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The Alternative Comedy Experience On DVD Now!

18 Nov

© Comedy Central

Series One of The Alternative Comedy Experience - featuring a smattering of TVO regulars and wider universe friends – is now available on dvd.

The twelve part series, which aired on Comedy Central earlier this year, was curated by stand-up legend Stewart Lee, who is currently wowing audiences attending his residency at Leicester Square Theatre with his new material try-out show, Much A-Stew About Nothing ahead of the third series of his own Comedy Vehicle series on BBC2.

Filmed at The Stand, Edinburgh, Lee chose some of his favourite stand-ups on the circuit, including our very own Tony Law and Paul Foot, alongside a few names that have occasionally cropped up on our pages before now, such as Isy Suttie, Simon Munnery, David O’Doherty, Phil Nichol, Bridget Christie and Glenn Wool.

These are people whom the ever moral Lee, a cynical genius if ever we came across one, feels represent “the stand-ups other comedians slouch at the back of the room and cry with laughter at”.  He goes on to explain: “These are the kids that got thrown into the urinals at school. They are not fashion victims, presenters, broadsheet buzzwords, or industry players. They are the people who just had to be stand-ups.”

It’s a truly fantastic run of comedians in their prime, and with all twelve episodes spread across two discs, there’s also room for  a couple of uncut, full length performances and bonus interviews.  There’s even a full colour souvenir brochure thrown in for good measure.

You can own a copy for yourselves for just £12.78 now via The Velvet Onion Amazon UK Store.  You can see a preview from the dvd featuring Tony Law below.

Series 2 of The Alternative Comedy Experience was filmed this summer, again at The Stand, and will be broadcast in the new year.  Paul Foot and Tony Law returned, alongside Isy Suttie, Susan Calman, Simon Munnery and Henning Wehn, so stay tuned for transmission dates as soon as we have them.

A Smashing Story

9 Nov

As the week that introduced the public to ‘mug-gate’ draws to a close, here’s our round up of what went down and the bizarre commentary that followed:

Unless you’ve been avoiding all forms of media consumption for the past 6 days you can’t fail to have noticed that Huey Morgan from Fun Loving Criminals lost his rag during the final round of Monday’s Never Mind the Buzzcocks and (horror!) smashed a mug, before storming off set. While he lost his cool, Rizzle Kicks (this week’s hosts) retained theirs. Big time. For anyone who missed it, here’s how it all kicked off:

Since then the story has been picked up and raked over by the tabloid press (The Mirror, The Mail, Metro) and online news sites (Huffington Post, Digital Spy), amongst others. Perhaps more surprisingly, the quality press have been getting on on it too, with coverage in The Guardian and The Independent.

The day after the incident, Noel Fielding‘s twitter response to the furore was reproduced as a further news story. It appeared that an insider‘s initial analysis of what happened, suggesting that everyone in the studio was fed up with the duration of the filming and were supportive of Huey, was wrong. Noel asserted that the audience had backed Rizzle Kicks, and quite rightly made light of the whole thing.

However, that was not to be the end of it! Next, headlines were made as the Fun Lovin Criminals star blocked Buzzcocks on twitter. Alarmingly, this made it into the broadsheets too!  Well at least absolutely nothing important has been happening in the wider world this week.

Since then an alternative version of Huey’s Buzzcocks hissy-fit has made it onto youtube…

…and unsurprisingly, the TV show‘s marketing folk have been milking the story; expect to see a significant hike in the series’ viewing figures.

The increased interest in Buzzcocks this week has led to another story about the show spreading via social media. It appears that Jim Bob from Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine has been approached several times to appear in the ID Parade section of the show. His manager’s charmingly polite two fingers to that request can be seen here. Genius.

Don’t forget to tune into the next episode of Buzzcocks on BBC2 at 10pm on Monday to see what the following week’s ‘news’paper headlines might hold…

Foot On Friday Telly

12 Oct

© Channel 4

Paul Foot was one of the panelists on last night’s 8 out of 10 cats on Channel 4.

