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An Early Look At Luxury 2

24 Jul

© Channel 4

Last week we were lucky enough to get a sneaky peek at the new series of Luxury Comedy. So without giving away any spoilers, what can we expect when it finally hits our screens on 31st July?

In interviews about the new series, Noel Fielding has been pretty open about his decision to move away from the sketch show format of series 1, towards a more narrative programme structure with a beginning, middle and an end to each episode. He says it’s because he’s a story-teller at heart, and it’s what he does best. This change of structure is certainly one of the most noticeable differences between the two series. So does it work?

Luxury Comedy is Noel’s stand up in visual form. That’s not to do it down; the fact that anyone has managed to capture the fantastical mayhem that goes on inside Fielding’s mind is impressive enough. Noel’s stand up material is at its best when allowed to slowly weave its shapes, layer upon layer, over a period of time. Stories unfold, characters evolve and concepts crystallise through repetition. By contrast, on the occasions I’ve seen him perform short slots on crowded comedy bills, his ideas don’t always have time to develop. This is not a man for the rat-tat-tat of machine-gun punchlines.

In the same way, expanding his TV ideas into 30-minute stories gives them proper form, allowing the viewer to step inside, appreciate their complexities and get carried along with the narrative. These are ideas rich enough for full episodes; and to reduce each of them to a sketch of a few minutes would underplay them. For me, then, the new format isn’t just about telling stories – it’s about telling strange stories much better.

© Channel 4

The different characters whom we encounter across the series are now part of each week’s story, which gives them purpose and makes the interaction between them feel genuine. The relationships between the characters are one of the aspects of the new series that gives the show its heart. This is no longer a disjointed collection of strange misfits; they’re friends, neighbours, and occasional enemies – as the story requires.

The friendship between the main four – Noel, Dolly, Andy and Smooth, allows for a solid dynamic at the centre of the action. The series 2 versions of the core team feel more ‘human’ and rounded, and as a result more sympathetic than before. Noel, in particular, presents a very different on-screen persona to anything we’ve seen from him previously: awkward, eager to please and uncool, he’s the Howard to Dolly’s preening Vince. Devoid of Howard Moon’s pomposity, however, this Noel is a character with whom we empathise, not just the one we laugh at.

Noel has said that he and Nigel spent longer writing the second series, and this comes across. I loved the first series, but there are more funnier moments in series 2 (based on the two episodes we saw). The writing’s sharp, the physical comedy is hilarious, and the characters are beautifully honed and gloriously wonky at the same time. Look out for star turns throughout from a whole host of TVO faces, including Richard Ayoade, Steve Oram, Dave Brown, Rich Fulcher, Arnab Chanda, Tania Wade, Barunka O’Shaughnessy, Stuart Silver, Simon Farnaby and others.

© Channel 4

This series is arguably the most self-aware output that we’ve ever seen from Fielding, with a number of knowing references to the public reaction that series 1 generated. He’s said that it’s a natural reaction to criticism – you try to get in there first before anyone else does. And it works well in this context, tethering the strange Luxury world to our own experience from time to time (thereby making it more relateable), and imbuing the series with a large helping of humility which, one hopes, the cynics out there will respond positively to.

Added to all of that, Luxury Comedy is still a fabulous feast for the eyes: the distinctive day-glo sets, wardrobe, make-up and animation all combine to create a uniquely visual world. Huge credit to Nigel Coan and his production team for putting it all together; you can see that it’s a labour of love in every single scene.

So will the rest of the world like it? I hope so. If people enjoyed the Boosh and the naysayers can get over their disproportionately extreme reaction to series 1, they would like this. Genuinely funny, beautifully magical and full of heart – what’s not to love?

Don’t forget to tune in: Luxury Comedy series 2 airs at 10pm on E4 on 31st July. For the less patient amongst you, episode 1 is available to view from TODAY -  a whole week early, on 4oD here.

Time For A Serving Of Luxury

16 Jul

© Channel4

We’ve seen the trailer, we’ve wondered at its vague promise of “coming soon” – and you’ve been asking us in droves: WHEN WILL SERIES 2 OF LUXURY COMEDY BE HITTING OUR SCREENS?? Well wonder no more..

We can confirm that the new series kicks off on E4 on 31st July!

We’ve got all sorts of exclusive goodies up our sleeves to mark the occasion, so stay peeling to make sure you stay on top of everything.

In the meantime, here’s an interview with Noel Fielding that Channel 4 have released ahead of the new series.

Noel Talks Glasto To NME

12 Jul

Noel Fielding is featured in this week’s NME, along with his Loose Tapestries band mate, Sergio Pizzorno, talking about their Glastonbury appearance a couple of weekends ago.

