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Brains Movie is a (indy) Go-Go!

24 Oct

© Bob Pipe / Channel Flip

It’s the news we’ve been waiting for… The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains is becoming a movie – and YOU can get involved with the production!

Written and created by Bob Pipe (the man behind The Forgery Club) and James Wren (the man behind The Hen & Chickens), the film will be an adaptation of the cult web series, which featured a whos-who of TVO and beyond.

Phil WhelansRichard GloverColin HoultStephen EvansAlex KirkNeil ColeGareth Tunley, Waen ShepherdAntony ElvinWill Summers and Richard Sandling were joined by Warwick Davis (Life’s Too Short), Chris Kendall (Crabstickz), Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones), Ricky Grover (Red Dwarf), Phil Nichol (Holy Flying Circus), Marny Godden, Thomas Nelstrop, Lizzie Roper, Nick Helm, Katy Derby and many, many more for the 50s B-movie homage.

If you haven’t seen it, and really, with all the love we gave it at the time, you really should have, you can see the each individual episode – including several off-shoots featuring Colin Hoult as egotistical actor Eric Shepherd and Warwick Davis as preposterous movie mogul Stanley Chester, over yonder – or right below this sentence.

Now the team are gearing up for a full length version of the tale, and are asking for pledges from fans and supporters through Indiegogo.

PLEDGE FOR THE MOVIE HERE!

For £5, you get a simple thank you, and £10 gets you a social media based thank you.  Where it gets interesting, is if you want to stump up a little more…

If you fancy a Brain Drain goody bag, you can have one for just £25.  If you’d prefer a unique, personalised picture of James and Bob holding hands in bathing shorts thanking you – and frankly, who doesn’t need one of those in life – it can be yours for just £40.

Pop your bid up to £50, and get all of the above, plus a movie poster – which you can have signed if your bid reaches £75.

© Bob Pipe

Those budding filmmakers out there may want to bump their bids up to £100, you get online access to the whole production and making of process – including scripts, storyboards and edits.  And if you have even more cash, £500 will give you a daily skype chat update with the film makers during film festivals, whilst £750 will get you pints and chats with the film makers AND the stars about the production at Shoreditch House.

For really flashy types, £5000 will get you the pints, and also the opportunity to be an extra in the film… and £10,000 will make you an associate producer with an invite tot he film festival of your choice.

All in all – this is a great opportunity to support independent film makers and see a brilliant project reborn as a whole new adventure.  So get involved now!

Final Characthorse Performance

25 Sep

© Festmag

Colin Hoult will be performing what he says will be the last ever performance of his critically-acclaimed semi-autobiographical show Characthorse.

The one-man show tells the story Colin started writing when he was 7 years old – about Snottingham, a mythical place near Nottingham. The origin of the title Characthorse is revealed and the show contains dancing, Star Wars, Transformers, Sir Patrick Stewart, Evil Bill, UHT milk, masks, ostriches and ducks – in fact, something for everyone!

It all takes place at the Cambridge Junction on 1st October from 8pm. Tickets are spookily priced at £13 and can be procured here.

To read our interview with Colin from last year, in which he talks about the show, take a look at this.

TVO Radio Stars

6 Aug
© google

© google

Tune in your radio to hear some TVO stars do their thing.

The second series of The Brig Society starring Marcus Brigstocke returned to BBC Radio 4 on Friday evening at 6.30pm – repeated Saturday at 12.30 and on iPlayer. Each week Marcus is put in charge of a ‘thing’ – this week he becomes an MEP. The show also stars Rufus Jones, William Andrews and Margaret Cabourn-Smith, and  is written by Brigstocke and among others, Dan Tetsell.

Also on BBC Radio 4, The Infinite Monkey Cage, starring Professor Brian Cox and Robin Ince have recorded two shows at The Edinburgh Festival. In the second one they are joined by Josie Long and Paul Foot, psychologist Richard Wiseman and neuroscientist Stuart Ritchie to ask ‘is irrationality genetic?’. This show will be broadcast on Monday 11th August at 4.30pm and will also be on iPlayer.

As we mentioned earlier, My First Planet written by and starring Phil Whelans, started its second series on BBC Radio 4 Extra on Mondays at 9.30am and on iPlayer.

We can also look forward to a new series of Colin Hoult’s Carnival of Monsters coming soon. If you can’t wait to listen to it, you can get tickets to the recordings via this link.

