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Lucy & Rufus In Pond

12 Apr

Pond is a new Comedy Blap from Channel 4 starring Lucy Montgomery and Rufus Jones, written by Will Smith and directed by Gareth Tunley.

Described as “an alarmingly accurate insight into the TV industry”, it is a sitcom set in the treacherous world of modern television commissioning, a world filled with bullshitters and arse-kissers.

You can watch the full 10 minute show right here:

 

Lucy & Tony Sail International Waters

5 Mar

Transatlantic comedy podcast International Waters offered its latest edition over the weekend, featuring TVO regulars Lucy Montgomery and Tony Way.

© Pett Productions

The pair – who have appeared in a number of projects together, including TittybangbangMongrelsDoug The Bounty Hunter and recently, The Life Of Rock With Brian Pern, joined host Dave Holmes and US comedians Derek Miller and Zabeth Russell, for the pop culture knowledge quiz.

Part panel show, part pub quiz night, the show has previously featured Katy Brand and James Bachman, and regularly pits two Brits against two Yanks for good measure.

You can hear Tony & Lucy chat about topics as diverse as the UK floods and Brian Pern over yonder now.

Brian Pern’s On The (Spirit) Level

25 Feb
© EmuBands

© EmuBands

Last night saw the finale of The Life Of Rock air on BBC Four, and to celebrate, seminal rock legend turned documentary host Brian Pern has reissued his greatest hits on iTunes.

The show was the brainchild of Rhys Thomas, who worked alongside Pern (whose physical resemblance to Simon Day cannot go unnoticed), to craft the three part documentary, each of which can be seen again now via iPlayer.

Featured a variety of rock legends and musical know-it-alls detailing the birth, life and death of the art-form across the series, the show also offered Brian’s fans a chance to see behind the scenes into his organisation, and revisit some long-forgotten television appearances and rare live material.

Here is Brian, for example, performing his classic solo smash, Spirit Level on Top Of The Pops back in 1986, which was part of a series of classic clips uploaded to YouTube via the BBC earlier this month.

Of course, we’re only playing along. Pern is, of course, Simon Day, and the show also featured TVO regulars Lucy MontgomeryTony Way, Michael Smiley and Steve Burge, who composed the music for the series alongside Rhys Thomas.

The series also featured big name guest stars like Paul Whitehouse, Vic Reeves, Bob Mortimer, Nigel Havers, Michael Kitchen, Al Murray, Danny John Jules, Roger Taylor, Jools Holland, Rick Wakeman and Peter Gabriel, whilst Episode Three had an additional connection to TVO as former Mighty Boosh star and professional ape impersonator Peter Elliot appeared as a gorilla with surprising musical agility.

Due to popular demand, highlights from the show’s soundtrack have been released digitally on iTunes, with the eleven track album featuring Thotch ‘classics’ like Worm Equinox and Brian’s protest song Succulent Chinese Meal

© BBC

© BBC

Naturally, the album features Simon Day’s vocals and Steve Burge’s instrumentation, as well as guest vocals from Lucy Montgomery and Tony Way – the latter of whom gets to unleash a extra dirty verse on the title track under the guise of Captain Cupnutz.  Savour it.

You can download the album now for £7.99 over yonder.

Sadly, due to the expensive nature of rights negotiation in making the show, Rhys confirmed today that there will be no dvd or blu-ray release, so keep an eye out for repeats, and savour the music instead!

Brian Pern’s Greatest Hits I

11 Feb
© BBC

© BBC

This week saw the launch of The Life Of Rock With Brian Pern - the magnificent new spoof documentary series from Rhys Thomas and Simon Day featuring a whole host of big name guest stars.

Episode One aired on Monday, and in amongst the big name artists discussed (Bowie was a fag-stealer; Mercury made his piano out of a really, REALLY big fireplace etc), were a series of vintage clips of prog-rock king Brian Pern in action.

These included Thotch at the peak of their excess, with the epic Land Of The Crab, industrial jungle influence Naughty Man from 1979, and the infamously divisive solo single and pop smash, Spirit Level.

