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A Wild Valentine’s Night: iPlayer Previews

11 Feb

With Valentine’s Day rapidly approaching, the BBC have announced a new set of nine iPlayer comedy shorts, based around the theme of love, for our delectation. TVO took a sneak peak, as Becca Moody reports…

© BBC / Pett Productions / Guy Levy

© BBC / Pett Productions / Guy Levy

If you watched the BBC iPlayer shorts from June 2014, you’ll have seen for yourself how these miniature comedy installations really do open up a new style of viewing. Last year’s six hilarious bitesize programmes allowed us to sample a whole range of funny creations from the likes of Matt Berry, Reece Shearsmith, Micky Flanagan and Meera Syal, and it’s no surprise that the news of a brand new set this month was more than welcome.

Matt Berry‘s Wild Love is certainly wild, shockingly funny and crude. In the sequel to last year’s Lone Wolf, Berry narrates the mating antics of various creatures ranging from golden frogs to “colonial hopping dogs”. This undiscovered world is absolutely crazy, and even our beloved narrator himself seems to get carried away by the absurdity of it all, which makes for hilarious listening. Writer, Bob Mortimer, and Berry have come together yet again, to create something fantastic, and it’s not too difficult to visualise this becoming a series one day. Watch out David Attenborough!

© BBC / Pett Productions / Guy Levy

© BBC / Pett Productions / Guy Levy

Aisling Bea also stars in Romesh Ranganathan’s Valentine’s-related comedy short, Rom Com, as one half of the world’s seemingly most awkward ever first date. The episode follows Romesh as he is rigorously prepared for the evening by his very own verbally abusive relationship guru, who also happens to be a figment of his own imagination. Rom Com is a dark and oppressive comedy, and is made bitterly funny thanks to both of its stars.

© BBC / Pett Productions / Guy Levy

© BBC / Pett Productions / Guy Levy

Katy Wix‘s Dear Jean Pierre is a silly story of a quaint French romance, as it reaches its emotional final moments. In this remarkable tale, Wix relives the moments where the relationship began to decline, and brings her wonderfully childish humour along for the ride. With her trademark hopeful and innocent nature, and a knack for surprising us with various twists and turns along the way, Dear Jean Pierre is a complete comedy delight.

And as if all that wasn’t enough, there’ll be a whole array of episodes available as well as these TVO related ones (featuring the likes of Bill Bailey, Sara Pascoe, Nick Helm, Esther Smith, Emma Thompson and Russ Abbot) which will be on BBC iPlayer as of February 13th.

Matt Berry’s Lone Wolf Sequel

24 Jan
Matt Berry

© BBC

Matt Berry will be starring in a follow-up wildlife ‘documentary’ to last year’s iPlayer comedy short, Lone Wolf, in which he talks us through the courtships and mating rituals of creatures in the wild – in typical Berry-style of course.

With Lone Wolf having been nominated for Best Internet Comedy Short in the British Comedy Awards 2014, the sequel Wild Love is set to be a comedy delight.

It will be part of a new batch of nine online comedy shorts, which will be available on BBC iPlayer. Other stars who will feature in the shorts include TVO regular Katy Wix, as well as the likes of Bill Bailey, Russ Abbot, Sara Pascoe and Nick Helm. Aisling Bea will also be starring in Romesh Ranganathan’s short, A Tale of Two Roms.

The previous batch of comedy shorts, from June 2014, is still available on iPlayer here. This new set, written around the theme of Valentine’s Day, will be available from the 13th of February.

So Hot Right Now #11

22 Dec

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

CHRISTMAS COMES EARLY FOR TVO TELLY FANS!

As Noddy Holder once sang: IT’S CHRIIIIIIISSSTTTTMAAAAAAASSSSS!!!!!! Which means there’s a sudden glut of top notch telly to be savoured, and that naturally includes a bevy of TVO regulars on our screens once again.  We’ve got more news to share with you below this epic round-up, but first off, we’ve got to celebrate just how much we can enjoy this week!

Monday 22nd December

© Sky

© Sky

The crux of that comes on Monday 22nd December, with six new shows and a vintage repeat to savour across the evening. First up at 5:30pm on Sky 1 is Katy Brand‘s Little Cracker getting a welcome re-airing.

First shown in 2012, the episode – like the rest of the Little Cracker series which inspired Moone Boy – focuses on a key event from it’s writer’s childhood Christmasses dramatised and exaggerated for comedic value.  Katy Brand’s edition centres on the moment ten-year-old Katy made an earth-shattering discovery on Christmas Eve, and in one fell swoop the magic and sparkle of the festive season vanished. All is not lost when an unlikely opportunity to save Christmas presents itself.

Stick with Sky1 at 8:30pm for the last in the current series of Trollied featuring Aisling Bea. In tonight’s episode, it’s Charity Day at Valco supermarket, with a big prize draw called into question, a sponsored bike ride, shaved legs and a giant pain-relief tablet costume. Mad as ever.

© Channel 4

© Channel 4

Over on Channel 4 at 8pm is the Gadget Man’s Guide To Christmas in which Richard Ayoade presents a gadget-packed guide to the festive season, joined by techno-loving celebrity friends including Jonathan Ross, Stephen Merchant, Robert Webb, Jessica Hynes and Reece Shearsmith.

In this hour long special, Richard and his guests reveal new ways of doing the Christmas shopping, surviving the winter weather, cooking Christmas dinner, wrapping gifts, dealing with snow, handling fog and getting through long nights. They also look at a smartphone breathalyser, a pitch-shifting karaoke machine and Richard makes a festive feast. Bring it on!

© BBC / Hulu / Coco Van Oppens

© BBC / Hulu / Coco Van Oppens

After Gadget Man, we heartily recommend you switch over to BBC Two, where the new series of The Wrong Mans begins at 9pm. The show featuring writers James Corden and Matthew Baynton as two idiots accidentally caught up in a huge espionage plot, was a smash hit last year, and featured a huge array of incredible guest stars, including our very own Rufus Jones and Dan Skinner amongst them.

This year, Baynton and Corden are again joined by a top notch cast including Dawn French and Rebecca Front, and the show is directed by once more by Jim Field-Smith - formerly a member of criminally underrated sketch troup Dutch Elm Conservatoire alongside Rufus Jones, Dan Skinner, Stephen Evans and Jordan Long, who you may recognise from Junglophilia, World of Wrestling, Mongrels and the first series of The Wrong Mans!

