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The Jazz Men

28 Nov

A couple of years ago we found ourselves a tad flustered when we heard that Julian Barratt has made a surprise appearance on stage with Tenacious D at their Hammersmith Apollo gig. At the time all we had by way of evidence were a couple of blurry photos and videos.

Today some new footage has been published by Peter Kyriacou, which shows what happened from back stage and front of stage – so we can have a proper look at their freeform performance of ‘Simply Jazz’. Finally!

Although it make you hanker for more live Barratt, it’s splendid to see nevertheless. Take a look below…

Chris Morris Radio Retrospective

23 Nov

© cookdandbombd

Next Saturday the BBC will broadcast a three-hour tribute programme devoted to the radio work of new wave comedy pioneer, Chris Morris. ‘Raw Meat Radio’ will look back at Morris’ radio career, and will include rarely-heard archive material

Mary Anne Hobbs (who we’ve been talking about a fair bit this weekend) will present the show, which airs on BBC 4Extra ay 7pm on 29th November.

It will feature contributions from Armando Iannucci, David Quantick, Peter Baynham, Matthew Bannister (who suspended Morris from Radio 1) and Morris’ biographer Lucian Randall, amongst others.

If you read TVO regularly, you’ll be familiar with Morris’s creative output, but for those of you who aren’t (what??), he’s probably best known for his work on spoof news programmes The Day Today and Brass Eye, during which he lured a host of celebrities into backing increasingly bizarre public awareness campaigns. He also worked with Julia Davis and Kevin Eldon on Jam, and appeared on IT Crowd as Denholm Reynholm. Behind the camera, he co-wrote the Channel 4 media satire Nathan Barley alongside Charlie Brooker, and wrote and directed the 2010 film Four Lions.

He has also produced an as-yet unheard audio comedy with Noel Fielding and Richard Ayoade, set in an old people’s home. We live in hope of hearing it one day!

We’re sure that we speak on behalf of many of you when we say how delighted we are that 3 hours of radio airtime have been given in Morris’ honour. Don’t forget to tune in next Saturday!

Toast On Your Wall

22 Nov

© Smart Giant Media

Fans of Matt Berry‘s Toast of London can now express their love of the show on their vertical household surfaces. Graphic designer, Mick, of Smart Giant Media, has created a series of bold designs featuring key characters from the show.

There are 4 designs in total featuring: Steven Toast, Jane Plough, Clem Fandango and Ray Purchase. They vary in cost depending on the size of the print – from £20 for A4 to £60 for A1.  Or you can get the full set of four designs at A5 size for £50.

To buy one click here. And while you’re at it, why not take a look around? Smart Giant Media also has designs for Inside No. 9, another of the shows that we cover.

Don’t forget that you can see episode 4 of the new series of Toast on Channel 4 on Monday night. Or if you can’t wait that long, it’s on 4oD now!

Katherine’s Cooking Conundrum

17 Nov
© The Guardian

© The Guardian

Katherine Parkinson stars in a new microplay written by Laura Wade. The 7 minute short film – Britain Isn’t Eating – is the first in a series of plays inspired by a new collaboration between Guardian journalists and Royal Court theatre-makers.

Britain Isn’t Eating centres around a politician, who is determined to show everyone that food banks are just for the lazy, and anyone can make a meal from just a few store cupboard essentials.

There are a couple of TVO connections as the director of the TV show in the play is Kyle Soller, who starred alongside Julian Barratt in Government Inspector at the Young Vic, and Julian starred in NSFW at The Royal Court Theatre.

There will be 6 microplays in total on the subjects of music, fashion, politics and education, all will be available for viewing on the Guardian website.  There will also be a Guardian Live and Royal Court Theatre Big Idea premiere screening of the films, with introductions from the artists and journalists involved on 5th December.

To watch Britain Isn’t Eating and for more information, head over to the Guardian Website.

