Celebrity Juice is referred to as a game show with celebrities, but it is more accurately described as a comedy show with celebrities. The ringleader of this program is comedian Leigh Francis, who takes his throne between two “teams” of panelists and from there dispenses jokes to largely jovial panelists who take his ribbing in stride. Much of his verbal humor is crude or sardonic, although the comedy is delivered from several fronts. Visually, he is not above photoshopping scandalous pictures of his victims on the show or putting them in compromising physical contortions through his games.
Not to say that we should blame Francis for what happens on the show – the panelists surely know what they’re getting into when they agree to go on it. They all take it quite well, sarcastically standing toe-to-toe with their head panelist’s quips and putting all their energy into the little games. All told, it’s funny, it’s crude, it’s got celebrities making a mockery of themselves, and Francis’ over-the-top antics are surely hilarious for its target audience.
Given the success of the show in achieving its objectives of showing off celebrities in silly conversations and games, it’s no surprise that it’s been on for 16 seasons. It’s proven to be one of the strongest draws for home network ITV2. For its 2011 – 2013 seasons, it beat out its competitors on the channel significantly, delighting audiences of over 2 million with its lowbrow take on celebrity interviews. Strong viewership and several prizes at national entertainment award shows, such as BAFTA, were typical at that time. As of late, the situation has taken a darker turn for Juice, though, and its viewers oscillate between around 1.3 and 1.5 million for season 12 to season 15.
As for the response on the internet battlegrounds, the show has got plenty of votes in IMBD, suggesting that people don’t see it as just cheap background noise while they do their evening vacuuming as happens with many long-running talk shows. People are watching and having strong responses to it. Some praise the comedic timing and unrestrained attitude of Francis’ on-screen character Keith Lemon, whereas others liken it to crass filth sullying the good name of ITV. What is clear is that the show is generating strong interest, which means that its campaign to get into the national spotlight is working marvelously.
For his part, Francis is doing very well at remaining in the spotlight. Just in season 16, the media reported wildly on two scandalous incidents. The tabloids frequently report on his mischievous behavior on screen. Tulisa was recently given a hard time by the host in a September episode where he made risqué comments reminding the audience about an incident with a sex tape. He also called out Loose Women star Katie Price for being the most boring celebrity ever to grace his show and demanded she return and give #CJ the outgoing performance she gives on her home show. We’ll have to see if she’ll deign to come back in season 17 given the comments.
What are your opinions on the show? Do you think Leigh Francis is too mean to some of the contestants? Do you think he’ll be able to net more big name actors? Will Katie Price come back and finally give an entertaining performance?
There’s been no word of a season 17 yet. While the ratings are still decent, they continue to decline from their peak in the early 2010’s as the years roll by. It is probably that season 17 is on the horizon. If past patterns are to be trusted, we should see it in February 2017. Subscribe below for email updates on #CelebrityJuice. We’ll send you an email once season 17 is officially renewed or if the show is cancelled altogether.