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So Hot Right Now #29

4 May

Welcome to The Velvet Onion – the central hub for an interconnected range of alternative comedy and more. Click through for the latest news, and see what’s so hot right now THIS WEEK below…

TVO TAKES OVER TELLY ON WEDNESDAY!

As ever, there’s lots to enjoy on TV this week, and if you’re a keen viewer of everything we point you towards, you’ll be very thankful for DVRs and catch-up services this Wednesday, as a bevy of shows vie for your attention across the evening.

MURDER IN SUCCESSVILLE
Wednesday, 10pm, BBC THREE

© BBC / Tiger Aspect / Ollie Upton

© BBC / Tiger Aspect / Ollie Upton

The long awaited improv reality game show cop sitcom drama hybrid madness that is Murder in Successville begins this Wednesday on BBC Three.

The six part series stars Tom Davis as hardened detective DI Sleet, forced to solve crimes in the run-down ghetto of Successville with the help of a celebrity guest partner every week, beginning with Made in Chelsea‘s Jamie Laing.

Successville’s inhabitants are loose impersonations of British stars in unusual new occupations: which allows Gordon Ramsay to be the chief of police; Mary Berry to run the local strip joint; the One Direction lads to head up a violent gang; and the Carr Brothers (Jimmy and Alan) to be masterminds of dodgy dealings and hammer blows when folk don’t pay up.

It’s all delightfully silly nonsense, with Davis in particular revelling in making his temporary partners crack up. With the likes of Colin HoultTony WayCariad LloydHarry PeacockGemma Whelan, Frances Barber, Jason Lewis, Luke Kempner, Liam Hourican and friend of TVO, Nico Tatarowicz on board as the showbiz inhabitants of Successville, and Waen Shepherd on scoring duties (getting the 80s cop vibe just right), Murder in Successville is also a brilliant opportunity to see familiar faces acting the fool on telly, and letting their imaginations run wild.

Part Star Stories style showbiz sitcom, part Cludeo game show, the off-beat format may take some getting used to, but there’s lots of fun to be had, making this a must-see show. Catch it on Wednesday evening at 10pm on BBC Three, or on iPlayer shortly after transmission.

BUGSPLAT!
Wednesday, 10:30pm, CHANNEL FOUR

© Channel 4

© Channel 4

A new show written by Guy Jenkin is always cause for celebration – over time, his pen has graced Not the Nine O’Clock NewsSpitting ImageWho Dares Wins and even Life on Mars, and he co-created and co-wrote Drop the Dead Donkey and Outnumbered. Jenkin also recently wrote Channel 4’s election based sitcom Ballot Monkeys, and already he’s back with another show about RAF drone pilots.

Rufus Jones is part of the ensemble cast as Peter: a pilot who is almost back to normal after returning from Afghanistan alongside James (W1A star Hugh Skinner) and Lexi (Lauren O’Neil, Being Human, Phone Shop). With a mission to complete, Peter is unconvinced that their Wing Commander is up to the job.

Also starring Aimee-Ffion Edwards, Vincent Franklin, Fiona Button and the ever brilliant Sacha Dhawan, the black comedy can be close to the bone at times, and potentially farcical at others, but whilst the first episode perhaps could have been stronger, in the hands of this talented ensemble cast the results are still highly enjoyable and well worth sticking with for the rest of the run.  You can catch the show this Wednesday on Channel 4 at 10:30pm, or on 4oD shortly after transmission.

CHARLIE BROOKER’S ELECTION WIPE
Wednesday, 9pm, BBC TWO

© BBC / Endemol / Kieron McCarron

© BBC / Endemol / Kieron McCarron

Screenwriter, author, columnist, presenter and Professional Grumpy Charlie Brooker is one of those incredible talents firmly, as the Moon would put it, in our peripheral vision. His TVO connections are solid – co-writing the sublime Nathan Barley with Chris Morris, creating and writing the equally fantastic Dead Set (starring Kevin Eldon), and casting several TVO regulars in his recent forays into television fiction – Sky’s nonsensical stroke of genius, A Touch of Cloth, and the truly inspired Black Mirror.

Yet, given his main foray is in solo shows, we’ve never really given him the attention he deserves – after all, if you’re not already watching his shows, it’s safe to assume you’re probably doing something wrong. His latest series of Weekly Wipe earlier this year, however, featured TVO regular Morgana Robinson alongside long-standing regulars Barry Shitpeas (aka It’s Kevin director Al Campbell) and Philomena Cunk (the sublime Diane Morgan).

The team return this week for a one-off, hour-long election special – ripping into not only the politicians on the campaign trail, but the increasingly fevered way the election has been covered across the media. No previews were available as we went to press (most obviously because the show is still being made), but we’re expecting Morgana’s brilliant Russell Brand impression to make a return appearance, and hoping that Philomena Cunk gets to ask: “What is politicians?” in her inimitable way.  Catch the show at 9pm on BBC Two this Wednesday, or via iPlayer shortly after transmission.

CAR SHARE
Wednesday, 9:30pm, BBC ONE

©  BBC / Goodnight Vienna Productions

© BBC / Goodnight Vienna Productions

Last week saw the terrestrial launch of Peter Kay’s new sitcom, Car Share, following its successful mini-première on iPlayer recently. A surprisingly charming, if mostly uneventful comedy set almost entirely within the confines of a small car, the show co-stars Kay’s long-term collaborator Sian Gibson – who you may also remember from two appearances in The League of Gentlemen as Al’s girlfriend Trish. We’ve had Bright Eyes stuck in our heads ever since we realised that one…

Anyhew, the reason we bring this up is that this week’s edition features a guest appearance from none other than Reece Shearsmith – who plays demented fishmonger Ray, cadging a lift to work from car-sharing friends John and Kayleigh, the latter of whom had too many cheeky Vimtos last night, and really should have phoned in sick even before the smell of fish made her feel worse.

If you fancy seeing Reece’s star-turn (and really, any chance to watch this masterful actor work has to be a good thing), you can catch Car Share at 9:30pm on BBC One, or on iPlayer shortly after transmission.

THE DELIVERY MAN
Wednesday, 9:30pm, ITV

© Monicker Pictures

© Monicker Pictures

ITV’s maternity ward sitcom, The Delivery Man continues apace on Wednesday evening, though with a critical mauling of its early episodes, it may be time for fans of the show to savour it while they can.

This week, an incognity reality TV star arrives on the ward and asks Matthew (Darren Boyd) to help hide her pregnancy from the public.  But when Facebook updates get the word out to the press, the staff need to come up with a way to trick the paparazzi.

Whilst it’s fair to say that this comedy from two of the writers of Green Wing doesn’t quite live up to potential, there’s still lots of fun to be had from watching the talented ensemble – including Aisling BeaAlex MacQueen and Fay Ripley – handle the material with their usual gusto. It may not be for everyone, but if you give it a chance, The Delivery Man may just find a place in your heart. Make your own minds up at 9:30pm on ITV, or catch up via ITV Player shortly after transmission.

