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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.

Farnaby On The Buses

21 Jul

© Comedy.co.uk

Simon Farnaby has lent his voice to a new Channel 5 series ‘On the Yorkshire Buses’.

The programme follows the men and women of East Yorkshire Motor Services as they try to keep Yorkshire moving. We see the firm face driver shortages, constant road works, a union dispute, a heat wave, stiff competition along its tourist routes and an air conditioning malfunction that causes meltdown in the control room. Dramatic stuff!

The series started in 11th July, and the first 2 episodes are available to view here (for episode 1, ‘Summer Holiday’) and there (for episode 2, ‘The Heat is On’).

You can catch this week’s programme, titled ‘Back to School’ at 8pm this Friday on Channel 5.

The previous factual TV show that carried Simon Farnaby’s narration (‘Richard III: The King in the Car Park’) picked up a top TV awards, so who knows – perhaps this one will be next?

Yonderland Returns!

3 Jul

© Sky

Yonderland, the fantasy comedy series featuring people and puppets (including Simon Farnaby in brilliantly evil form), is to return for a second series.

The first series from the makers of Horrible Histories ran in November 2013, generating critical acclaim and strong viewing figures. The new series will see the lead character and housewife/heroine, Debbie, battling to keep her family life and her role as savour of the world separate.

In case you missed it the first time round, it offers the perfect introduction to the world of silly surreal comedy for younger family members, whilst entertaining us adult folk too. This writer’s 9 year old is beside himself with joy about its return to our screens.

Lucy Lumsden, Sky’s Head of Comedy, has said of the recommission: “We’re delighted to be able to reunite the multi-talented Yonderland team for another series. Many more magical treats of silliness await”.

To find out more about the show, including clips and cast interviews, take a look at this on Sky’s website.

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’!

 

Man VS Weird

10 May

© channel4.com

© channel4.com

Simon Farnaby is presenting a new Channel 4 show called Man vs Weird which starts on Monday night at 10pm.

The show involves Simon travelling from Europe to the US and Asia, meeting people who possess or claim to possess extraordinary powers, then he tries to use these powers himself.

Episode 1 is called Superhuman Powers, involving Simon travelling to Croatia to meet internet child sensation Ivan, and watch him suspend an 18 kilo weight on his chest, then in Georgia Simon meets Etibar the ‘Magnetic king’, who sticks 44 spoons to his body. Then in a grand hotel in Budapest, he meets magnetic legend Laszlo Harasztosi.

For more information, episode guides and a clip – not for the squeamish! – check out the website.

The show will also be available on 4OD after broadcast.

BAFTA Craft Awards

26 Apr

© BAFTA

This Sunday, BAFTA will be handing out its 2014 awards for craft in television, and there are a few TVO-connected shows in the list of nominations.

If you’re wondering what television craft is all about, put simply it’s the skill and artistry that takes place behind the scenes to get a TV show onto our screens.

This year’s shortlist includes nominations for Count Arthur Strong (Graham Linehan & Steve Delaney)  and The IT Crowd (Linehan again) in the ‘Best Comedy Writer’ category. There are also a handful of nominations for Utopia, which featured a bevy of TVO folk amongst its cast, including Michael Smiley, Dan Tetsell and Simon Farnaby. The series features in ‘Best Director – Fiction’, ‘Best Digital Creativity’ and ‘Best Photography & Lighting’ categories.

The full list of nominations can be seen here. For live updates from the awards ceremony on Sunday follow @BAFTA on Twitter.

Best of luck to everyone for Sunday!

Bafta Bonanza

8 Apr

© Channel 4

The Bafta nominations are out, and there are many TVO connections to be found.

To begin with; The IT Crowd has 4 nominations, with Chris O’Dowd, Richard Ayoade and Katherine Parkinson nominated for Best Male/Female Performance in a Comedy Programme, and Best Situation Comedy, where it shares the nomination with Toast of London and The Count Arthur Strong Television Programme.

Richard III: The King in the Car Park, featuring Simon Farnaby, is nominated for Best Factual Programme.

There are also nominations for Rory Kinnear (Count Arthur Strong), and Doon Mackichan (Toast of London), for other roles.

In the Single Drama category, Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror: Be Right Back, featuring Claire Keelan (Nathan Barley) and Mark Gatiss’s An Adventure in Space and Time, featuring Reece Shearsmith,  are both nominated.

A full list of nominations is here, where you can also vote for the Radio Times Audience Award.

