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Hunderby & Partridge Return!

16 Feb
© Sky Atlantic

© Sky Atlantic

Now there are two more reasons to get Sky Atlantic – and they come in the form of two productions from Baby Cow.

The award-winning Hunderby, Julia Davis‘ darkly comic homage to Daphne Du Maurier, will be returning to the channel for a Christmas special. Co-written with fellow TVO-er, Barunka O’Shaughnessy, the two-part special will precede another (hush-hush) new project from Julia for the channel, which is due to air in 2016.

© Sky

© Sky

Head of Sky Atlantic, Zai Bennett, has also confirmed that Steve Coogan will be back on the channel as Alan Partridge, as part of his attempt to dial up the comedy content of the channel (alongside dramas like Fortitude and Game Of Thrones).

In today’s Media Guardian Bennett said: “Game of Thrones and Banshee are brilliant but they are quite visceral and hard. That’s why landing the comedy is important, it will give us emotional breadth. A lot of our drama can be … heavy going, it can be hard work. People might draw breath before coming to Atlantic; I want them to come a little bit more.’

Sky’s head of comedy, Lucy Lumsden, has said of Hunderby’s return: “We couldn’t be happier…Julia Davis is such a rare talent and Sky Atlantic the perfect home for her unique voice and vision.”

The special will introduce two newcomers to the cast: a French sexpot and a homophobic locum pastor with a taste for hanging. At TVO we’re hoping that Rufus Jones will be reprising his role as Dr. Foggerty and Julian Barratt as the Narrator. Series one also featured Kevin EldonArnab Chanda and Antony Elvin, so we’re holding out for a few other familiar faces in the Christmas special!


Luxury Gallery, Ooh-Yeah!

1 Aug

Suck my beans! Luxury Comedy officially launched last night, and with Episode Two now on 4oD, there’s still lots we have to share with you as the series progresses.

© Dave Brown / Channel 4

© Dave Brown / Channel 4

For starters, there’s our making of featurette: a rough-n-ready rumble-tumble through the madness of filming Luxury Comedy.  TVO hung around for four very different days on set and highlights from the organised chaos will be seen very soon.

There’s also a competition coming later today, and a few more surprises to come – including our own behind the scenes photo galleries.  But it’s only right and proper that we begin such proceedings with the official photography, lovingly crafted by the incredible Dave Brown and the genius that is Nigel Coan. Enjoy, and keep coming back for more!

Obviously, we’re aware that, given TVO is read in 161 different countries at last count, that a large number of you have no access to Channel 4.  In that case, we heartily recommend you order Series 1 and Series 2 on dvd from The Velvet Onion Amazon Store now!

An Early Look At Luxury 2

24 Jul

© Channel 4

Last week we were lucky enough to get a sneaky peek at the new series of Luxury Comedy. So without giving away any spoilers, what can we expect when it finally hits our screens on 31st July?

In interviews about the new series, Noel Fielding has been pretty open about his decision to move away from the sketch show format of series 1, towards a more narrative programme structure with a beginning, middle and an end to each episode. He says it’s because he’s a story-teller at heart, and it’s what he does best. This change of structure is certainly one of the most noticeable differences between the two series. So does it work?

Luxury Comedy is Noel’s stand up in visual form. That’s not to do it down; the fact that anyone has managed to capture the fantastical mayhem that goes on inside Fielding’s mind is impressive enough. Noel’s stand up material is at its best when allowed to slowly weave its shapes, layer upon layer, over a period of time. Stories unfold, characters evolve and concepts crystallise through repetition. By contrast, on the occasions I’ve seen him perform short slots on crowded comedy bills, his ideas don’t always have time to develop. This is not a man for the rat-tat-tat of machine-gun punchlines.

In the same way, expanding his TV ideas into 30-minute stories gives them proper form, allowing the viewer to step inside, appreciate their complexities and get carried along with the narrative. These are ideas rich enough for full episodes; and to reduce each of them to a sketch of a few minutes would underplay them. For me, then, the new format isn’t just about telling stories – it’s about telling strange stories much better.

© Channel 4

The different characters whom we encounter across the series are now part of each week’s story, which gives them purpose and makes the interaction between them feel genuine. The relationships between the characters are one of the aspects of the new series that gives the show its heart. This is no longer a disjointed collection of strange misfits; they’re friends, neighbours, and occasional enemies – as the story requires.