W1A GETS ‘BETTER’

Thursday, 10pm, BBC TWO

© BBC / Jack Barnes

© BBC / Jack Barnes

Series Two of W1A continues on Thursday evening, as John Morton’s BBC-based mockumentary continues to gain fans left, right and centre. A huge part of that, it seems, is down to Jessica Hynes dynamite precision as PR guru Siobhan Sharpe: truly, a master of sprouting so many technobabbling media-savvy buzzwords that no-one really notices she has no idea what she’s doing.

But then, that’s the BBC in a nutshell, according to W1A, as this week Anna Rampton (the incomparable Sarah Parish) is made Head of Better, and David (TVO regular and irrepressible talent Rufus Jones) continues his own rise through the organisation.  Poor old Ian (charming Hugh Bonneville) is feeling awfully sidelined, as the Head of Values is forced to bring out his own creative vision.

You’d be mad to miss this one, and thankfully, it’s not on on Wednesday to confuse matters further! Catch the latest episode on Thursday at 10pm on BBC Two, or via iPlayer shortly after transmission.

A LONG NIGHT FOR CHANNEL 4

Thursday from 8:25pm, CHANNEL FOUR and MORE4

© Channel 4

© Channel 4

It can’t have escaped your attention that the general election takes place this Thursday, and Channel 4 is offering a full blown nine hours of live comedy and comment in their Alternative Election Night, recruiting a cavalcade of stars to make a long game of counting a lot more entertaining.

Led by David Mitchell (Peep Show) and former Newsnight host Jeremy Paxman, the team will also include the likes of Richard Osman, Romesh Ranganathan, Cathy Newman and TVO’s very own Aisling Bea.

This includes special election themed editions of The Last Leg and Gogglebox and appearances from Kayvan Novak, Sara Pascoe and Henning Wehn. If this doesn’t rock your boat there’s also a live broadcast of star-studded play The Vote from Donmar Warehouse over on More4 from 8:25pm, featuring Nick Burns, Mark Gatiss, Catherine Tate, Dame Judi Dench, Nina Sosanya, Kadiff Kirwan and many more.

PANEL-SHOW POP-UPS FROM DAVIS & LAW

© Channel 4

© Channel 4

Monday night’s edition of Channel 4’s panel show, Virtually Famous features an appearance from Tom Davis.

The show celebrates the latest viral sensations on the internet, and is hosted by former Glee star Kevin McHale, with Seann Walsh and Chris Stark as regular team captains. Tom, riding the wave of publicity for Murder in Successville pops up alongside fellow comedians Rob Beckett and Sarah Callaghan, and TV ‘personality’ Rylan Clark.

You can catch this edition on Monday evening at 10pm, or via 4oD shortly after transmission.

© September Films / GME / ITV

© September Films / GME / ITV

Tom isn’t the only TVO regular to crop up on a panel show this week, as Tony Law makes a guest appearance on ITV’s Celebrity Squares revival on Sunday evening.

Presented by Warwick Davis (Life’s Too Short, The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains), and featuring regular panelists Tim Vine (Not Going Out) and Joe Wilkinson (8 Out of 10 Cats), this new incarnation of the hardy perennial is drawing guests not only from the world of mainstream telly and pop charts, but also the realms of alternative comedy. The first couple of episodes have featured the likes of Anna Crilly, Katy Wix, Jessica Hynes, Doon Mackichan, Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, and this week gives Tony Law the rare opportunity to appear on Sunday night, prime-time ITV, which in itself is a delightful notion.

Joining Tony are Jonathan Ross, Laura Whitmore, Gabby Logan, Nina Conti, Shappi Khorsandi and Union J.  With any luck, the contestants will have no idea what to expect from a man who seemingly prides himself on never giving a completely straight answer, so no doubt Warwick has his work cut out as the ToneZone clashes with reality. We can’t wait to see the results.

ON STAGE THIS WEEK

© Lauren Taylor

© Lauren Taylor

There’s almost always a chance or two to see a TVO regular on the London stage. Here’s where you can find them throughout the week.

06/05/15 – Richard Sandling‘s Perfect Movie Podcast Recording with Deborah Frances White – Betsey Trotswood, 8pm, £3.50-£5

07/05/15 – Lou Sanders with Ahir Shah, Joshua Ross, Rob Carter, Orry Gibbens, Matthew Kelly & Robin Hill – The Pipeline, Middlesex, 8pm, £8-10

07/05/15 – Joey Page with James Dowdeswell, Paul F Taylor, Dan Hoy, Junior Campbell & Sion James – The Bread and Roses, Clapham, 8:30pm, £7-£9

Also this week, friends of TVO Johnny and the Baptists bring their UK tour to a close at the Soho Theatre on Wednesday and Thursday evening. Join them if you can!

AND THE REST…

As always, there’s so much going on at the Velvet Onion, it’s easy to miss things. As well as our News pages, the best way to keep track is via our Twitter feed, so here are a few highlights from throughout the week gone by. Until next time, keep on peeling!

Channel 4 to host Alternative Election Night

25 Apr

As the general election campaigns shift up a notch, all eyes are on Thursday, 7th May, when the United Kingdom chooses a government, old or (hopefully) new.

© Channel 4

© Channel 4

Usually, this has nothing to do with humble alternative comedy websites like us, but this year, Channel 4 is following its tradition of their alternative Christmas message, with a full blown seven hours of live comedy and comment in their Alternative Election Night, recruiting a cavalcade of stars to make a long game of counting a lot more entertaining.

Led by David Mitchell (Peep Show) and former Newsnight host Jeremy Paxman, the team will also include the likes of Richard Osman, Romesh Ranganathan, Cathy Newman and TVO’s very own Aisling Bea. The team have already released a delightful trailer, which you can see below.

Channel 4’s commitment to making light of the election, which will no doubt ensure a large number of people who normally don’t bother to vote do the right thing and join in on 7th May, doesn’t end there.  This week saw the launch of their political comedy Ballot Monkey, starring Ben Miller, Daisy Haggard and many more, including Crims star Theo Barklem-Biggs.

There’s also a special run of topical panel show The Last Leg, and a live broadcast of star-studded play The Vote  from Donmar Warehouse, featuring Nick Burns, Mark Gatiss, Catherine Tate, Dame Judi Dench, Nina Sosanya, Kadiff Kirwan and many more.

Finally, there’s this video, released yesterday, asking why you should give a xxxx about voting. In case you can’t quite place the face – that’s Steve Brody, who starred in forgotten favourite Angelo’s alongside Sharon Horgan, Paul Kaye, Alice Lowe, Shelley Longworth and Simon Farnaby.  He was also in the incredible one-off Lifespam with many of the same team, as well as Life’s Too ShortI’m Alan Partridge, Cardinal Burns and Blunder. Enjoy.

The Vote At The Donmar

24 Mar
© Donmar Warehouse

© Donmar Warehouse

As you probably know, if you live in the UK, there is a General Election happening in May, and The Donmar Warehouse is celebrating this event with “A national television event and a first for theatre and television“. A lot to live up to you might think, but The Vote is certainly on track to be such a huge event.

The play is set in a fictional London polling station, in the final ninety minutes before the polls close in this year’s General Election. There will be two weeks of performances at the Donmar from Friday 24 April to Wednesday 6 May, then on the 7th, at 8.30 until 10pm, the performance will be broadcast live on More4 from the Donmar stage.