© NME

For anyone who’s been in hibernation for the past month and is wondering what it’s all about, Noel appeared on stage as Vlad the Impaler during Kasabian’s victorious set on the Pyramid Stage on the Sunday night.

In the NME interview Noel talks about his friendship with Serge, his attempts to make his costume historically accurate, and how much fun kicking severed heads into the audience was.

If you copy the image on the right and squint a bit, you should be able to read it in full.

The NME also saw fit to confirm this week that Serge will be providing the music for series 2 of Luxury Comedy. However, if you’re reading this chances are you knew that already ;-)

Finally, Noel has been busy this week filming with Alan Carr in Bournemouth. A myriad of photos of the pair in various wigs and fake beards have been circulating on twitter and instragram, although it’s not yet clear what shoot was for.  When we find out, we’ll let you know…

Source Unknown

 

Donate & Win – Noel Tickets & Signed Prints!

11 Jul
© Dave Brown

© Dave Brown

Would you like to win a signed Mighty Boosh print and/or tickets to see Noel Fielding live? Of course you would – well all you have to do is donate £5 to Oriel Colwyn via this link.

Dave Brown has generously donated 4 prints to Oriel Colwyn – the dedicated photographic gallery space where he showed his Behind The Boosh exhibition in 2012.

There are four prizes up for grabs:

1st Prize

Noel Fielding – Oversized A3 print signed by Dave. This is an original image from his personal collection.

+ A pair of tickets to ‘An evening with Noel Fielding’ at Venue Cymru, Llandudno

2nd Prize

Boosh Busts – A2 sized print signed by Dave.

Image originally from ‘Behind the Boosh’ exhibition – Proud Galleries, Camden, London

3rd Prize

Moon Noir – A2 sized print signed by Dave.

Image originally from ‘Behind the Boosh’ exhibition at Oriel Colwyn, Flint Norwich and Proud Galleries, Camden.

4th Prize

Stance in Pants – A3 sized print signed by Dave.

Image originally from ‘Behind the Boosh’ exhibition at Oriel Colwyn and Flint Norwich.

There is no limit to the number of times you can enter, so if you have £10 to spare you can enter 2 times etc. The date for the last entries/donations 8:00pm on Sunday 12th October so there is plenty of time to save up for more than one entry – why not give it a go? You will be donating to a great cause and might be a lucky winner of one of these unique prints, or tickets to see Noel. The winners will be announced on Monday 13th October.

Click here for more details of the prizes and terms and conditions.

Rhod Gilbert Joins Buzzcocks

9 Jul

Stand-up comic and tv presenter Rhod Gilbert is to join Never Mind The Buzzcocks as permanent host.

© BBC

© BBC

The show – originally presented by Mark Lamarr and later Simon Amstell – has had a series of revolving guest presenters since 2009, with Rhod himself being only the second guest host, back in October of that year.

Gilbert, who first appeared on the show as a guest in 2006, returned in December 2011, and now joins regular team captains Phill Jupitus and Noel Fielding for the 28th series this Autumn.

When the news broke this afternoon, Rhod commented on his official Facebook page:

So the secret is out! I’ll be the new permanent host of Never Mind The Buzzcocks when it returns for its 28th series this autumn. When I first guest hosted, back in 2009, I was told I was in with a shout to take over as regular host, and now, just 5 years later, I got the call. It’s all happened so fast. Never Mind the Buzzcocks is one of those rare shows that feels like it belongs on our screens, it’s an institution, in a good way. It’s a great honour to be asked to take the reins full time and to hang out with Noel and Phill, and I’m equally excited and nervous about adding my name to those who have hosted it in the past.

It is currently unknown if Noel’s forthcoming tour will affect any of his commitments to the full Buzzcocks run, but we’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear more about the series. In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for ticket applications opening over yonder.

Rich On A Bus

8 Jul

Rich Fulcher has lent his acting talents to a new US TV commercial for Greyhound buses.

In the ad Rich plays the part of a bespectacled tour manager, who has swapped his band’s usual tour bus for a Greyhound bus, in recognition of its cheap prices and fantastic facilities. If only Rich had had more of a hand in writing the spot…

Anyway, you can see the ad below:

And while we’re at, we figured that this Fulcher news provided us with the perfect excuse to share this recent photo of Rich from Funny or Die, with fellow comedians Steve Agree and Moshe Kasher. We have no idea what was going on, but we love it! Here’s hoping it cheers up your Tuesday too:

© Funny or Die

 

 

Ayoade On Ayoade

7 Jul

© Larry Busacca / Getty Images North America

Richard Ayoade has confirmed he is to release a book… about himself.