A Toast To The Nominees (Sorry)

10 Nov

There are a fair few TVO-connected nominees in the just-announced shortlists for this year’s British Comedy Awards, including eight for Matt Berry and Toast Of London!

Matt’s sitcom has been shortlisted for best sitcom, best new comedy programme and best comedy moment of the year. And Matt himself has been shortlisted for best TV comedy actor and – bizarrely, given how long he’s been making us laugh – for best breakthrough artist! He also has a nomination in the new internet comedy short category for his Lone Wolf sketch:

Other TVO-related nominees include Horrible Histories for best sketch show; House of Fools, Moone Boy and  The Trip to Italy for best sitcom; Inside No 9  for best comedy drama and best new comedy programme; Aisling Bea for best female TV comic; and finally, Katherine Parkinson for best TV comedy actress.

Brett Domino Trio (a firm favourite at Rich Fulcher‘s Fulchfest a few years ago) also get a nomination for best comedy short, for their film ‘How to Make a Hit Pop Song’. There are a few obvious omissions, in our eyes – but perhaps those particular shows’ inability to be be categorised has flummoxed the shortlisting process?

The full list of nominees is shown below. The ceremony will be hosted by Jonathan Ross and televised on Channel 4 on December 16th.

Best Sitcom
House of Fools
Moone Boy
The Trip to Italy
Toast Of London

Best Comedy Drama
Inside No. 9
Rev
The Wrong Mans
Uncle

Best New Comedy Programme
Inside No. 9
Man Down
The Wrong Mans
Toast Of London

Best International Comedy Programme
Girls
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Modern Family
Veep

Best Internet Comedy Short
Brand New Morph
Carpark
How To Make A Hit Pop Song
Matt Berry: The Lone Wolf

Best Comedy Film
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
Pride
The Inbetweeners 2
The Lego Movie

Best Comedy Moment of 2014
8 Out 10 Cats Does Countdown
Harry & Paul Story of the Two’s
Monty Python Live (mostly)
Toast of London
Would I Lie To You

Best Male Television Comic
David Mitchell
Lee Mack
Sean Lock
Stewart Lee

Best FemaleTelevision Comic
Aisling Bea
Bridget Christie
Isy Suttie
Nina Conti

Best Comedy Breakthrough Artist
Harry Peacock
Joe Wilkinson
Matt Berry
Nick Helm

Best TV Comedy Actor
Harry Enfield
Matt Berry
Mathew Baynton
Paul Whitehouse

Best TV Comedy Actress
Doon Mackichan
Jessica Hynes
Katherine Parkinson
Zawe Ashton

Ayoade On Day For Night

6 Nov

© Newport Film

Richard Ayoade will be appearing at The Guardian Film Club this Sunday at the Ritzy in Brixton, London.

The Guardian Film Club offers an opportunity to hear some of today’s film makers talk about their work and the films that have influenced them, and to revisit a classic of modern cinema. Each guest curates a film of their choice and takes part in a Q&A hosted by a member of the Guardian Film team, followed by a screening of the film.

Richard will be introducing François Truffaut’s ‘Day for Night’, a film about film making, which won the 1973 Oscar for Best Foreign Film. He will be answering questions and chatting to Guardian film critic Peter Bradshaw.

The event takes place at 4pm on Sunday 9th November; tickets are priced as follows: full price £15 / Members £12 / Concessions £13, and can be purchased here.

Toast Talks

2 Nov

© Channel 4

The eagerly-anticipated second series of Toast of London, starring Matt Berry as the washed-up thesp, begins on Channel 4 tomorrow night. As such, this weekend’s online and printed media have been awash with Toast-related interviews – both with Matt, and with Steven Toast.

To make your lives just a wee bit easier, here are a few that we’ve come across this weekend…

First up there’s this interview with the British Comedy Guide which came out today. Then, there are a couple of Steven Toast pieces with The Guardian: this one where Toast picks his favourite acting greats, and this one from yesterday’s Guardian Guide where he bears his soul.