The friendship between the main four – Noel, Dolly, Andy and Smooth, allows for a solid dynamic at the centre of the action. The series 2 versions of the core team feel more ‘human’ and rounded, and as a result more sympathetic than before. Noel, in particular, presents a very different on-screen persona to anything we’ve seen from him previously: awkward, eager to please and uncool, he’s the Howard to Dolly’s preening Vince. Devoid of Howard Moon’s pomposity, however, this Noel is a character with whom we empathise, not just the one we laugh at.

Noel has said that he and Nigel spent longer writing the second series, and this comes across. I loved the first series, but there are more funnier moments in series 2 (based on the two episodes we saw). The writing’s sharp, the physical comedy is hilarious, and the characters are beautifully honed and gloriously wonky at the same time. Look out for star turns throughout from a whole host of TVO faces, including Richard Ayoade, Steve Oram, Dave Brown, Rich Fulcher, Arnab Chanda, Tania Wade, Barunka O’Shaughnessy, Stuart Silver, Simon Farnaby and others.

© Channel 4

This series is arguably the most self-aware output that we’ve ever seen from Fielding, with a number of knowing references to the public reaction that series 1 generated. He’s said that it’s a natural reaction to criticism – you try to get in there first before anyone else does. And it works well in this context, tethering the strange Luxury world to our own experience from time to time (thereby making it more relateable), and imbuing the series with a large helping of humility which, one hopes, the cynics out there will respond positively to.

Added to all of that, Luxury Comedy is still a fabulous feast for the eyes: the distinctive day-glo sets, wardrobe, make-up and animation all combine to create a uniquely visual world. Huge credit to Nigel Coan and his production team for putting it all together; you can see that it’s a labour of love in every single scene.

So will the rest of the world like it? I hope so. If people enjoyed the Boosh and the naysayers can get over their disproportionately extreme reaction to series 1, they would like this. Genuinely funny, beautifully magical and full of heart – what’s not to love?

Don’t forget to tune in: Luxury Comedy series 2 airs at 10pm on E4 on 31st July. For the less patient amongst you, episode 1 is available to view from TODAY –  a whole week early, on 4oD here.

F*cked Up Fulcher: A Review

9 Dec

It’s been a while since we last witnessed Rich Fulcher live on stage in the UK; even longer since we saw him hosting a chaotic selection of his comedy mates in a show. Fulchfest, the legendary Kentish Town comedy night that Rich fronted a few years ago is but a distant (and sadly missed) memory. Then out of the darkness, for one night only, comes Rich Fulcher & His F*cked Up Friends at Soho Theatre. Luckily, two of our Velveteers were there on Friday night to report back:

© Mog/The Velvet Onion

There’s something utterly heart-warming about Rich Fulcher. He may be dressed as a wonky Christmas elf and he may be offering oral pleasure to Tom Meeten, but the mischievous smile and the sparkle in his eyes can make even the most cynical comedy watcher feel the cheer.

Noel Fielding once described him as “a natural buddhist”, saying of his friend, “His vibes are incredible. If you could take Rich everywhere with you, you’d never be sad.” In fact, if Rich’s mind wasn’t so damned dark and weird he’d make a fantastic kids’ entertainer.

Some of the set pieces were eye-wateringly funny: an opener about trying to behave like a parent, only to take it too far the other way (we’ll leave that to your imagination!); and a volley of abuse aimed at Oly Ralfe (who spent the entire show poised at the piano, ready to provide musical accompaniment at a moment’s notice), were particularly noteworthy.

Others fell a little short of their target, but the performance was so pacey you barely had time to notice. The entire night galloped along just on the right side of the professional/shambolic divide, like all good Fulcher shows do.

What Rich does so well is taking a joke to his limits – then pushing it way, way beyond that. In the hands of someone less likeable and more self-conscious it wouldn’t work so well; but Rich approaches each moment with such energy and conviction, it’s easy to get carried along.