Join The Carnival Of Monsters

23 Jul

© Colin Hoult

Colin Hoult is recording a second radio series of Carnival of Monsters for BBC Radio 4, and you could be in the audience!

Colin will be recreating his unhinged netherworld of oddball characters at the iconic BBC Radio Theatre in London on 6th September and 4th October. To apply for audience tickets for both dates click here. Tickets are free but are limited to 2 per application. Attendees must be over 14.

Having been lucky enough to watch Colin rehearsing and recording some of the episodes from his first series last year, this comes thoroughly recommended. Watching Colin leap from character to character without a moment’s hesitation is a spectacle itself. Plus it’s as funny as it is clever.

Enter if you dare…

Hoult Joins Nurse

16 Jul

© Broadwaybaby

Colin Hoult has been confirmed as an addition to Nurse, a new BBC2 comedy co-written by and starring Paul Whitehouse.

The series, which has just started filming, focuses a community psychiatric nurse as she does her daily rounds visiting the homes of her patients.

Paul Whitehouse takes on the roles of many of her patients and relatives, and he’s joined by a cast which includes Colin, along with Esther Coles Simon Day, Cecilia Noble, Rosie Cavaliero, Jason Maza, Vilma Hollingbery and Ben Bailey Smith.

Previously a successful series on Radio 4, the BBC’s Shane Allen has said of the show: “Nurse has gone down very successfully on radio and we are very excited about the TV version. Nurse gives a sympathetic insight into the world of some of society’s marginalised people. Paul is the leading character comedian of his generation and he has the ability to make you cry with laughter one minute and cry with empathy the next with the characters that he brings to life.”

Four 30 minute episodes are being filmed, with the show due to be broadcast on BBC Two later this year.

This marks another welcome return to our screens for Colin, who has most recently been seen on Derek, with Ricky Gervais.

TVOers On Tour

7 Jul

tvoukWith the Edinburgh Festival looming, the time has come for preview season to hit the land, and a number of TVO regulars – some of which are usually confined to the London area – are out and about and possibly in your area!

First up, Dan Clark will be previewing his Edinburgh show Me, My Selfie And I in Darlington (Sunday 13th July) and Leicester (Tuesday 22nd July).  The continually touring Paul Foot will also be visiting Leicester (Wednesday 23rd July) and is at the Larmer Tree Festival next week (Friday 18th July) – as well as taking his Edinburgh show Paul Foot’s Hovercraft Symphony in Gammon Sharp Major on tour in the Autumn.

There’s a rare chance to see Sarah Kendall‘s Edinburgh show Touchdown as part of the Cambridge Comedy Festival on Sunday 20th July, whilst Aisling Bea (without an Edinburgh show this year, sadly) continues her near constant gig schedule with appearances at Latitude Festival the same weekend, and The Pheonix Fringe in London on August 7th.

Festival booking seems to be the in-thing at the moment – as Colin Hoult is rocking Camp Bestival between July 31st and August 1st in East Lulworth, and cheeky chappy Joey Page is at Milton Keynes Fringe on Sunday 20th July.  Meanwhile, King of Krazy Tony Law lets the good people of Tring enter the Tone-Zone on Sunday 13th July, the folks in Leicester on Wednesday 16th July, and lots of places across the land this Autumn.

This week also sees friend of TVO and frequent Rich Fulcher collaborator, Harry Deansway make a rare excursion to the North West – he’s performing at The King’s Arms in Salford on Thursday night, previewing his new show Harry Deansway is a Bit of a Character Android.  Tickets are available right now.

Stephen Evans Live!

3 May

Stephen Evans is appearing at ACMS (Alternative Comedy Memorial Society) on Monday (5th) at The Soho Theatre, alongside Rachel Stubbings. More information and tickets can be found here.

He will also be performing as a solo guest at Colin Hoult‘s Mega Carnival on the 11th May in Brighton. He’ll be doing some of his own stuff alongside a song or two with Colin for old times sake.
See this earlier peeling for full details.

Stephen won’t be performing in Carnival Of Monsters or Enemy Of The World this time round so Martin White will be taking his place for those, and Thom Tuck is taking Dan Snelgrove’s place for Enemy of the World.

If you can’t get along to any of these shows, you can see Stephen with Richard Glover below at TVO Live!

Welsh Funnies This Weekend

1 May

Better late than never goes the adage, so we hope you’ll forgive us our eleventh hour notice of the Machynlleth Comedy Festival, which we’ve just discovered starts tomorrow!

