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Pub Chat With Horgan & Bea

4 Sep

© The Sun/Hoxton Radio

A couple of weeks ago a hole in the fabric of TVO time was nearly created when one of the artists who we we cover interviewed another of the artists that we write about. Crikey.

The people in question were Sharon Horgan, who was being interviewed by Ailsing Bea – in a pub of all places, as part of the BBC Radio 4 Extra Comedy Club interviews series.

There are two 5-minute interviews; in the first one Sharon talks about the Bailey’s-based cocktail that she’s invented and how she got into comedy, and in the second interview the duo chat about Horgan’s forthcoming new TV shows: a second series of Psychobitches (out soon!), and a new Ch4 comedy called Catastrophe, which will be out in 2015.

You can listen to interview 1 here and interview 2 there.  So raise a glass of your favourite tipple and enjoy!

Parkinson & Eldon Join Crackanory Series 2

5 Jul

© Dave

Earlier this year we reported that anthology comedy Crackanory would be returning for a second series.

Series 1 included TVO regulars Sharon Horgan, Kevin Eldon, Tom Meeten, Steve Oram, Alex Kirk and John ‘Willie’ Hopkins on screen, whilst the score for the show was composed by Waen Shepherd and two episodes were directed by Gareth Tunley.

Like its predecessor, series 2 will be made and broadcast by UK freeview channel Dave, and will feature top drawer British comedians telling Jackanory style stories for grown ups.

So far, those confirmed for the new series include Vic Reeves, David Mitchell, Meera Syall, Warwick Davies, Ben Miller, Sue Perkins, Johnny Vegas, Ruby Wax – and Katherine Parkinson. Emilia Fox and Simon Callow will lend their voices to the series too, and it’s hoped that a performance by the legend that is Rik Mayall will also be shown.

Writers for the new series include Yonderland and Mitchell and Webb scriptwriter Toby Davies, Holly Walsh and Kevin Eldon, who will be authoring his second story for the show and will also make an appearance in another tale.

The new series will air on Dave in the Autumn.

Psychobitches Returns

1 Apr

© Sky Arts HD

Filming has started on a second series of Sky’s Psychobitches, the sketch show which has starred a few TVO artists from the fairer sex, including Katy Brand, Julia Davis and Sharon Horgan.

The show puts history’s most iconic women into the psychiatrist’s chair to have their psychoses and obsessions analysed. It will return for six new episodes later this year. Sky have said of the show’s return: “Following the success of the first series, the therapy sessions in front of discerning therapist Rebecca Front are set to continue as the appointment diary looks as booked up as ever.”

Executive Producer Ben Cavey added: “It’s fantastic to bring the team back together for Series 2 of Psychobitches. We have a whole new line up of women from history getting a dose of modern day therapy and the results promise to be just as clever, insightful and downright silly.” The final line up for series 2 hasn’t been confirmed, but we hope to see a few familiar faces.

The new series is being directed by Jeremy Dyson from The League Of Gentleman, and it will air later this year on Sky Arts 1.

Sky Arts Presents Kevin Eldon

5 Mar
© bbc.co.uk

© bbc.co.uk

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.

Crackanother!

3 Mar

Anthology comedy Crackanory has been recommissioned for a second series, it has been revealed.

© Dave / UKTV

© Dave / UKTV

The show, which was made for and broadcast by UK freeview channel Dave, featured the cream of British comedy both involved with the short stories told across live action sequences or animation, and sat in a big ol’ Jackanory-esque chair telling the tales in the first place!

The likes of Harry Enfield, Charlie Higson, Sally Phillips, Rebecca Front, Jack Dee, Jessica Hynes, Hugh Dennis and Stephen Mangan were joined by TVO regulars Sharon HorganKevin EldonTom MeetenSteve OramAlex Kirk and John ‘Willie’ Hopkins on screen, whilst the score for the show was composed by Waen Shepherd and two episodes were directed by Gareth Tunley.

© John Willie Hopkins

Proving to be a huge ratings hit for the channel, with British Comedy Guide reporting that over half a million homes became regular views (up 82% on the channel’s average for the timeslot), it’s no surprise that the show is set to return in the Autumn.

The stars of series two have yet to be announced, but we’re holding out hope there’s still links back to Onion Land’s family of collaborators to make it a must-see.  In the meantime, Series One is being repeated from March 29th on Dave, so be ready!

Sharon Mans Up

25 Feb

© Sharon Horgan

Sharon Horgan has been cast in a new rom-com, Man Up, which is currently filming in London.

The film stars Spaced legend Simon Pegg alongside American actress Lake Bell, Count Arthur Strong regular Rory Kinnear, the inimitable Ken Stott and, of course, the magnificent Sharon Horgan as a character called Elaine.