© Mog/The Velvet Onion

The line-up for the night was fresh, sparky and marvelously odd. Highlights included: a whirlwind performance from Meeten in the guise of ‘Animal Man’ (like all his best characters, a man precariously balanced at the edge of madness – and surprisingly poignant with it) – and Meeten’s Karate Johnson also made an alarming appearance; Pajama Men’s Shenoah Allen, with a charmingly original multi-voiced sketch about animals; and Gary Le Strange in a startling Pineapple-Studio-Steam-Punk combo, complete with kiddy umbrella. Although the front row of Boosh fans looked a tad confused, he had the table next to us falling about.

Another comedy revelation was Ralfe, who sat to the side of the stage playing the (musically-gifted) straight man to everyone else’s chaos. His withering stares at Rich were pitch perfect, and his ability to find a melodies in the melee astonishing.

© Mog/The Velvet Onion

Due to the quantity of acts on offer, Dan Clark and magic man, Pete Heat, didn’t have the opportunity to get fully into their sets, which is a shame because they’re bloody funny/clever when they’re in the groove.

By way of a finale, Cardinal Burns’ set, performed entirely in French, provided the perfect full-stop to the show: in equal measures bizarre, silly, clever, confusing and funny.

We’ve missed you and your F*cked Up Friends, Fulcher. Come back again soon.

A Glimpse Behind The Boosh

26 Oct

© Proud Camden

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, most of you will by now be aware that Dave Brown’s behind-the-scenes photos of The Mighty Boosh have become an exhibition, Behind the Boosh, which is currently showing at Proud Camden.  A few of our gang were lucky enough to be at the opening night; here’s a summary of what it’s all about from Velveteer Mog:

© Mog / The Velvet Onion

The opening night of Behind the Boosh was buzzing. The gallery was full of friends and fans, including the Mayor of Camden (!), and a bevy of TVO-connected folk such as Noel Fielding, Julia Davis, Tom Meeten, Steve Oram, Arnab Chanda, Nigel Coan, Barunka O’Shaughnessy and Mr Bingo – plus Dave Brown of course.

You may feel like you’ve seen a significant chunk of Behind the Boosh reproduced in the various newspapers and websites that have been writing about the show. Trust me, it’s worth seeing the pictures in the flesh if you can.

The images themselves are undeniably aesthetically pleasing, and all the more so in larger dimensions than the recent online coverage has provided. But more than that, the photographs really come to life when viewed in the physical form: from the gentle undulations of the photographic paper beneath the glass of the frames to the signature delicately scratched onto the bottom right hand corner of every shot, it lends the images a warmth and authenticity that feels just right for the Boosh. It’s something you simply don’t get from a computer screen. The real life photographs present personal glimpses into their world as opposed to being just a visual report of something that happened.

© Dave Brown

Some of the photographs are so familiar they’ve become synonymous with the Boosh ‘brand’; it’s odd to think that someone actually took them. Others have never been seen before, and for those of us who are familiar with the TV show’s visual history, it’s these which have the greatest initial impact. An ambiguously moody shot of Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt in Buxton, which draws you in and holds you there, being a case in point.

Some of the photos depict the Boosh as a modern day rock band on tour: skinny jeans, tousled hair, stages, tour buses. By contrast, the black and white images from behind the scenes of the TV show have a timeless quality about them – the costumes, the intense conversations and the camera and lighting equipment that frames the shots makes them feel like they could have been taken in the early days of television.

© Dave Brown

Across the exhibition we get to see The Mighty Boosh in all its colours and shapes: the daftness and the the seriousness, the joy and the boredom, the camaraderie and the loneliness.

Throughout, their personalities come across as human, likeable and open for scrutiny. The result of the photographer being a trusted part of the story, one suspects. Dave’s absence from the images is the obvious downside of this arrangement, however.

The only complaint one could make about the exhibition is that it ends too soon. When we came to the final picture we were left wanting more; as if we’d been offered a window into the fascinating world of the Boosh rather than being told the full story.  We live in hope for a part 2!

For more photos from the opening night visit Proud’s Facebook page. Behind the Boosh is running at Camden Proud until 1st December, so there’s still time to get yourself down there.

Tough Crowd On The Move

24 Sep

Dave Brown‘s exhibition of intimate comedy portraits, Tough Crowd, will be leaving its current home in Norwich and heading to North Wales next month.