There is a stellar cast performing this new play by James Graham, including some with TVO connections – of course!

Among the cast are Nathan Barley himself, Nicholas Burns, who was also The King in The Mighty Boosh, had a guest role in The IT Crowd, appeared in Surrealissimo with Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt, and more recently has appeared in Uncle. Nina Sosanga also appeared in Nathan Barley and W1A

Dame Judi Dench was Philomena alongside Steve Coogan, Catherine Tate was in Big Train and Psychobitches, while Mark Gatiss also took part in Psychobitches, Surrealissimo, The Crimson Petal and the White with Chris O’Dowd, Fear of Fanny and of course Nighty Night with Julia Davis.

Llewella Gideon, also starred in Nighty Night, Big Train and more recently the Paddington movie and Crims, which also starred Kadiff Kirwan. Timothy West starred in the first episode of Inside No. 9 and Not Going Out.

Also in the cast is Rachel Denning, who was in the Life’s Too Short Easter Special, Hadley Fraser who had parts in The Wrong Mans and Pompidou, Wanda Opalinski from Cardinal Burns.

Tickets to see the live performances will be made available through a ballot, which opens on Monday 30 March at 10am and runs until midnight on Tuesday 7 April. For more information about performances, tickets and the cast click on this link.

So Hot Right Now #20

2 Mar

Welcome to The Velvet Onion – the central hub for an interconnected range of alternative comedy and more. Click through for the LATEST NEWS, and see what’s so hot right now take a look below.

MOONE BOY RETURNS

This week sees the long awaited return of Moone Boy to Sky 1 HD, once again starring Chris O’Dowd and David Rawle.

 Sky Corporate

Sky Corporate

For the uninitiated, Moone Boy tells the story of young Martin Moone (Rawle) as he grows up in rural Ireland in the early 1990s, and his best friend Seán Murphy (O’Dowd), who happens to be imaginary.

Semi-autobiographical, the show is the brainchild of O’Dowd and co-writer Nick Vincent Murphy, and has garnered numerous awards and a strong cult following through its first two series in 2012 and 2014 respectively. With none other than Sharon Horgan set to make guest appearances this time around, it’s once more something you’d be mad to miss.

Series Three begins on Monday, 2nd March at 9pm, exclusively on Sky1 HD.  In the first episode, Liam and Debra abandon the kids for a romantic break to celebrate their 20th anniversary, but it all threatens to fall apart after a chance encounter with Liam’s old flame. Meanwhile, Martin and Padraic are in Dublin, where they soon discover new talents.

POMPIDOU ON BBC TWO

The madcap adventures of Matt Lucas magnificent aristocrat nutjob Pompidou continue on Sunday 8th March.

© BBC/John Stanley Productions/Natalie Seery

© BBC/John Stanley Productions/Natalie Seery

The show stars Lucas as the titular aristocrat, who is as pompous as he is penniless, as loveable as he is tubby and eccentric. He is all of those things in abundance – an elderly oddball who has fallen on hard times, and is forced to live in a knackered old caravan in front of his now crumbling estate, alongside his dog Marion, who is the handywork of former Mongrels puppeteers Andy HeathIestyn Evans and Yvonne Stone.

This week, Pompidou thinks he’s won the lottery, but it turns out that it’s Hove who has actually hit the jackpot and he has no intention of sharing it. With Pompidou evicted from his caravan because he hasn’t been keeping up with his bills, Hove offers him a place to stay – but now it is he who must earn his keep.

You can catch Episode Two on Sunday evening at 6:30pm over on BBC Two.

HOUSE OF FOOLS TEMPORARILY EVICTED

© Pett TV / Christopher Baines

© Pett TV / Christopher Baines

Due to Let’s Play Darts For Comic Relief taking place this week, House of Fools has been given a week off, and will return on March 9th.  If you haven’t read them yet, you can pass the time by catching up on our trilogy of interviews with the cast of the show: Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, Dan Skinner, Daniel Simonsen and Ellie White, and Matt Berry and Morgana Robinson.

As a result of this, full blown TVO offerings are a little thin on the ground this week – but you’ll be pleased to know there’s still material of note to savour.  First up, Uncle on BBC Three (Tuesday, 10pm) features the talents of Nicholas Burns and Daniel Lawrence Taylor.  Cockroaches star Tom Davis is making regular appearances in The Keith Lemon Sketch Show (Thursday, 10pm) for ITV2, and Saturday evenings provide a rare repeat for Bellamy’s People on UK Gold (11pm), starring Rhys ThomasLucy Montgomery and Simon Day.

However, this quietness does give us time to pause, reflect, and catch up on a couple of shows we missed recently. Cardinal Burns star Dustin Demri-Burns has been appearing alongside Ben Miller and Kayvan Novak in Asylum – with all three episodes available on iPlayer for the next 12 days.  Elsewhere, the delightful Jessica Hynes and the equally fantastic Rebecca Front have been appearing in Series Two of Up the Women on BBC Two, and most of the series is still available to view on iPlayer as we went to press.

AND THE REST…

As always, here’s some of the news you may have missed during the last week, via our Twitter feed. We’ll see you again next Monday, and throughout the week for more news, reviews and interviews. Keep on peeling!

So Hot Right Now #18

16 Feb

Welcome to The Velvet Onion – the central hub for an interconnected range of alternative comedy and more. Click through for the LATEST NEWS, and see what’s so hot right now take a look below.

COME ON IN…

Monday evening puts out the Welcome mat for the long awaited second series of House of Fools, which airs at 10pm on BBC2.

© Pett TV / Christopher Baines

© Pett TV / Christopher Baines

Vic and Bob’s artily homemade and brilliantly daft take on a sitcom has gone down a storm with both their hardcore audience and casual viewers alike, and it was only natural it would return for a second run. In the first episode of the new series, Bob’s reclusive son, Erik (Daniel Simonsen) emerges from his bedroom long enough to stop dry-retching and go on a blind date, meeting the equally calculated Rachel (Ellie White). Vic and Bob form a band with Beef (Matt Berry) and fall out over the name of their act before their debut gig, while Julie (Morgana Robinson) attempts to teach Bosh (Dan Skinner) the art of waiting tables. Clever, silly, and just as surreal as the first series, this episode also includes the best use of an Owen Wilson photo that you’ll ever come across!

If you missed them last week, TVO was graciously invited to be one of the few publications to speak to the cast of House of Fools at one of the Salford filming dates late last year. You can read our trilogy of interviews over on our news pages now, but if clicky links are more your thing, you’ll like the highlights over the names ‘Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer‘, ‘Dan Skinner, Daniel Simonsen and Ellie White‘, and ‘Matt Berry and Morgana Robinson‘.

CLOSE THE DOOR…

As one show arrives, another must sadly depart, and this week it’s the turn of both Cockroaches and Count Arthur Strong to say a (we hope short-lived) farewell.

© Colin Hutton / Big Talk Productions / ITV 2

© Colin Hutton / Big Talk Productions / ITV 2

At 10pm on Tuesday over on ITV2, the final episode of Cockroaches brings the post-apocalyptic comedy to a close, with dramatic results. This week Tom (Daniel Lawrence Taylor) and Laura (Jessica Emily Rose) are imprisoned by a gang of cannibals led by the villanous Ash (Jaime Winston), and it’s up to Suze and Felix (Esther Smith and Tom Davis) to save them from becoming supper.