Ayoade on Ayoade is part autobiography, part self-depreciating, self-aggrandising satire.  As the man himself puts it:  Would it be too much to say that my somewhat-wry prose has changed the way the film community thinks about itself (and indeed how it thinks about the concept of community)?

No. It wouldn’t. In fact, it’s actually pretty insulting that this so-called ‘Community’ hasn’t done more to acknowledge (or even begin to repay) its undoubted debt to me.”

Captures the director, writer and comedian in his own words: pompous, vain, angry and very, very funny - Ayoade on Ayoade will be released in October, and is available to pre-order via The Velvet Onion Amazon Store now.

As per usual, buying from the TVO store helps keep the site afloat, so get your pre-orders in pronto! We’ll bring you more details as soon as we can, so stay peeled.

Matt Cuts The Mustard

4 Jul

We reported a while ago, that Mustard Comedy Magazine had produced its last ever print copy, but that it would ‘live on’ in other forms, well the good news is that it did!

The magazine is now available as an app on iTunes. The first issue has been revamped and expanded, including an extended interview with Graham Linehan looking back on The IT Crowd, Father Ted and Black Books, plus his thoughts on Twitter, TV vs Movies and the possibility of writing for Dr Who.

So even if you own an original print copy of the magazine, there is plenty of new content to keep you interested. There’s no word on whether there will be an android version coming out yet, but we’ll let you know as soon as we do.

Matt Berry is a guest contributor to the magazine and you can hear him and his music in the trailer below:

 

Noel Gets The Call

27 Jun

© BBC

Noel Fielding was a randomly chosen phone guest on Nick Grimshaw’s Radio 1 Breakfast Show this week, thanks to his placement in Serge Pizzorno’s phonebook.

The Kasabian axe-man and one half of Loose Tapestries was on the show to promote the former’s appearance at Glastonbury this weekend, in aid of their new album 48:13.  As part of a regular feature on the show, Grimshaw urged Serge to partake in a game of Call or Delete, and flicking through his contacts until Nick yelled stop, he landed upon our very own Captain Noelio.

The resulting conversation (and the pre-amble leading up to it) can be heard 8 minutes into the podcast you can find over yonder. Having called Noel ourselves a few times over the years, we can confirm that the chances of this being staged are very slim – he really is firing on all cylinders that early in the morning. Enjoy…

Rose D’Or Awards Nominations

22 Jun

© Kuba Wieczorek

The nominees for the television, online and radio 2014 Rose d’Or were announced this week, and there are two TVO shows in the shortlist for Best Sitcom!

Toast of London (featuring Matt Berry) and Yonderland (from the Horrible Histories Team) are two of just three nominees in the Best Sitcom category.

Nearly 400 programmes from more than 100 broadcasters and production companies from all over the world were submitted for this year’s Rose d’Or awards, so to be shortlisted for an award is an achievement in itself!

The winners will be decided at the 53rd Rose d’Or Awards ceremony which will be held in Berlin on 17 September. For the full list of nominees, take a look at the Rose D’Or website.

Congratulations to all the nominees, and best of luck to ‘our lot’!

 

Deepest Darkest Paddington Bear

19 Jun

© Studio Canal

The team behind the new Paddington Bear movie, currently in production and directed by Paul King (Mighty Boosh, Bunny & The Bull), have released an image of the cuddly bear from the film – only he’s not so cuddly.

In fact, some people think that he looks rather ominous. So much so that it’s become a meme called #CreepyPaddington, with people creating horror-themed images featuring the bear. Here, below right, is one of them – but to see a whole to more click on this.

© Studio Canal

It sounds like the producers of the Paddington Bear movie have another challenge on their hands too: the voice of Paddington, Colin Firth, has left the project 6 months before its release. So far there appears to be no replacement confirmed. We’ve got a few ideas for who we’d like to hear voicing the bear from deepest darkest Peru…

Here’s the latest trailer from the movie, which was released last week; the film itself should be out before Christmas:

 

Noel On Rik

19 Jun

© BBC

Last week comedy lovers were left heartbroken by the unexpected death of Rik Mayall. Noel Fielding was just one of many comedians who publicly mourned the loss via twitter – and this week Noel has written a piece for the NME about his admiration for the star.

Noel introduces the article by stating “Rik Mayall isn’t dead. Great comedians don’t die, they live on in your memory, and when you think about them you start to smile.”

