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Peacock Season: Edinburgh From the Comfort Of Your Sofa

3 Jul

© FMW Films

A wee while ago we mentioned that Peacock Season, the movie by and featuring James Wren, alongside a bevy of TVO-related comedians, would soon be available to view via Distrify, a site which allows you to buy films via social media. Well now it’s on there!

The film follows the story of advertising executive Keith Graham (Wren). When he’s fired from his job a chain of events leads to him taking a stand-up comedy show to the Edinburgh Festival.

This comedy about comedy was shot on location at the Festival and features a cast of festival veterans, including:

Dan Antopolski, Scott Capurro, Nina Conti, Rhys Darby, Justin Edwards, Felicity Wren, Pete Firman, Paul Foot, Richard Glover, Joy Gohring, Richard Herring, Adam Hills, Sammy J, Fergus March, Phil Nichol, Lucy Porter, Millie Reeves, Reece Shearsmith, Isy Suttie, Glenn Wool and James Wren himself.

To buy or rent the film and/or view the trailer visit this place.

Fifty 2

20 May

This coming weekend sees the culmination of BBC 2′s anniversary celebrations from a TVO perspective, as the fifty year old channel revives some of it’s biggest comedy smashes for a series of one-off specials.

© Balloon (50 Year Special) Limited / Mark Johnson

© Balloon (50 Year Special) Limited / Mark Johnson

Top of the hitlist is Harry & Paul’s Story of the 2sa one-off special from comedy legends Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse, poking fun at everything BBC2 is famous for.  Revisiting and parodying around fifty different shows from the channel’s illustrious history, there are over 150 different presenters, actors, comedians and politicians being lampooned in just under an hour.

It all looks like fantastic fun, and Onion fans will be pleased to note Enfield & Whitehouse have recruited Justin EdwardsKevin EldonRhys ThomasLucy Montgomery, Simon Greenall (Alan Partridge, Alice’s Wunderland), Catherine Shepherd (The IT Crowd, The Peter Serafinowicz Show), Rowland Rivron (French and Saunders) and music superstars Jeff Beck, Damon Albarn and The Klaxons for good measure.

You can catch the show on Sunday evening at 9pm, and it will be available on iPlayer after transmission. A selection of stills – including one of Justin Edwards as a later-in-life, portly Orson Wells, can be seen below.

Story of the 2s is not the only show airing either – with a two-part compilation of The Fast Show sketches made for Fosters Comedy airing on Friday and Monday.  Made in 2011, these reunited Paul Whitehouse with co-stars Charlie Higson, Arabella Weir, Simon Day, John Thomson, Caroline Aherne and Rhys Thomas, as well as bringing Lucy Montgomery along for the ride as well.

© Tyson Benton

© Tyson Benton

The first batch of six mini episodes aired in late 2011, with six more following in Spring 2012. TVO even ran a competition to win a signed script, though by now all of the videos have been removed from YouTube, so these broadcasts will be the first chance to catch the episodes in some time.

Part one airs on Friday at 10pm, with Part Two on Monday following a one-off special of seminal comedy classic Goodness Gracious Me - starring the original lead cast of the 90s hit: Sanjeev Bhaskar, Meera Syal, Nina Wadia, Kulvinda Ghir and Dave Lamb.

© BBC / Gary Moyes

© BBC / Gary Moyes

For those unaware of the show, it ran for thee series and a special between 1998 and 2001 following two series on BBC Radio Four, and explored the conflict and integration between traditional Indian culture and modern British life to great acclaim… the dvds are still regularly watched here at TVO HQ, so if you’ve never seen it we can’t recommend it highly enough even without any links to ‘our lot’!

And that’s not all – with Saturday night featuring a two-hour celebration, 50 Years Of BBC Two Comedy, airing from 9pm.  Looking back at the channel’s greatest moments from The Likely Lads to W1A, the talking heads clip show will no doubt feature a TVO face or two, amongst countless other comedic legends.

© BBC

© BBC

Contributors include Ricky Gervais, Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Alan Alda, Vic and Bob, Rebecca Front, Alexei Sayle, Mitchell and Webb, The Goodies, Catherine Tate, Bill Bailey, Ian Hislop, Sarah Millican, Dara O Briain, James Corden, Rob Brydon, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Armando Iannucci, Prunella Scales, Charlie Brooker, Paul Whitehouse, The League of Gentlemen and many more… so you’d be mad to miss it.