© BBC / Hulu / Coco Van Oppens

© BBC / Hulu / Coco Van Oppens

The first two episodes are being shown in a double bill on Monday 22nd from 9pm, with Episodes Three and Four – featuring a guest appearance from Fergus Craig as a pilot – airing tomorrow evening at the same time. American fans shouldn’t fret either – The Wrong Mans is a co-production with Hulu, so should be on your screens over there in the New Year.

© Talkback / Brian Ritchie

© Talkback / Brian Ritchie

Stick with BBC Two at 10pm for a double bill of musical mayhem. First up is Never Mind The Buzzcocks Christmas special to round off the series in style.  As you can see, the festive edition got everyone in the spirit of Christmas, and you’ll probably never look at turkey the same way again.

Joining host Rhod Gilbert and team captains Noel Fielding and Phill Jupitus for the madness are legendary Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock, his polar opposite Louis ‘X-Factor’ Walsh, singer Melissa Steel and comedian Lloyd Langford. There’s even a guest appearance by the actual Snowman. A must see!

© BBC / Rory Lindsay

© BBC / Rory Lindsay

Straight after Buzzcocks is the final episode of Brian Pern: A Life in Rock - the madcap mockumentary from Rhys Thomas and Simon Day which features a massive ensemble cast of real life celebrities and great comic talents.  Michael Kitchen, Paul Whitehouse, Nigel Havers Lucy Montgomery and Tony Way are joined this week by Mel C, Chrissie Hynde, Roy Wood, Roger Allum and loads more as Brian tries to record a Christmas album.

There’s a glorious set of pastiches of past pop favourites on offer in this week’s episode, including Simon and Lucy’s homage to Barcelona, the Thotch lads getting all Chas N Dave on us, and the glorious Black Christmas.  Mel C and Pepita get to fight it out over the microphone, Roy Wood’s producer wants to put a till on everything, and the best is saved till last as Peter Gabriel makes another appearance.

As we bid Brian a fond farewell, don’t forget to catch up on our interview with him, as well as series creators Rhys Thomas and Simon Day, and we hope he’s back for more soon!

Both Buzzcocks and Brian Pern happen to clash with another TVO favourite, but thanks to the wonders of 4+1, that’s not necessarily a problem. At 10pm on Channel 4 (or 11pm on 4+1), is the special final episode of Derek starring Ricky Gervais.

© Channel 4 / Ray Burmiston

© Channel 4 / Ray Burmiston

The second series introduced characters played by Tony Way and Colin Hoult, and Colin features in this grande finale, in which Broadhill regulars are busy planning the wedding of the year.  However, Kev’s behaviour proves too much for Hannah, while Vicky prepares to fill her boss’s shoes, and Derek is just trying to hold everything together.

Previous finales from Gervais have tended to tackle surprisingly weighty issues in brilliant dramatic form – whatever anyone thought of Extras or Life’s Too Short, for example, there’s no denying they went out with a bang, so we’d definitely recommend you give this one a chance.

Tuesday 23rd December

If you’ve caught everything from Monday 22nd live, or you’re fully up to date from catchup services, then stick near your remote, cos there’s more to savour throughout the week. On Tuesday 23rd, at 9:30pm, we have the final episode of Psychobitches Series Two to savour over on Sky Arts HD, and it’s set to be as magnificent as the rest.

© Sky Arts

© Sky Arts

The highlight of the show looks set to be Richard E Grant’s guest appearance as Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins, as he interrupts a psychiatric session for grotesque witches played by Matthew Baynton, Kevin Eldon and Cardinal Burns star Dustrin Demri-Burns.  Also visiting Rebecca Front’s psychoanalyst this week are Gracie Fields (The IT Crowd guest star Frances Barber), Fanny Cradock (the other half of Cardinal Burns, Seb Cardinal), Hildegard of Bingen (Doctor Who’s Michelle Gomez), the Statue of Liberty (Toast of London‘s Doon Mackichan), Shirley Temple (Benidorm’s Sheila Reid), Daphne du Maurier (House of Fools star Morgana Robinson), Zeus’s wife Hera (Goodness Gracious Me legend Mera Syal) and Hindu goddess Kali (La La Land‘s Marc Wootton). Phew!

© Avalon Television / Pete Dadds

© Avalon Television / Pete Dadds

That’s not all, either, as 10pm brings us the festive special of Man Down on Channel 4.  The show, starring Greg Davies as idiotic teacher Dan, is produced by Spencer Millman (of The Mighty BooshMan to Man and The Inbetweeners fame), and the first series was hugely popular on its initial airing late in 2013.

However, the show suffered a near-fatal blow earlier this year, with the tragic death of co-star Rik Mayall - who injected so much life into proceedings (as always) taunting Dan as his vindictive father in a pitch-perfect casting choice.  Nevertheless, the show must go on, and this special – ahead of a second series – is the first chance we have to see the show without him.

Stephanie Cole guest stars as Aunt Nesta, and there are a few familiar faces for TVO fans on board too: with Justin Edwards making an appearance as a solicitor, and the excellent Ramon Tikaram (star of This Life, brother of singer Tanita Tikaram, and Mighty Boosh guest star as Banoo) also involved.  Al Campbell – aka Barry Shitpeas – is directing once again, and it looks set to be another fine addition to the festive canon.

Also on telly that evening are the aforementioned third and fourth episodes of The Wrong Mans, plus Sky 1 are repeating Treasure Island across Tuesday and Wednesday at 5pm each day. This adaptation starring Eddie Izzard, Elijah Wood and Donald Sutherland from 2012 also featured a cavalcade of British telly talent, including Philip Glennister, Daniel Mays, Shaun Parkes, Nathan Barley star Nina Sosyana and our very own Julian Barratt as Thomas Redruth.

Christmas Eve

© Avalon Television / Pete Dadds

© Avalon Television / Pete Dadds

Speaking of Wednesday, Christmas Eve brings us the Not Going Out Christmas Special, in which the will-they-won’t-they tension between Lee (Boosh radio series star Lee Mack) and Lucy (Sally Bretton) reaches unseen new highs, and Lee’s pint-sized dad Frank (Bobby Ball) takes him for a night on the tiles.

As ever Katy Wix co-stars, and there’s a guest appearance from Phil Cornwell as a police officer (only a week and a bit after his role as a police officer in Brian Pern, actually!). Lee Mack has indicated this may be the final ever episode, so expect it to go out on a happy note, just in case.