With its top notch cast including Dan Skinner, Jack Whitehall, Robert Bathurst, Rich Hall, Nigel Planer and Alexander Armstrong, it does feel strange even in this digital age for Cockroaches to be tucked away on ITV2, but we’re hopeful we haven’t seen the last of Tom and the gang just yet. The full first series is available on dvd from next week.

© BBC / Freemantle Productions

© BBC / Freemantle Productions

We must also say goodbye to Count Arthur Strong, whose second series goes out with a bang at 10:45pm on Tuesday evening over on BBC One. Unless you’re in Northern Ireland or Wales, in which case it does so at 11:10pm. Or if you’re in Scotland, in which case there’ll be a slightly smaller bang (it’ll be more of a bump, really), at 10:40pm on Wednesday evening instead.

Anyway, after years of plugging away, Arthur (Steve Delaney) finally hits the big time this week when he gets a job as a TV psychic – only to let the fame go to his head. Meanwhile, Michael (Rory Kinnear) has a rather unique reaction to a tempting job offer, one that causes his health to suffer. Given Kinnear’s fate in The Casual Vacancy, we’re rooting for him here!

Of course, whilst the Graham Linehan co-penned series is coming to an end (for now), Delaney is current out on tour with the Count, and you can catch a full list of dates over on his website. He’s also recently released a book, which you can get here.

TAKE A SEAT…

Whilst we have new shows to savour and others to say goodbye to, there’s a few others that continue their successful runs this week.

© Tim Bret Day

© Tim Bret Day

Catastrophe – the smash hit show from Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney continues apace on Monday evening at 10:05pm, though House of Fools fans may want to catch up via 4+1 at 11:05pm instead!

In this fifth episode, Rob and Sharon plan their wedding, but Rob’s plans to throw a surprise birthday party are scuppered when his Boston bosses fire him during a video call, and his mother (special guest star Carrie Fisher) reveals a big secret of his to Sharon.

© Steffan Hill / BBC / Bronte Film and Television Ltd

© Steffan Hill / BBC / Bronte Film and Television Ltd

On Sunday evening, part two of The Casual Vacancy airs at 9pm on BBC One. The star-studded adaptation of JK Rowling’s novel of the same name features Richard Glover and Rufus Jones in its ensemble cast, with the former particularly playing against reality as a real nasty piece of work!

Sadly as we went to press on this week’s SHRN, images from this second episode remain under embargo, so stay tuned for those later this week. What we can tell you, however, is that it picks up straight from where the last one left off: with the townsfolk of Pagford left shocked by posts online that are seemingly coming from a dead man.

With the various factions of the town on tenterhooks at one another, a dinner party is scheduled, but things quickly spiral out of control. Elsewhere in the Fields, an addiction appears to be weakening, giving Krystal fresh hope for the future of her family.

© Baby Cow / Chris Brock

© Baby Cow / Chris Brock

The new series of Uncle also continues on Tuesday evening at 10pm (again, clashing with Cockroaches – thank gawd for catchup services, eh?) on BBC Three.  Starring Nick Helm and Elliot Spencer Gillot, alongside Nicholas BurnsDaniel Lawrence Taylor and the criminally underrated Daisy Haggard, the show is as puerile yet oddly touching as ever.

This week, Andy (Helm) tries to prove how mature he is to his latest love interest, while Errol (Spencer Gillot) wants to show a girl how cool he is, and Sam (Haggard) is desperate to impress Ben’s girlfriend, Veronica (Burns and special guest star Gemma Whelan of Game of Thrones and The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains fame). Unfortunately their efforts do not go well, forcing the trio to resort to deception in order to make a good impression.

ENJOY THE SHOW…

Londoners have it good at the moment! Not only do they have a Kim Noble residency at the Soho Theatre to savour at the moment, but this week sees them get a Rachel Stubbings fronted film night too. And next week brings the return of Richard Sandling‘s live nights, and a mini-residency for Sarah Kendall. For more news on live events, check out news page!

TVO IS FIVE

We’ve been celebrating our fifth anniversary this month, with a couple of reflective articles on our news pages, and a number of our regulars sending us video messages wishing us a very happy birthday. Kind of. The video below features, in order of appearance: Rachel StubbingsColin HoultDave BrownJames CookBob PipeDave McNeillKaty BrandNeil ColePhil WhelansJames WrenSpencer MillmanWaen ShepherdJacqueline WrightHolly Jane ShearsRufus JonesStephen Evans and Tony Way.

Our huge thanks to all involved – and we’ve got a few more messages coming through to give you Part Two very soon, so stay peeled!

AND THE REST…

As always, here’s some of the news you may have missed during the last week, via our Twitter feed. We’ll see you again next Monday, and throughout the week for more news, reviews and interviews. Keep on peeling!

Preview: ‘Uncle’ New Second Series

9 Feb
© BBC/Baby Cow/Chris Brock

© BBC/Baby Cow/Chris Brock

This week sees the launch of Series Two of Uncle: BBC Three’s comedy drama featuring Nick Helm as an out of work musician with a 13 year old nephew.

Strictly speaking, it’s not a fully Velvet Onion-flavoured TV show, but with TVO regulars Daniel Lawrence Taylor and Nicholas Burns in its supporting cast, we thought we should squeeze in a mention.

Mog took a look at the first two episodes of the new series, and her spoiler free preview is below:

Although we pride ourselves on showcasing the odder end of the comedy spectrum at TVO, occasionally a gentle midweek sitcom really hits the spot. And thus the first series of BBC 3’s Uncle wormed its way into my affections.

The messed-up dynamic between the key characters (including layabout manchild Andy, his uptight nephew Errol, barely-out-of-rehab Errol’s Mum, and an ex-girlfriend’s violent transvestite father), the surreal musical interludes and some nicely-pitched, warm performances combined to create a surprisingly fresh, modern take on situational comedy.

In the new second series, all of the same ingredients are there – but with one major change: Errol has aged by one year. A year might not seem like much, but the shift from child to teenager – and the deeper voice that accompanies it – significantly alters the dynamics of the show. The tension between how an adult should behave around a child and how the smoking, drinking, swearing, shagging Andy actually behaves around his nephew is diminished. Now that Errol is thirteen, Andy’s behaviour doesn’t seem as wildly inappropriate – or funny.

© BBC/Baby Cow/Chris Brock

© BBC/Baby Cow/Chris Brock

At the end of series 1 we witnessed the horror of irresponsible Uncle Andy allowing Errol to get wasted at a music biz party. Errol was patently still a child and it was all slightly shocking. Now that he’s a teenager, it feels like an average Saturday night. Where’s the rub?

Furthermore, the ‘old head on young shoulders’ of  the wide-eyed, pudding bowl-haired Errol in series 1 was endearing. Laughing at him felt cruel, which in turn, made it even funnier. Now that he’s older and more self-aware, his geekiness is a little cliched and obvious. All teenagers are awkward, and laughing at the awkwardness is too easy.