Simon And The Beast

23 Jan

The Midnight Beast returns to E4 this evening, and once again, Simon Farnaby is in tow.

© Channel 4

The first series of the cult hit based around the YouTube comedy rap sensations aired back in 2012, with TVO regular Ben Gregor (Blake’s Junction 7, Ant Muzak, The Wingnut Tapes) at the helm.  Since then, Ben’s gone on to make his first movie, All Stars, and has been replaced by Screenwipe veteran Al Campbell (best known for his alter ego, Barry Shitpeas).

As ever with the Beast, the series will be accompanied by an album of songs from the show, Shtickheads, due out in March.  You can see a preview trailer and the lead track below.

To promote the show, TMB have spoken to RWD Mag over yonder, whilst Farnaby – who plays hapless neighbour Sloman – appeared in today’s edition of Metro, in which he had very nice things to say about the other TMB in comedy.

The Midnight Beast Series 2 airs from 10pm tonight on E4, and will be available on 4oD soon after transmission.

TVO’s Review Of The Year 2013: Part Four

4 Jan

Hello and a warm welcome to the final part of our Review of 2013. Although October to December may feel like it only just happened, prepare to be amazed by how much you’ve forgotten. We were, but then we’re getting on a  bit.

So here are the best bits from the fourth quarter of the year – cherry-picked from news stories about both our regulars and a few new faces too. Enjoy.

OCTOBER

October was the month that Booshmania returned.  Just as the fantastic Behind the Boosh exhibition started its run at Proud Camden, showcasing the history of that most Mighty of comedic troops via the majesty of Dave Brown‘s photography, the boys were back in town.  Or rather, on the pier, as The Mighty Boosh went from the Soho Theatre to Tenacious D’s Festival Supreme in LA. A final (chaotic) UK warm-up show and a further run through at The Comedy Store, almost halted by a Visa saga, paved the way for a live performance that turned out to be one of the Festival’s highlights. Fan forums and social media platforms were buzzing with photos, footage and reviews of the show.

Another announcement that got us more than a bit over-excited in October was the news that Ben Wheatley is to direct the first 2 episodes of the next series of Doctor Who, starring the new Time Lord, Peter Capaldi. How good is that!?  We’re itching to see what happens when you combine one of the UK’s finest directors with its biggest export, now in the capable hands of an Oscar-winning acting legend to boot.  You can see the moment Capaldi became the Doctor in the 2013 Xmas special below…

More telly stuff, with the launch of Matt Berry’s new series, Toast Of London.  We’d been itching to see it since the pilot back in 2012, and it did not disappoint…

Elsewhere, Richard Ayoade established himself as a permanent fixture on prime time panel shows with a stint as team captain on Was It Something I Said? on Channel 4. Ayoade’s intellectual sparring with host David Mitchell certainly made our Sunday evenings feel a bit more highbrow!

What else?  Well, in movie news, there was an update on the cast for Paul King‘s long-awaited Paddington Bear feature film, which included mention of Rufus Jones and James Bachman. To end the month, TVO artists offered us a veritable smorgasbord of comedy options for Halloween night’s out, with special spooky performances from Colin Hoult and Richard Sandling.  And we were sad to lose the talented comedy actor Felix Dexter, who died at the too-young age of 52. He left behind an incredible legacy of great TV performances on shows like Bellamy’s PeopleAbsolutely Fabulous, The Fast ShowKnowing Me Knowing You… With Alan Partridge, Mongrels and Alexei Sayle’s Merry Go Round to name but a few. He will be much misse, and would typically hate all this fuss about him, so let’s remember him with one of his silliest moments – dancing for Sport Relief alongside Rhys Thomas and Lucy Montgomery.  What a dude.

Continue reading

TVO’s Review Of The Year 2013: Part One

1 Jan

2013 has been a funny old year in Onion Land. We’ve seen our regulars scoop bucketloads of awards, from Best British Film at the Empire Awards to International Emmy Awards and everything in-between. Some names on our roster have reached new heights of success, becoming household names to people who have no idea of their cult origins. Others have just continued being quietly amazing, but all of them have been worthy of your attention.

As a result, we’ve been ploughing through the 12 months of TVO, to pluck out the best bits from over 700 news stories across 2013. This first instalment of our round-up covers January-March, and is jam packed with forgotten treasures and instant classics alike.  Enjoy.