Matt talks to The Independent here and Telegraph there. Then he talks a bit more to The List.

If that little lot has whetted your appetite, don’t forget to tune into the new series tomorrow at 10.35pm. Our only wish is that Channel 4 would release some new publicity photos…

New Dates Added To Noel Fielding’s UK Tour

27 Oct

© Noel Fielding / Dave Brown

The hard-to-please critics have been overwhelmingly positive and the fans have been loving it! Just one week into Noel Fielding’s UK tour and it’s been announced that it’s been extended into 2015!

An Evening With Noel Fielding, which features Noel, Tom Meeten and Mike Fielding in a kaleidoscopic stage show of mind-bending stand up, sketches and animation, will be seen in nineteen new towns and cities including Milton Keynes, Margate, Croydon, Bromley, Northampton, Scunthorpe, Salford, Scarborough, Carlisle, Wimbledon, Swansea, Woking, Aylesbury, Oxford, Tunbridge Wells and Basingstoke, as well as three new dates in Scotland in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. The full list of extra venues is shown below:

29/01/2015 MILTON KEYNES Milton Keynes Theatre 8.00pm 0844 871 7652
30/01/2015 MARGATE Winter Gardens 8.00pm 01843 292 795
31/01/2015 CROYDON Fairfield Halls 8.00pm 0208 688 9291
01/02/2015 BROMLEY Churchill Theatre 7.30pm 0844 871 7620
03/02/2015 NORTHAMPTON Derngate 8.00pm 01604 624 811
04/02/2015 SCUNTHORPE Bath Halls 8.00pm 0844 854 2776
05/02/2015 SALFORD Lowry 7.30pm 0843 208 6000
06/02/2015 SCARBROUGH Spa 8.00pm 01723 821 888
08/02/2015 GLASGOW Kings Theatre 7.30pm 0844 871 7627
09/02/2015 ABERDEEN Music Hall 8.00pm 01224 641 122
10/02/2015 EDINBURGH  EICC 8.00pm 0131 300 3000
13/02/2015 CARLISLE The Sands Centre 8.00pm 01228 633 766
15/02/2015 WIMBLEDON Wimbledon Theatre 7.30pm 0844 871 7646
16/02/2015 SWANSEA Grand 8.00pm 01792 475 715
17/02/2015 WOKING New Victoria Theatre 8.00pm 0844 871 7645
18/02/2015 AYLESBURY Waterside theatre 8.00pm 0844 871 7607
22/02/2015 OXFORD Apollo 7.30pm 0844 871 3020
23/02/2015 TUNBRIDGE WELLS Assembly Rooms 8.00pm 01892 530 613
24/02/2015 BASINGSTOKE Anvil 8.00pm

01256 844 244

Tickets for the new dates will cost £25 and go on general sale at 9am on Friday 31st October 2014. You can buy them from Ticketmaster and Seetickets.

Don’t forget that there are still a few tickets available for the shows which are taking place before the end of the year.

We suspect that a few of our overseas readers will be hoping that Noel’s tour will be heading further afield soon. Unfortunately we don’t know anything concrete about his future touring plans; earlier this year Noel mentioned that he’d like to bring the show to Australia, but nothing has been confirmed since then. If we hear anything, rest assured you’ll be the first to know.

Ayoade Goes Viral

23 Oct

Richard Ayoade has been on the publicity trail for his new book, Ayoade on Ayoade this week, with delightful results.

One stop off was at the Channel 4 News studios, where he discussed the book with Kirshnan Guru-Murthy.  Or, rather, he didn’t, because the rules of the news broadcast meant they couldn’t plug the book… and things got rather silly indeed. If you haven’t seen it yet – and it’s gone viral fast so you probably have – enjoy.

If you don’t have the book yet, you can pick it up now from The Velvet Onion Amazon Store, and help keep this here website afloat. Cheers!