Now the full performances have been dug out of the archives and uploaded to the BBC Comedy YouTube Channel, and you can see all five via this handy playlist below.

In reality, of course, they are the work of the show’s composer, Steve Burge, and also feature Tony WayLucy Montgomery and Al Murray.

Episode Two of the show, which also features Michael Smiley, Vic Reeves, Bob Mortimer, Paul Whitehouse, Nigel Havers, Michael Kitchen, Matt Lucas, Danny John Jules, Roger Taylor, Jools Holland and Peter Gabriel amongst others, will air next Monday on BBC Four.  You can catch Episode One on iPlayer now.

The Life Of Rock Starts Tonight!

10 Feb

The Life Of Rock - the new mockumentary from Rhys Thomas and Simon Day – starts tonight on BBC Four.

© BBC

© BBC

We first told you about the show a while back now, and have been itching to see the results ever since.  It features Simon Day as spoof 70s rock god Brian Pern, and pays homage to an era ripe for parody, and several noteworthy stars of the era have lined up to put their tongues firmly in their cheeks.

Queen’s Roger Taylor, prog legend Rick Wakeman and perhaps the biggest influence on Pern – Peter Gabriel – join a series of comedy legends in the show.

These include TVO regulars Michael SmileyTony WayLucy Montgomery and Steve Burge, as well as Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer, Paul Whitehouse, Danny John Jules and Matt Lucas.  Don’t worry – we’re salivating at that line-up too.

The show airs at 10pm on BBC Four this evening, having moved from its previously announced Wednesday slot, and will be available on iPlayer after transmission.  Rhys also appeared on both BBC Breakfast and Radcliffe & Maconie this morning to discuss the show, and you can catch his interview with the latter over yonder soon.  The trailer for the show can be seen below.

Trailer Time For Brian Pern & Inside No. 9

30 Jan

The BBC have released trailers for two of their forthcoming comedy shows with strong TVO connections.

The Life Of Rock With Brian Pern - written, directed and produced by Rhys Thomas - airs from Monday 10th February at 10pm on BBC Four, and features Simon Day as the titular rock god turned documentary host.

He’ll be joined by a whole host of famous faces including Lucy MontgomeryTony WayMichael SmileySteve Burge, Matt Lucas, Paul Whitehouse, Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer (seemingly reviving Mulligan And O’Hare!), Nigel Havers, Danny John-Jules, Michael Kitchen, David Baddiel, Jools Holland, Rick Wakeman, David Arnold, Peter Gabriel and Queen’s Roger Taylor. Phew!

You can see the trailer below.

One week earlier, Inside No. 9 - the typically macabre anthology series from Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton  - begins on BBC Two, also at 10pm, from Wednesday 5th February.

Featuring guest appearances from Katherine Parkinson and Julia Davis amongst others, the show has already wowed critics (including us!), and will be returning for a second series, as confirmed to British Comedy Guide earlier this week.

Those charming gents Reece and Steve introduce the show below, along with a chance to see the previously released trailer from earlier this week.

Festive TV Catch-Up

5 Jan
© bbc.co.uk

© bbc.co.uk

There were some great TV programmes on over the Festive period, many featuring TVO favourites. We’ve posted about most of them, but there’s still the opportunity to catch up on many of the delights:

Most recently, Kevin Eldon took part in Celebrity Mastermind, if you didn’t see it on Thursday, you can catch up here.

Kevin popped up again during the festivities as Doctor McFee in Death Comes to Pemberley, which is still available on BBC iPlayer.

The Christmas edition of Lee Mack’s Not Going Out featured Katy Wix and can be viewed here.

Charlie Brooker reviewed 2013 in 2013 Wipe, although not featuring any TVO related people, Mr Brooker has written many great shows featuring TVO artists.

There was also a re-run of Ambassadors, starring Robert Webb and David Mitchell, with a scene stealing guest appearance by Mr Michael Smiley. You can catch this episode – and the others – on BBC iPlayer.

Matt Berry fans had plenty of opportunities to see and hear the man himself on New Year’s Eve, first Matt was in the final episode of The IT Crowd – also available on 4OD along with every other episode of The IT Crowd and the special documentary, The IT Crowd Manual, which was broadcast on Christmas Eve.

