BBC2′s 50th anniversary celebrations have been bringing us moments of unexpected delight for the past couple of weeks.
It’s been an opportunity to look back on classic BBC2 comedy shows, some of which provided a launch pad for the artists that we write about – and last night was no exception, with BBC2′s Hidden Treasures.
The hour-long show featured early turns from Steve Coogan, Julia Davis, Matthew Holness, Richard Ayoade, Paul Kaye and Kevin Eldon. Just as excitingly, however, it gave us 60 glorious minutes of (mostly) the best surreal/bonkers/off-kilter comedy from the past 50 years. Milligan, Pete & Dud and early Fry & Laurie – wonderful stuff!
The programne is available to watch for 6 more days on iPlayer. If you like the type of comedy we write about (and if you’re reading this, let’s assume you do), it’s well worth a watch.
The lovely people over at Den of Geek have compiled a ‘where are they now’ about the cast of Darkplace to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the show. You can catch up here.
Of course if you are a regular TVO reader, none of it will come as a surprise to you, as we give you regular updates on what the cast are up to these days.
Fans of Darkplace (and who isn’t?), who can get to Manchester, can treat themselves to a live screening of all 6 episodes followed by a Q&A session with Matt Holness and Alice Lowe! The event is on Sunday May 18th from 3pm to 10pm at Gorilla, Manchester.
Tickets are on sale NOW from Grimmfest, where you can also get more details of the event.
© Frantzesco Kangaris for the Guardian
Matt Berry was interviewed by The Observer this weekend and spoke about his varied career, some hints on what is in store for the next series of Toast of London, and how he’s inspired by things that frighten him.
Matt told John Plunkett that he got into comedy ‘by the back door’, through his friendship with Matt Holness and Richard Ayoade, who he met while doing warm-ups at Mighty Boosh gigs, and working at the London Dungeon.
We also find out that Toast of London is nominated for tomorrow’s Royal Television Society Awards – along with Psychobitches and also a Broadcasting Press Guild Award, where it is up against Ambassadors.
Click here to read the full article and listen to the interview.
Playhouse Presents..., the series of one-off comedies and dramas on Sky Arts is returning for 2014.
The channel has announced the series line-up, which includes Damned, a comedy written by Jo Brand and Morwenna Banks, set in a social services department and starring Ms Brand and Kevin Eldon, to be broadcast on 1st May.
The series will also feature the UK TV debut of Friends star Matthew Perry alongside Tim Key in The Dog Thrower, to be shown on 12th June.
Previous series of Playhouse Presents have featured many TVO favourites, including the debut short film from Matt Holness: A Gun for George, and Paul Kaye starring with Kylie Minogue in Hey Diddly Dee.
The last series also led to a full series of Psychobitches, featuring Katy Brand, Sharon Horgan and Julia Davis.
To read more about all the drama’s in the series pop over to the British Comedy Guide.
For a wee while now we’ve been getting rather excited about an event that’s taking place this Saturday in celebration of the 10th Anniversary of Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace. And now we’ve heard some news that’s tipped us over into being dangerously overjoyed.
As we’ve previously mentioned, on Saturday 18th January all 6 episodes of the iconic comedy series created by Matthew Holness and Richard Ayoade will be shown at the 250-seater Ciné Lumière in London, as part of Totally Serialized TV Festival. Holness’s short A Gun for George will be shown afterwards, and the man himself will be there to answer questions afterwards in a Q&A session.
The new news is that Matt will be joined at the Q&A by none other than Alice Lowe, who played Madeleine Wool/Dr. Liz Asher in the series. How good is that??
Tickets are £12 (£10 conc) and the event runs 6-9pm (although you can stay and watch scary films until dawn if you fancy it!). For more information and to buy tickets visit the event website.
If you’re into funny telly shows and you enjoy sitting in the dark, then this will be right up your street! Totally Serialized is running an afternoon of cult comedy viewing at Ciné Lumière in London on Saturday, 18th January.
Starting at 2pm, the Cult Comedy Marathon includes TVO-connected shows Saxondale (S1 Ep1), Nighty Night (S1 Ep1) and Spaced (S1 Ep1) – plus The Office (S1 Ep4).
