He's gruff, he's gorgeous, and he's very very funny.
Yes, I'm talking about Rhod Gilbert. A man who allowed me to fall in love with his comedy after a mere minute of raging in his Welsh tone. When I noticed BBC were bringing us a 'Gilbert-packed' comedy panel show in the form of 'Ask Rhod Gilbert', I was ecstatic. I'd made my mind up prior to it's air date - it was going to be incredible. Was it going to live up to the high expectations I had set it though?
In short: yes. It very much did. The BBC seem to churn out a lot of panel based comedy shows - 'Mock the Week' and 'QI' to name just a few - and while most are brilliant, there are a few bruised apples in the bunch. I did fear that the show in question was going to be part of the latter group of shows, but thankfully it turned out to be polished shiny.
The format of the show is nothing too complicated - you have some questions set at the beginning, ones which certain celebrities would perhaps ask if they were to appear on the show. Most are a little random, and at the same time quite appropriate to the celebrity, and this alone provides some humour before any of the panelists have even shared their comic views. The audience have a turn to ask questions, and again this brings more randomness to mix up the entertainment.
While the panelists are answering the questions in their own ways, there's a lead researcher perched at a desk to Rhod's right, 'researching' to find a possible correct answer to said questions. This is a nice little feature, albeit not essential, and gives the show a little extra zing. In the first episode, this lead researcher came in the form of Kate Silverton, with the two guest panelists being Amanda Byram and Jo Brand. Brand especially provided a large dollop of hilarity with her views on eating meat.
The two wonderfuls Greg Davies and Lloyd Langford are our two regular panelists, so it's a delight that they both provide a lot of laughter. Rhod himself of course spilled jokes and lines throughout the forty minute episode that kept the viewer intently listening and hungry for more.
Viewers have an opportunity to get involved on Twitter, by tweeting a question to the show using the hashtag #askrhod, which then gives them the added excitement of hoping that their question will be answered on the following week's show. In all, the delightful atmosphere the studio set out, when intertwined with the selection of panelists, created a lovely show that was nothing but enjoyale. The aching cheeks, the split sides and the warm fuzzy feeling I was left with completes the package of perfection which 'Ask Rhod Gilbert' delivered.