Having said all that, it’s worth noting that the interplay between Errol and his uncle is still one of the high points of the show; both Nick Helm (as Andy) and Elliot Speller-Gillott (as Errol) give great performances with genuine chemistry between them. Helm conveys the modern malaise suffered by many 20/30-something males (the inability to grow up) with real aplomb. And the writing is still strong and snappy, and the script peppered with memorable one-liners. It raised a few giggles in our household.

In summary then, Uncle continues to offer a gentle, quality comedy cuddle to help you get through the working week; but what gave the first series much of its bite has sadly grown up and gone away.

You can catch the first episode of series 2 of Uncle on BBC3 at 10pm on Tuesday 10th February. Series One will be released on dvd in March – pre-order it here now.

So Hot Right Now #17

9 Feb

Welcome to The Velvet Onion – the central hub for an interconnected range of alternative comedy and more.  Click through for the LATEST NEWS, and see what’s so hot right now below.

YOU SAY GOODBYE…

This week sees the Comedic Guard of 2015 begin to change for the first time, as January’s new shows begin to wrap up, and February’s new shows start to arrive. Sadly, this means we must say our goodbyes to two firm favourites already: Love in Recovery and Crims, both of which end this week.

© Karla Gowlett / Lucky Giant

© Karla Gowlett / Lucky Giant

The sublime Love in Recovery wraps up on Wednesday 11th February, with the sixth and final instalment of Radio 4’s touching comic drama. Written by Pete Jackson, the series follows the lives of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting group, made up of characters portrayed by Sue Johnston, John Hannah, Eddie Marsan, Rebecca Front and Paul Kaye, whilst Julia Deakin plays village hall cleaner Marion.

This week we turn our focus away from the individual tales of each recovering alcoholic, as the group are forced to leave their meeting room to try and rescue one of their members from a nearby pub. As it all comes full circle for the gang, we can’t help but hope we haven’t heard the last of them yet.

 If you missed previous installements, you can catch all previous episodes except Episode One on iPlayer now, but be quick – as Episode Two will vanish in four days time…

© Hal Shinnie / BBC

On Thursday 12th February, we also say a fond farewell to Crims – as the BBC Three sitcom from the pens of Mongrels writer Adam Kay and Grandma’s House writer Dan Swimer airs its sixth and final episode at 10pm, with Tracy Ann Oberman once again making a guest appearance.

It’s another firm favourite, as Dawn (Cariad Lloyd) is to receive a commendation for her crackdown on drug use in the institution, and Creg (Ricky Champ) is forced into a difficult position when he accidentally lets the collected substances go missing on his watch. Let’s just say, this episode features the best comedic sandwich consumption since Arnold Rimmer ate a triple fried egg sarnie with chilli sauce and chutney.

When the show began, it was easy to believe the focus would remain entirely on Luke and Jasan, brilliantly played by Elis James and Kadiff Kirwan, but as the series has developed, Dawn, Creg, Marcel (the sublime Theo Barklem Biggs) and the rest of the gang have become just as important to the success of the show. We’re certainly hoping we haven’t seen the last of Crims yet.

If you have missed previous episodes, you can catch up on iPlayer now. There’s currently no sign of a dvd or blu-ray release, but the episodes are now becoming available to own via Amazon Digital, so keep an eye on your preferred digital store for the whole run soon.

…AND I SAY HELLO!

Sunday evening brings us a brand new show, in the form of JK Rowling’s comic drama The Casual Vacancy, which features Rufus Jones and Richard Glover in its top notch cast.

© Steffan Hill / BBC / Bronte Film and Television Ltd

© Steffan Hill / BBC / Bronte Film and Television Ltd

Michael Gambon (Harry Potter), Julia McKenzie (Miss Marple), Keeley Hawes (Ashes to Ashes), Rory Kinnear (Count Arthur Strong), Monica Dolan (Sightseers), Silas Carson (The IT Crowd) and Emilia Fox (Silent Witness) join Glover & Jones in the three part mini-series, which centres on the seemingly idyllic English village of Pagford.

With it’s cobbled market square and ancient abbey, Pagford looks quaint and charming to all who enter. Behind the pretty façade however, is a town at war: rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.

When a local councillor dies suddenly, the town is left in shock, and the empty seat becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the village has yet seen. Three candidates are soon lined up: Miles Mollison, Colin Wall and Simon Price – played by Rufus Jones, Simon McBurney and Richard Glover respectively.

Episode One airs on BBC One this Sunday evening at 9pm, and you can see our preview gallery alongside clips and trailers, over yonder.

© BBC/Baby Cow/Chris Brock

© BBC/Baby Cow/Chris Brock

Tuesday 10th February also sees Series Two of Uncle begin on BBC Three at 10pm, once again starring Nick Helm and Elliot Spencer-Gillot alongside Sophie Haggard (Psychoville), Nicholas Burns and Daniel Lawrence Taylor.

A year after Andy (Helm) was banned from seeing his nephew Errol (Spencer-Gillot) for being a destructive influence, the unlikely duo are hanging out in secret, with the latter having a broken voice and the former being as broken in general as ever.

It’s a welcome return for a very popular show, and you can see what TVOer Mog thought of its return very soon.

CONTINUING ADVENTURES IN ONION LAND

It would, of course, be foolish to focus only on the newly arriving and the soon departing, as lots of other great shows vie for your attention in the middle of their current runs this week.

© Ed Miller / Channel 4

© Ed Miller / Channel 4

Monday 9th February at 10:05pm sees Episode Four of Catastrophe air on Channel 4. Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney’s charming yet brutally honest sitcom focuses on an American man and an Irish woman in London, forced to make a whirlwind romance develop into something more when they find themselves expecting a child.

This week, Sharon’s parents head over from Ireland, only to have a difficult first encounter with Rob, as the subject of pregnancy is broached.  More health complications for Sharon and the baby also arise, and Rob’s secret friendship with Chris backfires in a way he could never have imagined.

As the story unfolds and becomes ever more complex and rewarding, it’s increasingly a delight to spend half an hour with realistic, flawed characters you can’t help but like, even if you’re not sure why.  The show thunders on with rave reviews, and a second series commissioned, so if you’ve not caught the bug yet, you can catch up with the series now via 4oD.

© Colin Hutton / Big Talk Productions / ITV 2

© Colin Hutton / Big Talk Productions / ITV 2

Episode Five of Cockroaches airs on Tuesday 10th February at 10pm over on ITV2. The post-apocalyptic comedy stars Daniel Lawrence Taylor (How Not to Life Your Life), Esher Smith, Jack Whitehall and Tom Davis (House of Fools, Murder in Successville), alongside a string of big name guest stars such as Dan Skinner, Alexander Armstrong, Caroline Quentin, Robert Bathurst and Nigel Planer.

This week, Tom’s mother-in-law Cathy (Caroline Quentin) arrives at the camp with her new boyfriend Pete, who happens to be his former PE teacher – and an overbearing alpha-male American, played by the initimitable Rich Hall. Meanwhile, Suze is sceptical when a stranger called Ash (Jamie Winstone, Dead Set) arrives from the woods claiming not to have seen a single person for the past three years.

It’s another suitably bonkers episode, and if you like what you see, you can catch up with past episodes via ITV Player, or pre-order series on dvd for release February 23rd.

