Archive | March, 2011

Buzzcocks In A Field!

31 Mar
© Phill Jupitus

A live version of the BBC TV show Never Mind The Buzzcocks is to be played out at this summer’s Latitude festival.

Comedian David O’Doherty will host the festival version of the the music panel show with Noel Fielding and Phill Jupitus reprising their TV roles as team captains.

The show will take place in the Comedy Arena on the Saturday morning of the festival, which takes place on the Henham Park Estate in Southwold, Suffolk, July 14th -17th.


Latitude tickets cost from £170 for the full four day experience or from £70 for a day pass, so if you fancy experiencing Buzzcocks live, it’s time to start saving up!  You can purchase tickets from the Latitude website here.   For the full line-up click here and for more general information click there.

High Times For Fulcher

31 Mar

A few weeks ago we announced that Rich Fulcher would be appearing High Road, an improvised comedy feature film directed by Matt Walsh (of UCB fame).

The trailer for the film is now up on youtube.  It includes a fleeting glimpse of Rich, who plays the part of an Eleanor-esque cross-dressing Dad.  Helloooooo!

For more information about the movie and to view back-stage pictures of the cast, visit High Road’s facebook page.  You can  also watch a film of  of cast members discussing the deeply-philosphical ‘Triangle Theory’ by clicking here.  Rich appears briefly at 1:25.

Shelter And The Shaman

30 Mar

Homelessness charity Shelter is launching a campaign featuring Mike Fielding and comedian Sean Lock to highlight the risks posed by rogue private sector landlords.  Green Wing and The Office actors, Oliver Chris and Sally Bretton, also appear in the campaign film.

It’s part of wider campaign to lobby the government about landlords taking advantage of the boom in renting without providing safe housing. Mike plays a cameo of an evicted tenant – look out for him at 03:50:

To read more about Shelter’s new campaign and to sign their petition against rogue landlords, visit the Shelter facebook page.


The London Comedy Writer’s Festival: TVO Tickets!

30 Mar

© Bruno Vincent, Colin Hoult/Dawn Sedgewick Management, Jacqueline Wright, Mrs Popper, London Comedy Writers Festival

It’s not too late to buy tickets to the London Comedy Writers Festival, which takes place between April 8th-10th and features lots of TVO favourites.

The Festival will gather some of the biggest names in British comedy under one roof, providing a perfect opportunity for budding writers to learn from the best, and this includes the likes of Alice Lowe, Jacqueline Wright, Colin Hoult, Jessica Hynes and Robert Popper to name but a few!

Also joining the star studded line-up are the likes of  Griff Rhys Jones, Stephen Mangan, Rhona Cameron, Paul Jackson, Jon Plowman and the creators of Red Dwarf, Rob Grant & Doug Naylor.  The producer of Booshniverse-graced comedies Time Trumpet and Dick And Dom’s Funny Business, Natalie Bailey; Horrible Histories writer Dave Cohen and IT Crowd writer Andrew Ellard, will also be on hand with invaluable tales of the business.






As mentioned recently, the organizers of this incredible event have very kindly offered us a special ticket offer for any of our readers who fancy going along.

Tickets for the entire weekend usually cost £149, but TVO is able to offer you a £25discount, AND the LCWF team will very kindly donate £5 to Comic Relief for every ticket we sell!

To purchase tickets with our discount attached, visit their official website and enter the promotional code:



The festival promises to be a great event, and we’ll hopefully be bringing you further coverage of our TVO flavoured acts involved in the run-up to the weekend.  If any of our peelers take up this fantastic offer, please contact us as we’d love to hear from you!

For the full list of speakers, see this earlier peeling.

Take Berry’s Hand

30 Mar
© Acid Jazz

Following the success of Witchazel, Matt Berry releases his first single off the album early next month.

The upcoming single Take My Hand is released on 7″ vinyl on April 4th and comes with the B-side Gather Up. An MP3 download of the single will be follow at various online retailers including Amazon UK and yes, its American counterpart!

Matt has mentioned two videos for the songs will be released in April. As soon as we at The Velvet Onion know more about this, we will let you know.