Science For Her

18 Oct
© amazon

© amazon

Megan Amram, a writer for NBC’s hit show Parks and Recreation, has written a new book – Science…For Her! ; a blend of science and Cosmo to highlight the absurd way in which women are still portrayed in both arenas.

She tackles crucial scientific topics like Biology: This Spring’s Ten Most Glamorous Ways to Die; Earth Science: Fashion Staples for Each Step of Global Warming; and the most pressing issue facing women today, kale!

The book is released on 4th November in the USA and 10th November in the UK.

You might be wondering why we are telling you about this, we don’t usually tell you about random book releases, even if it looks like it will be a lot of fun!

You’ll be pleased to know that there is a video to celebrate the book called Let’s get physics Y’all, featuring a lot of our favourite American comedian – Rich Fulcher.

Get an eyeful of the video over at Funny or Die.

21st Century Boy

16 Oct

© Noel Fielding

With his UK tour a mere 4 days away (getting excited yet?), Noel Fielding has been busy embracing social media by setting up an Instagram.

Noel’s shiny new Instagram will be used to document the tour, giving fans an opportunity to see what really goes on, both off and on stage. Noel will be updating it himself, along with a handful of people on the team. The intention is for it to be updated daily – it’s almost as good as being on the tour bus yourself! Follow @paulpanfergrams to keep on top of what’s going down.

There are also plans for an official Facebook – coming soon. And there’s now an official Luxury Comedy website, which features links to Luxury merch (Remember how that merch site disappeared a while ago and made us all sad? Well, it’s back!).

The website (which you can see a screen cap of below) currently features a bunch of Luxury-related videos, with new content still to be created and added. Film maker Joe Lynn will be creating short teaser videos on the tour, which will be uploaded as they go along. Who knows, if you spot Joe with his camera, and behave nicely, you might end up in one yourself! Click here to visit the website and admire the pretty view.

Exciting times, eh? We’ll update you as and when there’s more to report!

P.S. Fans of the Fielding may be interested to know that he was on Absolute Radio this evening. You can listen to it here.

Moss & Roy Reunite In The Name Of Technology

11 Oct

© Channel 4

We can only apologise that something this interesting managed to pass us by – until one of our eagle-eared team recognised a couple of familiar voices in an ad break last night.

The UK version of new iPhone 6 TV advert features the voices of none other than IT Crowd‘s Moss and Roy (sometimes known as Richard Ayoade and Chris O’Dowd). Although the ad itself isn’t anything to write home about, the fact that these two are together again – for something tech-related – is making us rather excited!

A big thank you to Amanda Robertson for helping us track it down online. The US version is everywhere, but the UK adaptation has been keeping a low profile. Thanks to Amanda, you can click here to watch it.

Birdy & The Boffin

28 Sep

© Noel Fielding & Dave Brown

Science is great! It gives your brain a work-out and explains how everything in the world works.  It’s a shame about the boring bits though. Imagine, however, if you could remove all the dull bits and dial up the volume on the really interesting, weird parts of science? Well, imagine no more – because it’s exactly what Geek Chic Weird Science is all about!

Geek Chic Weird Science is a series of podcasts which aims to aged light on the strange, cool stuff which you never learned about at school. Stuff like the science of lesbian orgasms, Vulcan telepathy or squid-inspired invisibility cloaks.

So if you’ve ever wondered whether you can you wipe your memory of a heartbreak, teleport yourself on holiday, or save a life with a crisp packet – these are for you.

And the reason we’re writing about Geek Chic Weird Science here (beyond the desire to feed your minds with interesting things)? A fair few TVO connections is why: The podcasts are a labour of love (something dear to our hearts!) from Lliana Bird, xfm DJ and occasional Luxury Comedy/Mighty Boosh actress. And the series logo, which you can see here, has been created by none other than Noel Fielding and Dave Brown.