The Welsh comedy festival runs for 3 days – from this Friday through to Sunday, and it features an impressive list of top acts, including 3 TVO faces. Aisling Bea, Colin Hoult and Tony Law will all be performing at the festival; to find out where and when (and to see who else will be there), check this out.

Tickets for shows (which take place at different local venues) can be bought individually here, with starting prices as low as £1.50 (seriously!). To find out more about it check out the FAQs on the festival website.

We say get out of the big smoke and head on over to Machynlleth for your giggles this weekend!

Colin’s Final Carnival

24 Apr

© Colin Hoult

Colin Hoult will be performing his seminal Carnival Trilogy of shows one final time next month as part of Brighton Fringe.

The three shows – Carnival of MonstersEnemy of the World and Inferno - originally ran in London and Edinburgh in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively, and featured Dan Snelgrove, Zoe Gardner and, for the first two shows, fellow TVO regular Stephen Evans.

Much of the material from them turned up in his radio series for BBC Radio 4, also titled Carnival of Monsters, which aired last year.  This particular writer still maintains that Enemy of the World is the finest hour of live comedy he’s ever seen, so make of that what you will!

Now Hoult is bringing them to a final end, and throwing last year’s show Characthorse and a new work in progress night into the bargain.

The full run-down of shows is as follows: May 5th: Carnival of Monsters | May 11th: Mega Carnival [featuring special guests] | May 14th: Enemy of the World | May 15th: Inferno | May 23rd: Characthorse | May 25th: Work in Progress

Tickets for all the shows can be bought now via the Brighton Fringe website and box office over yonder.  For more info on the shows, including titbits on where exactly the names came from (we think some of you will be pleasantly surprised!), check out the official Facebook Event Page.

Hoult, who is currently appearing in Ricky Gervais’ second series of Derek for Channel 4, is also offering free tickets as part of a Twitter competition, which runs until April 29th… details below!

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Please note – this competition has nothing to do with TVO, so please direct any questions to the official Derek Twitter page.  Fans of the show can see Episode One on 4oD now, with Episode Two (also featuring Tony Way) airing on Wednesday 30th April. Enjoy…

Don’t Forget Derek

5 Apr

We suspect that Ricky Gervais isn’t too reliant on any publicity that we can give him, but we wanted to remind you to tune into the second series of Derek to see two TVO faces.

Colin Hoult and Tony Way both appear in the new series, which starts on Channel 4 on 23rd April (UK) and then on Netflix on 30th of May for the rest of the world. In fact you can briefly see Colin if you watch this series 2 trailer very carefully:

Gervais has said of the new series, “Personally, I think it’s better than the first series, but you’ll be the judge of that”, so why not tune in and see for yourself?

 

 

Get It Seen

1 Apr

No, that title isn’t just an instruction from us… it’s also the name of a new underground film festival taking place at legendary venue The Hen & Chickens Theatre in Islington this month.

© Hen & Chickens

The venue, which has been a spiritual home for TVO regulars for almost two decades – from The Mighty Boosh and Garth Marenghi to recent shows like the magnificent Kill Phil, has gathered together some of the finest low-budget features and shorts of recent years to come out of the London comedy scene, to show from today through to April 26th,

This includes Peacock Season on April 1st, 4th & 11th.  This legendary film about the Edinburgh Fringe shot at the festival features a top-notch cast including Justin EdwardsPaul FootRichard Glover, Nina Conti, Rhys Darby, Richard Herring, Reece Shearsmith, Isy Suttie, Glenn Wool and co-writer James Wren.

Other TVO connected films on offer include Phil Whelan‘s slapstick farce Clowntime Is OverStephen Evans‘ nostalgic short The Notorious Bruiser Brothers Revisitedand a chance to see the star-studded Bob Pipe masterpiece The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains on a big screen!

© Bob Pipe

There’s loads more on offer too: we particularly recommend Adriel Leff’s brilliant mockumentary Bloody Lip! To see the full list of shows, and to pick up tickets, visit the festival’s Facebook page now!

FREE! Hoult’s Play At The Pleasance

22 Feb

© Colin Hoult / Dawn Sedgwick Management

Colin Hoult will be performing a rehearsed reading of Glioblastomer 4, at The Pleasance Islington on 2nd March – for no pounds or pence whatsoever!

