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In Between The Inbetweeners

10 Aug

© Bwark Productions

It’s hard to miss the current PR onslaught for the new Inbetweeners movie. But did you know that there are a few TVO connection with the film and its cast? Please allow us to enlighten you…

First up is a connection which we’d probably categorize as ‘Type A': the Second Unit director of the Inbetweeners 2 movie, Spencer Millman, was also the producer of The Mighty Boosh.

(We assume that Spencer’s experience of  keeping the Boosh gang under control may have come in useful on this latest project too!)

Next is a TVO connection with Channel 4 show Friday Night Dinner, which stars actor Simon Bird (Will from The Inbetweeners). We spotted that Laurie Rose is the Director of Photography on the latest series. Rose is director Ben Wheatley‘s ‘go to’ DOP for most of his productions, many of which feature a bevy of TVO folk.  What’s more, series 3 of Friday Night Dinner also included two further TVO faces, in the shape of Paul Kaye and Dan Skinner. If you missed them, you can still watch all of the series 3 episodes on 4oD.

And finally, a connection from a year ago, in the shape of a short film called Straw Donkey. We covered it at the time, but for those of you with a short memory, the film features TVO people  Tony WayLaura Patch and Barunka O’Shaughnessy, alongside Inbetweeners star Joe Thomas (Simon from the show). It also includes a cameo from Justin Edwards too, just for good measure. If you missed it, take a look below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9W5ewBP1SOI

Onion Land Catch Up

11 Mar

The past week has seen a smattering of TVO regulars make appearances across television and radio we didn’t have chance to warn you about ahead of transmission, plus a couple of shows you should already be watching have been airing too.

As such, we thought it prudent to give you a quick catch-up, starting with the incredibly popular detective comedy drama Jonathan Creek. The show, starring Alan Davies as the titular sleuth, returned for it’s fifth series recently, with Davies now accompanied by his new co-star (and comedy legend) Sarah Alexander.

© BBC

Episode two, The Sinner And The Sandman, featured James Bachman as Rev Hugh Chater, whose vicarage is being plagued by tales of a strange hump-backed beast that has been seen prowling in the garden by night.  You can see the episode for yourselves via iPlayer now, and it’s also available to pre-order on dvd now via The Velvet Onion Amazon Store for release next week!

Elsewhere, another veteran of Ealing Live cropped up on topical discussion show Loose Ends on Radio Four.  The show’s usual presenter, Clive Anderson, was absent, but in his place were Nikki Bedi and Emma Freud – who pronounced over a panel of very talented women.

© BBC

Film director Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham), actress Imelda Staunton (Pyschoville) and artist Victoria Melody joined our very own Katy Brand on the panel. Brand was discussing her long awaited crowd-sourced novel, Brenda Monk Is Funny, which can still be ordered over yonder. If you want to jump straight to Katy, you can find her 39 minutes, 40 seconds in on iPlayer now.

Sticking with the Beeb for a moment, let’s not forget that Inside No. 9 - the latest stroke of genius from Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton – is almost at an end, with Episode Six airing this Wednesday (12th March).  Previous episodes – including appearances by Katherine Parkinson and Julia Davies amongst others, can be seen again via iPlayer now.

© BBC / Des Willie

© BBC / Des Willie

Inside No. 9 is also available on dvd as of next Monday, with pre-orders possible now via The Velvet Onion Amazon Store.  Shearsmith & Pemberton are also undertaking a dvd signing at HMV Oxford Street on March 20th, so if you want a chance to tell them how great the show is, and get a squiggle on your box, that’s as good a time as any.

That’s not the only BBC2 comedy of the moment to have TVO connections. The glorious Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle returned recently, and the inimitable comic genius is regularly grilled each week by Chris Morris in-between chunks of his stand-up routines.  Regular collaborators Kevin Eldon and Paul Putner are also involved, appearing in sketches at the end of every episode.

© BBC / Colin Hutton

© BBC / Colin Hutton

The first two – focusing on Shillbottle and a certain “political” party – are available to watch on iPlayer now, and we’ll keep you posted on an eventual dvd release.

Finally, for now, whilst we recently bid goodbye to House Of Fools, The Life Of Rock and The Midnight Beast, there are two other very fine shows featuring TVO regulars still underway on Sky channels.

