Archive | 11:34 pm

COMPETITION: Win Tickets To The Duke In Darkness

9 Apr

It’s competition time again at TVO! This time the lovely Birdy (Lliana Bird), has kindly offered 3 pairs of tickets to our readers to see the play The Duke in Darkness!

© Lliana Bird

Many of you will be aware of Birdy’s DJ slots on Xfm, but you may not know that she’s also a theatre producer. Her current production is a play by Patrick Hamilton called The Duke of Darkness, which is being performed at the Tabard Theatre in West London. It’s the latest collaboration for the critically-acclaimed Bird & Be team, with Birdy working alongside director, Phoebe Barran.

This new version of The Duke of Darkness, adapted by Orlando Wells, sees France in the grip of long and bloody civil wars. A Duke and his servant, incarcerated for fifteen years, plot their escape and dream of freedom. But in this world of conspiracy and paranoia, where no one is quite who they seem, what will one man sacrifice for his chance of survival?

This production marks the first time Hamilton’s ‘lost’ play returns to the London stage in over 60 years. It is the third of a trio of psychological thrillers written by Hamilton in an illustrious career both as a playwright  (Gaslight, Rope) and novelist (Hangover Square), which also saw him achieve Hollywood success with ‘Rope’ directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

If this sounds like your cup of tea and you’re in the mood for an evening of culture then it’s your lucky day –  we have three pairs of tickets to give away! You can choose the date of the performance you attend from the following options: 16th, 17th, 19th April (all start at 7.30pm), 20th April (4pm & 7.30pm start times) and 21st April (2pm start time).

To be in with the chance of winning a pair of tickets, simply answer the following question:

Name two TV shows in which Lliana Bird has appeared that we feature on The Velvet Onion website.

This competition is now closed. The correct answers are The Mighty Boosh and Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy. Thanks for all your entries and congratulations to the winners.

Please send your answers to, and 3 correct answers selected at random will be notified shortly after the closing date on Saturday 13th April at 11pm!
Remember to have a read of our terms and conditions below to avoid any funny business and good luck!

If you’re not one of our winners, don’t dispair, because you can still buy tickets to see The Duke of Darkness. Tickets are £17/£15 and can be purchased from the theatre website here.

This competition offers 1 pair of tickets each to 3 winners.  Winning entries will be 3 entries selected at random to answer correctly ‘Name two TV shows in which Lliana Bird has appeared that we feature on the Velvet Onion website’. Winners will be contacted via the email address they use to enter  – your details will not be shared with any additional third parties beyond Lliana Bird and The Velvet Onion. Only entries made to will be accepted. The Velvet Onion will not accept entries as comments to this post, replies to our Facebook/Twitter pages, comments to any other posts in error or emails to any other email address in our domain, nor any entries received after this time-frame. This competition is being run entirely by The Velvet Onion, with prizes organised by Lliana Bird.  One entry per person.  Any entrants found making multiple entries from the same IP address will be disqualified, and banned from entering further competitions run by The Velvet Onion.  All entries must be received via by 11.00pm GMT on 13th April.  The judge’s decision is final.  There is no monetary value to this competition and no cash alternative will be offered. Winners must choose their preferred performance to attend from the following dates: 16th, 17th, 19th, 20th, 21st April 2013 (7.30pm performances, plus matinee performances on 20th & 21st April). Once your date has been confirmed it cannot be changed.  Winners will be responsible for their own travel and/or related expenses. The Velvet Onion reserves the right to withdraw this competition if any overriding issues arise.

Ape-ril Ambassadors

9 Apr

Dave Brown and Tony Law have joined Bill Bailey in the Ape-ril campaign in aid of the Sumatran Orang-utan Society.

© Andy Hollingworth

© Andy Hollingworth

The trio have firm links with the charity, with Brown & Bailey joining forces for a Monkees duet at their Orangaid event back in 2009, and now they’re aiming to demonstrate our 96.4% DNA match with those magnificent animals, by getting somewhat fuzzy.

