliams return, but are teamed with Eddie Izzard and Miranda Hart respectively. The third team features Jonathan Ross and Jamie Oliver. Yes I know. But somehow I have faith that Jamie Oliver won't ruin it. Or at least that the rest of the panel will take the mick out of him quite a lot and in an amusing way.

The one other potential fly in the ointment this year is well... this year. It's been a little depressing to say the least: Osama, Gadaffi, riots, economic collapse, the return of Big Brother... it'll be interesting to see if the show attempts to mine comedy from these or just avoids them entirely in favour of some of the more lighter stories.

Nevertheless, I shall be checking it out as it's a show that's always managed to pleasantly surprise me in the past.

The Big Fat Quiz of the Year airs at 9pm on 27 December 2011

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