As previously mentioned, if you wish to  see (and hear!) the amazing Matt Berry live, he is engaging on a short tour later next month:

Leeds, The Cockpit                             Thursday 21st April
Nottingham, Rescue Rooms            Saturday 23rd April
Bristol, Thekla                                       Sunday 24th April
Southampton, The Soul Cellar       Monday 25th April
London, The Relentless Garage     Tuesday 26th April

For more details regarding the shows and tickets click here.

Finally, on the off chance that you still don’t have Witchazel, you can purchase it from The Velvet Onion Amazon Store on various formats now… and don’t forget to participate in the Matt Berry design competition whilst you wait for it to arrive!

Fielding Donates To Japan

29 Mar

© Mog

After the natural disasters that took place in Japan last week, London’s famous pub The Hoxton Pony is playing host to a fundraiser this Thursday 31st March, in support of Japan’s recovery from the tsunami.

Noel Fielding has donated some (at the moment unknown) items for a raffle that will take place on the night, along with Patrick Wolf, Eliza Doolittle and more. There will also be performances from several artists such as The Subways and Goldierocks. The night then continues until 3am with a plethora of DJ’s!

Tickets are £10 and all proceeds go to Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal. You can get your tickets here yonder.


Hoult From The Vaults

28 Mar
Colin and Fergus


We’ve just noticed that Colin Hoult’s radio series with former partner in crime Fergus Craig from a few years ago is being repeated on BBC Radio 7.

It’s the second series of Colin and Fergus’s Digi Radio, dating back to 2007, and the repeats are currently around half way through the series.   We’re just a bit gutted we managed to let this one slip through the net, but thankfully you can still catch the latest episode on iplayer – with the remaining episodes broadcasting on Sunday evenings at 11.30pm.

There’s also an interesting archive interview, from 2006, with Colin and Fergus on the BBC 7 website – and if you missed it recently, you can catch TVO’s own exclusive interview with Mr Hoult right here!

Second-Chance Celebrity Fulcher

27 Mar

© Mog

Last week we had one of those moments which makes our hearts sink at TVO Towers.  Through tweets from Rich Fulcher and several others, we worked out that he’d performed the previous night at The Upright Citzens Brigade Theatre in California.  Once we’d worked out the time difference between the UK and West Coast America, we kicked ourselves that we’d discovered it too late to you know about the show before it took place.  We’re very sorry.

It looks like we’ve been given a second chance, however, because Rich is scheduled to appear for a second time at UCB Theatre on Sunday, 17th April! Once again, Rich will performing with UCB founder, Matt Walsh, in a show entitled Celebrity. On the UCB Theatre website it’s described as “a brand new game show from the minds of Matt Walsh and Rich Fulcher”, so perhaps this will turn into a regular night.

The show starts at 9.30pm, and tickets are only $5. You can book by clicking here. Enjoy!

O’ Dowd in “Racy” Drama

27 Mar


Chris O’Dowd will be appearing in a new BBC drama that starts later this month called The Crimson Petal and The White. He appears as part of an all-star cast including Gillian Anderson, Richard E Grant, Mark Gatiss and Romola Garai.

The four-part adaptation of the best-selling novel by Michael Faber tells the story of the relationship between a clever Victorian prostitute and a wealthy but insecure industrialist with an ailing wife. According to The Guardian it features “numerous racy sex scenes” and is the first fruit output BBC2’s drama budget was tripled (at a time when the corporation faces a 20% cut in its budget).  BBC drama controller, Ben Stephenson said, “This marks the beginning of the story – the re-emergence of drama on BBC2.”

For more information about the series, visit BBC2’s website here.


Barratt At Warwick

26 Mar
© Warwick Arts Centre

There’s a chance for lucky Midlands Peelers to catch Julian Barratt in The Government Inspector  before it opens at The Young Vic in London!

The show will run from Monday 23 – Saturday 28 May 2011 at 7.30pm, with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. For tickets and more information click here.

Editors note: thanks to Sarah for the information

Critical Community Studies

25 Mar

As we reported in January, Richard Ayoade directed an episode of the American hit TV-show Community. Last night that very episode premièred!