There will also be a couple of short-coms from France (apparently a very popular format across the Channel): Un Gars, use Fille, starring Jean Dujardin before he achieved international fame, and Bref.
Tickets for the event cost just £5 (£3 conc) and can be purchased here.
While you’re at it, why not stick around for the Totally Serialized 6pm Special Screening of the entire series of Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, plus Q&A with Matthew Holness? What a way to celebrate the show’s 10th Anniversary!? For more details, take a look at our earlier post.
How time flies…did you know that Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace is coming up to its 10th anniversary? To commemorate this auspicious occasion Totally Serialized are hosting a special Darkplace screening!
On 18th January 2014, all 6 episodes of the iconic series created by Matthew Holness and Richard Ayoade will be shown on the big screen at the 250-seater Ciné Lumière in London. The event is part of Totally Serialized TV Festival.
The darkly comic short A Gun for George will be shown afterwards, and Matthew Holness himself will be there to answer questions about The Reprisalizer. If that wasn’t enough, the oragnisers have said they might also show Nighty Night on the Saturday afternoon!
Plus, if you want to stay the night you can watch the complete first series of French zombie drama The Returned until dawn. Fancy dress is optional.
Tickets for that little lot are just £12 (£10 conc.) and can be booked here. For more information visit the event website or facebook page.
© Mighty Boosh
Theatr Colwyn in North Wales is holding a Mighty Boosh marathon viewing session on 23rd November.
All 20 episodes from series 1-3, screened back to back, will be shown from midday to midnight! The event is being held in conjunction with the Tough Crowd photography exhibition by Dave Brown which is running at Oriel Colwyn, the gallery upstairs at Theatr Colwyn.
If that wasn’t exciting enough, Dave will be making a special appearance during the Boosh-a-thon, talking about his time with the Boosh, his Tough Crowd exhibition and his continuing work as with the Afrikids charity, which helps children in Ghana.
Just how awesome does this sound?? Tickets are £10 and early booking is recommended. Proceeds from the Boosh-A-Thon are going to Afrikids.
Currently there doesn’t appear to be any facility to book online, so we suggest you contact the theatre box office on 01492 872000 to book. The box office is open Monday – Friday, 10am-5pm. Alternatively, you can purchase tickets at Venue Cymru, Monday to Saturday 10am – 7pm.
So who’s going in fancy dress then?…
Writer and star of Darkplace, Matt Holness, has a new Kindle e-book available to download now.
Possum is a short tale of psychological horror and is 5739 words long. That’s all the information we have but Mr Holness is known for his dark tales and this one is no exception.
The e-book is available to download from amazon.co.uk for the tiny sum of £1.53 – you couldn’t get a cup of coffee for that, and maybe you will get into the mood for Halloween!
Your chance to own a piece of history is here – as the charity auction to win Garth Marenghi‘s white coat and name badge from Darkplace has begun.
Garth’s clothing was made to wear in his seminal series Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, which first aired on Channel 4 in January 2004 after the powers-that-be finally let the show out of the vaults it had been languishing in since the 1980s.
Now the author, dream-weaver, visionary plus actor has granted the sale of these items, alongside a personal note from Garth, via journalist Julia Raeside and Marenghi’s long-standing associate Matthew Holness.
With the proceeds from the sale going to Macmillan Cancer Care, there’s even more of an incentive to get involved and offer to part with your cash. Bidding already stands comfortably into three figures, but we’re sure there’s scope for much more.
The auction ends at 9:14am on Sunday, 30th September, and we’ve got a gallery of images to further proof the might of this coat, that badge, and that titan of terror below. So what are you waiting for?
© Matt Holness
© Matt Holness
Lastly, if by any chance you’re unaware of the cultural landmark that is Darkplace, you can see the entire series online for free via 4oD, and you can buy the extras packed dvd from our store now. Considering it’s one of the main reasons this website even exists, we think you owe it to Garth to check it out! Episode one is below…
© Matthew Holness
Matthew Holness, the creator of Garth Marenghi, has announced on Twitter that there will be an auction of memorabilia from Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace – the spoof horror series he made with a plethora of TVO names including Richard Ayoade, Alice Lowe, Matt Berry, Julian Barratt, Kim Noble, Stuart Silver, Graham Linehan and Noel Fielding.