© BBC / Freemantle Productions

© BBC / Freemantle Productions

Also on Tuesday 10th February, the sixth and penultimate episode of the second series of Count Arthur Strong airs on BBC One at different times, depending on your location.

Viewers in England can see the show at (shock horror), the same time as last week: 10:45pm, whilst those watching in Northern Ireland and Wales don’t have to wait as long as usual, with the episode moved up to 11:10pm. Viewings in Scotland, annoyingly, have to wait almost 24 hours, with the episode airing at 10:40pm on Wednesday instead.

Despite the crazy scheduling, this episode – once more from the pens of star Steve Delaney and Graham Linehan (best known for The IT Crowd and Father Ted), is perhaps the series highlight: as a trouser fire causes Arthur to move in with Michael. His claims of being low maintenance clash with Michael’s Game of Thrones obsession, so Arthur turns to John the Watch for companionship.

Brilliantly structured, and surprisingly heart-warming, this episode works better still when you know the characters well enough to enjoy spending time in their company, but if you only watched one episode this year, this could be the one for you. Either way, catch up on the series now via iPlayer over yonder.

© Comedy Central UK

© Comedy Central UK

Meanwhile, the fifth episode of Drunk History UK airs at 9:30pm on Monday 9th over on Comedy Central UK, once more featuring famous British comedians getting absolutely plastered in the name of reciting tales from the past – which are then re-enacted by a top notch cast.

Tony Way, Cardinal Burns, Rebecca Front, Marek Larwood and Mat Horne have appeared across the series so far, and tonight’s edition keeps the talent levels up high: as Marc Wooten (La La Land, Shirley Ghostman) returns to the show, along Simon Bird (The Inbetweeners, Friday Night Dinner).

With Russell Kane and Alex Horne on story telling duties, and Tony Way again making an appearance, it’s another great excuse to watch comedy talents being very silly indeed. Enjoy!

LIVE HAPPENINGS

There’s lots brewing at the moment, with Kim Noble in the middle of his run at the Soho Theatre, a special Forgery Club for Greenpeace this week, Rachel Stubbings hosting a film night next Monday, Tony Law wrapping up his Tone Zone tour, and tickets for Sarah Kendall at Soho Theatre later this month, and Angelos & Barry later this year on sale now.  Keep an eye on our news pages for the latest live news as and when we can throw it your way!

TVO IS FIVE

We’ve been celebrating our fifth anniversary this month, with a couple of reflective articles on our news pages, and a number of our regulars sending us video messages wishing us a very happy birthday. Kind of. The video below features, in order of appearance: Rachel StubbingsColin HoultDave BrownJames CookBob PipeDave McNeillKaty BrandNeil ColePhil WhelansJames WrenSpencer MillmanWaen ShepherdJacqueline WrightHolly Jane ShearsRufus JonesStephen Evans and Tony Way.

Our huge thanks to all involved – and we’ve got a few more messages coming through to give you Part Two very soon, so stay peeled!

AND THE REST…

As always, here’s some of the news you may have missed during the last week, via our Twitter feed. We’ll see you again next Monday, and throughout the week for more news, reviews and interviews. Keep on peeling!

RIP Charlie Philips

6 Feb
© Charlie Philips

© Charlie Philips

The Velvet Onion would like to extend our sincere condolences to the family of Charlie Philips, who died earlier this week.

A BAFTA winning editor for his work on Sherlock, Charlie’s editing career began in 1996, with the Ben Elton penned sitcom The Thin Blue Line starring Rowan Atkinson, Mark Addy and Mina Anwar.

Philips was, however, perhaps defined by his work with director Matt Lipsey on a string of the most widely acclaimed comedies of the last fifteen years, which amongst them manage to include a huge number of the names we feature on these pages.

First working together on The Armstrong and Miller Show, the duo then worked on Lenny Henry in Pieces before being charged with bringing the twisted world of Julia Davis and Rob Brydon’s superlative Human Remains to life in 2000.

The following year, the pair began their first collaboration in the form of Dr. Terrible’s House of Horrible – a comedy horror anthology in the style of Hammer and Amicus movies of yesteryear, which featured an appearance by Julia Davis alongside Mark Gatiss, Honor Blackman, Warwick Davis and Armstrong & Miller.

This was followed by Catterick – the seminal comedy drama from Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, which co-starred Matt Lucas and Reece Shearsmith amongst others. They then joined this creative team, alongside Steve Coogan once more for sketch show Monkey Trousers, followed by a sitcom for Coogan’s new character, Saxondale, co-starring James Bachman.

© BBC

© BBC

After short-lived sitcoms The Cup and Lunch Monkeys, came Psychoville – the sublime comedy mystery saga from Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton, which ran for two series featuring Lipsey & Philips at the helm.

The duo then worked on Chris Brann & Justin Chubb’s bonkers treat, This is Jinsey – co-starring Alice Lowe, no less, across two series either side of Psychoville‘s second run, as well as helming the first series of Greg Davis & Rik Mayall vehicle Man Down – produced by another TVO regular, Spencer Millman.  Sadly, these would mark their final collaborations.

Away from Lipsey, Philips also worked on Tittybangbang and the sixth series of Shooting Stars , as well as editions of Rev and Russell Tovey vehicle Him & Her, as well as the pilot episode of Psychobitches.

© BAFTA

© BAFTA

He moved into drama with mini-series Vexed, and followed that with work on Monroe and five episodes of Sherlock: the latter of which won him a BAFTA Craft Award in 2011.

Details of Charlie Philips outside of his work are limited, and it’s currently unknown exactly how he died. However, he has left behind an extraordinary body of work that has shaped the British Comedy scene for almost two decades, and will no doubt continue to do so in the years to come. He will be missed.

Burns In Breeders

6 Sep

© St James Theatre

Nathan Barley himself, actor Nicholas Burns, is starring in a new play called Breeders at St James’ Theatre in London.

The comedy, by Ben Ockrent and directed by Tamara Harvey, offers a fresh take on family, tradition and procreation.

It follows the story of Andrea and her wife Caroline, who long to have a baby. Amidst the drink-sodden traditions of a family Christmas, they have an idea: if nature can’t give them a child that shares both their genes, perhaps Andrea’s under-achieving brother Jimmy (Burns) can? When he and his girlfriend Sharon agree, the four are forced closer than any family should be.

The performances of Breeders take place from 5th September to 4th October, and tickets are available from £15 up to £49.50 (for premium seats).

For more information about performance times, prices and to book tickets click here.

Toast Of The Awards

26 Feb

© Kuba Wieczorek

There are more award nominations for TVO related shows, starting with Matt Berry‘s Toast of London being nominated in the TV Award category of the Chortle Awards 2014.

Meanwhile in the Empire Awards, A Field in England is nominated for Best Horror, with Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and The World’s End both being nominated in the Best Comedy and Best British Film categories, with Edgar Wright nominated for Best Director, making three nominations for The World’s End.

Click on the links to vote for your favourites. The Chortle Awards are open until midnight on 4th March, and while there’s no closing date mentioned for the Empire Awards, it’s best to get your votes in soon!

If you’ve missed any of the nominated shows, don’t forget you can get everything you need at the Velvet Onion Store, just click to buy.