JANUARY

The year began quietly, with the only key new show on the box being, on the surface, designed for kids. FIT was a sports-based sketch show on CBBC from the team behind Sorry, I’ve Got No Head, and featured TVO regulars Tony WayRufus Jones and Aisling Bea in its ensemble cast. For the most part, however, it was the involvement of Peter Serafinowicz – reprising his beloved cult character Brian Butterfield – which got everyone’s attention…

On the other end of the spectrum, Michael SmileyDan Tetsell and Simon Farnaby turned up in the very-much-for-grown-ups cyber-thiller Utopia on Channel 4. The show concerned itself with attempts to trace the only known copy of a graphic novel which left a trail of bloody carnage in its wake. With Four Lions star Adeel Akhtar part of its ensemble cast, as well as Kill List actor Neil Maskell as a creepy hitman, and The Thick Of It‘s Paul Higgins as a blackmailed civil servant, the show became an instant cult hit, and will be returning for a second series in 2014.

Closer to home, and the good folk of Onion Land seemed keen to dish out advice. Comedic agony aunt Rachel Stubbings was offering specially crafted miniature versions of herself for sale to anyone in need of a friendly ear. Or, to be more exact, a bit of unemotional plastic which happened to look a bit like her, in a variety of costumes. The Stubby Buddy was a quick sell out, though something tells me we won’t be seeing them in the shops next year…

Elsewhere, conceptual artist and Luxury Comedy star Kim Noble was offering handy tips on how to buy an oven

And as Bowie-fever gripped the world, James Cook released his own, haunting interpretation of Mr Jones’ classic track, Ashes To Ashes

Continue reading

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:

Time To Bid Farewell To Yonderland

22 Dec

© Sky 1

The final episode of the first series of Yonderland airs at 6.30pm today on Sky 1. And this author knows of at least one eight year old who’s going to devastated!

The eight-part kids’ fantasy comedy series from the Horrible Histories team has picked up fans and plaudits galore during its run, and this week was even awarded ‘Best Comedy’ in the 2013 CultBox Awards (up against stiff competition from adult comedy shows such as Bad Education, The Wrong Mans, Vicious, Drifters, Count Arthur Strong and  Psychobitches).

A second series feels like a no-brainer, so hopefully it won’t be long before we welcome back Debbie, Negatus and and their motley crew of freaks, legends and puppets.

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

And The Winner Is…

25 Nov

Awards season is upon us, and a few TVO-connected TV shows have been getting some well-deeserved recognition from the juries!

© CBBC

First up is Horrible Histories, which has picked up another award, this time for Best Children’s Comedy at the Children’s BAFTAs. In doing so, it pipped another TVO-related show to the winning post in the shape of FIT (a sports-based sketch show airing on CBBC, which features Tony WayRufus Jones and Aisling Bea in its ensemble cast – plus Peter Serafinowicz as Brian Butterfield). Click here to watch the presentation of the award to the Horrible Histories team.

To see the full list of winners and nominees take a look at the Children’s BAFTAs website.

Next, a look at the Southbank Sky Arts Awards, the winners of which will be announced at a ceremony on 27th January, presented by Melvyn Bragg. The nominations feature three of our lot, with AlanPartridge: Alpha Papa and Psychobitches both up for ‘Best Comedy’, and Philomena (co-written by and starring Steve Coogan) up for ‘Best Film’. For the full list of nominees click here.

Congratulations to everyone nominated, and the best of luck for the awards ceremony in January!

 

Laughs Over Yonder

17 Nov

© Sky

With this week’s Yonderland mere minutes away, we thought we’d offer up a handy round-up of the reviews of last week’s broadcast. If they donut persuade you that you should be watching it, I’m not sure what will.

For the initiated, Yonderland is the latest TV output from the team that brought us Horrible Histories. It’s a comedy fantasy adventure featuring people and puppets, and has elicited comparisons with Tolkein, The Mighty Boosh, Terry Prachett and Monty Python. It features Simon Farnaby in sublimely silly form and my 8 year old has been talking about it all week. Perfect parent and child shared Sunday evening viewing, and/or for those of us who never quite grew up.

The reaction to episodes 1 and 2, which aired on Sky1 last Sunday has been resoundingly positive. The Independent, The GuardianThe StageDen of Geek,  Time Out andMetro  all gave the show a resounding thumbs up.  It’s rare to see such universal positivity around a new series. The creators and cast of Yonderland should be proud of their achievement!