It focuses on a single woman (Bell) who is mistaken for a stranger’s blind date, which leads her to finding the perfect boyfriend.

Standard rom-com stuff, perhaps, but what peaks our interest beyond that impressive cast is that the director is Ben Palmer - whose current cv has a rather large number of TVO connections.

Best known for his work on The Inbetweeners (featuring Waen Shepherd), he was also at the helm for fully fledged TVO smash Star Stories, which featured Tom Meeten, Dolly Wells, Laura Patch, Fergus Craig, Rhys Thomas and Alice Lowe to name a few.

© Ben Palmer

© Ben Palmer

Before that, he directed Barunka O’Shaughnessy in Bo Selecta and it’s various spin-offs, and after it, he was in charge of several Channel 4 pilots featuring our regulars: Penelope Princess Of Pets (starring Julian Barratt & Simon Farnaby), Milton Jones’ House Of Rooms (featuring Colin Hoult), and Them From That Thing (with Dan Skinner). 

Most recently, he was at the helm for the incredible Bad Sugar - which featured Sharon Horgan alongside Julia Davies, Olivia Colman, Reece Shearsmith, Kayvan Novak, Peter Serafinowicz, Julia Deakin and David Bradley… a cast so interstellar that the proposed series had to be cancelled as they could never get all that talent in the same place at the same time for long enough again.

Quite the connected fellow, then, and yet another incredibly talented Ben in our behind-the-scenes midst.

Man Up currently has no confirmed release date, but filming continues across London for the next few weeks, with the Daily Mail papping Pegg & Bell filming on the London Underground earlier this month.  As soon as we hear more, we’ll let you know, so stay peeled.

In the meantime, Sharon tweeted a photo of the main cast, which you can see below.

© Sharon Horgan

© Sharon Horgan

TVO’s Review Of The Year 2013: Part Two

2 Jan

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

APRIL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading

Sharon’s Catastrophe

16 Dec

© BBC

Sharon Horgan will be returning to television next year with a new sitcom pilot for Channel 4.

Entitled Catastrophe, it marks the second major collaboration between Horgan and comedian Rob Delaney following their BBC Comedy viral smash, Kinky Sex, late last year.

The one-off pilot, produced by Adam Tandy who was responsible for The Thick Of It, could follow in the steps of Man Down and Toast Of London and become a full series commission.

We’ll bring you more info as soon as we have it, and for full details of Channel 4’s latest commissions, visit the good folk at Chortle now.  Kinky Sex, which also featured Waen Shepherd, can be seen below.

The British Comedy Awards 2013 Nominations Announced!

3 Dec
© Channel 4

© Channel 4

Next week sees Channel 4 host the annual British Comedy Awards ceremony in Wembley, which will also be broadcast live on the channel.

Starting at 9pm on Thursday, 12th December, the ceremony will be hosted by Jonathan Ross, and feature some of the cream of British comedy – including, of course, a number of TVO regulars.

Most notably, the category of Best Sketch Show has a guaranteed winner from Onion Land, as its nominations have all been featured on our pages.  Sky’s new star-packed historical therapy show Psychobitches will battle it out with the nation’s sweetheart, Horrible Histories and the long awaited It’s Kevin and veteran favourites Harry And Paul.

Between them, those shows featured some of our most beloved regulars: Alice Lowe, Matt BerryKaty BrandSimon Farnaby, Sharon HorganAlex KirkJustin EdwardsJulia Davis and, of course, Kevin Eldon.

“The Actor” Kevin Eldon is also nominated for Best TV Comedy Actor, alongside Greg Davis, David Mitchell and Jack Whitehall, whilst Psychobitches is also up for Best New Comedy Programme, alongside CuckooPlebs and another TVO favourite, Count Arthur Strong.

Elsewhere, the man behind Count Arthur, Steve Delaney, is nominated for Best Comedy Breakthrough Artist, alongside Adam Hills, Jonny Sweet and Tom Basden, whilst the show itself (directed by Graham Linehan, no less) is up for Best Sitcom against Bad Education, Getting On and Peep Show.

To find out who the winners are, join Channel 4, a whole host of comedy legends, and TVO itself, on 12th December.  The full list of nominations can be found below the ‘jump’, and to find out more visit: Channel4.com now! Continue reading

And The Winner Is…

25 Nov

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

© CBBC

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

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

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

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

 

Bad Sugar Decayed

22 Jul

The proposed six-part series Bad Sugar has become a victim of success, having been cancelled by Channel 4.

