Paddy McGuinness shares his pre-show rituals, tells us how fans get it so wrong and why he’s ready to spill his secrets
When you hear the catchphrase ‘No likey, no lighty!’ you instantly think of Lancashire’s finest Paddy McGuinness. Not only is the Take Me Out host funny, he’s got a handful of showbiz pals, a beautiful family – wife Christine and their children, five-year-old twins Penelope and Leo and Felicity, two – and last week he landed the prestigious team captain role on Celebrity Juice, replacing Fearne ‘Giant Nostrils’ Cotton.
He’s sought after, so what’s his secret? We caught up with the comedian-turned-TV presenter ahead of his new BBC1 game show Catchpoint to find out.
Hi, Paddy! Tell us about your new show…
It’s so simple. It’s just answering questions and catching balls, as totally mad as that sounds. The questions could be as random as ‘which of these breeds of dogs is the same weight as a shot put?’ Or having to guess where the next musical notes are going to land. Two couples take it in turns and then it’ll get to the point when one couple has won more money than the other couple, so they’ll go through to the final and then it’s just them on their own. Good, eh?
Have you had a go?
The first time I did it I walked on set giving it ‘Charlie Big Time.’
I went, ‘Yeah, go on, let one go!’ and I just totally missed it. That was a good start and was when I realised it’s more difficult than it looks. Strangely enough, as long as you catch the ball, you can still win the money, even if you get the question wrong.
Does it get really chaotic with balls flying everywhere?
Yeah, it does. Even while I’m hosting, they’ll start dropping down. But I like that chaotic element. If we do a celebrity version, it would be good to have a few cricketers, that way, if they don’t catch the ball, you can absolutely rinse them.
Take Me Out, Top Gear and last week you started filming Celebrity Juice – why work on such a variety of shows?
I been working for 20 years now and I feel the reason I’ve been doing it so long is because of that. I can turn my hand to a number of things and it keeps it interesting for me and for the viewers. If you pigeonhole yourself into being just a presenter or just an actor or just a comedian or just a writer, you know, you’re limiting yourself, sometimes. So I like having a few strings to my bow.
Do you have any pre-recording rituals?
I get nervous before everything I do. That’s quite a nice thing to have or otherwise you’ll get complacent. I have five minutes on my own before I go out because it’s just a bit manic, so I try to get everyone out for the way so I can gather my thoughts. But I don’t have lucky socks or underpants or anything!
Is there a catchphrase on your new game show?
No, I mean it is called Catchpoint and catching the ball is basically the point! The title says it all so it doesn’t really need a catchphrase.
When you’re out and about, do you get a lot of people shouting them at you?
People get a bit nervous and try to say a catchphrase, but then they get it completely wrong! But it’s always a nice experience. For me, personally, I take it as a massive compliment that the catchphrases are part of the culture now.
What’s your favourite ever game show?
When I was a kid, I loved to watch Larry Grayson do The Generation Game because my mum really liked it and she’d be laughing and I’d be laughing, so them kind of memories.
Does work take you away from home?
I’m lucky because in my job you do these jobs that are on telly for like, two months at a time, but you can get them all filmed in the space of three or four days, so I can go do a block of work and then go back home and carry on having a normal family life.
What else is left in your broadcasting bucket list?
I’ve not done a book yet, so that’s something I might look at in the next year. I’d be interested in writing a life story. I feel as though at 45, I have a bit of experience now. When I see people who write their life stories at 20, they’ve not had a life, but I feel I’m just at the right age to start.
Warts and all?
I honestly don’t know how I’d approach it or where I’d start my book. Do I start at my childhood or write about the entertainment industry now?
I’d have to have a proper sit down and think about that!
Catchpoint begins on Saturday 23 March on BBC1