© Dave Brown

The exhibition will be moving to Oriel Colwyn from 21st October, and it’ll remain there until 4th January 2014. The collection includes stunning images of a number of big name comedians, including a bevvy of TVO regulars: Alice LoweArnab ChandaBarunka O’ShaughnessyDan ClarkDolly WellsJoey PageJulia DavisJulian BarrattKevin EldonKim NobleNeil ColeNoel FieldingRich FulcherRichard AyoadeSarah KendallSteve OramTom Meeten and Tony Law.

There will be limited edition prints on sale in aid of Afrikids, so there’s good reason to get yourself down there and part with your cash. If you can’t make it in person, the prints are also available on the Afrikids website.

Oriel Colwyn can be found upstairs at Theatr Colwyn, and admission to the show is free. For more information about the venue visit its website.

However, if Wales feels a bit too westerly for you and you haven’t yet caught Tough Crowd during its stint in Norwich, there’s still time to experience it at Flint Hair on Benedict Street and Fabulous Frames on Upper St Giles Street before it moves. Its Norwich run finishes on 12th October.

Don’t forget that you can also see Dave’s brilliant photos of The Boosh at Proud Camden, London NW1 from 24th October to 1st December. It’s not yet on the venue’s website, but it’s definitely happening.

Tough Crowd Returns

12 Sep
© Dave Brown

© Dave Brown

Tough Crowd – the exhibition of intimate comedy portraits by Dave Brown – will be given a new lease of life from tomorrow in Norwich.

Split across two venues, the collection includes shots of a number of big name comedians.  TVO regulars Alice LoweArnab ChandaBarunka O’ShaughnessyDan ClarkDolly WellsJoey PageJulia DavisJulian BarrattKevin EldonKim NobleNeil ColeNoel FieldingRich FulcherRichard AyoadeSarah KendallSteve OramTom Meeten and Tony Law are just the tip of the iceberg!

With the likes of Adam Buxton, Bill Bailey, Bob Mortimer, Chris Addison, Harry Hill, Lenny Henry, Phill Jupitus, Ross Noble and Tim Minchin amongst the various other names featured – and there are many more – it’s a fascinating collection to peruse, and the good people of Norwich can do so from tomorrow – Friday 13th September, until Saturday 12th October.

The free to view show is housed by Flint Hair on Benedict Street, and Fabulous Frames on Upper St Giles Street.  As ever, there will be limited edition prints on sale in aid of Afrikids, so get on down there and part with your cash.  If you can’t make it, the prints are also available on the Afrikids website.

If you missed our extensive interview with Dave on all things Tough Crowd late last year, you can swot up on it right now.


Soho Fantastico

5 Jul

© Mog

Wednesday night saw the hotly anticipated Club Fantastico, Steve Oram and Tom Meeten‘s wildly demented comedy show, take place at the Soho Theatre.

The TVO contingent were out in force, with a star-studded and appreciative audience that included Alice Lowe, Tony Way, John Hopkins, Noel Fielding, Dolly Wells, Nigel Coan, Kim Noble, Dan Clark, Arnab Chanda, Gareth Tunley, Waen Shepherd, Barunka O’Shaughnessy and Bob Pipe. Phew!

Reviewing Club Fantastico presents something of a challenge; it’s difficult to do justice to a performance that features the techno dancing antics of Shaun the Prawn, an apparatus for feeding peanuts to ladies from a distance, an mind-melting version of Paper/Scissors/Rock, a phonecall with a pet lizard and “..but I won’t go South of the River” as what could possibly be one of the best comedy catch phrases ever. It also features Mary, who we will continue to find hilarious until the end of time. For their charm, energy and downright silliness Oram & Meeten are hard to beat.

So instead of a written review, we thought we’d share a few photos from the night. We think they tell their own story!

© Mog

© Mog

Continue reading

The Tennis Wall

22 May

Arnab Chanda takes a break from comedy writing with a poignant short on tennis, success fantasy and his relationship with an inanimate object known as The Tennis Wall. We think you’ll enjoy this intimate moment of self-reflection.

Hunderbafta… With Alan Partridge.

9 Apr

© Baby Cow Productions / Sky Atlantic

No, it’s not the title of another useless television pitch by yer man Alan, but the news that TVO’s top hitters are up for yet more gongs – this time at the BAFTA Television Awards.