There is precious little information about what items will be included in the auction apart from the tantalising glimpse of Dr. Rick Dagless’ door sign, pictured right.
The auction will start on the 27th September on eBay and will be in aid of a good cause. To keep up to date with details on the auction, follow Matthew Holness and Julia Raeside on Twitter.
Matthew Holness has curated a slection of films on Curzon Home Cinema.
© Digital Desperados
In a continuation of Curzon Home Cinema’s guest curator series, Holness has put together a set of six acclaimed films which can be watched from £1.70. The six films are: The Long Good Friday, Mona Lisa, Radio On, Fires Were Started, Blackthorn and Sexy Beast.
To find out more about the selected films and to read why Holness has chosen each one, visit the Curzon’s website here.
To view the films go to Curzone Home Cinema’s homepage. Please note that the films are only available to people in the UK and Ireland.
It’s time for you to do the choosing… as the voting for the annual TV Choice Awards is open once again!
© TV Choice Magazine
The TV Choice Magazine’s awards are open for voting for the 17th time and this year’s ceremony will be hosted by Ben Miller. The event will take place on September 9 but fans have the opportunity to vote for their favourite shows and actors until midnight, June 14.
© Baby Cow Productions / Sky Atlantic
As always, we bring you the news because a variety of TVO regulars have made it onto the longlist. In the first category ‘Best New Drama’ we have Utopia which featured Simon Farnaby and Dan Tetsell, and will go up against Mr. Selfridge and The Village.
Unsurprisingly, the category of ‘Best Comedy Series’ proves to be jam-packed with members of our roster. You can vote for Friday Night Dinner (Matthew Holness), Sky sitcom Mount Pleasant (Alex Kirk, James Bachman), Chris O’Dowd‘s award winning sitcom Moone Boy. As if that’s not enough, you can also find Julia Davis‘s amazing (and well-deserving of all the awards) series Hunderby in this category.
‘Best International Series’ includes worldwide smash hit Game Of Thrones which features the talented Tony Way and, as of the current third series, Paul Kaye.
Neil Maskell from Utopia and Kill List can be found in the category ‘Best Actor’ while Hollyoaks with regular cast member Dan Tetsell is up for ‘Best Soap’.
So get those voting fingers ready but note that you can only vote once per person so make it count. You have until midnight on June 14 to cast your vote over at the TV Choice Awards’ website.
© Warp Films / Film 4
Exciting news… there’s a very rare chance to grill Matthew Holness about his work at the BFI later this week.
The man formerly best known as Garth Marenghi will be attending a Q&A session alongside fellow film-maker Ally Gipps as part of Warp Films birthday celebrations.
Holness’ short film A Gun For George will be shown at the event alongside other notable shorts made by the company.
These include Julian Barratt‘s Curtains, Chris Morris‘ My Wrongs 8245-8249, Paddy Considine’s Dog Altogether (featuring Olivia Colman), Paul Fraser’s Arctic Monkeys inspired Scummy Man and Lynn Ramsey’s recent short Swimmer.
Tickets for the event on Friday, April 5th are priced between £8.50 and £11, and are available now via the BFI Website.
If you can’t make it, and haven’t yet seen A Gun For George, you can now view it on the Film4 website over yonder. Meanwhile, both Curtains and My Wrongs 8245-8249 are available on dvd via The Velvet Onion Amazon UK Store.
We’ve been raving about Matt Holness’s debut short film A Gun for George for some time now – and now you can own it on DVD.
The dark, violent comedy from Warp Films follows the fortunes of Terry Finch, a frustrated pulp fiction author and loner who is looking for revenge on the mean streets of East Kent. It forms one-sixth of a DVD of short films called The Joy of Six.
The DVD is a collection of shorts from up-and-coming British talent, and it offers a unique and innovative way to experience the short film format. For further details about the six films on offer click here.
If you fancy owning some of Matt Holness’s filmic output and experiencing other new directorial talent while you’re at it, The Joy of Six is now available to buy from The Velvet Onion Amazon store for the bargain price of £9.76.