Paul played on Sean Lock’s team, alongside Richard Hammond; Carol Vorderman and Matt Forde were on Jon Richardson’s team. The programme is now available to watch on 4oD, so if you’re the kind of person who enjoys slices of mullet-haired bizarreness with your topical banter, then check it out. Then try not to be to alarmed by Jimmy Carr’s teeth.

Foot fans can further rejoice, because he’s added a December date at the London Bloomsbury Theatre to his UK tour. The extra date is 14th December, tickets are £15 (plus a rather shocking £2.50 booking fee) and can be purchased here. To find out where else Paul’s performing during October and November, take a look at his website here.

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.



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, 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…

The Triumph Of The Blobfish

13 Sep

Last week we told you about Paul Foot‘s support of the Blobfish, in its task to become the mascot of the Ugly Animal Preservation Society.

Now the results are in and the Blobfish has won the accolade! The plight of the gelatinous fish that inhabits the deep waters off the Australian coast will now be highlighted by the Society.

See below for Paul’s speech when he accepts the award on behalf of the wise-looking sea creature.

Help Paul Foot Save The Blob Fish

5 Sep

Paul Foot has recently appeared in a video for the The Ugly Animal Preservation Society in support of the Blob Fish.

The gelatinous fish that inhabits the deep waters off the Australian coast is under threat of extinction. By voting for the blob fish for the next Society mascot, you can help raise awareness of its plight.  As Paul says, it looks like it has a kind and wise brain., so it’s worth saving.

Take a look at the video below, then ‘like’ it on youtube to cast your vote. Voting closes at 5pm on 11th September.


The campaign is run by the National Science + Engineering Competition and the Ugly Animal Preservation Society. To see more videos about endangered ugly animals have a look at their youtube channel.



Words On Tour

1 Sep

Paul Foot, the man with the best mullet in comedy, will be taking his latest Edinburgh show, Words, on tour around the UK this Autumn.

© Paul Foot

The tour kicks off on 3rd October in Leeds and ends on 30th November in Norwich. In between these two dates, he’ll be playing 38 shows in most towns and cities around Blighty. If you fancy seeing him, chances are he’ll be appearing in a venue near you during October and November.

For the full list of dates and venues, you can visit Paul’s show diary. You can also purchase tickets for the shows here too.

It’s worth keeping an eye on Paul’s show diary and twitter page as he tends to announce extra shows and Secret Shows from time to time.

Words has impressed the critics at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, with the show garnering rave reviews from the likes of Time OutWow24/7 and Edinblogger. That said, it’s tended to leave those who prefer their comedy more mainstream, a little confused. As fans of  Foot, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Paul Joins Richard

17 Aug
© british comedy guide

© british comedy guide

Paul Foot took part in Richard Herring’s Edinburgh Fringe Podcast on 15th August and you can download it  here. Richard was also joined by Sean Hughes and Benny Boot.

Paul and Richard discuss Russell Brand, badgers, Disturbances, a special cow and Richard and Judy. They also talk about Paul’s near death experience, when some of his life replayed in a few seconds.

After stand-up by Benny Boot, Sean chats about his nursing career, the Muppets, marriage, wearing a dress, his brushes with death and tsunamis.

You can catch Paul Foot: Words at Underbelly, Cowgate – Belly Dancer at 7.30pm.

Sean Hughes – Penguins can be seen at Gilded Balloon Teviot at 7.30pm.

Richard Herrings Edinburgh Fringe Podcast is on at The Stand Comedy Club at 2.10pm.

Benny Boot – As Seen on TV is on at Underbelly, Bristo Square at 17.30 and 23.30.