Dave, Tony and Bill are Ambassadors in the Ape-ril campaign, growing great big bushy beards and encouraging you – yes, YOU – to do the same.  You can become a fundraiser on the Ape-ril website over yonder, and you don’t have to be a beard-growing mammal to contribute!

Women and children can take part too, by wearing a false beard for a day, a week or even the whole month. There will be prizes for the best photos sent in to the Hairy Hall of Fame online gallery.

One of our favourite beardy comics, Mr Tony Law, explains:   “Growing a beard is something that all male apes can do.  Get in touch with your wild side and ask everyone you know to sponsor you to change your face for Ape-ril.   Get a team of Beardy Buddies together so you can offer each other support if things get a bit itchy, and swap grooming tips. My own top tip for a lustrous beard is…descend from Vikings. If you’ve already got a beard, then get creative with topiary or decorations, or dye it orangutan-orange.”

The team at SOS have kindly sent us over a gallery of images of Dave Brown’s growing prowess, which you can see at the bottom of this article, and if you like the pics, please donate via the big text below.

If you do, you’ll be supporting frontline conservation projects in Sumatra to prevent the destruction of the rainforests, and helping to protect orang-utans, their forests, and their future.


Hunderbafta… With Alan Partridge.

9 Apr

© Baby Cow Productions / Sky Atlantic

No, it’s not the title of another useless television pitch by yer man Alan, but the news that TVO’s top hitters are up for yet more gongs – this time at the BAFTA Television Awards.

The seemingly never ending cycle of BAFTA award ceremonies is no bad thing when the likes of HunderbyAlan Partridge and Game Of Thrones continue to get nominated.

Hunderby – Julia Davis twisted period black comedy co-written with Barunka O’Shaughnessy and featuring Rufus JonesKevin Eldon, Arnab ChandaPrinces In The Tower and the dulcet narrative tones of Julian Barratt – has been nominated in the category of Situation Comedy, where it must fend off competition from Episodes, Twenty Twelve and the incredibly popular The Thick Of It. 

The latter also has a TVO connection, with Justin Edwards in its huge ensemble cast, and its creator Armando Iannucci being one of the driving forces behind Partridge all these years.

Speaking of Partridge, the Dave Lambert directed special Welcome To The Places Of My Life has been nominated for Best Comedy Programme, against The Revolution Will Be Televised, Mr Stink and Cardinal Burns.  The one off show was the first original slice of Alan made for Sky Atlantic last year, after they bought the rights to web-show Mid Morning Matters.

© Baby Cow Productions / Sky Atlantic

Alan’s alter-ego, Steve Coogan, has a lot to celebrate – he’s also been nominated for Male Performance In A Comedy Programme – versus Greg Davies (Cuckoo), Hugh Bonneville (Twenty Twelve) and Peter Capaldi (The Thick Of It).  Similarly, the Female Performance In A Comedy Programme list features none other than Julia Davis once again, for her role in Hunderby – a show made by Coogan’s BabyCow Productions.  She’ll be up against old friends Jessica Hynes and Olivia Colman (both for Twenty Twelve) and Miranda Hart (Miranda).

TVO would like to extend our congratulations to all at Baby Cow and especially everyone involved with Hunderby and Welcome To The Places Of My Life, and assure you our fingers are crossed for your victories!

For the full list of nominations, check out the Radio Times website, where you can also vote for the Radio Times Audience Award BAFTA.  This highly charged poll battle is between some serious tv big-hitters: The London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, directed by Danny Boyle, could be expected to walk away with the trophy, but it’ll be up against stiff competition from Strictly Come Dancing, The Great British Bake OffCall The Midwife, Homeland and Game Of Thrones – the latter of which has featured Tony Way and Paul Kaye amongst its guest cast.  Vote for your favourite now!


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