One last treat for Wednesday – if you happen to be watching Film Four’s repeat of Saint Trinians - see if you can spot Richard Glover as a put upon telly bod. Nice little cameo, there…

Christmas Day

©  BBC / David Venni

© BBC / David Venni

Christmas Day itself is a little short on treats, but like the rest of the country (we hope), we’ll be settling down to watch Nick Frost as Father Christmas in the Doctor Who special, Last Christmas.  Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman return as The Doctor and Clara, alongside guest stars Michael Troughton (of The New Statesmen fame), Faye Marsey and Natalie Gumede (who appeared in sitcom flop The Persuasionists with Simon Farnaby).

There’s currently no word on whether Ben Wheatley will be returning to direct further episodes of Doctor Who in the new year, but with filming set to begin in January, we’re sure to know soon enough. Last Christmas, which has been getting rave reviews so far, will air at 6:15pm on BBC One.

Over on Channel 4 in the early hours – midnight to be exact – is the Father Ted Christmas Special, A Christmassy Ted. This festive classic, written by Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews sees Ted and his fellow priests trapped in the lingerie section of a major department store, and Ted’s quick thinking resulting in him staging an award-winning rescue.  The episode is also shown on More4 across the festive season, so keep your eyes peeled if you miss it, or catch it on 4od. And really, you should own the dvd by now!

Boxing Day

© Talkback / Brian Ritchie

© Talkback / Brian Ritchie

Boxing Day brings with it another Big Fat Quiz of the Year - and whilst Noel Fielding is absent this year, his old cohort Richard Ayoade is on hand to add a bit of Onion into the mix.  He joins David Mitchell, Mel B, Sarah Millican, Kevin Bridges and Micky Flanagan as well as regular host Jimmy Carr.

There’s also guest appearances from Michael Palin, Rio Ferdinand, Lily Allen and the stars of The Inbetweeners, plus some surprises in store, so check in to Channel 4 from 9pm.

Sunday 28th December

© Pett Productions / Chris Baines

© Pett Productions / Chris Baines

Lastly, but by no means leastly, Sunday 28th December brings us the Christmas Special of House of Fools on BBC Two at 10:05pm.  This special episode of Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer’s sublime sitcom is set on Christmas Eve, but when Bob’s present for Erik is unexpectedly engulfed in flames, the housemates go on an underground boat journey to Phil Collins’ mansion.

It’s typically glorious madness from the team, which features Matt BerryDan Skinner, Morgana Robinson and Daniel Simonsen, as well as a guest appearance once more by Reece Shearsmith – as Santa no, less. We’ll have a full preview of the episode later this week, and interviews with the cast (and new regular Ellie White) ahead of Series Two launching early next year.

SECRET SANTA SHOCKER FOR NEIL COLE

Of course, we’re celebrating all this telly, but it’s too late for Christmas. Neil Cole has exposed him, as we revealed over yonder.  Kris Kringle himself is launches his revealing autobigoraphy Secret Santa, but Neil wouldn’t take no for an answer…

Absolutely scandalous.

COLIN KEEPS ON COLLAB-ING

Another week goes by, and Colin Hoult continues his five-times-a-week quest to vlog in character.  Last week saw Anna Mann discuss credit card debt, Andy Parker tackle the Twilight saga, Eddie Cartizean dance his way into some beetroot, Thwor suffer from Season Affective Disorder, and Dom Fez tell us all about the girls that make him go CWOR!

With more videos uploaded every weekday, there’s a treat in store every day. Visit Colin’s YouTube channel now to subscribe.

AND THE REST…

There’s so much going on, a lot of which is featured on our News Page, but here’s some of what you may have missed in the last seven days.

We’ll see you throughout this week – and hope you have a very, very, Merry Christmas. Peace and love and all that jazz. Keep on peelin’.

So Hot Right Now #9

8 Dec

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

THE RETURN OF BRIAN PERN

© BBC / Rory Lindsay

© BBC / Rory Lindsay

This week sees the long awaited return of Brian Pern to our screens, in the brand new series Brian Pern: A Life in Rock.  As always, the show is the brainchild of Fast Show veterans Rhys Thomas and Simon Day, the latter of whom plays the titular prog-rock legend turned hapless world music pioneer and obscure charity fundraiser.

Whilst the first series, The Life of Rock with Brian Pern focused more on telling the story of rock across the generations in documentary format, the second shifts its tone to be more of a candid look at the life of Brian, and those around him.  This includes his luxury yacht loving manager John Farrow (brilliantly brought to life by Michael Kitchen), world music goddess Pepita (TVO regular Lucy Montgomery), Brian’s former bandmates in Thotch (including Paul Whitehouse and Nigel Havers as Pat Quid and Tony Pebble) and his driver Ned (Tony Way).

© BBC / Rory Lindsay

© BBC / Rory Lindsay

Also along for the ride this series are big name guest stars Martin Freeman, Jack Whitehall, Kathy Burke, Roger Allum, Kevin Eldon, Chrissie Hynde, Mel C, Roger Taylor, Roy Wood, Rick Parfitt and more. TVO devoured all three episodes in one sitting, and can confirm this is a joyous continuation of a much loved character, with a wonderful set of supporting characters filling out his world, and once more – some glorious tunes (courtesy of Steve Burge) in the mix.

You’d be mad to miss it. And if you tune in to BBC Two on Tuesday evening at 10pm, you won’t.  Stay peeled this week for an exclusive interview with creators Simon Day & Rhys Thomas, and maybe a word or two from Brian Pern himself…

COMEDY COLLAB

© Colin Hoult

© Colin Hoult

If you haven’t caught up with Colin Hoult‘s unique blend of dark humour and outright silliness yet, you’ve probably not been reading TVO properly. First coming to our attention via his work with Julian Barratt & Dave McNeill on Zimbani, the character comedian has crafted numerous sell out live shows and appeared on our screens in shows as varied as House of RoomsDerekLife’s Too Short and Being Human.

Now he’s back with some of his most beloved live favourites, preparing for an onslaught of sheer characterness on his own YouTube channel.  Five days a week, Colin will be posting a new vlog from one of the strange people in his mindtank, starting today!

Mondays will bring us a new video from the delightful (if failed) actress Anna Mann, whilst Tuesdays are a chance to get some expert tips on survival, scriptwriting and what movies you must all watch on pain of a poke in the eye, from Ninja Turtle fan Andy Parker.

On Wednesdays, everything will be coming up Saint Germain, as we get a little jazzy with our favourite beret wearer, Eddie Cartizian. And on Thursdays, its time for care in the community, as the Mighty God Thwor weilds his powerful hammer in our direction. Bang, bang.

© Colin Hoult

© Colin Hoult

Finally, each Friday will bring us a surprise guest from Colin’s oeuvre, including new characters and old favourites – some of whom you may remember from his excellent radio series Carnival of Monsters, which is due back on Radio 4 soon. You can see the first episode, featuring Anna Mann discussing her old actress friend Miriam Crotch below, and don’t forget to subscribe to see more!