Paul Foot: Words

13 Aug

© Paul Foot

One of our contributors, Velveteer Helen, recently spent a few days at the Edinburgh Fringe checking out the comedic talent on offer. So far she’s told us about seeing  Colin Hoult three times in three different shows (yes three!). By way of follow-up, here are a few words from Helen about Paul Foot’s appearance at the festival:  

This was the first time I had seen Paul Foot live and I wasn’t disappointed.

The show started with Paul giving us an itinerary of what was going to happen for the rest of the show. He read out one of his ‘disturbances’, which are small descriptions of something that may have or could happen, then launched into his first rant – about hotel toast!

The rest of the show consisted of more disturbances, more rants and some unusual insults.

It’s difficult to describe the show as it’s not easy to separate all the pieces, the best thing would be to go and see for yourself. If you like seemingly shambolic comedy, which is obviously well thought-out, then it’s for you.

If you don’t want a comedian with a mullet ranting in your face; don’t sit in the front row!

You can catch Paul Foot: Words at Underbelly, Cowgate – Belly Dancer at 7.30pm.

Onion Fringes: Part 3 – Paul Foot: Words

4 Jul

The Edinburgh Fringe is almost upon us, with a host of TVO favourites set to descend upon the city between 2nd and 26th August.  In the build up, we’re bringing you a great show to go and see every weekday – from our regulars to shows beyond the usual confines of Onion Land.

Today’s showcase brings alternative comedy madness to the table in the form of Paul Foot, a true Edinburgh Fringe veteran…

© Paul Foot


Paul Foot: Words


Underbelly Cowgate


1-25 August





Paul Foot has been described as a “national comedy treasure” by us in the past and we stick by that statement. He has been a favourite of TVO’s for long but we were far from early in our discovery. Foot has been active on the comedy circuit since 1997, a year during which he won BBC’s New Stand-Up Award, the Daily Telegraph Open Mic Award and managed to become a finalist in So You Think You’re Funny.

He is no stranger to the Edinburgh Fringe, with the introduction of the SYTYF competition in 1997. Paul then returned to the Fringe in 2003 for his first full length show Most Wanted and has since then been at the festival every year apart from 2005 and 2006. In other words, he is well-deserving of the title of a comedy treasure and Fringe veteran with numerous 5 star reviews.


The past years has meant higher visibility for the comedian, with appearances on Never Mind The Buzzcocks, 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Russell Howard’s Good News. And that’s just to name a few of the big profile gigs. Moreover, what makes Foot a continuously strong contender in the world of comedy is his Guild Of Connoisseurs, his loyal fans who get the chance to attend secret gigs and are there for every step of the way.

Paul manages to tread the line between surrealism and realism in all his shows but to understand what a full Foot experience is you need to add a dash of awkwardness, a touch of interesting fashion choices and a whole lot of charm. These qualities and his innovative use of words manage to bring the audience to tears every single time.

© Paul Foot

This time around, his disturbances, stories of moist cakes, and supermarket anagrams have been left behind to make way for his new show Words. Time has shown that descriptions for Paul Foot shows are often just a delightful hint of what’s to come. Therefore, we will simply let you analyse the following statement about the show:

“No board games on this lawn, baybayyy! Face the frozen ships and dance while legless bar stools finally take their revenge. Even Auntie Eclair don’t talk and this town will never recover from the naked collage”.

It is certainly intriguing and promises a night of madness with clever turns of words that make a Paul Foot show unique.

We advise you to get your tickets as soon as possible as Paul’s Edinburgh Fringe shows are bound to sell out quickly. With a growing (and intense!) fanbase and strong material, nothing short of a complete train wreck can stand in the way of Foot’s success. And even then he would probably manage to turn the train wreck into a story that would make you reach for a tissue to dry your tears of laughter.

Words runs from 1st to 25th August at Udderbelly Cowgate. We’ll have another Edinburgh recommendation tomorrow, and every weekday throughout July, so stay peeled!