Glioblastomer 4 is a new play written and directed by Colin, about a man who has recently been diagnosed with a tumour. He and his wife are struggling to cope with his memory loss, confusion and sudden inexplicable anger. One day an old friend comes to visit…but his motives may not be quite as pure as he says they are.

Colin’s stage shows have always been flavoured by strong accents of the dark and the theatrical, so this promises to be a good un.

The first rehearsed reading will feature Zoe Gardner, Dan March and Paul Putner. To book your FREE ticket (+ £1 booking fee), visit The Pleasance’s website.

Invisible Dot Round-Up!

14 Feb

© Invisible Dot

As more and more shows are getting announced  for King’s Cross venue, the Invisible Dot, more and more TVO names are being added to the bills. Here’s a round-up.

First off, this Sunday sees a band of established comedians coming together for an ‘anything goes’ new material night called Experiments. It’s hosted by Mike Wozniak (recently seen in Man Down), with guests Tony Law, Rachel Parris, James Acaster and a mystery special guest.  Tickets are a mere £8 and can be found here.

Next up is Pancake Day on March 4th – a comedy night where pancakes will be served! The line-up so far is Katy Wix, James Acaster and Henry Pertidis, with more to be announced. Tickets are £12 (including the all-important pancakes) and can be found here.

The Dot’s Saturday Night Show, ever increasing in popularity, has some stonking line-ups for the coming season, with the wonderful Kevin Eldon in two shows on March 8th. He’ll be appearing alongside Cardinal Burns, Alistair Green and Nathon Caton and guests for other dates include Bridget Christie, Will Adamsdale (who some of you may have seen as one of Jon Breeze’s Wellness Companions at Julian Barratt‘s latest Soho show), Simon Munnery and Josie Long. Tickets are £10, thisaway.

Finally, on 25th March, 22nd April and 27th May, Triceratops will return to the Invisible Dot. This is a night showcasing three masterful character comedians (and no dinosaurs) performing both collaboratively and solo. The three are our own fantastic Colin Hoult, the marvelous (and slightly terrifying) Adam Riches and a special guest. Tickets are £8, you know what to do.

Hoult On The Go

6 Feb

© Ents 24

Earlier this week we made the observation that Colin Hoult had been unusually quiet on the gig front, then he goes and announces a bunch of new live dates (in addition to his two appearances at the Leicester Comedy Festival)!

The impatient amongst you only have to wait 1 week to see him, with an appearance in Brighton, where he’ll be performing his Carnival of Monsters show at Upstairs at Three & Ten on Thursday night.

You can then catch Colin on stage with fellow comedian Adam Riches – and a third (so far unnamed) act – in a show called Triceratops, for a parade of the weird and wonderful in a unique character night. There are three confirmed monthly performances taking place at The Invisible Dot in London, on 25th March, 22nd April and 27th May.

You can also catch Colin on a bill with Damian Clark, Andy Storey and Sunna Jarman at Comedy @40 Sheen Lane on 7th March; then see his critically-aclaimed 2013 Edinburgh show Characthorse on 28th March in Bristol. Phew!

For details of all of Colin’s listings (and to purchase tickets) click here. The man’s live shows are legendary, so if you can catch one, do!

 

Leicester Comedy Festival Countdown!

3 Feb

With just three days to go before the event kicks off, we thought we’d bring you the lowdown on the many TVO names that can be caught at Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival this month.

© Dave

Having been oddly quiet of late, Colin Hoult is bringing two shows to the festival. First up is a work in progress show entitled Uninspiring People Inspiring People By Being Uninspiring, which was first seen last autumn at the Invisible Dot. With a more ‘stand-up-y’ approach than Colin’s ace character-filled shows – this one is well worth a watch. And talking of his character-filled shows, he’s taking Characthorse, his show from last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, to the festival later in the month. This is a madcap adventure across the mythical town of Snottingham with a host of weird and wonderful characters and, we reckon, it’s a must-see.

Next up is a show from the fab Aisling Bea – presumably this will be her Edinburgh show C’est La Bea, fresh from it’s run at the Soho Theatre, but the website doesn’t specify.

For all you connoisseurs out there, Paul Foot will be performing a show he calls An Hour In February. Shedding no light at all on the matter, the show has this description:

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

Paul will also be taking part in the Laughing Matters Fundraiser, along with Tony Law, and Harry Hill. Tony will also be doing an hour of new shouty bollocks, a Nonsense In Progress, on the same evening.