From all at TVO then, Happy Birthday BBC Two, and thanks for all the funnies…

 

Gutpunch Launched

15 May

A new short film featuring TVO regulars Rufus Jones and Justin Edwards is to première in Los Angeles tomorrow.

© Escape Films / BFI

Gutpunch tells the story of a 15 year old boy called Adam who discovers his biological father could be any one of the desperadoes from a 1980s video dating quest, and sets off on a suburban quest to find the man he can call ‘Dad’.

It stars Christian Lees as Adam, alongside Jones & Edwards and Rebekah Staton – best known for her appearances in SpyHunderby, Pulling and Doctor Who.  Written by Andrew Yerlett, the short is directed by Adrian McDowall, with producing duties handled by Michelle Eastwood.

Made as a collaboration between Escape Films and the BFI, it is set to première at the LA Comedy Shorts Festival tomorrow, with tickets available now.  We’ll aim to bring you more news on screenings and online links as soon as we have it, but in the meantime, keep your eyes on the official Gutpunch Facebook page for videos, photos and much more.

Monk-day Approacheth!

12 May

This week sees the broadcast of the new pilot episode for revamped project, Monks, featuring TVO regulars Fergus Craig and Justin Edwards.

© Anna Brabbins / BBC

© Anna Brabbins / BBC

As we’ve mentioned previously, the project has been on-and-off for 14 years, no less – first appearing on radio as Hey Hey We’re The Monks - a one off episode of BBC Radio 2′s Comedy Showcase.  Co-written by Danny Robbins (We Are History) and Dan Tetsell (Mongrels, Lab Rats), this pilot starred none other than future megastars Bill Bailey and Catherine Tate, yet it has never been repeated… lost into the ether (and the BBC Archives, we hope!).

Eight years later, and a non-broadcast tv pilot version featured James Corden, David Bamber, Geoffrey Whitehead and the addition of TVO regulars Fergus Craig (Colin and Fergus, Star Stories) and Justin Edwards (The Thick of It, Lifespam).  Sadly, the show was not commissioned, and that, it seemed, was that.

Until January of this year, that is, when a new attempt at the format was filmed at Elstree.  Standup and Mock The Week regular Seann Walsh is the new leading man, starring as benefits cheat Gary Woodcroft, who joins a religious order to avoid a jail term, only to find his choice of Rudley Abbey is just like prison, but with added praying.

Also along for the ride are Spaced veteran Mark Heap, The Vicar Of Dibley‘s James Fleet, former Have I Got News For You host Angus Deayton and, once more, Mssrs Craig and Edwards.   It’s all gloriously silly fun in the traditional sitcom mould, so any fans of Graham Linehan’s output or more mainstream fair like Miranda and Not Going Out should definitely check it out.  You can see a preview clip below:

The new pilot – For Whom The Bell Tolls - again written by Robbins, airs as the final edition of Comedy Playhouse this Tuesday evening at 10:40pm (11:10pm in Northern Ireland), and will be available on iPlayer shortly after transmission.  For a smattering of promotional images, look no further. Amen.

 

Get It Seen

1 Apr

No, that title isn’t just an instruction from us… it’s also the name of a new underground film festival taking place at legendary venue The Hen & Chickens Theatre in Islington this month.

© Hen & Chickens

The venue, which has been a spiritual home for TVO regulars for almost two decades – from The Mighty Boosh and Garth Marenghi to recent shows like the magnificent Kill Phil, has gathered together some of the finest low-budget features and shorts of recent years to come out of the London comedy scene, to show from today through to April 26th,

This includes Peacock Season on April 1st, 4th & 11th.  This legendary film about the Edinburgh Fringe shot at the festival features a top-notch cast including Justin EdwardsPaul FootRichard Glover, Nina Conti, Rhys Darby, Richard Herring, Reece Shearsmith, Isy Suttie, Glenn Wool and co-writer James Wren.

Other TVO connected films on offer include Phil Whelan‘s slapstick farce Clowntime Is OverStephen Evans‘ nostalgic short The Notorious Bruiser Brothers Revisitedand a chance to see the star-studded Bob Pipe masterpiece The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains on a big screen!