This was followed by Matt narrating The 50 Funniest Moments of 2013, which is now available on 4OD. Then to round off the New Year celebrations, Channel 4 showed every episode of Toast of London, also available on 4OD.

Rich Fulcher popped up as a commentator on The 50 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians on Channel 5. This featured clips from a wide variety of comedians spanning the years up to the present. You can catch up with this on Demand5.

Rich also presented 2013 Mashed on Channel 4, which also featured a sketch by Hayden Black. Again you can still see this on 4OD.

And of course there was the Big Fat Quiz of The Year featuring Noel Fielding and Richard Ayoade – on the same team! If by any chance you missed it, there’s still time to catch up on 4OD

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.

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TVO’s Review Of The Year 2013: Part Two

2 Jan

Yesterday we brought you a round-up of the first quarter of 2013, as we’d probably forgotten half of it ourselves, let alone you lovely lot out there.  The second quarter provided loads more great things to celebrate, so we’ve been ploughing through TVO’s archives to pluck out the best bits from over 700 news stories across 2013. This second instalment of our round-up covers April-June, and is jam packed with forgotten treasures and instant classics alike.  Enjoy.

APRIL

April, or Ape-ril as it was renamed by the Sumatran Orangutan Society, began with a plea from TVO regulars Dave Brown and Tony Law to grow your beard as large as possible.  This was, of course, in aid of ape conservation: we are all 96.4% Orangutan after all…

The facial hair theme continued apace, with some of Onion Land’s most mighty beard-wearers being active this month.  First up, Paul Kaye hosted a short exhibition of his art, with TVO attended the star-studded press night to admire his work and have a quick chat to the man himself, though sadly his hectic schedule postponed our latest catch-up… we’re gonna get ya in the new year, mate! Kaye also became the latest big name to join the cast of hugely acclaimed fantasy show Game Of Thrones, as warrior Thoros of Myr.

He wasn’t the only one, either. Whilst the world got increasingly excited about his (then) forthcoming film A Field In EnglandBen Wheatley did the last thing critics expected, and made a string of commercials for Go Compare, further proving he works on his own terms ahead of one of the oddest films of 2013…

Another beardy Onion layer up to good things this month was Matt Berry, who was quietly preparing to unleash his new album, Kill The Wolf. May and June would see an awful lot of Berry activity, but April was no push-over, either.  First off, his radio series I, Regress… returned to the airwaves, and he went on to release the first snippet of his new album with a track called The Devil Inside Me

He wasn’t the only one returning, either. Rhys Thomas brought back his incredibly popular Radio 4 show Down The Line for a fifth run – the sixth if you include short-lived tv spin-off Bellamy’s People. Once again it featured Thomas’ fellow Fast Show veterans Paul Whitehouse, Charlie Higson, Simon Day and the late, great Felix Dexter. Also along for the ride were Look Around You star Robert Popper, Big Train(and It’s Kevin) actress Amelia Bullmore, Citizen Khanwriter Adil Ray, and another TVO regular (and Rhys’ wife), Lucy Montgomery.

Also back this month were Boosh veterans and indie-folk legends The Ralfe Band, who released the single Come On Go Wild from their new album, Son Be Wise, and toured as support to Manchester’s finest ever band, I Am Kloot.  A video for the single followed on 1st May, which can be seen below.

This month also saw us bid farewell to Life’s Too Short, which returned for a one-off special at Easter. Sadly lacking in Matt Holness magic (Matt was a regular in the show’s first and only series), it nevertheless found the time to bring back Colin Hoult as Warwick Davis‘ useless psychic, Brian. Also along for the ride were telly veterans, Les Dennis, Keith Chegwin and Shaun Williamson, as well as former Batman star Val Kilmer. A fine send-off, then, for a show that ended way too soon.

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Toast The New Year!

31 Dec
© Kuba Wieczorek

© Kuba Wieczorek

If you are staying in for New Year and like Matt Berry then you are in for a treat tonight!