© Phil Fisk

The show was to follow the original pilot episode last year – a twisted spoof of telenovellas written by Sam Bain & Jesse Armstrong (Peep ShowFour Lions and Fresh Meat), and starring Julia DavisSharon Horgan, Olivia Colman, Reece Shearsmith, Kayvan Novak, Peter Serafinowicz, David Bradley and Julia Deakin.

That pilot, which aired almost a year ago, was filmed before most of its incredibly talented cast went off to do hugely successful “other things”.  The wonderful Olivia Colman won two BAFTA gongs earlier this year, and leads the cast of smash hit ITV drama Broadchurch alongside David Tennant.  Julia Davis, of course, has also been winning awards aplenty for Hunderby, which is set to return for a second series, and Sharon Horgan is currently working Stateside on the US version of her cult show Pulling.

Shearsmith has since starred in A Field In England and has a number of exciting projects on the go, and Serafinowicz is about to direct his first feature.  David Bradley and Julia Deakin are as in demand as they have always been, with the former starring as legendary Doctor Who actor William Hartnell in forthcoming biopic An Adventure In Time And Space.  And the wonderful duo of Bain & Armstrong are working on more Peep Show and Fresh Meat, which go from strength to strength for the channel.

Channel 4’s head of comedy Phil Clarke broke the news to trade publication Broadcast, stating: ‘In the end, it proved impossible to bring all the talent – writing and performing – together at the same time for a series.’

Sad times, but perhaps to be expected. We can, at least, revisit the delightful pilot episode via 4oD below.

Brand On The BBC

9 Jun

Katy Brand was interviewed on BBC’s This Week…erm, this week.

© BBC

In the week when Michael Douglas has been criticised for  over-sharing, while Angelia Jolie has been praised for doing the same, Katy discusses celebrity indiscretions with the show’s panel of guests. You can watch the clip by clicking on this link here.

Don’t forget that you can see Katy, plus fellow TVO artists Julia Davis and Sharon Horgan, in the critically-accalimed Psychobitches on Sky Arts on Thursdays. For more information about the show, which sees famous historical figures on the therapist’s couch, take a look at this earlier post.

Psychobitches Starts Thursday

29 May

A while back we mentioned that a full series of Playhouse Presents…Psychobitches would start airing in May 2013. Well hold onto your hairdo, because the first episode is on tomorrow night!

© Sky Arts HD

Psychobitches reads like a who’s who of female TVO artists, featuring the likes of Katy Brand, Sharon Horgan and Julia Davis amongst its A-grade comedic cast. The five-part series follows the format of last year’s one-off episode, putting history’s most iconic women into the psychiatrist’s chair to have their psychoses and obsessions analysed.

In this week’s episode the discerning therapist (honorory TVO artist, Rebecca Front) meets with super-divas, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford (Frances Barber and Mark Gatiss respectively); Selina Griffiths, Katy Brand and Sarah Solemani as the arguing Bronte sisters, and Davis as the not-so-jolly Sylvia Plath.

In addition to the all-star woman cast the series includes characters from Jack Whitehall and Harry Enfield. And what’s more, it reunites The League of Gentlemen team of Jeremy Dyson (writer) with Mark Gatiss, Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton. Seriously exciting stuff for us comedy fans!

You can see epsiode 1 of Pyschobitches on Sky Arts HD at 9pm this Thursday.

Horgan Runs And Jumps In New York

23 Apr

Sharon Horgan features in a new film, Run and Jump, which premieres at the Tribeca Festival in New York.

The Irish-German co-production, directed by Oscar-nominated Steph Green,  is based on an original screenplay by Ailbhe Keogan. It follows the story of  a spirited Irish woman who struggles to rebuild her family when her husband returns home after suffering a stroke that has left his personality fundamentally changed. She finds comfort in an American ethnographer sent to document the recovery process. Actress Maxine Peake plays the lead part, while  Horgan plays the role of her friend, Tara, in the film. You can see her in the trailer below:

Run and Jump can be seen for two further screenings at Tribeca: this evening, Tuesday 23rd at 8.30pm at Clearview Cinemas Chelsea 4 (be quick!), and then finally on Friday 26th at 6pm at AMC Loews Village 7 – 1. For more information, availability and tickets click here.

The Tribeca Festival runs until 28th April. Its mission is to help filmmakers reach the broadest possible audience, enable the international film community and general public to experience cinema and promote New York City as a major filmmaking centre. For more information take a look at their website.

Pulling US Style

23 Feb

Last September we revealed that a US adaptation of the cult hit comedy Pulling was on the cards, having been bought by the ABC network in America. Now two of the key cast members have been announced!