The seemingly never ending cycle of BAFTA award ceremonies is no bad thing when the likes of HunderbyAlan Partridge and Game Of Thrones continue to get nominated.

Hunderby – Julia Davis twisted period black comedy co-written with Barunka O’Shaughnessy and featuring Rufus JonesKevin Eldon, Arnab ChandaPrinces In The Tower and the dulcet narrative tones of Julian Barratt – has been nominated in the category of Situation Comedy, where it must fend off competition from Episodes, Twenty Twelve and the incredibly popular The Thick Of It. 

The latter also has a TVO connection, with Justin Edwards in its huge ensemble cast, and its creator Armando Iannucci being one of the driving forces behind Partridge all these years.

Speaking of Partridge, the Dave Lambert directed special Welcome To The Places Of My Life has been nominated for Best Comedy Programme, against The Revolution Will Be Televised, Mr Stink and Cardinal Burns.  The one off show was the first original slice of Alan made for Sky Atlantic last year, after they bought the rights to web-show Mid Morning Matters.

© Baby Cow Productions / Sky Atlantic

Alan’s alter-ego, Steve Coogan, has a lot to celebrate – he’s also been nominated for Male Performance In A Comedy Programme – versus Greg Davies (Cuckoo), Hugh Bonneville (Twenty Twelve) and Peter Capaldi (The Thick Of It).  Similarly, the Female Performance In A Comedy Programme list features none other than Julia Davis once again, for her role in Hunderby – a show made by Coogan’s BabyCow Productions.  She’ll be up against old friends Jessica Hynes and Olivia Colman (both for Twenty Twelve) and Miranda Hart (Miranda).

TVO would like to extend our congratulations to all at Baby Cow and especially everyone involved with Hunderby and Welcome To The Places Of My Life, and assure you our fingers are crossed for your victories!

For the full list of nominations, check out the Radio Times website, where you can also vote for the Radio Times Audience Award BAFTA.  This highly charged poll battle is between some serious tv big-hitters: The London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, directed by Danny Boyle, could be expected to walk away with the trophy, but it’ll be up against stiff competition from Strictly Come Dancing, The Great British Bake OffCall The Midwife, Homeland and Game Of Thrones – the latter of which has featured Tony Way and Paul Kaye amongst its guest cast.  Vote for your favourite now!

Chanda In Manhattan & McNeill Goes To Dinner!

29 Jan

© Film Fandango

Arnab Chanda is the guest on this week’s Film Fandango podcast.

The regular comedy show which discusses new releases and classic films features Danielle Ward, David Reed & Marek Larwood – all magnificently funny people in their own right.  Their promise each week is not to provide a review show, but instead a meandering movie chat.

This week, David & Marek have been to see Django Unchained and, as their guest, Arnab has brought in Manhattan.  You can download the results for free at the official Film Fandango website over yonder.

Whilst we’re talking about Marek Larwood, you may have seen his recent viral video entitled How To Have A Perfect Dinner Party. If you haven’t, now’s the perfect time to mention it, as his silent guest is none other than the brilliant David McNeill!  You can check it out below.

Onion Talking: Dave Brown’s Tough Crowd

7 Dec

© Dave Brown

Tough Crowd – the new photo exhibition by Dave Brown, is currently wowing art-lovers at The Strand Gallery in central London.

TVO caught up with the man behind the lens to talk about putting together a series of comedian portraits with a difference…

“It’s not all panel shows, fat cheques & giggles. Comedians are tough. They have to be.”

So says Dave Brown, one fifth of The Mighty Boosh, graphic designer by trade and photographer whenever time has allowed. Over the years, he has documented the madcap adventures of the quintet he is a vital part of, recently hosting an exhibition of his favourite shots culled from a decade of Boosh history. Tough Crowd, in aid of Afrikids, however, is an entirely different beast.

“It came from trying to think of a different angle to shoot comedians,” he explains to TVO in the midst of final preparations for the exhibition at The Strand Gallery. “It’s not that I’ve got a hatred of the way comedians are portrayed in photography, or their posters and stuff, because some of that is great. Photographers like Andy Hollingworth are excellent at it.”