Channel 4 are hosting The 50 Funniest Moments of 2013, where celebrities and others choose their funniest moments of the year. The whole show is narrated by Matt and runs from 11.05pm until 1.05am, so will see you into the New Year.

Following this is the complete series of Toast of London, Mr Berry’s surreal, fantastic sitcom about an eccentric actor and those around him.

For even more Berry goodness, tune into 4seven from 9pm, when you can watch the last ever episode of The IT Crowd – The Internet is Coming, followed by the people’s choice episode – The Work Outing and Graham Linehan‘s favourite episode – The Final Countdown.

This takes you nicely to 11.05pm and The 50 Funniest Moments ….

IT Crowd Night Preview!

22 Dec

As we’ve previously mentioned, Channel 4 will be dedicating an evening of airtime to The IT Crowd on Christmas Eve. And we’re pretty darned excited to be able to share a couple of preview clips with you from a new documentary about the series, which will be shown on the night!

The IT Crowd Manual is an hour-long celebration of the sitcom, narrated by Stephen Mangan, which includes classic clips from the show and up-close and personal interviews with the basement-dwelling trio; Richard Ayoade, Chris O’Dowd and Katherine Parkinson. Matt Berry also reveals how he felt taking the mantle of the boss of Reynholm Industries from Chris Morris, while Noel Fielding details the forbidden chemistry that mild-mannered Richmond secretly shared with Jen. Meanwhile the show’s biggest fans and guest stars (Paul Whitehouse , Danny Wallace, Kevin Eldon, Frances Barber, Matthew Crosby, Boyd Hilton and Lucy Montgomery) share their top moments.

The clip below features IT Crowd creator, Graham Linehan, giving a guided tour of the iconic basement set which he likens to “the inside of my head and my office… a cheerful mess”:

And the second preview clip Kevin Eldon talks about what a taskmaster Linehan can be when it comes to getting an accent right:

Don’t forget you’ll also be able to watch the final IT Crowd episode again, vote for your favourite episode and watch the one that gets Linehan’s vote too. Wowzers!

Tune into Channel 4 from 9pm on 24th December to get your fill of geekery.

Next Year… We Shall Mostly Be… Reuniting.

20 Sep

© BBC

2014 may be a few months away yet, but already, there is much to look forward to, as Charlie Higson has suggested the 20th anniversary of The Fast Show shall be marked by a reunion of some sort.

The smash-hit sketch show (which our US readers may know better under it’s Stateside title, Brilliant), originally ran from 1994 to 1997 on BBC Two, before going out on the road, then returning for a reunion mini-series in 2000, and a Farewell Tour in 2002.

The rapid-fire series originally starred Paul Whitehouse, Charlie Higson, Simon Day, John Thompson, Arabella Weir, Mark Williams and Caroline Aherne, with a number of recurring supporting actors on hand to back up the big guns.  The unsung heroes of The Fast Show were the likes of Eryl Maynard, Paul Shearer, Maria McErlane, Colin McFarlane and of course, Rhys Thomas and Tony Way, which is where TVO comes in.

It really was huge: it’s catchphrases entering the cultural lexicon (“Ooh, suit you sir!”, “I’m afraid I was very, very drunk.” and “Scorchio!” just three random samples), and its biggest characters becoming iconic.   Even Hollywood legend Johnny Depp got hooked and begged to appear in an episode.  And then, all of a sudden, it was gone… until that is, most of the team (sans Williams) reunited for a string of webisodes – also featuring Lucy Montgomery - via Fosters and YouTube in 2011 and 2012.

Now, according to Charlie Higson, who spoke to Radio Times, the team are hoping to reform.  He was quoted as saying: “We are talking to [the BBC] about doing something. I suspect it will probably just involve getting together and talking about the show and not doing new sketches.”

More excitingly, he added: “We’ll probably get together and do something for the fans – not for TV but for the stage, like a two week residency in a London theatre, where people would be prepared to pay to watch us for one last time.”

Hopefully, we’ll have more news on that in the new year… aren’t reunions brilliant?  You can see a classic sketch featuring Rhys Thomas, below…

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…

Rock Ratatouille

11 Sep

Rhys Thomas is to reunite with his Fast Show co-star Simon Day for a new series on BBC4.