ONIONS AIRING

© Talkback / Brian Ritchie

© Talkback / Brian Ritchie

As we’re keen to keep reminding you, there’s a large bevvy of shows currently airing with TVO connections.  Monday nights see not one, not two, but three new shows to savour beaming into your homes: Trollied on Sky One at 8:30pm featuring Aisling BeaNever Mind the Buzzcocks on BBC Two at 10pm, featuring Noel Fielding alongside Phill Jupitus and Rhod Gilbert; and Toast of London on Channel 4 at 10:35pm, featuring Matt Berry.

©  Sky

© Sky

But wait – there’s more on telly this week! Psychobitches continues on Sky Arts every Tuesday evening, featuring Sharon Horgan, Katy BrandReece Shearsmith and many many more, whilst Not Going Out featuring Katy Wix returns to BBC One on Friday evening. It’s a good time to be an Onioner, eh?

HOOKED TO THE SILVER SCREEN

Don’t forget that Paddington - directed by Paul King and featuring a host of TVO cameos amongst is big-name cast – is currently wowing the crowds in UK cinemas, having taken a whopping £5.1 million in its opening weekend alone!

© Studio Canal

Alongside Hugh Bonneville, Julie Walters, Peter Capaldi, Nicole Kidman et al, are little sneaky guest appearances by Alice LoweSteve OramTom MeetenJames BachmanSimon Farnaby and Justin Edwards – so you’d be mad to miss it.

Also out at the moment are Bill Murray vehicle Saint Vincent, featuring Chris O’Dowd, and a film which almost sneaked past our radar – submarine-based action thriller Black Sea starring Jude Law, Tobias Menzies, David Threlfall and Michael Smiley. US readers can see the film, alongside Paddington in January. Check out the US trailer below.

THE BRAIN SUCKING CONTINUES

Finally this week, the campaign to get a movie version of The Day They Came to Suck Out Our Brains off the ground needs your help to reach its goal, and we’ll leave you with this clip of TVO regular Stephen Evans to explain why.

DONATE HERE!

Keep on peeling, and we’ll see you back here soon!

TWEETS YOU MAY HAVE MISSED

So Hot Right Now #5

10 Nov

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

TVO ON TELLY

This week sees the continuing adventures of Trollied (featuring Aisling Bea) on Sky One, and Toast of London (written by and starring Matt Berry) on Channel 4, whilst Not Going Out - the BBC One sticom featuring Katy Wix alongside Lee Mack, takes a break for Children In Need, returning next Friday (Nov 21st).

©Brian Ritchie / Talkback / BBC

©Brian Ritchie / Talkback / BBC

Miss Bea also makes an appearance on Never Mind The Buzzcocks alongside pop veterans Lisa Stansfield and Ana Matronic, and fellow comedian Joe Lycett, and the regulars Rhod Gilbert, Phill Jupitus and Noel Fielding.

If you missed it last week, there’s also the opportunity to catch up with Richard Ayoade joining David WalliamsCatherine Tate, Dame Shirley Bassey and Annie Lennox on The Graham Norton Show via iPlayer, which is available until Friday evening.

© BBC / So Television

© BBC / So Television

There’s one other little treat for TVO fans out there this week, with a round of popular quiz show Pointless featuring Cult Sitcoms, which aired on Tuesday, November 4th.  The question asked 100 people to name actors who appeared in two or more episodes of SpacedThe Mighty Boosh and French & Saunders oft-neglected 80s sitcom Girls On Top.  Surprisingly, those polled were clearly not regular readers of The Velvet Onion – as quite a number of our regulars came up as pointless answers! Check it out, 36 minutes in, over yonder.

TVO TOASTS

The nominations for this year’s British Comedy Awards were announced this weekend, with a huge number of shows having TVO connections.  As we noted in our news post, the nominations include a whopping – and totally deserved – eight nods for Matt Berry via Toast of London and his recent short The Lone Wolf.

© Kuba Wieczorek

© Kuba Wieczorek

With Toast currently in the midsts of its second series, as mentioned above, there’s no better time to check out what all the fuss is about!

In fact, the nominations go a long way to proving what we’ve been telling you all for almost half a decade now: that Onion Land is a talented place indeed.  All four nominations for Best Sitcom and three of the four for Best New Comedy Programme have TVO connections, as do fellow nominees, The Inbetweeners 2, Harry and Paul’s Story of the Twos and How To Make A Hit Pop Song.  It’s a glorious time for British Comedy indeed.

Our huge congratulations go to all the nominees, but especially our regulars Matt BerryAisling BeaKatherine ParkinsonReece ShearsmithDan Skinner, Spencer MillmanSimon FarnabyChris O’Dowd and Steve Coogan.  Good luck to you all!

THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE VIRAL

Three stories caught the public’s imagination this week in ways we didn’t quite expect.  First up, Paul King‘s forthcoming Paddington movie – featuring cameos from Steve Oram and Tom Meeten amongst its star studded cast – began the biggest part of its publicity campaign, with a series of statues of the titular bear being erected across London.

© John Furniss / Studio Canal

© John Furniss / Studio Canal

The full blown Paddington Trail, detailed on the official Visit London website, features a whole host of Paddingtons designed by celebrities: with the likes of Peter Capaldi, Stephen Fry, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Sheen, John Hurt, Emma Watson and Julie Walters amongst those making their mark on the famous bear.

The film itself is due out on November 28th, and there’s a new trailer for it below.

On the subject of all things film related, the bad news this week was the closure of Teddington Studios, which will be demolished to make way for a series of luxury homes, as reported here by The Express.

Starting life as a film studio in the 1910s, Teddington was at one time a home for Warner Brothers productions of quota-quickies, before being taken over by ABC, and later Thames Television – in that time making shows as diverse as THe Avengers and Morcambe & Wise.  It became an independent studio in the mid 90s, and was leased to Pinewood for the last decade or so – but with the expiry of their lease, time is up for the legendary studio.

© Talkback

© Talkback

In recent years, Teddington has housed The IT CrowdHarry Hill’s TV BurpBlack BooksMan To Man With Dean LearnerBrass EyeNot Going OutStarlings and Dick And Dom’s Funny Business - all featuring a bevvy of TVO regulars.  It will be missed by the industry, but its legacy will live on.