Community is an American television comedy series on NBC. It’s about a group of students at a community college in Colorado and its cast includes Chevy Chase, Donald Glover and Joel McHale (whom Ayoade starred alongside in the failed pilot for the American version of The IT Crowd).

Ayoade’s episode is entitled Critical Film Studies and has been promoted as the Pulp Fiction episode. However, the episode also pays tribute to the classic movie My Dinner With Andre.

There have been a few reviews of last night’s episode. The A.V. Club described it as “one of the more serious, darker episodes of Community” but also as “one of the most humane things the show has ever done”. Punchline Magazine chose to focus on the Pulp Fiction aspect. Meanwhile, The NY Mag Vulture commented on “the presence of Brit-comedy godhead Richard Ayoade behind the camera” and said that the episode made an impression.

Watch the episode at NBC’s website and make sure you don’t miss the behind-the-scenes video, complete with an Ayoade interview!

Did you catch Community last night? Do you agree or disagree with the reviews?

Editor’s Note: Thanks to DuckandRoll on Tumblr for the screengrab.

Submarine Continues Its Ascent

24 Mar

Submarine is nearly one week into its official UK release, and the media furore around the film and its director doesn’t appear to be letting up just yet! Here’s a round-up of the press coverage that we’ve spotted this week:

© Dan Burn-Forti

Firstly, The Guardian’s film blog pointed out that Submarine has only narrowly missed making it into the UK Top 10 for the week based on box office takings.  The film can claim first place in the overall screen-average prize, however, thanks to a gross of £244,000 from 60 screens. That figure, which includes previews of £24,000, gives an average of £4,075 per screen.  Not bad for an indie flick by a first-time director!

The stream of interviews with director Richard Ayoade continues apace, thankfully with more focus on his creative work than the earlier ones.  In Metro you can read about his willingness to torture the actors in Submarine (had the need arisen!), and his plan to get Bob Dylan to tap dance; on the Little White Lies site he talks about some of the themes in the book and the film; then in The Independent you can read an interview with Ayoade and his musical collaborator on the film, Alex Turner. Ayoade says of Turner’s contribution, “It was just like getting good stuff for free. I did nothing and it (his music) made my film a million times better.”

Finally, there’s a filmed interview on Empire’s website and an amusing write-up of the film by Submarine author Joe Dunthorne on Penguin Books’ blog.  He describes the first time he saw it as “A ninety-minute anaphylactic shock…only as the credits rolled was I filled with a wave of relief and pride — much like the feeling of being injected in the glutes with an Epipen full of adrenaline.”

So far Submarine has got a big oniony thumbs up from those of us at TVO who have seen it.  So if you get the chance to see it, we thoroughly recommend you do!

Win A Massive The IT Crowd Poster!

24 Mar
massive poster

© Talkback Thames

That’s right, a massive, over 6ft long and 2.5ft tall, poster of the office set can be yours. It’s being offered by Nick Crossland and is unique. All you have to do is donate at least £5 to Comic Relief via this Comic Relief Giving Page. The closing date is tomorrow (25th March) so don’t think about it too long!

Matt At The Roundtable

24 Mar
© Ben Meadows Photography

Catch Matt Berry at BBC 6 Music tonight!

Matt is going to be on Steve Lamacq’s Roundtable today, 18:00 on BBC 6 Music. He will be joined by Andrew Collins, Micheal Legge and Dave from Frankie and the Heartstrings.

Listen online right here and don’t worry if you miss it, it will be available on BBC’s iPlayer later!

In case you missed it earlier, there’s a very nice Matt Berry design competition going on at the moment. Find out more at our previous post.

Edit: The March 24 programme is now on iPlayer.

A Foot Down Under

24 Mar
© Paul Foot

The latest Paul Foot newsletter thunked into our virtual mailboxes yesterday.

Most importantly, it served to inform all the Australian Foot fans that the man himself will be performing at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Paul Foot is bringing his Ash in the Attic show, which was directed by Noel Fielding, and an (un)healthy dose of tomfoolery to “Australala”.

Tickets to the festival can be purchased over here and make sure to keep an eye on Foot’s Australala page. Right now, it features a specially designed schedule for the Aussies.