Another familiar face in Onion-land, Joey Page, will be making a couple of appearances at the festival. Towards the end of the month he’ll be performing his own show Golden Peacock Hour and, much sooner on the horizon, he’ll be making an appearance in Tom Stade And Co.

So, he’s a list of those shows in date order . They’ll all take pace at venues around Leicester and tickets and more information can be found by following the links:

7th Feb – Colin Hoult – Work In Progress
8th Feb – Tom Stade And Co. (with Joey Page)
12th Feb – Aisling Bea
17th-18th Feb – Paul Foot – An Hour In February
19th Feb – Tony Law – Nonsense In Progress
19th Feb – Laughing Matters Fundraiser (with Tony Law and Paul Foot)
21st Feb - Colin Hoult – Characthorse
23rd Feb – Joey Page – Golden Peacock Hour

TVO’s Review Of The Year 2013: Part Four

4 Jan

Hello and a warm welcome to the final part of our Review of 2013. Although October to December may feel like it only just happened, prepare to be amazed by how much you’ve forgotten. We were, but then we’re getting on a  bit.

So here are the best bits from the fourth quarter of the year – cherry-picked from news stories about both our regulars and a few new faces too. Enjoy.

OCTOBER

October was the month that Booshmania returned.  Just as the fantastic Behind the Boosh exhibition started its run at Proud Camden, showcasing the history of that most Mighty of comedic troops via the majesty of Dave Brown‘s photography, the boys were back in town.  Or rather, on the pier, as The Mighty Boosh went from the Soho Theatre to Tenacious D’s Festival Supreme in LA. A final (chaotic) UK warm-up show and a further run through at The Comedy Store, almost halted by a Visa saga, paved the way for a live performance that turned out to be one of the Festival’s highlights. Fan forums and social media platforms were buzzing with photos, footage and reviews of the show.

Another announcement that got us more than a bit over-excited in October was the news that Ben Wheatley is to direct the first 2 episodes of the next series of Doctor Who, starring the new Time Lord, Peter Capaldi. How good is that!?  We’re itching to see what happens when you combine one of the UK’s finest directors with its biggest export, now in the capable hands of an Oscar-winning acting legend to boot.  You can see the moment Capaldi became the Doctor in the 2013 Xmas special below…

More telly stuff, with the launch of Matt Berry’s new series, Toast Of London.  We’d been itching to see it since the pilot back in 2012, and it did not disappoint…

Elsewhere, Richard Ayoade established himself as a permanent fixture on prime time panel shows with a stint as team captain on Was It Something I Said? on Channel 4. Ayoade’s intellectual sparring with host David Mitchell certainly made our Sunday evenings feel a bit more highbrow!

What else?  Well, in movie news, there was an update on the cast for Paul King‘s long-awaited Paddington Bear feature film, which included mention of Rufus Jones and James Bachman. To end the month, TVO artists offered us a veritable smorgasbord of comedy options for Halloween night’s out, with special spooky performances from Colin Hoult and Richard Sandling.  And we were sad to lose the talented comedy actor Felix Dexter, who died at the too-young age of 52. He left behind an incredible legacy of great TV performances on shows like Bellamy’s PeopleAbsolutely Fabulous, The Fast ShowKnowing Me Knowing You… With Alan Partridge, Mongrels and Alexei Sayle’s Merry Go Round to name but a few. He will be much misse, and would typically hate all this fuss about him, so let’s remember him with one of his silliest moments – dancing for Sport Relief alongside Rhys Thomas and Lucy Montgomery.  What a dude.

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TVO’s Review Of The Year 2013: Part Three

3 Jan

If you’ve previously taken a mosey through Part One and Part Two of our Review of 2013, you’ll already be aware that it’s been a busy old year in Onion Land. July to September was no exception, with news, reviews, new shows and live performances from both our regulars and the new names on our roster.

So here are the best bits from the third quarter of the year – hand-picked from over 700 news stories across 2013, and jam-packed with forgotten treasures and instant classics alike. Enjoy.

JULY

The month began with the release of Dan Clark‘s debut album, Dan Clark & The Difficult Three, which had been funded via a successful Pledge Music campaign. Combining genuinely funny lyrics with proper tunes played by a bona fide band, the record offered fans of Clark’s musical comedy an opportunity to re-live some of his live show classics and enjoy some newer compositions. For a wee taster, here below is a live recording of ‘Don’t Kiss Me’ (and if you fancy buying a copy of the album, head on over here):

We also featured a series of introductions to the TVO-recommended artists you could see at 2013’s Edinburgh Fringe. We intentionally mixed up the folk who we already write about with the people who we define as “beyond the Onion”; those featured included Colin Hoult, Tony Law,  Paul FootSpank, Joey PageAisling Bea, Late Night Gimp Fight, Tim Fitzhigham, Jonny & The Baptists (+ Jonny Donahoe), Pete Heat and Glen Wool.