Whilst Teddington leaves behind a positive legacy, the one ITV2 are making at the moment has been the source of much concern over the weekend, with friend of TVO (and cult comedian) Nathaniel Tapley being on the receiving end of abuse – alongside his collaborator Abi Wilkinson – after they dared to criticise ITV2 star Dapper Laughs for his remarks about women and the homeless.  The furore shows no signs of slowing down, but if you’ve missed it all, we recommend you start catching up here, then read the follow up pieces from BBC News and Huffington Post.  We’re firmly on Team AbiTap, here…

THE BRAINS! THE BRAINS!

The campaign for The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains fundraising continues apace – and you can help make the movie happen! Join the campaign over yonder, and watch the splendid Neil Cole make a tit of himself in the name of moviemaking below.

AND THE REST!

As always, there’s so much going on, that we’re using Twitter to keep you informed quicker these days. Join the other 11,900+ of our regular readers by following us there, and get regular updates such as these:

See you next week… until then, keep on peeling!

So Hot Right Now #2

20 Oct
Hello, dear Peelers, and welcome to The Velvet Onion!  For your regular news updates you used to find on our home page, click here.  But below, here’s what Dolly would say is sooo hot right now in Onion Land.

AN EVENING WITH NOEL FIELDING BEGINS!

© Noel Fielding / Dave Brown

The big news this week is that An Evening with Noel Fielding - the UK tour featuring the titular Mr Noel Fielding, alongside Mike Fielding and Tom Meeten - is officially underway.  Hopefully, you’ll have all bought your tickets via our exclusive pre-sale earlier this year, and we’d love to see you out enjoying the show.

The tour runs through the rest of the month, across November and most of December, and takes in various dates across the UK – so if you’re going along, send us a photo of yourself at the gig via our Facebook or Twitter pages (particularly if you’re in costume), with the hashtag #TVOSHOW and we’ll put our favourites on site at the end of the year.

TOURING ONIONS

Of course, Noel isn’t the only TVO regular on tour right now.  Tony Law and Paul Foot are traipsing across the land each week, with various dates on offer from other regulars, such as Aisling Bea, Richard Sandling and Colin Hoult.  There’s all sorts to see, as always, so keep your eye on our new Listings page which we’ll have up and running this week!

Again, if you’re off to a gig with TVO connections, why not send us a photo of yourself with the hashtag #TVOSHOW on Facebook or Twitter, and we’ll share them here for everyone else to enjoy!  And don’t be afraid to go say hello to people after the shows – they’re all lovely, and welcome your support.

THE DAY THEY CAME TO SUCK OUT OUR BRAINS… AGAIN!

The big news this week has been the announcement of The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains being adapted into a movie!  The B-movie pastiche started off as a web series from the minds of Bob Pipe, James Wren and Phil Whelans, and featured a cavalcade of TVO regulars in its huge ensemble cast.

© Bob Pipe

There’ll be more info available at TDTCTSOOB’s official website soon, but first up the team are launching the movie at this weekend’s London Comic Con – so get on down there to find out the news first, and pick up some funky badges along the way.

And if you can’t wait until then, you can catch up with the web series – and read our exclusive archive interview with the team over yonder.

NEW TELLY COMING SOON

The news that Doll & Em - the amazing comic drama starring Dolly Wells and Emily Mortimer – has been recommissioned for a second series is just the tip of the ice berg!

November 3rd is the date to etch into your diary, as you get not one – but TWO new series to savour.

First up is series four of Sky One’s hit sitcom Trollied - now with added Aisling Bea and Doctor Who star Samuel Anderson in its ensemble cast.

© Sky

© Sky

After that, hop over to Channel 4 to see Series 2 of the ever brilliant Toast of London written by and starring Matt Berry.  If you haven’t seen the show before, pick up Series One on dvd, pronto!

© Kuba Wieczorek

Matt will also be joining Dan Skinner once more in Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer led sitcom House of Fools which is recording its second series at MediaCityUK from this week.  We can expect that on our screens in early 2015.

Equally exciting is the impending release of Moone Boy series three, which is due on Sky any time now – alongside the news that it is to get a US remake… as is The IT Crowd!

Plus, there’s the continuing adventures of Katy Wix & Lee Mack in Not Going Out on BBC One, the delightful tales of Crackanory on Dave, and more Never Mind the Buzzcocks on BBC2 each week, so even if you can’t make it to a show there’ll be something to watch in the comfort of your own home for a while yet.  As for BuzzcocksAisling Bea will be making an appearance on there soon – that gal gets everywhere, eh – so stay tuned!

BOOK TIME WITH ONION LAYERS

As we mentioned last week, there’s a whole batch of new books from TVO regulars out now, so if you’re after the perfect Christmas gifts, pop on over to our Amazon Store by clicking on the pictures below.

Buy this book by clicking on the image above!

http://astore.amazon.co.uk/thevelvetonion-21/detail/1783520345

Buy this book by clicking on the image above!

Buy this book by clicking on the image above!

Buy this book by clicking on the image above!

Buy this book by clicking on the image above!

Buy this book by clicking on the image above!

 

ALL THIS & MORE

There’s so much going on, we’re using Twitter to keep you posted on things faster that we could before.  So here’s a selection of other news from this week you may have missed…

For more news, stay glued to our News Page and Twitter feed throughout the week. Keep on peeling!

– Team TVO

So Hot Right Now #1

13 Oct
Hello, dear Peelers, and welcome to The Velvet Onion!  For your regular news updates you used to find on our home page, click here.  But below, here’s what Dolly would say is sooo hot right now in Onion Land.

COOKING UP A LOVER’S DREAM

The former Nemo frontman returned with his new album Adventures in Ausland recently, which you can buy over yonder.  He’s just released the music video for his single Lily (A Lover’s Dream), which you can see below.

 

STAND UP TO CANCER

Alan Carr, Davina McCall and Dr Christian Jessen host this year’s live event on Channel 4 this Friday evening, with an all star cast of contributors joining the fundraising efforts.

Along for the ride are Will Ferrell, Martin Freeman, Amanda Abbington, Taylor Swift, Derren Brown, Nicole Scherzinger, McBusted and many more – including a number of comedy legends – including our very own Dan Skinner as Angelos Epithemiou and Richard Ayoade – with the latter joining Andy Murray in a sketch about a movie adaptation of the tennis star’s life jam-packed with BIG NAMES!

© Channel 4

© Channel 4

All money raised will help finance clinical trials around the UK, including the most sophisticated bowel cancer trial ever to be undertaken in the world. The aim is to reach the point where three in four people will survive cancer in the next 20 years – so join in the good fight from 7pm this Friday.