© Bob Pipe

There’s loads more on offer too: we particularly recommend Adriel Leff’s brilliant mockumentary Bloody Lip! To see the full list of shows, and to pick up tickets, visit the festival’s Facebook page now!

BBC4 Announces New Comedy

4 Feb

BBC4, the channel perhaps better known for meaningful documentaries about seminal albums is ramping up its comedy offering, and there are a few TVO faces in the line-up!

© Cambridge News

First up is The Walshes, a three-part series co-written by Graham Linehan and the five piece Irish comedy troupe Diet of Worms (who also play lead roles).  The Walshes are a tight-knit family from near Dublin, who are all still live at home because the state of the Irish economy has forced them all back together.

Next up is rock doc parody The Life Of Rock With Brian Pern by Rhys Thomas and fellow Fast Show comic, Simon Day. Brian Pern (Day) is an ageing rock star and former front man of prog rock group, Thotch. The premise is that the BBC have asked him to front a major new documentary where he presents his guide to The Life Of Rock, from prehistoric man to the present day, in a spoof three-part chronology of some of the biggest moments in rock history.

The series includes cameos from the world of comedy and music, including Paul Whitehouse, Matt Lucas, Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer (as Mulligan and O’Hare), Rick Wakeman (Old Gregg reference anyone?), Jools Holland and Roger Taylor.

And finally,there’s In And Out Of The Kitchen, a three-parter based on the BBC Radio 4 comedy created, written by and starring Miles Jupp about cookery writer Damien Trench (Jupp). His partner, Anthony, is played by Justin Edwards. It promises to show us everything that happens to him both in and out of the kitchen, ‘no matter how grizzly, or indeed, how gristly’. If the radio series is anything to go by, expect this to be a good un.

Shane Allen, BBC Controller of Comedy Commissioning, has said of the new commissions that they are, “A testament to BBC Four’s unique legacy in bringing the audience big name comedy talents in surprising and inventive shows that follow in the footsteps of award-winning predecessors like Getting On, The Thick Of It, Twenty Twelve and Screenwipe.”

As soon as we get any information about the transmission dates of the above-mentioned shows, we’ll be sure to let you know.

Chat Show Roulette Spins Again

30 Jan

© Justin Edwards

Tickets are now available for the latest iteration of Chat Show Roulette, which records next month.

The improvised chat show features Justin Edwards as the host, and a string of guest performers who don’t know who they will be playing until literally seconds before they appear – their identities chosen randomly from audience suggestions.

Starting life as a live event back in 2012, guests for the initial Soho Theatre run included Julia DavisKaty BrandPhil WhelansSimon Day and Matt Lucas, whose production company John Stanley Productions took the idea first to television for a non-broadcast pilot, and now to radio.

The show is the second JSP production in recent months with a direct link to TVO, following sci-fi sketch show 2525 featuring Waen Shepherd aired on BBC Radio 4 Extra late last year.

After the television pilot (featuring Lucas and Rebecca Front, no less), it is Radio 4 who have now opted to make Chat Show Roulette a regular occurrence, with recordings taking place at RADA Studios off Tottenham Court Road, London on Tuesdays throughout February and March.

Tickets can be applied for now via SRO Audiences, and we’ll aim to bring you broadcast dates and info on guest performers as soon as possible, so stay peeled.

Monks On One?

6 Jan

© BBC Comedy

News of a mainstream television pilot from some of TVO’s finest have emerged via our good friends at The British Comedy Guide.

The pilot, tentatively titled Monks, appears to be an adaptation of one-off Radio 2 Comedy Showcase special Hey Hey We’re The Monks from way back in 2000, which was written by Dan Tetsell (Mongrels, Lab Rats) and Danny Robbins (We Are History), starring Bill Bailey and Catherine Tate.

All these years later, the format – and seemingly some of its characters – will be revived for what has been described as “a brilliantly big, funny and warm-hearted new studio comedy for BBC One centred on a group of monks”.

It features Mock The Week regular and stand-up comic extraordinare Seann Walsh as benefits cheat Gary Woodcroft, who joins a religious order to avoid jail.  Except Rudley Abbey, where he ends up, is just like prison, but with added praying.