“It’s just the usual persona you see comedians giving out on their panel shows, on stage or in the papers…” he trails off. “Well, they’re mostly always chirpy and cheery. I think a lot of people get the idea that it’s an amazingly glamorous life: that it’s an easy way we make a living, earning loads of money and having a great laugh at the same time. Truth is, it’s not easy… for most people in the industry anyway. It’s a extremely difficult world to occupy. I know loads of comedians, they have to be seriously thick skinned to make it and to stay there. To be a comedian you have to be resilient.” Continue reading

A Crowd At Tough Crowd

6 Dec

Tuesday evening saw the grand opening of Dave Brown‘s new photography exhibition Tough Crowd at the Stand Gallery in London. Velveteers Paulyne and Mog were there and enjoyed an early glimpse of the show.

© Dave Brown

The comedians featured in the photographs read like a ‘who’s who’ of The Velvet Onion; it’s tangible evidence of how interconnected this particular group of artists really are. The images themselves are incredibly striking – defined by their wintery colours, crisp details and luminescent eyes. This is a side of the comedian’s persona that we don’t often get to see, and across the faces in the photographs there’s a fascinating mixture of confusion, frustration, guilt and fear. Some of the featured artists haven’t quite let their guard down, but in so doing perhaps reveal how much deeper their fear of comedy failure goes.

The scale of the photographs stops you in your tracks – every whisker and laughter line writ large across the gallery wall. A massive print of Tony Law dominates the ground floor: a noble 19th century explorer with childhood in his eyes.

The contrast between these images and the photographs that Dave took in Ghana make for fascinating viewing: the single wall of gold-tinged skin and warm earth tones provides an interesting step change within the show. Summer and Winter. Them and us.

© Dave Brown

Even when arriving nearly two hours after doors open, we still found the entrance crammed to gills with the friends and family of Dave Brown, all there too see his stunning work for Afrikids.

As we circled the room and entered each long stretch of hallway it was hard not to be completely entranced by the portraits of so many well-known faces. The heartwarming touch for us was the TVO connection to a large percentage of them; and some even with a long childhood connection (e.g. Lenny Henry), of watching them on Saturday nights in your pyjamas with a cuppa.

Looking around at each of those portraits was a bit like wanting to ask the subjects probing questions but at the same time not wanting to intrude. The idea of each snap is ‘when the laughter stops’ and Dave certainly got this out of each subject. It begs the question what would I think about in that situation?

© Dave Brown

A must see exhibition for you to lose yourself in and come back to us with your own thoughts… if they’re not too private.

To buy a limited edition print of one of the Tough Crowd photographs and to donate to Afrikids at the same time visit the Afrikids website.  There are 100 prints of each subject; A3 prints cost £50 and A2 prints cost £75. To see photos of last night’s opening take a look at photographer Sam Witney’s site and click on ‘Dec 5th’. See how many TVO-related faces you can spot – they were out in force!

Keep your eyes peeled for our exclusive interview with the man behind the camera lens, Dave Brown, coming soon!

Tough Crowd

5 Dec
© Dave Brown

© Dave Brown

Tough Crowd, the latest photo exhibition by Dave Brown, opens today at The Strand Gallery in central London.

A collection of portraits capturing the very essence of the lonely, fragile comedian, the exhibition is in aid of the brilliant Afrikids and features a whole host of famous names including the likes of Harry Hill, Lenny Henry, Adam Buxton, Jimmy Carr, Tony Law, Lee Mack and more… including a number of TVO regulars too!

The likes of Noel FieldingJulian BarrattRich FulcherJulia DavisRichard AyoadeAlice LoweSteve OramTom MeetenBarunka O’ShaughnessySarah KendallDolly Wells, Kevin EldonKim NobleNeil ColeDan ClarkJoey Page and Arnab Chanda join the packed line-up.

The exhibition will run at The Strand until December 15th, and entry is free.  Fans will be more than pleased to know that limited edition prints of every portrait will be available to buy for just £50 (A3) and £75 (A2).

TVO attended the packed out preview tonight, and spoke to Dave about the exhibition earlier this week, so expect our exclusive reports very soon, alongside a competition for a very special prize!

To find out more about the brilliant work Afrikids do, go over yonder, or check out the Strand Gallery right here.