 

BOOK TIME WITH ONION LAYERS

Everyone has at least one novel in them, they say – and no sooner have we received Katy Brand’s excellent debut novel Brenda Monk Is Funny, we’re treated to three more books from TVO regulars.  None of which are novels, but all are worthy of your attention.  Buy them via our Amazon Store by clicking on the pictures below.

Buy this book by clicking on the image above!

http://astore.amazon.co.uk/thevelvetonion-21/detail/1783520345

Buy this book by clicking on the image above!

Buy this book by clicking on the image above!

Buy this book by clicking on the image above!

Buy this book by clicking on the image above!

Buy this book by clicking on the image above!

 

ALL THIS & MORE

That’s not all going on either – with Never Mind The Buzzcocks continuing, appearances from Tony Law and Simon Farnaby currently up on iPlayer, the return of Not Going Out (starring Katy Wix) this Friday, Tom Cruise blockbuster The Edge of Tomorrow co-starring Tony Way being released on blu-ray, 3D blu-ray and dvd this week, and Tony Law, Paul Foot and Noel Fielding gearing up their UK tours.

For all the latest news as and when we find it, visit our News Page and keep your eye on our Twitter Feed!  Keep on peeling!

Comedy In The Buff (Not Quite)

7 Oct

© Effra Social

Every so often a new comedy night springs into being which we know is going to be awesome. And here’s one that promises great things!

Comedians In Swimsuits is a weekly comedy club that takes place every Thursday at Effra Social (89 Effra Road London SW2). The list of regulars that will be appearing at the club reads like a who’s who of TVO: Tom Meeten, Alice Lowe, Katy Wix, Rufus Jones, Lucy Montgomery…the list goes on!

Katy Wix will be on the bill at this week’s inaugural night, along with Lou Sanders, Lee Kern, David McNeill and Sophie Black. It all kicks off at 7.30pm this Thursday and it’s FREE – so don’t be late, or you might not get in. Exciting stuff!

For more information and to keep tabs on future evenings, follow the event Facebook page. Please be aware that comedians may not actually be in their swimsuits…

Crackanory 2 – Starting Soon

3 Sep

As we mentioned last month, the second series of Crackanory, the popular storytelling series on Dave, features a story read by the late, great Rik Mayall. The iconic comedian reads The Weatherman by TVO regular Tony Way.

It has now been confirmed that this will be the first story of the new series, alongside a story read by Vic Reeves called In Space No One Can Hear You Clean.

As in the first series, each half-hour episode contains 2 stories, narrated by guests and illustrated with either live action or animated sequences.

Katherine Parkinson will also read a story, and series 1 veteran Kevin Eldon, has written his second story for the series and will also make an appearance in Man’s Best Friend written by Alex Kirk.

Other stories will be read by  David Mitchell, Simon Callow, Emilia Fox, Meera Syall, Warwick Davies, Ben Miller, Sue Perkins, Johnny Vegas, and Ruby Wax; all providing their vocal talents to dark and intriguing stories written by comedian Holly Walsh, Ali Crockett and David Scott, Nico Tatarowicz, Melissa Bubnic and Katherine Jakeaways, and Yonderland scriptwriter Toby Davies .

The new series starts on Dave at 10pm on 24th September and you can see the new trailer below. If you missed the first series of funny, twisted tales then they are all available on demand from Dave.

 

Feast of Feeds

31 Jul

© Richard Gilligan

The BBC have released a series of brand new comedy pilots in the 2014 wave of Comedy Feeds. Showcasing emerging new talent, TVO regulars are involved many of the shows.

The highlights from the Onion crowd are:

OtherwOrld

Written and directed by Mongrels creator, Adam Miller, OtherwOrld is a surreal sketch show set in a parallel universe populated by puppets. Starring Tom Bell, the show features sketches about alien parasites, mismatched pandas and a blow-up doll.

Vodka Diaries

Four women in their late twenties, played by Aisling Bea, Cariad Lloyd, Gwyneth Keyworth and Rosamund Hanson, share a flat and misbehave. The Vodka Diaries follow the lives of the four women and their very different perceptions on life.

In Deep

An action comedy about two young police constables, bored of life on the bottom rung of the ladder, who get in deep when an unexpected case falls suddenly into their laps. Their boss and nemesis, DCI Lehane is played by Paul Kaye.

Fried

Katy Wix plays Mary, the manager of Specially Fried Chicken, who abandons hapless shop assistant Joe to the knife-point of a hungry nugget-demanding hoodie. The sitcom follows life in the shop as she attempts to regain the respect of the staff.

Other pilots in the scheme feature the talents of Jenny Bede, Josh Widdicombe, Jack Dee, Elis James, Tom Rosenthal, Beattie Edmondson and Kayvan Novak (who has a TVO connection through his appearance in Four Lions, amongst others).

All of this year’s Comedy Feeds are available exclusively on iPlayer will be available for a whole year. To watch them and find out more, head to the Comedy Feeds website.

TVO Favourites In New Roles

22 Jun
© bbc.co.uk

© bbc.co.uk

This week has seen news of new roles for some TVO folk.

July sees the launch of nine new Comedy Feeds pilots exclusively on BBC iPlayer, with a cast including Aisling Bea and Katy Wix. The pilots will be available on iPlayer from 20 July.

Speaking about the Comedy Feeds, Shane Allen, Controller of BBC Comedy Commissioning, says: “This exciting range of shows and new talents cement BBC Three’s place as the key place for emerging comedy talent on and off-screen. With so many spin-off series springing from these, the Comedy Feeds show serious commitment to finding the next best writers, directors and faces of British comedy.”

This year’s Comedy Feeds include:

Fried
A new manager tries to motivate the staff of a fried chicken shop. Starring Katy Wix, Mandeep Dhillon, Simon Greenall and Imran Yusuf. Written by Jack and Harry Williams (Roman’s Empire, Full English, Bamboo). Produced by Sarah Hammond. Directed by Nick Collett. Executive Produced by Harry Williams and Jack Williams. A Two Brothers Pictures production.

Vodka Diaries
Four girls share a flat and get up to no good. Starring Aisling Bea, Cariad Lloyd, Rosamund Hanson and Gwyneth Keyworth. Written by Rachel Hirons (Powder Room). Produced by Iona Sweeney. Directed by James De Frond. Executive Produced by Lawrence Bowen. A Feelgood Fiction production.

Otherworld
Surreal sketch show set in an alternative universe populated by puppets. Written by Mongrels’ Adam Miller and Nico Tatarowicz. Produced by Chris May. Directed by Adam Miller. Executive Produced by Helen Williams. Hat Trick Productions.