Long in gestation, the idea clearly has legs – having previously been piloted back in 2008 for a non-broadcast attempt featuring James Corden in the lead role, alongside David Bamber, Geoffrey Whitehead and TVO’s very own Justin Edwards (The Thick Of It, Lifespam) and Fergus Craig (Colin and Fergus, The Government Inspector).

Edwards is along for the ride this time around too, alongside Spaced and Big Train veteran Mark Heap and Vicar Of Dibley star James Fleet.  The pilot will be filmed at BBC Elstree Studios on Friday, January 31st – and tickets are available now via BBC Shows.

We’ll aim to bring you more news on this third attempt for Monks as soon as we hear it, so stay peeled.

Sherlock Connections

29 Dec

© BBC

We suspect that a great many of you reading this will be getting a tad excited about the impending 3rd series of Sherlock, which begins on new year’s day.  But did you know how many TVO connections the show has?

The fact that our very own fairy godmother, Alice Lowe, will be appearing in the new series as a nurse has inspired us to collate a list of The Velvet Onion’s who’s who of Sherlock:

First up, the big man himself, Benedict Cumberbatch, appeared on Nathan Barley as Robin. Next up, we have his sidekick, Martin Freeman, who was in Blake’s Junction 7 alongside TVO folk Stephen Evans, Justin Edwards and Simon Farnaby (which was also directed by Ben Gregor).

In terms of the people who we write about who have appeared in Sherlock, you may have spotted Katherine Parkinson and Tony Way in the final episode of the second series, and Jonathan Aris, who played Anderson in Sherlock, was also in Sightseers and The World End. Finally (and marvellously tenuously!), Louise Brealey, who played the part of Julian Barratt‘s daughter in the 2011 production of Government Inspector at The Young Vic, plays Molly Hooper in all three series of the show.

You can catch the first episode of series 3 (‘The Empty Hearse’ – you can watch the trailer here) at 9pm on BBC1. For those who can’t quite wait that long, here’s a 7-minute prequel mini-episode:

The British Comedy Awards 2013 Nominations Announced!

3 Dec
© Channel 4

© Channel 4

Next week sees Channel 4 host the annual British Comedy Awards ceremony in Wembley, which will also be broadcast live on the channel.

Starting at 9pm on Thursday, 12th December, the ceremony will be hosted by Jonathan Ross, and feature some of the cream of British comedy – including, of course, a number of TVO regulars.

Most notably, the category of Best Sketch Show has a guaranteed winner from Onion Land, as its nominations have all been featured on our pages.  Sky’s new star-packed historical therapy show Psychobitches will battle it out with the nation’s sweetheart, Horrible Histories and the long awaited It’s Kevin and veteran favourites Harry And Paul.

Between them, those shows featured some of our most beloved regulars: Alice Lowe, Matt BerryKaty BrandSimon Farnaby, Sharon HorganAlex KirkJustin EdwardsJulia Davis and, of course, Kevin Eldon.

“The Actor” Kevin Eldon is also nominated for Best TV Comedy Actor, alongside Greg Davis, David Mitchell and Jack Whitehall, whilst Psychobitches is also up for Best New Comedy Programme, alongside CuckooPlebs and another TVO favourite, Count Arthur Strong.

Elsewhere, the man behind Count Arthur, Steve Delaney, is nominated for Best Comedy Breakthrough Artist, alongside Adam Hills, Jonny Sweet and Tom Basden, whilst the show itself (directed by Graham Linehan, no less) is up for Best Sitcom against Bad Education, Getting On and Peep Show.

To find out who the winners are, join Channel 4, a whole host of comedy legends, and TVO itself, on 12th December.  The full list of nominations can be found below the ‘jump’, and to find out more visit: Channel4.com now! Continue reading

Radio Round-Up

6 Oct

© BBC

There are a number of radio shows featuring TVO names on at the moment and they’re available on BBC iPlayer for your listening pleasure.

A favourite on the site, Aisling Bea has appeared on the BBC’s Fresh from the Fringe, which showcases the best new comedians from the Edinburgh Fringe, hosted by Mark Watson. She is among those performing short stand-up sets on the show including Liam Williams, Romesh Ranganathan and Ellie White. The show has different video and audio forms, the video available on the BBC’s red button service until 10th October or online and the audio version can be heard for the next three days here. There are also clips featuring interviews and stand-up from each of the performers. All of this is well worth a watch/listen if you want to hear some fab comedy from comedians not normally given an outlet on TV.