© Warp Films
From this Friday, 9th November, Film 4 will be running a season of great British films including a number of TVO-connected features.
On 10th November you can see Kill List by Ben Wheatley (director of Sightseers), as well as an interview with the director. On 11th November you can catch an interview with Richard Ayoade about Submarine, and the film itself will be showing on Monday 12th (oh dear, a bit of an unfortunate ‘Ayoade clash’ there with Never Mind the Buzzcocks which airs on Monday at 10pm). Finally, A Gun for George, the short by Matthew Holness, airs on 13th and 16th November.
To find out what else is on during this excellent season of films, including all transmission times, visit Film 4′s website. If you need us in the meantime, we may very well be glued to the TV…
© Warp Films
Cornerhouse in Manchester, the international centre for contemporary visual arts and independent film, is fast becoming the place to go in the North West for your TVO fix!
The next Cornerhouse-based happening to schedule in your diary is The Joy of Six, a programme of six British short films. Included on the bill is A Gun For George, written and directed by Matthew Holness on Warp Films. The darkly comic tale revolves around the forgotten author of The Reprisalizer, Britain’s toughest pulp paperback vigilante. He treads a thin line between reality and fantasy as he attempts to exorcise painful memories of his brother’s death.
The special screening take splace at 18:20 on 20th November and will be followed by Q&A with one of the filmmakers (details tbc). Tickets cost from £4.50-£7.50. For more information about the screening and to buy tickets click here.
It’s that time of the year again when the cream of the small screen will gather for the National Televisions Awards.
As usual, the results are all down to us normal folk and some TVO-familiar names are waiting for your votes!
First up Never Mind the Buzzcocks is nominated for Best Comedy Panel Show and with the hype of the upcoming season, Buzzcocks should hopefully be fresh in all of your minds! Next up is the pivotal, Best Situation Comedy; with Gervais’ Life’s Too Short featuring Matthew Holness and Colin Hoult up for the award, they also battle it out with Rev; which cameod James Bachman, plus the latest series of Absolutely Fabulous which saw the likes of our very own Katy Wix and Lucy Montgomery making an appearance.
And that’s not all… with the somewhat less-than-alternative Not Going Out starring Katy Wix and ITV1 ultra-populist behemoth Benidorm featuring Shelley Longworth also up for the nod. They may all be up for the gong alongside the latest-show-to-never-rest-on-our-tv-screens; The Big Bang Theory – but we reckon one of our lot could be in with the chance, no?
As we click through the categories we get to the ‘Bacon-style’ number categories; where Harry Hill’s TV Burp (Spencer Millman) is up for best Entertainment Programme, plus Noel Fielding has made a guest appearance on several of the nominees in the same category; The Jonathan Ross Show, Alan Carr: Chattyman and of course, Dynamo: Magician Impossible.
The NTA’s will be airing live on ITV on January 23rd and you have until October 11th to vote. To cast your votes click right here and let us know what you think of this year’s nominees!
© Dan Goldsmith / Avalon Television
This weekend sees Channel 4 countdown its top 30 comedy shows ever, as part of its Funny Fortnight. One show in the top 30 was somewhat unloved at the time, yet has since gone on to become widely regarded as a cult classic. Here’s Michael Glynn’s take on why Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace is worth your attention…
Back in the 1980s, acclaimed horror writer Garth Marenghi set to transfer his talents the small screen; the results were a television program ‘so radical, so risky, so dangerous, so goddamn crazy’ that it didn’t see the light of day until Channel 4 broadcast it during the worst programming drought in broadcast history in 2004. To bump up the runtimes of the episodes we were treated to interviews with Garth’s publisher, Dean Learner, who also starred in the series, as well as the other cast members.
Except of course, none of that is true. GARTH MARENGHI’S DARKPLACE was actually spawned from the minds of Matt Holness and Richard Ayoade, and filmed in the early 2000’s – though you would be hard pressed to believe that last part. With an emphasis on cheap production values and bad acting it’s easy to believe you’re really watching a forgotten piece of TV, even the retro Channel 4 logo is present. Continue reading