The other Comedy Feeds will be Josh –  Sitcom based on the stand up of Josh Widdicombe, In Deep, Parents Evening, Flat TV. Rude Boys and Access all Areas with Jenny Bede.

In other news Aisling Bea is also joining the cast of Sky 1’s hit supermarket based comedy Trollied, as Charlotte, the hopeless daughter of the owner of Valco.

We have also heard that Tony Way will be a guest in the much-anticipated new Matt Lucas visual comedy Pompidou, which started shooting this week and will be aired in early 2015. The show stars Lucas as Pompidou, who has fallen on hard times and lives in a caravan outside his dilapidated estate, with his faithful butler Hove (Alex MacQueen) and Marion, an elegant Afghan Hound.

Bird Island Returns

9 May

Bird Island - the radio sitcom from Katy Wix – returned to BBC Radio 4 this week, and you have exactly one week to catch Episode One via iPlayer.

© BBC

As we mentioned earlier this week, the show is an atmospheric comedy about Ben: a cheery scientist working in Antarctica, played by Reece Shearsmith.  The show focuses on his chirpy Dictaphone diary, populated by his fellow scientists, played by Julian Rhind-Tutt (Green Wing, A Touch of Cloth), Alison Steadman (Gavin and Stacey, Fat Friends) and Katy Wix herself.

It’s delightfully silly fun, and you can hear it every Friday night via BBC Radio 4 Extra.  Tonight’s broadcast on Episode Two is at 10:00pm, and it will be available online shortly after transmission – alongside Episode One, which is over yonder now.

Bird Island

5 May
© bbc.co.uk

© bbc.co.uk

Bird Island, starring Reece Shearsmith, started a second series on BBC Radio 4 yesterday. We missed the first series of the  15 minute comedy, which is written by and also stars Katy Wix alongside Julian Rhind-Tutt and Alison Steadman.

The four-part series follows the adventures of Ben, a young scientist working in Antarctica, who tries to adapt to the loneliness by keeping a cheery audio diary on his Dictaphone. In the first episode he becomes obsessed with cereal bars.

The show is repeated on Radio 4 extra on Friday at 7.30am and 10pm, or you can catch up anytime on BBC iPlayer.

Wix’s Monologues

28 Apr

© Oberon Books

Katy Wix has collected her comedy monologues for the publication of a new book, available for pre-order now.

The star of Anna & Katy, Not Going Out, Time Trumpet and Torchwood has spent the past few years creating audition speeches for students at drama schools including RADA, LAMDA, Drama Centre and The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, alongside her own career in comedy and drama.

Designed to offer fresh and funny audition material specifically written for women, the 40 original comic creations have been collected together to provide aspiring female actors and comedians with the kind of wonderfully warm and interesting characters that they need – and deserve.

Each piece runs for two to three minutes, and are aimed at various age ranges and a variety of styles and comedic approaches, which look set to become a must-own book for any up and coming performer.

Comedy legend Jennifer Saunders – who cast Wix in a recent Absolutely Fabulous special has written the book’s foreward, in which she says: “So Katy Wix has written this book of comic monologues and I may have to steal some of them. Although written for the female voice, I dare say they would stand up very well if you were a gentleman and changed the odd word or two… Each piece is bubbling with the quirky genius that makes Miss Wix one of the funniest performers / writers around.”

 The book is available for pre-order now in The Velvet Onion Amazon Store for just £9.99, and a Kindle option is also available, with both released on 30th May.

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.

COMPETITION REMINDER: Win Tickets To See Anna & Katy Free!

30 Jan

As we’ve been somewhat busy of late, you may have missed our competition  to win tickets to see Anna Crilly & Katy Wix live in London at fantastic new comedy venue The Invisible Dot in March – which can still be entered.

© Dave King / Roughcut Television

© Dave King / Roughcut Television

Last month, we were very excited by the news that Anna & Katy would be returning to the stage at one of our favourite London venues, The Invisible Dot.

Crilly and Wix are preparing fresh material for their next big project, following the untimely demise of their Channel 4 sketch show.  The two nights at The Invisible Dot in March will see the duo try out brand new stuff and air a few classics for good measure, and if you don’t fancy trying you luck here, tickets can be picked up right now for just £8 each!

Sounds exciting enough, of course, and now the good folk at Team Dot are offering us a pair of tickets for both nights – Monday 17th March and Tuesday 18th March, so you London lot have no excuse not to be there!

To be in with a chance of winning 2 tickets, simply tell us the answer to this simple question:

What was the name of the 2006 BBC Two mockumentary sketch show in which Anna & Katy both appeared alongside Richard Ayoade and Matt Holness?

Email your reply to competitions@thevelvetonion.com by 11:59pm on Friday 7th February.  Please specify whether you would like to attend on Monday or Tuesday in order for your entry to be considered.

If you need a further clue, we’ll hint that Ben Wheatley was also involved with the correct answer, as was Stewart Lee.  We’ll randomly pick one entry for each show which reaches us in time with the correct answer, and contact them to arrange their name and a plus one on the guest list.  For the sake of our sanity, please choose Monday or Tuesday before you email, as we’ll be discounting any entries which don’t to save ourselves an admin nightmare. For all the usual t&c please see below.

This competition offers 1 pair of tickets for the Monday 17th March of Anna & Katy: Work In Progress at The Invisible Dot venue, and 1 pair of tickets for the Tuesday 18th March performance of the same show.  The winning entry will be selected at random, from all who correctly answer the question: “What was the name of the BBC Two sketch show in which Anna & Katy both appeared alongside Richard Ayoade and Matt Holness?”  The winner will be contacted via the email address they use to enter. Details will not be shared with any additional third parties beyond The Velvet Onion, The Invisible Dot Ltd, and the guest-list for the venue.
Only entries made to competitions@thevelvetonion.com will be accepted.  The Velvet Onion will not accept entries as comments to this post, replies to our Facebook/Twitter pages, comments to any other posts in error or emails to any other email address in our domain, nor any entries received after 11:59pm on Friday, 7th February. This competition is being run entirely by The Velvet Onion, with prizes organised by The Invisible Dot Ltd.  One entry per person. Any entrants found making multiple entries from the same IP address will be disqualified, and banned from entering further competitions run by The Velvet Onion. The judge’s decision is final. There is no monetary value to this competition and no cash alternative will be offered. The winner will be responsible for their own travel and/or related expenses. The Velvet Onion reserves the right to withdraw this competition if any overriding issues arise.