Another show with a TVO connection this week is BBC Wales’ long-running topical comedy show, What’s the Story? which has Katy Wix as a guest and is available to listen to here until 12th October.

If that’s not enough radio for you, there are shows we’ve already reported on still available. Seekers, a new sitcom starring Tony Way and Steve Oram can be found here and Newsjack, a topical sketch show featuring Justin Edwards can be found here.

Dead Happy Lives Again!

25 Sep

© Film Or Die Productions / Sky Movies Indie

Dead Happy - the magnificent short film by Nicky Lianos – is now available to buy digitally via Amazon.com

The short, written by David Lemon and directed by Lianos, was made in conjunction with SkyMovies back in 2010. It features Alice Lowe as a Grim Reaper, bored of her 9-5 job, and looking for love.

Also featuring were Tom MeetenJustin EdwardsClare Thomson and Missing Scene co-creator turned internet legend David Bussell.

We fell in love with Dead Happy (and Lianos previous short with TVO connections, Monsters And Rabbits) when it was released three years ago, and followed its progress from SkyMovies airings, through to film festivals and eventually iTunes last year.

Now the short gets a US release somewhere that doesn’t fill Apple’s pockets, so those of you who think iPhone, schmiPhone, can download it via Amazon.com for just $1.99 right over yonder.  You can see a preview clip below.

Here in the UK, the film is still available via iTunes for £1.49, and it’s the best quid and almost-a-half you’ll spend today…

Newsjack Is Back!

22 Sep
© bbc.co.uk

© bbc.co.uk

Justin Edwards is back as host of a new series of Newsjack, BBC Radio 4 Extra’s flagship topical comedy show.

The magazine style sketch show has an open-door policy, which means anyone can write for it, so the show is fresh and different.

As well as Justin the show features Lewis Macleod, Margaret Cabourn-Smith, Pippa Evans and Nadia Kamil.

Free tickets are available here for the recordings on the following Wednesdays:

25 September, 2 October, 9 October, 16 October and 23 October.

If you can’t get to a recording, the show is broadcast on Thursdays at 10.30pm on BBC Radio 4 Extra, and you can listen to the first episode on BBC iPlayer.

Onion Selling

16 Sep

Whilst TVO appears to be in a ‘proper telly’ lull as we await a few big name shows coming soon, there’s no shortage of Onion faces cropping up on our screens thanks to the world of ad-breaks.

© Reed.co.uk

© Reed.co.uk

Such is the fickle nature of the acting profession – and stand-up comedy for that matter – every once in a while, TVO regulars crop up in commercials.

Whilst some may baulk at the notion of talented people turning up in adverts, let us remind you that, much like voiceover work, it pays well, doesn’t take long, and adds to the portfolio.  And hey, if it’s good enough for John Cleese, Dawn French, Kylie Minogue and Kevin Bacon, to name but a few big names who succumb to acting in ads, then who are we to complain.   Plus… it gets our good friends on the tellybox when we least expect it!

In the past, we’ve rounded up a number of commercials featuring so many faces of Onion Land, and the last month or so has seen the debut of three more such ads.

First up in this latest collection is the return of Rufus Jones as the face of job website reed.co.uk, in an advert which debuted during this weekend’s top-rated edition of X-Factor, no less.  Once again Richard Sandling is one of his potential targets for new work after a rude awakening…

Elsewhere, Channel 5 is keen to push it’s own catch-up service, Demand 5, which is now available on smart televisions, as well as NOWTV boxes, their website and YouTube.  Catching up on Neighbours with a rather heavy hangover in this commercial is none other than Rachel Stubbings

And then there’s Virgin Media, who are using athlete Usain Bolt and company founder Richard Branson in a series of adverts, all of which are voiced by Richard Ayoade

Lastly for now, is the return of Paul Kaye in typically maniacal form as the star of BetVictor’s long running campaign.  Here, Victor Chandler is enjoying a nice, gentle, first-class train ride, but typically, Maurice can’t quite leave him in peace…

As long as there is an Onion Land, it seems, there will be commercials featuring its inhabitants.  There are far too many for us to possibly collate, but we’ve done our best to dig into the archives and find you some of the better moments via the handy playlist below.