He continues: “The Young Ones was the first post-punk comedy, and a complete changing of the guard. [It] was a huge influence on The Mighty Boosh, for both Julian and myself.”And adds, “I loved the insane plots: digging for oil in their cellar, a bomb landing in their kitchen, and them appearing on University Challenge. I also loved the puppets, the ice-skating carrots, talking statues and Buddy Holly hanging from the ceiling. But Rik Mayall always stole the show with lines like “Shut up Neil, I’m trying to stir my coffee” and “Hands up who likes me?””

If you want to read the article you can find it in this week’s NME (if you look hard enough, you’ll also find scans of it online). When this issue is no longer available to buy at the news stands, we’ll add it to this article too, so you can have a proper look.

 

Mongrels Return – To Dave

14 Jun

© Alexandra Thompson

Although it’s not quite the return we had hoped for, series one of Mongrels is set to air on Dave from Monday 30th June at 3.15am!

As regular readers know Adam Miller‘s foul-mouthed puppet show featured Tony Way as Gary, the owner of a South London pub that just so happens to be surrounded by vermin – from meek metrosexual fox Nelson (Rufus Jones), and his best friend, simpleton feline Marion (Dan Tetsell), to psychopathic champion vulpine swearer Vince (Paul Kaye), and deranged, scheming pigeon Kali (Katy Brand). With Gary’s pedigree chav dog Destiny (Lucy Montgomery) completing the line up, the show was an instant cult smash, until it was axed by BBC3 a couple of years ago.

Dave is a digital channel and part of the UKTV network, who are now making original content for their channels, including the recent revival of BBC 2′s cult favourite Red Dwarf. UKTV Gold has also recently announced that they have the rights to show the final Monty Python live show, so they are obviously serious about investing in content for their channels.

If you can’t wait to see Mongrels again, you can get both series from TVO Store.

Ayoade Returns As Gadget Man

8 Jun

© Channel 4

He may have become one of the premiere indie film directors since the first series of Gadget Man, but that hasn’t stopped Richard Ayoade stepping up for a second series!

Last month a section for the show was recorded in a Sainsbury’s supermarket in Chingford, where Richard tried out a rather clever-sounding lambent shopping handle (you can read all about that here).

The new series is likely to air this Autumn; as soon as we can find out an actual transmission date, we’ll let you know. It remains to be see whether he’ll be inviting his TVO-connected buddies to accompany him in this series. We hope so!

In the meantime, you can feed your Gadget Man hunger by visiting Channel 4 here, where you can watch clips galore. There’s even an entire episode on youtube if watching short clips makes your brain dizzy.

And finally, while we’re talking about Mr Ayoade’s audiovisual output, why not take a look at this recent interview with him and Jesse Eisenberg (published last week), in which they discuss working together on The Double with Jian Ghomeshi. Admittedly it’s got nothing to do with Gadget Man, but we like to mix things up around here occasionally:

Get A Load Of Fulcher In Your Face

7 Jun

TVO readers in LA rejoice…because Rich Fulcher is performing in your town TONIGHT!

Rich will performing as part of the 12th Annual Los Angeles Improv Comedy Festival, which is nearing the end of its 1 week run. He’ll be appearing in the The Armando Show at IO West Theater, 6366 Hollywood Blvd CA 90028 . The show starts at 10pm, tickets are $10 and can be purchased here.

What’s more, it’s all for a good cause. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales go to The Chris Farley House, a state-certified residential treatment program for recovering men and women.

If you go, do say hi to Rich from us (we miss him in the UK!).

For those of us not lucky enough to be seeing him tonight in LA, we can console ourselves with his appearance in this video from Guided by Voices, featuring Pollard & Sprout:

Teasaaaaaaahs From Toyah

7 Jun

© Toyah Willcox

The Crimson Queen herself, Toyah Willcox, has teased further information about Steve Oram‘s début directorial feature, Aaaaaaaah!

Since it was announced in January, news of the production has been thin on the ground.  Filming was due to start in April, but was delayed for some unknown reason – potentially the top-notch cast and their hectic schedules!

The film, in which Oram, Willcox, Tom MeetenJulian BarrattTony WayWaen Shepherd, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Hannah Hoeskra will communicate entirely in ape-like grunts, shrieks and moans, promises to be a typically surreal treat from the unique mind of Steve Oram.

In it, Oram and Meeten will play marauding characters who encroach into the hostile territory of the kitchen, with Barratt the former alpha-male who, now deposed, lives in the garden.

Last month, Willcox posted a photo of her copy of the script, which she was reading in Seattle whilst touring with The Humans – the side project she founded with Chris Wong and former REM drummer Bill Rieflin.  It came alongside the message: “Learning AAHHHH! In Lowell’s Seattle. This script is brilliant…..and naughty xxx”

Now her website’s official blog has provided more details, including the planned start date for filming.  She writes: “…Steve Oram’s film shoot starts on the 30th June, so fingers crossed all will run smoothly and effortlessly once we get into July for the rest of the shoot.