This week’s show can be seen at 6.30pm on Sky1 (quiiiick!).  If you miss it, don’t worry, it’s repeated during the week; check out Sky listings for details.

For more information about the show you can visit the show’s pages on Sky’s website.

Yonderland Is Here!

7 Nov
© sky.co.uk

© sky.co.uk

We finally have the broadcast date for Yonderland, and it’s Sunday (10th November) at 6.30pm on Sky1 and Sky1 HD.

The first two half-hour episodes are being shown, with the next six episodes shown weekly. It will be repeated on Tuesdays and Fridays and the episodes will be available from Sky On Demand after broadcast.

As regular readers know, Yonderland is written by and stars the main cast of Horrible Histories along with Dan Skinner, and is a comic fantasy about Debbie Maddox, a Mum who drops her twins off at school for their first day, and is confronted by an elf with a magic stick at the back of her food cupboard.

The elf transports her to another world filled with carnivorous plants and strange creatures, where she finds she is the ‘Chosen One’.

Watch a clip from the first episode here and a Q and A with the cast there, where they talk about their influences when writing the show.

A Sneaky Peek At WarpFilms10

4 Nov

© Warp Films / Golden

A few months ago, we told you about the forthcoming WarpFilms10 boxset from seminal film production company Warp.  Made to celebrate the company’s tenth birthday, this deluxe presentation of some of their finest work over the past decade including a number of big movies from Onion Land.

The limited edition Book and DVD Set features exclusive behind-the-scenes photographs and unreleased archive materials, plus ten key productions from the Warp legacy.

To make it even more sweet, the book contains a foreword by Chris Hewitt of Film 2013 fame, and an exclusive interview with Warp Films creative bods Mark Herbert and Steve Beckett.

In chronological order, the set features: Dead Man’s Shoes, This Is England, All Tomorrow’s Parties, Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee, Bunny And The BullFour LionsSubmarine, Tyrannosaur, Kill List and Snowtown.

Mark Herbert, who also produced Four Lions and Submarine, will be signing and hand-numbering the first 1000 copies, to make the set even more collectible.  It will only be available on dvd, sadly (no blu-ray copies it seems for some reason!), and will retail at £95, but pre-orders can currently be placed for just £80.

It’s money well spent, we feel, and you can join the elite club of owners of this gorgeous bit of kit over yonder.  But just in case you needed any further persuasion, the good folk at Warp have very kindly sent us this exclusive preview of one of the book’s spreads on Bunny And The Bull - featuring previously unseen production stills featuring Edward HoggSimon FarnabyJulian Barratt and director Paul King.  Just click on the preview below to see a bigger version… enjoy.

© Warp Films / Golden

© Warp Films / Golden

Horrible Histories and Fit up for Children’s BAFTA Awards

22 Oct
© Rory Lindsay

© Rory Lindsay

The final series of Horrible Histories and the first of FIT have both been nominated for Children’s BAFTA awards.

For those who missed it earlier this year, FIT is a sports-based sketch show airing on the CBBC channel, featuring Tony WayRufus Jones and Aisling Bea in its ensemble cast.  Most famously, however, was the inclusion of brand new sketches featuring Peter Serafinowicz as Brian Butterfield, most of which went viral due to the enormous popularity of the character.

It’s made by the same team as Horrible Histories, which features Simon Farnaby and Alice Lowe in its cast, and is wrapping up so the team can concentrate on Sky Comedy Yonderland and a forthcoming movie project.

Both shows will battle it out for the Comedy award, alongside fellow CBBC shows DNN and Hackertime - the latter of which features former Mongrels puppeteer Warwick Brownlow-Pike performing as Dodge and various other roles.

Elsewhere, Horrible Histories spin-off Gory Games is up for the Entertainment award, for which competition comes in the form of Help! My Supply Teacher Is Still MagicOfficially Amazing and Sam And Mark’s Big Friday Wind-Up.

The awards ceremony takes place on Sunday, 24th November.  For a full list of nominations, visit BAFTA’s website.

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…

A Taste Of Yonderland

9 Sep

Sky One has released three teasers for its forthcoming new series, Yonderland, the puppet-based fantasy comedy series from the creators and cast of Horrible Histories.

The show includes Simon Farnaby as part of the regular cast, alongside a cast of puppet characters who are awaiting the chosen one (mum-of-two Debbie) to pass through a portal into their realm and defeat the evil Negatus. Of course.

The teasers below give you an idea of what to expect (look out for Farnaby’s star turn at the end of the second trailer!):

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