Included here are such classic moments as Julian Barratt advertising Metz way back in 1997, and his co-hort Noel Fielding being creative with handcuffs for Carling Live five years later.  There are big name ads you’d never realise had TVO links, from Simon Farnaby voicing a horse with a penchant for NutriGrain through to Ben Wheatley helming recent Go Compare ads.

Of course, there’s a huge chunk of voiceover king Matt Berry, but his IT Crowd co-stars Chris O’Dowd and Katherine Parkinson get a look in too.  Regular collaborators Tom Meeten and Barunka O’Shaughnessy pop up in a few ads, and we’ve got loads more to savour featuring the likes of Richard GloverLaura PatchAlex KirkRhys ThomasJustin EdwardsDan TetsellAnna CrillyKaty Wix and the well trained eye of Paul King.  We’ve also got a ridiculously early tv appearance by Steve Coogan, and a couple of later ads in character as Paul and Pauline Calf. Enjoy…

Straw Donkey Unveiled

18 Aug

© Outsider

The short film Straw Donkey is now available to view online.

We first told you about Matt Huntley’s short back in January, as it features Tony WayLaura PatchBarunka O’Shaughnessy and The Inbetweeners star Joe Thomas, plus a cameo from Justin Edwards

At the time, all we could share with you was a preview clip, though TVO were lucky enough to see the full piece soon after posting, and we’ve been itching to share it with you ever since.

Now at last, this delightful little film is available to all.  So sit back, relax, and enjoy a classic tale about a food allergy, a shotgun and a meddlesome neighbour conspiring to make a dinner party an evening that everyone involved would rather forget.

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.

HunderbyJulia 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!

Catch Up With Onion Land

4 Apr

© BBC

The last remnants of your Easter Eggs are starting to look like wicked reminders of pure liquid gluttony.  Spring is officially here, though some parts of the country seem to have swapped sunshine for snow.  As you stop to take a breath, you realise this seemingly barren period in Onion Land is actually filled with glorious programming you might have missed!

There’s a number of TVO regulars cropping up in various shows at the moment, and as some of them won’t be on catch-up for very long, we thought it was as good a time as any to give you a brief round-up.

For starters, Colin Hoult and Steve Oram appeared in the Easter Special of Life’s Too Short - the mockumentary series about Multiverse head-honcho Warwick Davis.  Oram’s also been regularly appearing in Heading Out with Sue Perkins, and all six episodes can be caught on catch-up at present.

Then there’s our full blooded TVO shows to savour – with It’s Kevin halfway though it’s initial run, and all episodes available on iPlayer, you can savour Kevin EldonJulia DavisJustin EdwardsMatt Berry, Alex Kirk and many more joining The Actor, Kevin Eldon for some full blooded titting about.  The show continues on Sunday evening.

© Dave King / Roughcut Television

Over on 4oD is every episode of Anna & Katy - the silly channel-hopping style sketch show from Anna Crilly and Katy Wix, which also features appearances from Fergus Craig, Colin Hoult and David McNeill.  The show wraps up next Wednesday.

There’s also the brand new series of Game Of Thrones featuring Paul Kaye airing on Sunday evenings, which is available on catch-up exclusively to Sky customers, alongside Dan Clark and Katherine Parkinson in Love Matters.

If radio is more your thing, don’t forget that Matt Berry returned for Series 2 of I, Regress last night on Radio 4, who are also in the middle of a rerun of Knowing Me Knowing You… With Alan Partridge.

And if repeats are all you crave, you’ll be pleased to know that Mongrels will be heading to freeview channel Dave from April 12th. All this, plus the release of Sightseers on dvd and blu-ray, and a wealth of archive materials available from our TVO Amazon Stores now!  Get stuck in!

Nods & Nominations

26 Mar

© Queenonline

The Oscars may seem like a distant memory already, but Awards Season continues apace, and TVO regulars are, as always, in the offering.

The BAFTA Craft Awards were announced this weekend, and comedy legend Rhys Thomas is up for the highly prestigious Breakthrough Talent award for his documentary Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender, which shone a candid light on the period between Freddie’s debut solo album in 1985, and his premature death in 1991.

He’s up against stiff competition from Mike Bartlett for The Town, Julie Gearey for Prisoners’ Wives and Tim Whitnall for Best Possible Taste: The Kenny Everett Story.