The series, featuring Birdy and neuroscientist Dr Jack Lewis, are available to listen to on iTunes podcasts. There are 5 episodes so far to download for FREE here. And there are more to come, so it’s worth subscribing. What’s more, iTunes has just featured ‪them in their ‘New & Noteworthy’ section – how cool is that? “Honoured and chuffed beyond belief,” said Birdy about the accolade, before adding, “It’s not cool to show off about this kind of stuff is it?”

So don your lab coats, grab your bunsen burners and head over to iTunes to gorge your mind on clever weirdness.

A Peek Behind The Fantasy

27 Sep

Some of you will be lucky enough to be seeing Noel Fielding live at the Pleasance Theatre this weekend, as he performs two work-in-progress shows in preparation for his forthcoming UK tour. Anyhows, we reckoned the rest of you might need a bit of cheering up…

Here, then – for your perusal and pleasure – is our exclusive behind the scenes documentary, captured during the filming of Luxury  Comedy, Tales of Painted Hawaii. Take a look below – it includes interviews with cast and crew, the odd outtake, a fleeting moment of frisbee, and an alarming amount of (blue) bosom.

If seeing some of your favourite Luxury characters again has made you realise just how much you’re missing them, don’t forget that you can buy series 1 and series 2 on DVD by clicking on the links in this sentence. Then you can revel in the show’s eye-popping kaleidoscope of joy to your heart’s content. Don’t forget that both DVDs feature their own behind-the-scenes documentaries (the doc for series 1 even includes footage from The Velvet Onion, fact fans!), which are well worth a look too.

And if you still haven’t got a ticket for Noel’s UK tour (what the heck??), then there are still a few available – check out Ticketmaster and Seetickets, but be quick!

Join The House of Fools

23 Sep

© BBC

If you cheered with giddy joy when you heard that Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer’s brilliantly bonkers TV show House of Fools had been granted a second series, prepare yourself to tip right over the edge…because you could be in the audience for the recording of the new shows!

The new series, featuring Vic and Bob, and TVO faces Dan Skinner and Matt Berry (in genius form as Beef, their neighbour), is being recorded at The BBC Studios, MediaCityUK (in Salford) across a number of dates: 20th and 30th October, 18th and 27th November, 4th, 11th and 18th December.

You can apply for up to 2 tickets per recording and tickets will be allocated via a random draw. You can apply for tickets at any time until this Sunday, 28th September at 10pm. Please note that if you get allocated tickets for one of the shows your name will automatically be withdrawn for futher recordings. Click here to apply for tickets.

 

 

Julian Does Fred

21 Sep

© Stephen Cummiskey

Julian Barratt has brightened up many an ad break with his voice-over skills. And now he’s brought his silky northern tones to a new ad campaign for Homepride, which broke in the UK yesterday.

The cookery brand is back on TV screens after a 10-year hiatus with a £2.3m ad push that aims to celebrate its 50th anniversary and the relaunch of the brand with a new strapline ‘Everybody loves Homepride’.

We managed to bag a chat about Julian’s involvement in the project with the advertising creative responsible for the campaign – indie film writer/director and all round top geezer, Mike Oughton:

Thanks for talking to us Mike. Can you tell us what the campaign is about?
We’re relaunching Homepride Fred to the mums of Britain. Being that it’s no longer the 1980s, we decided we needed to contemporise the character. So instead of a little 2D cartoon, he’s now a full-sized real-life character who, surreally, appears at mealtimes to help mum. However, dad is a bit put out because Fred takes the ‘helping mum’ thing a little too far.

When can we see the ad/hear Julian do his thing?
The campaign is running on TV, radio and online (we’ve got a Youtube channel, innit.) And Fred is also charming the mums of Britain, and pushing out more content (vids, pics etc.), through his @Homepride_Fred Twitter feed. #LoveFred

Why did you pick Julian Barratt for the voice-over?
We wanted the surreal humour of the concept – a 6-foot cartoon character turning up in your house – to shine through. Sean Bean was busy, unfortunately. So the next best thing, we thought, was to go for someone synonymous with surreal comedy. I’m also a fan of The Boosh and Julian, so it was a great excuse to meet someone I admire.