© Radio Times

June Diane Raphael (on the left in the picture) will take the role of Donna – originally played by Sharon Horgan – who moves back in with her single best friends, Louise and Karen, when her perfect life suddenly falls apart. Mandy Moore (right in the picture) will play Louise, a role previously filled by Rebekah Staton. The character of Karen is yet to be cast.

The show will be directed by Pitch Perfect‘s Jason Moore, and the pilot has been penned by Bad Teacher‘s Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky.

If we hear any more, we’ll be sure to keep you posted!

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

18 Jan

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

©2013 Sky Atlantic

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

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

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

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

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

© Tiger Aspect / Sky Atlantic

The Secrets Of A Good Marriage

4 Jan

© Channel Four

Not only has Sharon Horgan got the talent of making us laugh up our beverage through our noses in Bad Sugar, she is also one hands-on relationship advisor.

Earlier this week you may have missed Horgan on Channel Four trying to find out The Secrets Of A Good Marriage, where she met and heard from real couples on what it really is like to be in a happy and content relationship.

Not to worry if it didn’t pass your peepers, as it is available on 4OD for the next month and well worth a watch!

Catch the show right here until February 2nd plus if you want, you can check out her previous show on How To Be A Good Mother right after!

Wipe Away 2012 With Some Friends of TVO

28 Dec

© The Quietus

Charlie Brooker will be bringing his gloriously acerbic perspective on life to our TV sets on 1st January with Charlie Brooker’s 2012 Wipe.

His satirical look back at the events of the past 12 months includes the Olympic Games, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the jailing of members of Pussy Riot and the US presidential election.

As you know, Brooker himself has a TVO connection thanks to his role as co-creator of Nathan Barley.  Tomorrow’s show deserves a special mention, however, because it includes contributions from Sharon Horgan (and Peter Serafinowicz who, while not a regularly-featured TVO artist, has appeared in a whole host of related shows including IT Crowd, This is Jinsy and Bad Sugar amongst others).

The show airs at 10-11pm on BBC2 on Tuesday 1st January (2nd January for Northern Ireland), and will be on iPlayer for seven days afterwards.

Psychobitches Returns

18 Dec

One-off sketch show Pyschobitches will return for a full series in 2013.

© Tiger Aspect / Sky Atlantic

The Sky Arts show features The Day Today legend Rebecca Front as The Therapist – who interviews history’s most famous women about their obsessions and psychoses.  The pilot episode featured Catherine Tate, Sheila Reid, Samantha Spiro, Selina Griffiths and TVO’s very own Katy Brand and Sharon Horgan.  A pilot aired back in June, and proved to be a hit with audiences and critics alike.

News of its return leaked at The British Comedy Awards last week, and Sky Comedy have now confirmed the show will return.  Alongside the current cast, the show will also feature Julia Davis, Frances Barber and Kathy Burke amongst others, with The Therapist talking to Sylvia Plath, Eve, Audrey Hepburn, Bette Davis, Mona Lisa, Mary Shelley and more.

There’ll also be guest appearances by Jack Whitehall and Harry Enfield – and most excitingly of all, The League Of Gentlemen themselves: Mark Gatiss, Reece Shearsmith & Steve Pemberton.  The show is directed by the fourth member of The League, Jeremy Dyson, making this only the second project the team have worked on together since their last tour in 2005 – the other project being, of course, Horrible Histories.

We can’t wait. Psychobitches will return next year, and we’ll be bringing you more news as we can get it, so stay peeled.

Cracker Times

12 Dec

© Sky 1

Sky has now confirmed the transmission times of its festive-themed mini series, Little Crackers. As we’ve mentioned previously, the 2012 series features a couple of TV faces – so here’s when you can catch their episodes:

Katy Brand‘s Little Cracker airs first at  9.30pm on Wednesday 19th December, then again at 11.30pm on 26th December – both times on Sky 1. Katy’s episode is set in 1989 when 10-year-old Katy makes an earth-shattering discovery on Christmas Eve.

However, all is not lost when an unlikely opportunity to save Christmas presents itself, prompting young Katy to step forth and lead the heroics.

Sharon Horgan‘s Little Cracker airs at 9.00pm on Thursday 20th December, then again at midnight on 26th December – both times on Sky 1. Sharon’s episode is set in 1984. Christmas on the Horgans’ turkey farm is a hectic time and 14-year-old Sharon must do her share of the turkey plucking. Things look up when she meets easy-on-the-eye fellow plucker, James, although their plan to meet later that night sparks a chain of events that spell disaster for the Horgans.

So grab a paper crown, pour a large one and settle down in front of the box for what’s fast becoming part of the Christmas TV-viewing tradition. For details of all episodes in the new series click here.

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