Seasoned traveller Paul Merton begins another exclusive trek for Five. Though he's staying relatively closer to home than on previous trips, the intrepid explorer discovers that there's plenty about our European neighbours that still surprises, seduces and shocks. Join him as he shows us our continent as we've never seen it before.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Paul Merton in Europe - Paul Merton - Netflix
Paul James Martin (born 9 July 1957), known professionally as Paul Merton, is an English writer, actor, comedian, radio and television presenter. Known for his improvisation skill, Merton's humour is rooted in deadpan, surreal and sometimes dark comedy. He has been ranked by critics, fellow comedians and viewers to be among Britain's greatest comedians. He is well known for his regular appearances as a team captain on the BBC panel game Have I Got News for You, and as the former host of Room 101, as well as for several appearances on the original British version of the improvisational comedy television show Whose Line Is It Anyway? He appears as a panellist regularly on Radio 4's Just a Minute. He has also appeared as one of the Comedy Store's Comedy Store Players.
Paul Merton in Europe - Television - Netflix
He was rumoured to be a possible new host of Countdown to replace both Richard Whiteley and his successor, Des Lynam, but decided not to pursue this. Merton is a keen student of comedy, particularly the early silent comedians and in 2006, BBC Four broadcast Paul Merton's Silent Clowns, a four-part documentary series on the silent comedy craft of Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy and Harold Lloyd. Merton examined their respective careers, interspersed with moments from a live show in which he presented clips of their work. Among the audience were many children, who were seeing the performers for the first time. Merton took a stage version of this show to the 2006 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and in late 2007 took the show on a UK tour. A tie-in book was written by Merton and published by RH Books in late 2007. The Independent described it as “clearly a labour of love” but criticised the exhaustive and overly-thorough plot synopses of the films discussed. Paul Merton is set to open the third Yorkshire Silent Film Festival in Leeds on 08 May 2018 presenting films by Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy and Harold Lloyd along with live improvised piano by Neil Brand Also in 2007 he presented a four-part travel documentary, Paul Merton in China, which was broadcast on Five from 21 May 2007. His second travel series, Paul Merton in India was transmitted from 8 October 2008 on the same channel. A third series, Paul Merton in Europe began broadcasting on 11 January 2010, again on Five. In 2015 he was commissioned by More4 to present Paul Merton’s Secret Stations, a travel documentary series about some of Britain’s little-used request stop railway stations inspired by travel writer Dixe Wills' book Tiny Stations. Merton hosted the British version of Thank God You're Here, which aired on ITV in 2008. In 2009, Merton directed and presented a documentary on the British films of Alfred Hitchcock, in a series of star-presented documentaries on BBC Four. In May 2010, Merton temporarily co-presented The One Show for two weeks on Thursday after Adrian Chiles left the show. His three-part documentary series Paul Merton's Birth of Hollywood about the early history of Hollywood was broadcast in May 2011 on BBC2. In Merton's third TV series for 2011, Paul Merton's Adventures, he travels around the world going on popular tourist trails, but still manages to find some extraordinary things.
His breakthrough as a television performer came in 1988 with Channel 4's improvised comedy show Whose Line Is It Anyway?, which moved to TV from BBC Radio 4, though he had previously performed on the channel's Saturday Live and compered its series Comedy Wavelength in 1987. He remained on Whose Line until 1993. Have I Got News for You began in 1990, and two series of his own sketch show, Paul Merton: The Series, followed soon after. In 1995 he presented a documentary series celebrating the history of the London Palladium, entitled Paul Merton's Palladium Story. In 1996, Merton performed updated versions of fifteen of Ray Galton and Alan Simpson's old scripts for an ITV series, Paul Merton in Galton & Simpson's.... Six of these scripts were previously performed by Tony Hancock. These were very badly received by critics, and although a selection of episodes was initially released on VHS, it was not until June 2007 that the complete series was released on DVD. Also in 1996, Merton took a break from Have I Got News for You during its eleventh series, making only one appearance as a guest on fellow captain Ian Hislop's team. Merton later explained that at the time he was “very tired” of the show and that he thought it had become “stuck in a rut”. Nevertheless, he added that he felt his absence gave the programme the “shot in the arm” it needed and that it had been “better ever since”. In 2002, following allegations in the UK tabloids linking the show's chairman, Angus Deayton, with prostitutes and drug use, the host was asked to resign from the show. Merton hosted the first episode after Deayton's departure and was described as “merciless” in his treatment of his former co-star. In 1999 Merton replaced Nick Hancock as host of Room 101, a chat show in which guests are offered the chance to discuss their pet hates and consign them to the oblivion of Room 101. His first guest was Hancock. He hosted 64 editions. In 2007, his final guest was Ian Hislop (who became the first interviewee to appear twice, having also been on an edition with Hancock). Hislop's selections purposely included items that Merton was known to like, such as The Beatles and the films of Charlie Chaplin. Hislop's final choice was Merton himself, done to represent his departure from the show. Merton cast himself in the room to end the show, although on the condition that Hislop would go in with him. Merton is one of the recurring stars from the 4 ITV Pantos. His best role came in 1999, where Merton starred alongside Ronnie Corbett as one of the ugly sisters in ITV's Christmas pantomime of Cinderella. His other co-stars were Julian Clary, Samantha Janus, Ben Miller, Harry Hill, Frank Skinner and Alexander Armstrong. In the same year, to coincide with the launch of his first stand up tour in 10 years, and this is me...Paul Merton, he was given his own one hour South Bank Show special. The show charted his beginnings in the comedy business, to the development of his improvisational skills, his mental breakdown, and the popularity of Have I Got News For You.
Paul Merton in Europe - References - Netflix