Steve and I are in regular contact as he sends me test films where he and other cast members have got together and improvised how we are going to deal with the lack of language. He has stripped the language down to the bare minimum of guttural grunts and the way he is shooting the scenes……..all I can say….it makes one hell of a comment about life………I find his idea of there being no language as we know it, very sinister as well as funny. He has struck a great idea here.”

We can’t wait. More news on Aaaaaaaah! as we get it.

Noel & Kevin Join Alan: As Yet Untitled

6 Jun

© Dave

NoelFielding and Kevin Eldon will be two of the guests on Alan Davies’ new show for Dave, which starts this Monday, June 16th.

Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled sees Davies shooting the breeze with four other comedians round a table. The show attempts to recreate the relaxed atmosphere found amongst comics chatting backstage; there are no rules, themes or preparation. Then at the end of each episode, the group must try and think of a title that sums up their episode. The show airs every day for 5 days at 10pm.

The first episode (on Monday) includes Noel Fielding, alongside Jon Ronson, Andrew Maxwell and Kerry Godliman; Kevin Eldon will feature in Episode 4 (on Thursday), along with Bill Bailey, Kevin Eldon, Isy Suttie and Craig Campbell. To se the full line up for all 5 days click here.

You can spot a few glimpses of Noel in the clip below from Monday’s show; to see more clips, including Davies talking about the series, take a look at this from The British Comedy Guide.

Don’t forget to tune into Dave at 10pm every night next week!

 

 

Comedy Shorts Online

1 Jun
© bbc.co.uk

© bbc.co.uk

As we mentioned a couple of months ago, the BBC have commissioned a set of original comedy shorts, created by and starring some of Britain’s best comedians, to celebrate the new BBC iPlayer.

As we mentioned at the time there are contributions from our TVO family including Lone Wolf – an alternative wildlife documentary, written by Bob Mortimer and performed by Matt Berry and Channel M from House of Fools’ Morgana Robinson, featuring Rufus Jones.

The line-up also includes Reece Shearsmith with Sally Phillips in The Case of the High Foot, a 1940′s set black and white medical caper, Frankie Boyle and Bob Mortimer in an interactive cooking programme in which they are judged by how the show is performing on social media.

Meera Syal’s Playback centres around a Bollywood star and her playback singer – the one who actually sings the songs. and their relationship with each other and the media. Micky Flanagan’s Foxageddon tells the story of a dead fox and Micky’s part in the media circus that surrounds it, and contains a scene of a sexual nature.

In our original post we mentioned a short by Stewart Lee, which doesn’t appear to be online yet. We’ll keep checking back and update you when we know anything.

Overall there is something for everyone and they only last around 6 minutes each, so why not give them a go when you have a bit spare time? Links to all of them can be found on BBC iPlayer.

Wee Paper People

1 Jun

Regular readers of TVO might remember Paper People – cut out and keep paper models of your favourite TVO folk. We’ve just revisited the site and there are many, many more characters for you to cut out and keep. How many do you recognise from the pictures below?

If you can’t wait to get your hands on your own Wee Paper People, all you have to do is click on the website, download your favourites then print and assemble. Assembly instructions are on the site.

If you want something more personal, the creator of all these fantastic models, Sally Grosart, can make personalised little people of your friends and family, or personalised cards or banners. To contact Sally and see the rest of her creations click here.

Grow Your Own Field In England

30 May

© Rooke Films

Our Screen is offering up A Field In England as one of its film options for us mere mortals to host our own cinema screening.

The service allows you to set up a screening in a choice of cinemas, which you can invite people to attend. For an overview of how it all works click here (although to be honest, the ‘explanation’ on Our Screen’s website is a tad vague!).

So to make it as simple as possible, here are our step-by-step instructions if you fancy hosting your own screening of A Field In England: Click on this to select the film and choose your preferred cinema. There are currently 18 cinemas which offer the screening, and you can search by postcode. You’ll then be asked to choose a date, time and whether you want your screening to be public (in which case anyone can buy tickets) or private. If you choose a private screening, you’ll be asked to select who you’re inviting, then depending on the numbers a ticket price will be calculated.

And there you have it, how to arrange your very own screening of one of Ben Wheatley‘s finest/strangest, featuring the exceptional acting talents of TVO faces Reece Shearmsith, Michael Smiley, Richard Glover and Julian Barratt. What are you waiting for?

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