Toast of London

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa DVD or Blu-ray.

A Field in England.

Cornetto Trilogy.

The Final Round Begins: World’s End Q&A’s Announced!

31 Oct

© Universal Home Video

As its home media release approaches, the creators of recent blockbuster smash hit The World’s End will be giving two exclusive screening sessions next month.

The film was directed/co-written by Edgar Wright and was co-written by/starred Simon Pegg, forming the final part of their Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy.  Along for the ride, as ever, was Nick Frost, and a cavalcade of their regular collaborators in a massive ensemble cast.

This included Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, David Bradley, Reece Shearsmith, Mark Heap, Julia Deakin, Mark Donovan and Bill Nighy, alongside trilogy newcomers Rosamund Pike, Eddie Marsan, Darren Boyd, Jonathan Aris and Pierce Brosnan.

Also along for the ride, of course, were several TVO faces: Steve Oram was a prominent, if unnamed motorcycle policeman, Nick Burns a town local with a penchant for survival, Michael Smiley was a dealer known as Reverend Green, and Alice Lowe appeared with Rafe Spall in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo as a pair of househunters.

With the film due for release on dvd & blu-ray on November 25th, Pegg & Wright will be taking to two London cinemas a few days before to answer questions from diehard fans.

Saturday, 23rd November will see the uber-geeks miss all the big Doctor Who shenanigans (which also involve Bradley & Shearsmith) to give fans a treat at Cineworld Haymarket.  The World’s End will be followed by never-before-seen bonus footage, and a live Q&A session from the pair.

The following day, the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square is taken over by the whole darn trilogy – Shaun Of The DeadHot Fuzz and The World’s End, back-to-back, introduced by Edgar and Simon.  This mammoth event runs from 4pm until 10:30pm, so don’t miss out!

Tickets are selling fast for both events, so pick up your Cineworld Tickets here, and your Prince Charles Tickets there.

If you can’t make either event, both The World’s End and the full whammy Trilogy Box Set are released on dvd and blu-ray on November 25th, and both can be pre-ordered now from The Velvet Onion Amazon UK Store, whilst American readers can get the film slightly earlier, on November 19th.  For full pre-order details, see below.

ORDER THE WORLD’S END IN UK OR US HOME MEDIA FORMATS BY CLICKING ON THE COVERS BELOW

© Universal Home Video {UK}

© Universal Home Video {UK}

© Universal Home Video {US}

© Universal Home Video {US}

_________________________________

ORDER THE THREE FLAVOURS CORNETTO IN UK OR US HOME MEDIA FORMATS BY CLICKING ON THE COVERS BELOW

© Universal Home Video {UK}

© Universal Home Video {UK}

© Universal Home Video {US}

© Universal Home Video {US}

TV & Radio Times

8 Sep

tv

We want to tell you about some TV and Radio shows that are being aired now or in the near future with TVO connections.

First there is Colin Hoult’s Carnival of Monsters, which had its first outing on BBC Radio 4 extra and can now be heard on Thursday evenings at 11pm on Radio 4. Join Colin Hoult and his host of weird and wonderful characters as they show off their various talents for your delight and horror. As always you can catch it on the iPlayer.

Next is a new series of Start/Stop, written and starring Jack Docherty and starring Katherine Parkinson as Alice. The show centre’s around 3 married couples, and when the situation gets out of control, the action stops and one of the characters addresses the audience. You can catch Start/Stop on Radio 4 at 11am on Fridays. Click here for the iPlayer link.

Radio 4 is again your destination on Tuesdays at 11pm, when you can catch the second series of Detective Sergeant Nick Mohammed, co-starring Anna Crilly and Colin Hoult, as his two colleagues who get caught up in his schemes. If you need to catch up iPlayer is your friend.

Coming soon to a television near you is The Wrong Mans, written by and starring Matthew Baynton and James Corden. Most of you will have seen the trailer by now. The all-star cast includes Dan Renton Skinner, Benedict Wong, Tom Basden and Rufus Jones. To see more about the show including an interview with James and Matt and clips and trailers, head over to the BBC website.

Finally, coming to BBC 2 for Christmas is The Tractate Middoth, a chilling tale by MR James, adapted and directed by Mark Gatiss and starring Nick Burns, Sacha Dhawan , John Castle, Louise Jameson, Una Stubbs, David Ryall, Eleanor Bron and Roy Barraclough. The story is about a man looking for an obscure Hebrew text, in a quiet academic library. All is not as it seems and soon terrifying apparitions  begin to appear.  More information about the half-hour show can be found here.

Your Round For The World’s End

2 Sep

© Universal Home Video

Smash hit film The World’s End is now available to pre-order on both sides of the Atlantic.

The critically acclaimed box office smash, directed by Edgar Wright, stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and a huge ensemble cast, including Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan and Rosamund Pike.

Rounding out that cast are the likes of Reece Shearsmith, David Bradley, Mark Heap, Julia Deakin and a certain former secret agent.  Of more interest to us, however, are TVO regulars Nick BurnsSteve OramMichael Smiley and Alice Lowe. 

Now the film can be pre-ordered from our Amazon store in both the UK and the US.  The latter hasn’t yet been given a release date – perhaps because the film is still wowing audiences in cinemas, but you can pre-order the DVD for just $19.99, and the triple pack of Blu-Ray, DVD and Ultra Violet digital copy for a few dollars more, $23.99.

In the UK, the film will be released on November 25th, with the DVD available for £13, and the Blu-Ray & Ultra Violet digital copy (sans DVD that US audiences get) for £16.50.

ORDER EITHER UK OR US HOME MEDIA FORMATS BY CLICKING ON THE COVERS BELOW

The Velvet Onion Amazon Stores ship internationally, and all you need is an Amazon account to get your goods! The UK versions are above, the US versions below.

© Universal Home Video

© Universal Home Video

© Universal Home Video

© Rook Films / Channel 4 DVD

One Last Cornetto

21 Aug

The critically acclaimed box office smash The World’s End finally opens in US cinemas this week, and whilst we’d be recommending it to you regardless, the inclusion of a few TVO regulars sweetens the deal somewhat.

The film, directed by Edgar Wright and starring Simon Pegg & Nick Frost has a huge ensemble cast that includes a number of the trio’s long-standing friends and collaborators – including a number who have cropped up in Onion flavoured productions in the past too numerous to mention here.

That huge cast (rounded out by Rosamund Pike, Eddie Marsan and a certain former secret agent in leading supporting roles) includes… deep breath now… Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, David Bradley, Reece Shearsmith, Jonathan Aris, Julia Deakin, Mark Heap, Darren Boyd and Bill Nighy.

It also features regular collaborator Michael Smiley as Reverend Green (not actually a man of the cloth), Nick Burns as a town collaborator, Steve Oram as a motorcycle cop and Alice Lowe as a house-hunter.

© Universal Pictures

© Universal Pictures

Best of all, on top of all that, it’s deliciously funny, with an increasingly flippant and wacked out vibe as the film springs to its megabucks conclusion.  Whilst slightly lacking the heart of Shaun Of The Dead and the firm soul of Hot Fuzz, the cynical spin almost a decade on from the former makes this a markedly different and hugely entertaining way to round off the trilogy.