Rich Pickings & Glad Tidings

15 Nov

Can you think of anything better than a December Rich Fulcher gig? How about two December Rich Fulcher gigs…because Rich will be performing in London on both 6th and 23rd December!

© Ben Meadows

You can catch him first at the Advent Calender Special at Kings Place, where he’ll be performing with the brilliant Brett Domino Trio (one of our favourite acts from the old Fulchfest days) and “some very special surprise guests”.

In a festive twist the structure of the show will be decided by the audience via a giant advent calendar on stage. The show starts at 7.30pm on 6th December and tickets cost £12.50. You can purchase them by clicking here.

Then, on 23rd December Rich will be part of the line-up at Bar FM, alongside Roisin Conaty, Luke McQueen, Sean McLoughlin, Ed Gamble, Brian Gittins, Ahir Shah – and another TVO favourite and Fulcher collaborator, Arnab Chanda. The show starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost £8. For more information about the performers and to buy tickets click on this.

If we hear of any more gigs from the prolific Mr Fulcher, you’ll be the first to know!

How To Live Your Life With Songs And Maybe Jokes

27 Sep

It’s a bumper news day for Dan Clark fans and here is a summary of what’s to be expected!

A trailer for Clarks upcoming UK tour with These Songs May Contain Jokes has been released!  Clark begins the journey in Nottingham on 25th October with his band including Jimmy Simms and Ben Parker. They’ll be taking some new songs, some old and some How Not To Live… classics on the road with them.

Check out the trailer below and if that couldn’t hype it up anymore, we’ve been unanimous at TVO HQ that the show is astoundingly better than it comes across!  Clark will start in Nottingham and then heading to Brighton, Birmingham, Manchester, London, Bath and rounding it all off in Cardiff. Book your tickets right here and keep peeling for anymore info that comes our way!

If you are unable to make the tour or just can’t get enough of Clark & co, then here is your reminder that the full boxset of How Not To Live Your Life will be available to buy from next Monday! From 1st October you can get your hands on all three series of the show plus the Christmas special finale and some extra special features in one chunky boxset. Bag it in our TVO Shop along with Dan Clark’s full back-catalogue of work!

The Christmas special not only guest-starred Julia Davis as a hilarious, Human Remains-esque creepy neighbour, but the show has been sprinkled with so many great cameos throughout that it’s been a treat in itself.  Rich Fulcher fronted the cameos when he appeared in the original pilot (which we are yet to get our hands on since it’s airing!) , also Arnab Chanda makes a great appearance as the teen that bullies Don for being ‘old’. Plus Tom Meeten made a great triple appearance, first as a Michael Jackson impersonator, an angry tramp and then as an uptight interviewer – (I’d like to imagine that this was all one character throughout the lifespan of the show).
One of the most memorable cameos of all had to be Julian Barratt playing Jackson; Sam’s boyfriend the poetic and “melody-word-formation” (song) writer in series two. For the premier episode of series three, Noel Fielding then took a different turn for his cameo as Marcus, Don’s slick straight-talking boss.

You can read Dan Clark talking about his comedy affiliates and much more in our past interviews, click here yonder to take a look!

Arnab Writes

23 Sep

© The List

Arnab Chanda may be a quiet one amongst our list of comics, but his personal blog speaks for itself.

Arnab Chanda Writes is a series of blog entries that retale recent and old anecdotes, voices some strong opinions on today’s society and life in general, plus…it’s pretty darn funny.

Accompanied by the odd video, Arnab has so far covered his opinions/experience on the Grindr app, his ‘baby face’ and stint as a tennis pro in Saudi Arabia! His views on certain subjects really is something to check out and sooner or later, you’ll find yourself coming back as a regular reader.

Have a read of Arnab’s blog right here and we look forward to many more entries to come!

October Will Be A Shambles

17 Sep

© Annat

Rich Fulcher will be performing as part of the line-up at Shambles Comedy in Tuffnell Park on 4th October.

According the event’s publicity: “Half live comedy showcase half nervous breakdown this will be a true representation of all that is good and bad about the London circuit a truly authentic comedy experience.” Sounds like our cup of tea! The show takes place at Aces & Eights, 156-158 Fortess Road.  Doors open at 7.30pm and tickets cost just £5. To buy tickets click here.