Foot has also produced a podcast with Trevor Lock, which you’ll find on iTunes. Furthermore, don’t forget that the charming comedian will appear together with Rich Fulcher in London on May 6th!

You can join Foot’s Guild of Connoisseurs and subscribe to his newsletter by clicking here.

Create Your Witchazel

23 Mar
© Acid Jazz

There is an exciting new competition from Matt Berry!

Berry and his team have announced a contest in which you need to get creative. What you have to do is to recreate the cover of the recently released album Witchazel. When you are done with your masterpiece,  simply go to the Matt Berry Music Facebook page and post your creation.

The prize is a copy of the single The Badger’s Wake on vinyl. Of course, it will be signed and personalized by Matt Berry himself!

Anyone can participate, no matter where you live. Additional information regarding the contest can be found on the above Facebook page.

So what are you waiting for? Show them what you’ve got!

Drill With Rich

23 Mar
© Mog

Rich Fulcher will be appearing at Bush Hall in London on 6th May. The show also stars Paul Foot, Andrew Lawrence, Andrew Maxwell and Edward Aczel. For tickets and further information click here.

We also caught an exciting tweet from Rich yesterday: “Just committed to doing Edinburgh Fest this year. Should I be ecstatic?“. We don’t know any further details about this, but as soon as we do you will be the first to know!

On The Road…

22 Mar

© Mog

Dan Clark is ready to roll as he sets off on his first UK tour this Friday!

Dan starts off in Glasgow (coincidentally, where his BBC3 show How Not To Live Your Life is made) and will then continue to travel around the UK for the next few months, aiming to make you cackle your socks off at various venues in our Great Britannia.

You can still have a look to see if tickets are still available in your area. Clark will be making an appearance in London at the Bloomsbury on May 20th and due to the high demand, an extra date has been added on June 1st! Head to the Bloomsbury website for more details and tickets.

Also, if you’ve already snatched up your tickets and thought it can’t get any better – once there you can purchase a CD with a selection of funny, funny songs composed by Clark himself and tour partner-in-crime, Ben Parker (composer of the HNTLYL theme tune).

During the tour, you can also keep up to date with the boys on the road by following @benparkermusic who will be tweeting all the latest news and pictures!

TVO wishes the best of luck to all, and some Velveteers will be there to see and write up on every nook and cranny for everyone that unfortunately can’t make it!

Ayoade On The Radio

22 Mar

© BBC 6music

We at The Velvet Onion may not have been quick enough to pick up on this one peelers, but this little chat that Richard Ayoade had with 6music’s Shaun Keaveny this morning is still avaliable for you to hear for the next 7 days.

It’s not too late to have a listen (if you haven’t already – or if you want to listen again!) over on iPlayer so hover your mouses over here to hear Richard talking about his debut feature Submarine.

Ayoade enters the studio at around 2 hours 13 minutes into the show.

Fielding Takes On The Establishment

21 Mar

© contactmusic

In this month’s Dazed & Confused magazine provocative artists, Jake and Dinos Chapman, have launched a campaign against the government’s increase in university tuition fees.  The campaign/art project is called “Can’t pay your fees? We’ll pay your fines!”

Ninety signatories – including Noel Fielding, fellow artists Damien Hirst, Rachel Whiteread and Marc Quinn; musicians from  Mick Jones and Bobby Gillespie to Nick Rhodes and Jamie Hince; the fashion world’s Lily Cole and Stella McCartney and actor Dougray Scott – have pledged works and memorabilia for an auction to create a fund to pay the fines of prosecuted student protesters and support “the continuing campaign of civil disobedience”. This constitutes an online petition, free for all to sign.

At the launch of this campaign Jake Chapman was very vocal in his condemnation of the coalition government’s actions: “I really don’t believe it’s an austerity measure. I think it is at the very root of Right-wing thinking, which is to disempower social mobility.  It’s like frame-breaking – there’s some kind of attempt to destroy the infrastructure, so that it is irreversible.”

Unfortunately, we haven’t yet been able to find any working links to the petition, but we’ll keep trying! To read more, visit the Evening Standard’s site here.

Editor’s Note: Thanks to Goldfish for this story.


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