See Them At The Stand

28 Jun

© The Stand

If you happen to find yourself in Edinburgh in July you can see Tony Law and Kevin Eldon perform live for the filming of the new series of The Alternative Comedy Experience.

The TV show from Comedy Central is returning to The Stand in Edinburgh for the recording of a second series. As per last year, the shows are curated by Stewart Lee and feature a variety of cult-comedy performers and  award-winning talent. A refreshing change from the TV comedy mainstream!

Kevin Eldon will be performing as part of the line up at the 6.45pm show on Friday 12th July, and Tony Law will be on the 9.45pm bill on the same date. Simply click on your preferred time slot for more information and to book tickets for that performance. Tickets are £8 (£7 conc.) and doors open half an hour before the show start time.

To see the full line up for all shows (including a Paul Foot performance on 11th July, which we’ve mentioned before but is worth a reminder) take a look at this.

Further Foot Live

16 Jun

© Mog

Paul Foot today announced three new live dates – one in London and two in Dublin.

The London show is one of his infamous (not so) Secret shows. This one is a rehearsal gig for his forthcoming DVD and it takes place on 26th June. He’s promised to revise some of his old classics, so this promises to be a good ‘un. To purchase tickets for the gig visit Paul’s Show Diary and click on the line stating “Wrensday 26th Juniper”. Of course!

The Dublin dates take place across two days at the Vodafone Comedy Festival, which takes place in Dublin’s Iveagh Gardens from Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th July, 2013. Paul is performing on the Saturday at 7.30pm, along with Brian Gittins and MC Barry Murphy (tickets €23) and on the Sunday at 4.30pm with Will Franken and MC Eleanor Tiernan (tickets €20).

To view the full line-up (which is vast), and to find out more about the festival take a look at this. Tickets go on sale tomorrow, Monday 17th June at 9am and you can purchase them for individual performances here.

To keep up to date with Paul’s frequent gig announcements it’s worth following the man himself on twitter; he’s a very conscientious tweeter!

Stand For Paul Foot

13 Jun

© Paul Foot

Tickets are now available to see Paul Foot as one of Stewart Lee’s guests for the new series of The Alternative Comedy Experience.  The show will be recorded in Edinburgh on 11th July, and will be broadcast on Comedy Central later in the year.

On the night Paul will be joined by Susan Calman and Lou Sanders. If you watched the first series, it involves stand-up comedians doing what they do best in a small intimate setting, interspersed with Stewart Lee interviewing them about their life and work. The performance of each comedian is usually spread over a few episodes, so you may see yourself on the TV more than once!

Tickets are a very reasonable £8 and can be bought via this link.

Finally, A Foot In The Door

20 May

© Paul Foot

Paul Foot has received another comedy award from the good people of Australia!

Last week it was announced that Paul had been awarded ‘Best of Fest (International)’ at the Sydney Comedy Festival; this week he has picked up ‘Best International Act’ at the 3013 Perth International Comedy Festival.

Paul was up against stiff competition from Craig Hill, Jimmy McGhie and Stephen K Amos. To see the full list of Festival nominees and winners click here.

Paul’s recent successes down under has prompted the Guardian to cover his comedy achievements on their hallowed pages. Not one to be impressed, Paul responded by noting that, “…the Guardian have dubbed me as an ‘emerging talent’, which is quite a relief having been a stand-up comedian across three decades.”

To find out when you can see this up-and-coming comedian, Paul Foot, visit his website for details of his Edinburgh show run and Autumn UK tour.

Paul Foot News!

12 May

Paul Foot has just picked up a gong at the Sydney Comedy Festival Awards!

© Mog

Paul has been awarded The Best of Fest (International), beating fellow nominees Trevor Noah, Gina Yashere, Stephen K Amos and Arj Barker. Earlier today his reaction to the news was as follows: “Thanks once again to all of my connoisseurs in Australala. I had a fantastic time with you and miss you all already. I am already looking forward to bringing you my new show in 2014 baybayyyy.”