Elsewhere, in the comedy department, Julia Davis has been nominated for “Writer (Comedy)” due to her gloriously funny period piece Hunderby.  She’s up against Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche and Simon Blackwell for the final run of The Thick Of It (which featured Justin Edwards), as well as John Morton for Twenty Twelve and Jo Brand, Vicki Pepperdine and Joanna Scanlan for Getting On.  For the full list of nominations, check out Digital Spy’s rundown over yonder.

Last week saw the Royal Television Society Programme Awards take place in London, and again, there were TVO connections on show.  Horrible Histories was pipped to the post as Children’s Programme by Room On The Broom, but Sherlock - the last episode of which featured Katherine Parkinson and Tony Way – won the award for Drama Series ahead of Call The Midwife and Line Of Duty.  Sherlock also picked up an award for “Writer – Drama”, given to its showrunner Steven Moffat.

© RTS

However, the big TVO win belonged to BabyCow for Alan Partridge: Welcome To The Places Of My Life - which picked up the nod for Scripted Comedy – so congrats to Steve CooganDave Lambert and the rest of the team!  For more info, pop here.

Lastly, and by no means leastly, the delightful Tony Law won Best Club Comic and Best Show for Maximum Nonsense at this weekend’s Chortle Awards, with Stewart Lee & Richard Herring also scoring double wins.

And of course, as we told you this weekendSightseers picked up yet another gong – this time for Best British Film at the Empire Awards.  All in all, a glorious time for the stars of TVO – and we’re over the moon for everyone winning things!

Own The Thick Of It Signed Scripts!

14 Mar
© theguardian.co.uk

© theguardian.co.uk

Chris Addison, star of The Thick of It, is raffling a unique book of scripts from series 1&2 and the specials, in aid of Comic Relief.

The script is signed by the cast and writers including Justin Edwards, as well as Armando Iannucci, Peter Capaldi, Rebecca Front, Chris Addison, James Smith, Jo Scanlan, Roger Allam, Olivia Poulet, Will Smith, Vincent Franklin, Tony Gardner, Simon Blackwell & Tony Roche.

Donate £5 for your chance to win, the more you donate, the more chances you have!

Pop over to the Red Nose Day giving page, to donate and you might be lucky.

It’s Kevin

10 Mar
© Justin Sutcliffe / The Independent

© Justin Sutcliffe / The Independent

The day has come at long last, Kevin Eldon has his own tv show – and it starts next weekend!

One of the greatest comic minds of all time, the man affectionately known as The Actor Kevin Eldon has been content to stand in the sidelines for decades, stealing almost every scene he’s ever been included in, across a plethora of big name projects.  The likes of Fist Of Fun and This Morning With Richard Not Judy made him a recognisable face, and since then he’s been involved in almost everything great on telly – including TVO related works Hot FuzzNighty Night, Mongrels, Nathan Barley, The IT Crowd, Hyperdrive, Look Around You, Big Train, Brass Eye… you name it, Kevin’ s probably been in it!

Which makes the notion of him getting his own tv show all the more exciting.  Coming off the back of his brilliant 2010 live show Kevin Eldon Is Titting About and the gloriously bonkers 2012 radio show Kevin Eldon Will See You Now, the show sees Eldon as himself, wandering around a blank studio, connecting up a string of sketches featuring a rich platter of guest stars, ready to discuss sandwiches or unusual musical medical conditions.

The likes of Julia DavisJustin Edwards, Dan Skinner, Bill Bailey, Paul Putner, David Reed, Simon Munnery, Amelia Bullmore and Martin Trenaman join Kevin on his adventures, with Putner and Father Ted co-creator Arthur Matthews amongst the writing team assisting Eldon’s pen too.  It all sounds too good to be true, but early reviews suggest the hype is more than justified.

To promote the show, the publicity shy Eldon has given an interview to The Independent, which can be read over yonder, and another to The Scotsman, which again is over yonder, too.  Our friends at The British Comedy Guide also have a sneaky preview clip to savour too, and it’s a corker!

The first episode airs Sunday 17th March at 10:30pm (25 minutes later in Northern Ireland) on BBC2.  Whilst we wait, here’s a selection of promo images for the first episode, featuring guest stars Davis & Skinner. Enjoy.

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