‘We deserve better’: Jonathan Ross leaves ITV viewers cringing over pre-Oscars show

Ross joked that he assumed Robert Downey Jr would be playing Tony Stark in ‘Oppenheimer’, among other misfiring gags

Adam White
Monday 11 March 2024 07:27 GMT
Stars begin to arrive on 2024 Oscars red carpet

Jonathan Ross’s presenting of ITV’s Oscar coverage has been dubbed “hell on earth” and “a nightmare”.

The Academy Awards, which is taking place in Los Angeles, has returned to terrestrial television in the UK for the first time since 2004, when the annual ceremony was poached by Sky.

Ahead of the Jimmy Kimmel-fronted main event, Ross introduced ITV’s coverage of the night alongside a number of in-studio guests including actors Richard Armitage and Fay Ripley. But his jokes went down like a lead balloon among viewers, with many taking to Twitter to complain about his material.

Ross began the show by joking that the Oscars will this year include a “Best Hat” award, and that the award is believed to be “hotly contested between Oppenheimer and Napoleon”.

On Margot Robbie’s absence from the Best Actress nominations for Barbie, he joked that “it might have been because Sindy is on the judging panel” – in reference to the rival doll popular in the Seventies and Eighties.

Later, he praised Cillian Murphy’s performance in Oppenheimer, adding: “Or as I like to call the film, Nukey Blinders”. He also expressed his disappointment at discovering that Best Supporting Actor nominee Robert Downey Jr was playing government official Lewis Strauss in the film. “When I first heard about the film, I thought it would have included the Second World War being won after Oppeneimer and Einstein teamed up with Tony Stark and the rest of the Avengers”.

Jonathan Ross during the ITV pre-Oscar show (ITV)

On Twitter, viewers were quick to express their dismay at Ross’s comedy.

“Actually cringing at Jonathan Ross and his #Oscars commentary,” one person tweeted.

“Jonathan Eoss these jokes… my god,” wrote another.

“This Jonathan Ross ITV pre Academy Awards coverage is utterly painful,” tweeted journalist Harrison Brocklehurst. “Awful jokes, forced laughs from his few guests, HELL ON EARTH.”

“ITV inflicting Jonathan Ross on us for their Oscar coverage. We deserve better,” added another. One more tweeted: “Why oh why do I have to listen to Jonathan Ross, this is a nightmare.”

Follow along with all the latest Oscar news from the ceremony in our live blog here.

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