For more great happenings at The Invisible Dot, including shows featuring Tony Law, Kevin Eldon and Aisling Bea in the coming weeks, check out their website over yonder.

COMPETITION: Win Tickets To See Anna & Katy’s Work In Progress Shows!

23 Jan

The Velvet Onion is proud to offer you a chance to win tickets to see Anna Crilly & Katy Wix live in London at fantastic new comedy venue The Invisible Dot in March.

© Dave King / Roughcut Television

© Dave King / Roughcut Television

Last month, we were very excited by the news that Anna & Katy would be returning to the stage at one of our favourite London venues, The Invisible Dot.

Crilly and Wix are preparing fresh material for their next big project, following the untimely demise of their Channel 4 sketch show.  The two nights at The Invisible Dot in March will see the duo try out brand new stuff and air a few classics for good measure, and if you don’t fancy trying you luck here, tickets can be picked up right now for just £8 each!

Sounds exciting enough, of course, and now the good folk at Team Dot are offering us a pair of tickets for both nights – Monday 17th March and Tuesday 18th March, so you London lot have no excuse not to be there!

To be in with a chance of winning 2 tickets, simply tell us the answer to this simple question:

What was the name of the BBC Two sketch show in which Anna & Katy both appeared alongside Richard Ayoade and Matt Holness?

Email your reply to competitions@thevelvetonion.com by 11:59pm on Friday 7th February.  Please specify whether you would like to attend on Monday or Tuesday in order for your entry to be considered.

If you need a further clue, we’ll hint that Ben Wheatley was also involved with the correct answer.  We’ll randomly pick one entry for each show which reaches us in time with the correct answer, and contact them to arrange their name and a plus one on the guest list.  For the sake of our sanity, please choose Monday or Tuesday before you email, as we’ll be discounting any entries which don’t to save ourselves an admin nightmare. For all the usual t&c please see below.

This competition offers 1 pair of tickets for the Monday 17th March of Anna & Katy: Work In Progress at The Invisible Dot venue, and 1 pair of tickets for the Tuesday 18th March performance of the same show.  The winning entry will be selected at random, from all who correctly answer the question: “What was the name of the BBC Two sketch show in which Anna & Katy both appeared alongside Richard Ayoade and Matt Holness?”  The winner will be contacted via the email address they use to enter. Details will not be shared with any additional third parties beyond The Velvet Onion, The Invisible Dot Ltd, and the guest-list for the venue.
Only entries made to competitions@thevelvetonion.com will be accepted.  The Velvet Onion will not accept entries as comments to this post, replies to our Facebook/Twitter pages, comments to any other posts in error or emails to any other email address in our domain, nor any entries received after 11:59pm on Friday, 4th October. This competition is being run entirely by The Velvet Onion, with prizes organised by The Invisible Dot Ltd.  One entry per person. Any entrants found making multiple entries from the same IP address will be disqualified, and banned from entering further competitions run by The Velvet Onion. The judge’s decision is final. There is no monetary value to this competition and no cash alternative will be offered. The winner will be responsible for their own travel and/or related expenses. The Velvet Onion reserves the right to withdraw this competition if any overriding issues arise.

For more great happenings at The Invisible Dot, including shows featuring Tony Law, Kevin Eldon and Aisling Bea in the coming weeks, check out their website over yonder.

Festive TV Catch-Up

5 Jan
© bbc.co.uk

© bbc.co.uk

There were some great TV programmes on over the Festive period, many featuring TVO favourites. We’ve posted about most of them, but there’s still the opportunity to catch up on many of the delights:

Most recently, Kevin Eldon took part in Celebrity Mastermind, if you didn’t see it on Thursday, you can catch up here.

Kevin popped up again during the festivities as Doctor McFee in Death Comes to Pemberley, which is still available on BBC iPlayer.

The Christmas edition of Lee Mack’s Not Going Out featured Katy Wix and can be viewed here.

Charlie Brooker reviewed 2013 in 2013 Wipe, although not featuring any TVO related people, Mr Brooker has written many great shows featuring TVO artists.

There was also a re-run of Ambassadors, starring Robert Webb and David Mitchell, with a scene stealing guest appearance by Mr Michael Smiley. You can catch this episode – and the others – on BBC iPlayer.

Matt Berry fans had plenty of opportunities to see and hear the man himself on New Year’s Eve, first Matt was in the final episode of The IT Crowd – also available on 4OD along with every other episode of The IT Crowd and the special documentary, The IT Crowd Manual, which was broadcast on Christmas Eve.

This was followed by Matt narrating The 50 Funniest Moments of 2013, which is now available on 4OD. Then to round off the New Year celebrations, Channel 4 showed every episode of Toast of London, also available on 4OD.

Rich Fulcher popped up as a commentator on The 50 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians on Channel 5. This featured clips from a wide variety of comedians spanning the years up to the present. You can catch up with this on Demand5.

Rich also presented 2013 Mashed on Channel 4, which also featured a sketch by Hayden Black. Again you can still see this on 4OD.

And of course there was the Big Fat Quiz of The Year featuring Noel Fielding and Richard Ayoade – on the same team! If by any chance you missed it, there’s still time to catch up on 4OD

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

Continue reading

The Onion At The Dot

16 Dec

Earlier today, we announced Anna & Katy’s new show at The Invisible Dot, and now the venue has revealed yet more cracking line-ups for 2014 with many favourites of Onionland involved.

© Invisible Dot

Just announced is the Live at the Chapel season for the new year which presents bills of stand-up legends alongside the next generation of exciting names. The first of the shows is on January 18th with Kevin Eldon heading an ace bill with Cardinal Burns, among others. The next, on 1st February, is just as impressive with Paul Foot headlining and rapidly rising star Liam Williams among the support. The March show so far lacks a TVO name but should still be fab with Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Bridget Christie topping the bill.

© Dave Brown

The shows aren’t yet on sale but they’ll appear on the Invisible Dot website at 2pm tomorrow. The shows take place at Islington’s stunning Union Chapel and will be priced at £18 (£16 concessions).

Can’t afford £18? Well, the Saturday Night Shows at the Invisible Dot’s own venue in Kings Cross may be more your thing at only £10 a ticket. These shows are taking place, you guessed it, every Saturday night – from January 11th to April 12th.  There are far too many great names on the bills to mention but they include Tony Law on February 1st, Aisling Bea on February 8th and Kevin Eldon on March 8th.

Full line-ups and tickets can be found over here.

And as we mentioned earlier today Anna Crilly and Katy Wix will be returning to the live circuit with shows there in March.  Already it seems 2014 will be the year of the Dot, and Invisible or not, you should try to see it!

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