Also appearing on the 4th October bill are Sam Fletcher, Ross Lee, Aisling Bea, Nick Helm and Mark Stephenson. The evening will be hosted by friend of TVO, Harry Deansway.

If your laughing gear can cope with any more after that little lot, Shambles returns to Aces & Eights just 2 weeks later, with a line-up that includes the very brilliant Arnab Chanda.

Appearing alongside Arnab will be Cardinal Burns, Lady Garden, Ross Lee, Hatty Ashdown and Ed Eales-White. Once again, Harry Deansway will be MC-ing. As before, tickets are £5 and doors open at 7.30pm. To buy tickets for the show on 17th October click here.

We hope to see you there soon!

The Luxurious Digital Oz!

11 Jul

© Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Australia Pty Ltd

Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy is to receive it’s dvd premiere in Australia next month.

News of the release of the entire first series, complete with extras including behind the scenes footage, first appeared on blog The Momus Report, and naturally, we at TVO were highly curious.  After all, this release is seemingly premature – with the UK launch date pencilled in for early next year, and for once, we were completely out of the loop!

TVO confirmed news of the release with Noel directly today, as well as the possibility that a release in R2 may – and we stress may – be pushed forward to compensate.  We’re sure we can speak for the fans when we say we’re really hoping this happens, and that a dvd is joined by a simultaneous blu-ray release to really take advantage of the glorious visual canvas Noel & Nigel Coan crafted for the series.

With plans for series two starting to take shape (more on those in due course, but don’t think you’re just getting more of the same!) – it does make logical sense for the first series to be released in tandem with its launch, but if you’re desperate to have Luxury Comedy in your Christmas stocking, let us know in the comments on this article.

In the meantime, check out our behind the scenes documentary which provided peelers with an exclusive insight into the making of a cult classic, below.


Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy is released on dvd in Australia on August 22nd.

Forgotten Favourites: The Anniversary Of Booshfest!

6 Jul

Four years ago yesterday, The Mighty Boosh teamed up with Mean Fiddler’s Vince Power to create Booshfest – a whole day of music, comedy, costumes and more at Hop Farm in Kent.

In our recurring Forgotten Favourites strand, Velveteers Mog & Paulyne reminisce about this memorable moment from the peak of Booshmania.

© unknown

It became a significant event for thousands of fans. Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt picked up the phone to their extensive and impressive line-up of talented mates, and managed to bag Gary Numan, Har Mar Superstar and of course a bit of Jazz from Polar Bear (who were a perfect kick-start to the day). Then there was The Charlatans, Robots in Disguise, The Kills, Peaches, plus a DJ set from Jarvis Cocker!

Along with the music, a festival organised by comedians wouldn’t be complete without some comedy, and this was catered to by the popular and over-populated Velvet Onion tent – sadly before TVO itself took the name and ran with it.  Featuring on this bill were TVO favourites Matt Berry, Matthew Holness, Arnab Chanda and Paul Foot, amongst others.

The merchandise and food stands even stuck with the theme; selling ‘Loud Hats’, ponchos, soup, pie & mash and even Eels! It seemed no rock had been left unturned and it certainly gave off the feeling of stepping into a literal Boosh world.  We’re sure if they could have used Euros as currency they would have!

As well as planning the day, we also got to see the Boosh simultaneously promote it all over TV, radio and print. They appeared on the front cover of NME (one of many covers in this period), as well as a slot on Friday Night With Jonathan Ross, which also teased at their then forthcoming live tour, Future Sailors.

With The Boosh taking an unexpected turn in their careers with this event, the press were not always going to be complementary.  Of course, the event sparked reviews stating “Punters failed to get a handle on the odd line-up” and “The atmosphere was lacking from the off.” We’re not sure which festival they were at, but from what we saw there wasn’t a fan on Hop Farm that wasn’t glowing with the Boosh spirit!

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The Velvet Onion may have only existed as a comedy tent back at the time of Booshfest, but Velveteers were there in mind, body and spirit. Indeed, Mog’s over-excited review of the day made it into Cheekbone, the Boosh fanzine of the day. Much to her embarrassment we’ve dusted it off in celebration of that glorious day four years ago.

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