The spoof music documentary series, Rock Ratatouille, will feature Day as ‘award-winning art rocker Brian Pern’, and feature big name cameos and unseen footage.

The three part run is co-written by Thomas and Day, and will air later this year.  You can see a clip of Day in character as Pern alongside Lucy Montgomery and Tony Way from a 2010 BBC Comedy Online sketch below.

Radio Features

8 Jun
© bbc.co.uk

© bbc.co.uk

There are a couple of TVO linked radio shows worth a mention this week.

Vent starring Neil Pearson is continuing a repeat run of the first series on BBC Radio 4 extra on Sundays at 11pm. Lucy Montgomery is featured in this 2006 dark comedy about a man in a coma and his family. Catch up with the latest episode on BBC iPlayer.

Later this month My First Planet, written by and starring Phil Whelans starts it’s repeat run on Radio 4. The 4-part series is set on a space colony where the colonists are unfortunately typical human beings who behave badly. The show also stars Nicholas Lyndhurst, Vicki Pepperdine, Tom Goodman-Hill, Cariad Lloyd and John Dorney. You can catch the show from 27th June and in the meantime you can read about it here.

Down The Line Returns

29 Apr

© BBC

Series Five of cult radio comedy Down The Line begins this week on Radio 4.

The show stars the legendary Rhys Thomas as DJ Gary Bellamy, hosting his usual live phone-in discussions with listeners, who just happen to be played by familiar names from classic comedy hits.

Thomas’ fellow Fast Show veterans Paul Whitehouse, Charlie Higson, Simon Day and Felix Dexter are joined by Look Around You star Robert Popper, Big Train (and It’s Kevin) actress Amelia Bullmore, Citizen Khan writer Adil Ray and another TVO regular (and Rhys’ wife), Lucy Montgomery.

As well as four previous radio runs, the show also spun-off into the much loved, dearly missed tv series Bellamy’s People in 2010, featuring the same cast.  Previous seasons of the radio show have also included other well known guest stars such as Kevin Eldon, Matt Lucas and Catherine Tate, so stay tuned to find out if any more big names turn up unannounced.

The show airs on Wednesday evening at 6:30pm on Radio 4, and will be available on iPlayer shortly after transmission.  The first three series have also been made available on cd, and whilst Series 1 is currently out of print, you can pick up Series 2 and Series 3, alongside Bellamy’s People from the TVO Amazon Store now.

Spice Up Your Lucy

25 Feb

© Viva Forever / Lulu Bell

Ok, we admit it. Sometimes, TVO is living in under a rock, inside a bubble, shrouded in secrecy and wrapped in cotton wool. And candy floss. And fog. And the emptiness of space.  You get the picture.

Anyhow, occasionally, we completely miss something that’s staring us in the face – such as the casting of Lucy Montgomery in Viva Forever! - the new musical featuring the music of the Spice Girls.

Written by Jennifer Saunders, who worked with Lucy on Absolutely Fabulous back in 2011, the show has been polarising critics but audiences are lapping it up – in much the same way We Will Rock You and Mamma Mia have ended up being long running West End smashes.

Lucy plays fitness fanatic Suzi in the musical, which is on every night at London’s Piccadilly Theatre.  For more info, visit the show’s official website, and we promise to try not to be so behind the times again in the future. All together now! Swing it, shake it, move it, make it, whooooo d’ya think y’aaaarrrrrrrrreeeeee!!!

Hey Diddly Dee, It’s Paul Kaye And Kylie!

18 Jan

Paul Kaye is part of the star studded cast of the next series of Playhouse Presents for SkyArts, starring alongside Peter Serafinowicz and pop princess Kylie Minogue in a one-off comedy drama.

©2013 Sky Atlantic

The series allows a number of big name stars a chance to direct their own short films – with the likes of Idris Elba, Matt Smith and Johnny Vegas amongst this year’s helmers.