Other award winners at the Festival were:
Best of Fest (Local): Matt Okine
Best Newcomer: Steen Raskopoulos
The Breakout Artist: Trevor Noah
Director’s Choice: Michael Workman
MX Joke of Fest: Rhys Nicholson

You can see previews of Paul’s new Edinburgh show at a series of London-based secret shows over the next few months. For information about the shows and to purchase tickets visit Paul’s website here (the password to get into the guild lodge is “hobbyhorse”).

He’s also performing a series of dates in May and July at festivals – plus a couple of Edinburgh preview shows in Leicester. Post-Edinburgh, Foot fans can catch him in October and November at a series of UK gigs. For information about dates and venues for all of these performances, and to purchase tickets click here.

Alternative Comedy Rides Again

8 May

Comedy Central has confirmed a second series of The Alternative Comedy Experience, the stand-up based comedy show curated by Stewart Lee.

© Comedy Central

The Alternative Comedy Experience showcases comedians who tend to be overlooked by mainstream media. The series is overseen by Stewart Lee, who doesn’t perform himself but helps to choose who appears, and interviews the other comics backstage.

Running for 12 episodes, the first series of The Alternative Comedy Experience has just completed its run. Comedy Central has ordered another 12 episodes, which will be filmed at The Stand in Edinburgh in July, in advance of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The full line-up for Series 2 has yet to be confirmed, but a number of acts from Series 1 will return, alongside new performers. Paul Foot and Tony Law will be amongst those returning for the second series, so we’re happy bunnies! Nish Kumar, Michael Legge, Grainne Maguire and Liam Mullone are amongst the new acts invited to join the show and perform as part of Series 2.

The series is expected to be shown on the subscription broadcaster in early 2014.

Paul Foot Podcast

6 May

Paul Foot recorded a podcast after his recent appearance at the Sydney  Comedy Festival in Australia.

Unsurprisingly, the conversation meanders about a fair bit, taking in everything from Paul’s zero knowldge of the 1970′s TV programme, Diff’rent Strokes, to why his current show is called Kenny Larch is Dead and why so many of his associates have bird-based surnames. Essential stuff!

You can listen to the podcast below:

Melbourne Welcomes Paul & Rich

11 Apr
© Paul Foot Rich Fulcher

© Paul Foot Rich Fulcher

The Melbourne Comedy Festival is in full swing, so we decided to remind you of TVO representatives there!

Rich Fulcher and his hugely popular Tiny Acts of Rebellion show is there along with  Paul Foot performing his sell-out Edinburgh show Kenny Larch is Dead.

For those lucky enough to live in Melbourne or who can get there soon, tickets for Kenny Larch can be found here and for Tiny Acts here.

If you still need an incentive to go to see Paul, there’s a video of his Melbourne show in a previous post.

Don’t forget you can buy the Tiny Acts book from our TVO Store.

Foot In Melbourne

30 Mar

Part of Paul Foot‘s routine from the recent 2013 International Melbourne Comedy Gala has been uploaded to youtube. Now those of us who couldn’t make it down there can now experience his unique brand of funny.

In the clip below he considers the true meaning of the ‘Baby on Board’ stickers you sometimes find on cars. It’s classic Foot – pin-sharp and ridiculous in euqal measures. Brilliant stuff!

Fulcher And Foot Down Under

23 Feb
© Paul Foot Rich Fulcher

© Paul Foot Rich Fulcher

The International Melbourne Comedy festival occurs next month and two of our favourite performers will be there to entertain you!

Rich Fulcher is taking his hugely popular Tiny Acts of Rebellion show and Paul Foot is performing his sell-out Edinburgh show Kenny Larch is Dead.

The Festival runs from 27 March to 21st April. Details of tickets for Kenny Larch are here and there for Tiny Acts. Don’t forget you can buy the Tiny Acts book from TVO Store.


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