Audiences in the USA and Canada can see the film in cinemas from August 23rd.  French audiences can see it a week later, and for more international release dates check imdb.

To celebrate the final part of the saga, YouTube remix superstar Mike Relm has taken sounds from all three films to form The Cornetto Megamix, which you can see below.

The World’s End Out Now!

21 Jul
© Focus Features

© Focus Features

It can’t have escaped your attention that this weekend saw the UK release of The World’s End – the third and final part of the Three Flavours trilogy from Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright.

Reuniting once again with Nick Frost and a host of their co-stars from Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz, the film features cameo appearances by Nick Burns, Alice Lowe and Steve Oram.  Wright, of course, was executive producer on Sightseers, and Lowe previously appeared in Hot Fuzz.

With critical acclaim (the film currently stands at 92% on Rotten Tomatoes), and all the usual flair of a Cornetto movie, you’d be mad to miss it!  The film is in UK cinemas now, with US release on 23rd August.

Blinkbox Booshdom!

6 Aug

© Copyright blinkbox Entertainment Limited.

Steve Coogan‘s sitcom Saxondale and anthology spoof Dr Terrible’s House Of Horrible are amongst a smattering of TVO favourites available to watch free online.

UK based video on demand service Blinkbox offers television and film from both sides of the pond to download or stream via pc, mac, games consoles, tablets and smart tv’s – and already offers a large back catalogue of programming for purchase.

This includes the TVO flavoured likes of The Mighty Boosh, Dead BossThis Is Jinsey, Horrible Histories and Mongrels, and movies Come On Eileen, Weekender and The Boat That Rocked to name but a few.

Coogan’s work is well represented on the site, from films such as Tropic Thunder and Hot Fuzz (also featuring our very own Alice Lowe), and the televisual adventures of one Alan Partridge.

Now as part of a deal with the BBC, a number of comedy classics are available to stream free of charge.

These include Saxondale – which also featured Matt BerryJames Bachman and Tom Meeten, and underrated spoof Dr Terrible – featuring Julia Davis.

© BBC

Also up for free viewing is criminally ignored sitcom Lab Rats featuring Dan Tetsell alongside Chris Addison and Dead Boss star Geoffrey McGivern.

You can also take another look at Rob Brydon’s Annually Retentive which co-stars Sharon Horgan and Alice Lowe, or That Mitchell And Web Look featuring James Bachman.

For something a little bit more ‘out there’, you can also catch rarely seen French animation series A Town Called Panic – which included Lucy Montgomery and Alexander Armstrong in it’s English dub cast.

To browse the full Blinkbox catalogue, click on any of the links above, or be really obvious and fall onto it’s home page via the word Battenberg – and of course, almost all of these shows, and more, can still be purchased the good old fashioned way on dvd and blu-ray via THE VELVET ONION AMAZON STORE!

Recruiting With Nic

11 Jan

© BBC.co.uk

Nathan Barley‘s Nicholas Burns will appear on stage in the Donmar Warehouse production of The Recruiting Officer.

Written by George Farquhar in 1706, it is a tale of love, lustiness and victory in battle and in the bedroom!

Also starring in the comedy are Nancy Carroll, Mackenzie Crook, Mark Gatiss (Nighty Night), Gawn Grainger, Tobias Menzies and Rachael Stirling (Snow White and the Huntsman).

The show runs from Thursday 9th to Tuesday 14th February (not Sunday 12th) at 7.30 except Tuesday 14th (7.00pm). Donmar Warehouse is at 41 Earlham Street, Seven Dials, London, WC2H 9LX, for more information and to book tickets click here.

Booshniverse Stars Appear In Psychoville

2 Jun

© BBC

Two familiar faces from the realm of TVO have now appeared in the second series of black comedy Psychoville.

The cult show, written by and starring Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton [half of the team behind The League of Gentlemen], is reaching the conclusion of its two-series arc, revolving around the mysterious goings on at Ravenhill Psychiatric Hospital.  Also featuring Dawn French and Daisy Haggard [The Persuasionists] in its ensemble cast, episodes four and five of the second run have now featured two actors better known for their contributions to the Booshniverse.

Last week, Nathan Barley himself, Nicholas Burns appeared as a wealthy man celebrating his birthday with an illegal operation on a willing donor.  Burns, of course, also portrayed The King Of Xooberon in The Mighty Boosh episode Fountain Of Youth.

Tonight’s episode featured none other than Katherine Parkinson – better known as Jen from The IT Crowd.  As part of the same sub-plot, Parkinson’s character was working at a scientific research facility where frozen body parts are a speciality.

The final episode of the series airs on BBC2 on Monday at 10pm, and every episode from this series is currently available on the iPlayer catch-up service until June 13th.

If you’d prefer to own the episodes on dvd, and TVO cannot recommend the show highly enough (!) – you can preorder Series Two or, for the complete experience, the Series One & Two boxset from The Velvet Onion Amazon Store now.  Both titles are released the same day the show disappears from iPlayer: June 13th.

The Village Bike

19 May
© Amazon.co.uk

Nathan Barley star Nicholas Burns will appear as John in Penelope Skinner’s The Village Bike at the Royal Court this summer.

The production also stars Romola Garai, as his frustrated pregnant wife. We last saw Romola as Sugar in The Crimson Petal and the White, which also starred The IT Crowd‘s Chris O’Dowd.

For further details and booking information follow the links.

TV Choice Awards

17 May
© TV Choice

It’s time for the TV Choice Awards and there are quite a few categories featuring some of our Booshniverse favourites!

The first category is ‘Best New Drama’ and in this category is The Crimson Petal and the White, starring the multi-talented Chris O’Dowd.

Next up is the category ‘Best Drama Series’. Agatha Christies Marple and Misfits are in this category, in both of which Nicholas Burns (Nathan Barley, The Mighty Boosh and The IT Crowd) appears.

You would expect the next category ‘Best Comedy’ to be full of Booshniverse members and The IT Crowd is there of course. There are also a couple of others; Not Going Out, which stars Lee Mack who was the Boosh radio series’ Graham, and Friday Night Dinner had an appearance from Matthew Holness. The category also includes ‘Lee Nelson’s Well Good Show’, directed by Spencer Millman, and The Trip starring Steve Coogan. Remember that Noel Fielding made a short appearance on this season’s ‘Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow’!

© BBC

Not surprisingly, ‘Best Reality Show’ is short on talent from the Booshdom!

However, this year the category ‘Best Talent Show’ is relevant as it contains Let’s Dance For Comic Relief. Who can forget Noel Fielding’s stunning rendition of Wuthering Heights and Mr Barratt’s dapper Heathcliff?

Next up is ‘Best Entertainment Show’, which is where you will find Never Mind the Buzzcocks (Noel Fielding again), and Shooting Stars (Noel appeared season 6). Also listed is Harry Hill’s TV Burp produced by Spencer Millman.

The ‘Best Lifestyle Show’ category contains Come Dine With Me, in which Paul Foot famously made an appearance on the soap stars episode as one of the contestants’ helpers.

That’s the end of the categories that are of interest to the wide world of Booshdom. If you would like to vote in any of these or the many other categories then head to the website for the TVChoice Awards.

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