Hey Diddly Dee, described as a dark comedy drama about the death of a theatre actor, is written and directed by Hustle star Mark Warren.  It’s leading lady is non other than legendary pop singer, and occasional actress Kylie Minogue, who was quoted by Radio Times as saying:  “When the script was sent to me, I read it and knew instinctively I wanted to be part of this project. Marc has created a beautiful and quirky story.”

The project co-stars Paul Kaye, Peter Serafinowicz (pictured above with Minogue), Matthew Horne and David Harewood.  Serafinowicz has been confirmed as playing a character callde Roger, who is portraying Andy Warhol in a play – whilst Minogue plays actress Bibi, set to portray one of Warhol’s muses, Edie Sedgwick.

Kylie, who celebrated her 25th year in pop music in 2012, seems to be a fan of alternative comedy.  She recently posted a photo of a signed copy of The Peter Serafinowicz Show (which featured the work of Matt Berry, no less), to her Twitter page, including the glorious hashtag #bonbonbonbons, and since then posted a link to a sketch from CBBC show Fit featuring Serafinowicz as Butterfield.  Last year, she also waxed lyrical on Twitter about Julia Davis, so we’d be honoured if she ever graced our pages to find out what her favourite funny people are up to!

Hey Diddly Dee opens the Playhouse Presents series on March 14th exclusively on SkyArts, and the series will continue until May – culminating in a full series of last year’s one-off show Pyschobitches featuring Davis, Sharon Horgan and Katy Brand – with another TVO face, Lucy Montgomery on the writing team.  We can’t wait!

© Tiger Aspect / Sky Atlantic

Freshly Dug Bounty

28 Oct

A few weeks ago, we told you about the exploits of Doug The Bounty Hunter - a UK based spin-off of the US smash hit, directed by our very own Gareth Tunley.

© Finite Funnies

At the time, we were impressed how much its star looked like Tony Way, his wife Nancy looks like Lucy Montgomery, and how much their first target looked like Tom Meeten.

Three more episodes are now up to view on YouTube, which see Doug and Nancy test a new home-made taser and pepper spray, engage in a lengthy stakeout and a debate about acting brothers, then share a takeaway with a rather strange traffic warden.

You can see all four below.

Mongrels 2 Out On DVD At Last!

7 Oct

© BBC Worldwide

Monday 8th October sees the long-awaited, almost-cancelled release of Mongrels second (and sadly final) series on dvd.

Series Two of Adam Miller‘s foul-mouthed puppet show again 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, and is sorely missed following its baffling cancellation in January.

The second series saw the gang fend off an invasion of horny zombie dogs, rehabilitate a showbiz chimp and go to a really shit house party, whilst Marion became a parent and Destiny dabbled in the world of showbiz doggery. Amongst the celebrity cameos this year were Richard O’Brien, Russell Tovey, Ainsley Harriot, Zoe Ball and Nina Wadia, whilst the TVO Links were extended with appearances from Rich Fulcher, Steven Burge and Waen Shepherd.

With a defiant looking Vince Fox on the front cover, this dvd is sure to leap off the shelves and ask you if you called it a **** in no time… and The Velvet Onion cannot recommend it highly enough.  Pick up a copy right now from The Velvet Onion Amazon Store for just £13.99 or check your high street or supermarket at the nearest opportunity.

If digital downloads are more your thing, the series is also available from iTunes in the UK, whilst US readers shouldn’t feel left out of the party… both series can be downloaded from our TVO Amazon US Store!

Sadly, unlike the first series, there’s currently no sign of a blu-ray release, but as the show was almost destined never to be released at all (we like to think our little stinking paddy about that decision helped change their mind earlier this year!), we’ll take what we can get!

That’s not to say a blu-ray release is still impossible.  We asked BBC Worldwide, who are handling the release, about the lack of a hi-def edition, who replied: “We have no immediate plans to clear and release this title on Blu-ray. However your correspondence will be kept on file as each quarter we review public enquiries and often revisit titles which are frequently requested.” 

So there you have it – if you want to see a blu-ray edition of Mongrels Series 2, email BBC Worldwide’s DVD Enquiry team at dvdenquiryline@bbc.com and let them know your desires. It might just happen!

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