What was he like to work with?
He was brilliant, of course. It was hugely affirming that he laughed out loud when we showed him the ad for the first time. And he understood exactly what was required of the TV voiceover. He delivered it with just the right amount of ‘dry voiceover man meets knowing comedian’ in his voice. Spot on.

In the radio ads, Julian speaks on behalf of Fred – Fred has a painted-on smile, you see, so doesn’t talk. We think Julian’s intimate voice on radio will charm the mums of Britain into dropping their trolleys… Sorry! I mean, dropping Homepride jars into their trolleys at the supermarket.

Using Julian as vo has also made the The Twitter feed much easier to write. When we imagine him speaking the words, it helps us to hit just the right note of comedic faux sincerity in the tweets.

Oh, did I forget to mention that he was a nice bloke? Well, he was a nice bloke. Taller than I imagined. And he left his earphones behind when he left the recording studio. Damn! I sent them back to him. Could have earned myself a few Euros if I’d auctioned them on here, complete with genuine Julian Barratt ear wax residue.

You can take a look at the first ad below, and keep your eyes and ears peeled for more of Julian’s voice in the forthcoming campaign.

Thanks to Mike Oughton from McCann for taking the time to talk to us. 

Rose D’Or For Toast

18 Sep

© Matt Berry

A few months ago we mentioned that Toast of London and Yonderland had been nominated for a Rose D’Or award.

We’re pleased to announce that Toast of London won the Best Sitcom category at the ceremony in Berlin last night, and Matt Berry, Arthur Matthews and producer Kate Daughton were there in person, as you can see from the picture that Matt posted on Twitter along with this Tweet:

Rose D’or for Toast Of London – celebrating in and out of the Berlin night with @Munchious n @katedaughton

There is another series of Toast of London coming soon to Channel 4.

Barratt’s ABCs Of Death 2 Out Soon!

17 Sep

A long time ago, back in the mists of time (August 2013 to be precise), we told you that Julian Barratt had been invited to direct one of the short films which would make up a horror anthology about death. Now the release date of the film, ABCs of Death 2, has been confirmed as October 2nd – only weeks away!

Like its predecessor, the film is comprised of twenty-six individual chapters, each helmed by a different director assigned a letter of the alphabet, beginning with the letter A and ending with the letter Z. They were given free rein in choosing a word to create a story involving death. Another TVO favourite, Ben Wheatley, directed one of the segments of the original film.

ABCs of Death 2 is available on demand and iTunes from 2nd October and in US theatres from 31st October. As yet a UK cinema release date hasn’t been confirmed. To watch it on demand and/or to book tickets to see the film in the US click here.

Julian also features in the film that he directed, and he makes a brief appearance in the trailer below. WARNING: it’s pretty gory, so if you’re at work, you hate horror or you’re reading this around young kids, maybe give it a miss?

Noel Work In Progress

15 Sep

© Noel Fielding

Ahead of his Autumn tour – An Evening With Noel Fielding, Noel Fielding is bringing his work in progress to The Pleasance, Islington, London on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th September.

Tickets will sell quickly so get yours here, to see the show before the tour.

Tour tickets for some venues can still be found from Ticketmaster and SeeTickets.

Online Comedy Awards

14 Sep

© British Comedy Guide

The British Comedy Guide is running an awards programme to honour online comedy – and there are just 24 hours left to vote for which videos you think deserve to be on the shortlist!

There are a fair few TVO-connected entries, including Bob Pipe‘s awesome The Day They Came to Suck Out Our Brains, videos from Matt BerryReece Shearsmith, Rufus Jones and Lucy MontgomeryKing Dredge, plus the Brett Domino trio, a regular musical fixture at Rich Fulcher‘s epic comedy night Fulchfest, a couple of years ago.

To view the loooong (and often hilarious) list of entries and to vote for who you think should be shortlisted visit the Awards site. But be quick – voting closes soon!

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