On 19th July the world of comedy sadly lost one of its pioneers, in the shape of Mel Smith. Whilst Smith’s contribution to modern comedy is undeniable, we can also claim a link between him and the TVO family, with Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthew’s first TV sketches being written for Alas, Smith And Jones. You can watch one of them below:

In terms of new TV and film projects, this month saw the release of Ben Wheatley‘s hotly-anticipated follow-up to Sightseers, the psychedelically historical A Field In England, which launched simultaneously in cinemas, on TV and on DVD on 5th July.

Filming also began on the second series of Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, and the Marmite-like TV adaptation of Graham Linehan’s Count Arthur Strong also hit our screens. Chris O’Dowd continued with his world domination of the airwaves with a role in the part-improvised US sitcom Family Tree:

Finally, fans of The Mighty Boosh got all hot and bothered over Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt‘s first live performance together since 2010 when the pair performed at The Barbican at a concert to honour the musician, Beck. Expect a bit more of the Boosh boys down below (honestly not as rude as it sounds)…

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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.

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TVO’s Review Of The Year 2013: Part One

1 Jan

2013 has been a funny old year in Onion Land. We’ve seen our regulars scoop bucketloads of awards, from Best British Film at the Empire Awards to International Emmy Awards and everything in-between. Some names on our roster have reached new heights of success, becoming household names to people who have no idea of their cult origins. Others have just continued being quietly amazing, but all of them have been worthy of your attention.

As a result, we’ve been ploughing through the 12 months of TVO, to pluck out the best bits from over 700 news stories across 2013. This first instalment of our round-up covers January-March, and is jam packed with forgotten treasures and instant classics alike.  Enjoy.

JANUARY

The year began quietly, with the only key new show on the box being, on the surface, designed for kids. FIT was a sports-based sketch show on CBBC from the team behind Sorry, I’ve Got No Head, and featured TVO regulars Tony WayRufus Jones and Aisling Bea in its ensemble cast. For the most part, however, it was the involvement of Peter Serafinowicz – reprising his beloved cult character Brian Butterfield – which got everyone’s attention…

On the other end of the spectrum, Michael SmileyDan Tetsell and Simon Farnaby turned up in the very-much-for-grown-ups cyber-thiller Utopia on Channel 4. The show concerned itself with attempts to trace the only known copy of a graphic novel which left a trail of bloody carnage in its wake. With Four Lions star Adeel Akhtar part of its ensemble cast, as well as Kill List actor Neil Maskell as a creepy hitman, and The Thick Of It‘s Paul Higgins as a blackmailed civil servant, the show became an instant cult hit, and will be returning for a second series in 2014.

Closer to home, and the good folk of Onion Land seemed keen to dish out advice. Comedic agony aunt Rachel Stubbings was offering specially crafted miniature versions of herself for sale to anyone in need of a friendly ear. Or, to be more exact, a bit of unemotional plastic which happened to look a bit like her, in a variety of costumes. The Stubby Buddy was a quick sell out, though something tells me we won’t be seeing them in the shops next year…

Elsewhere, conceptual artist and Luxury Comedy star Kim Noble was offering handy tips on how to buy an oven

And as Bowie-fever gripped the world, James Cook released his own, haunting interpretation of Mr Jones’ classic track, Ashes To Ashes

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Colin Triple Bill

29 Nov

© Matthew Hopkinson

We have news of three appearances by Colin Hoult in the next few months, so you can make a note in your diaries.

On Monday (2nd December) he will be taking part in Triceratops, with Adam Riches and Nick Mohammed. Billed as “Three Men, One Night, No Dinosaurs”, the show is on at The Invisible Dot 2 Northdown Street Kings Cross London N1 9BG starting at 8pm. Tickets are £7 and are available from here.

On Friday 21st February, Colin is taking his Characthorse show to the Dave Leicester Comedy Festival at The Firebug, starting at 9:30pm. Tickets for this show are available here.

We mentioned a while ago that on Friday 28th March, Colin is appearing at Colston Hall Bristol in Characthorse. Tickets for this show are available from the venue.

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