© Baby Cow

© Baby Cow

Moone Boy is currently airing on Sky One, and features co-creator/writer Chris O’Dowd as the imaginary friend of a young boy in early 90s Ireland. A delightful little gem, this show has quite rightly won almost every award thrown at it, and if you can’t catch up via Sky Go, you can at least pre-order the dvd release, due out on March 31st.

Whilst it hasn’t yet won any awards, it would be criminal if the critically acclaimed Doll And Em doesn’t pick some up before the year is out.

© King Bee Productions / Sky Living HD / HBO

© King Bee Productions / Sky Living HD / HBO

Currently airing on Sky Atlantic, the show features Dolly Wells and Emily Mortimer as hyper-exaggerated versions of themselves, and features cameo appearances from big name Hollywood stars as well as Tom Meeten, Laura Patch and Noel Fielding.

Again, the show is available on Sky Go, but there’s sadly no sign of a dvd release yet. It’s due to air on HBO shortly, so perhaps we’ll hear more then. Stay peeled… and if you see any shows with our regulars we miss, do get in touch so we can spread the word!

Onion Talking: Dolly Wells on Doll & Em

18 Feb
© Gina R Snape

© Gina R Snape

Today sees the UK launch of Doll & Em, the new dramedy from Dolly Wells & Emily Mortimer for Sky Living HD and HBO.

The show features its titular stars playing exaggerated versions of themselves, as well as showbiz cameos from Hollywood A-Listers and a few TVO regulars for good measure.

With Dolly Wells now residing in New York City, TVO’s East Coast correspondent Gina R Snape went in search of the Luxury Comedy star to talk about all things Doll & Em…

Dolly Wells doesn’t know it, but she’s on the verge of becoming a real New Yorker. Battling the subway, dealing with the horrific cold fronts and wave after wave of skin-scourging cold and snowstorms, it’s a far cry from the warmth of Los Angeles or the hot bright lights of the Luxury Comedy studio.

We meet to chat about Doll & Em, an extraordinary, complex six-part series written by and co-staring Dolly, with overtones of independent cinema: “my baby” is how she describes it. Sitting down over tea and chocolate, the conversation meanders from the making of this new TV show to the filming of Luxury Comedy and back again. Delightful and chatty, introspective and considerate, a conversation with Dolly takes many turns.

Discussing the inspiration behind Doll & Em, Dolly explains: “Basically, we wanted an excuse to hang out because Emily was living here and I was living in London and we’d both started having children and things. If we were going to be hanging out we had to be doing something to justify it to our families.  So we began sort of tepidly, if that’s the word. By the time we thought of this idea we’d been doing it for a long time.”

Inspired by the Harold Pinter play The Servant, and the film All About Eve, Emily began adapting the central concept from a variety of sources.  “We got really fascinated by people having assistants,” reveals Dolly.  “We’d hear stories about other actors, very successful actors, who’d have assistants and there’s just something innately funny about it. Of course, it’s a totally serious job, but there’s something funny about your job being somebody else. Because the person who is the ‘star’ is at some point going to behave like a child, or do something weird, the person working for them in that capacity is going to feel slightly resentful. So if you make it two best friends, who are completely equal…it felt like it was a massive canvass to put silly ideas on.”

© King Bee Productions / Sky Living HD / HBO

© King Bee Productions / Sky Living HD / HBO

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Preview Peeling: Doll & Em

11 Feb
© King Bee Productions / Sky Living HD

© King Bee Productions / Sky Living HD

Next week sees the launch of Doll & Emon Sky Living HD.  Written by and starring Dolly Wells & Emily Mortimer, the show also features appearances by Dolly’s fellow TVO regulars Tom Meeten, Laura Patch and Noel Fielding, as well as a number of Hollywood stars.  

The first episode airs on Thursday 18th February at 10pm, and will be available on SkyGo from 10pm tonight (11th Feb).

TVO has been given exclusive access to the full series, and our spoiler free preview is below…

The great pantheon of work created by those we write about at The Velvet Onion quite often focuses on collaborations between friends and frequent associates.  Talent finds talent, and connecting the dots between the legends of alternative comedy is something which can span generations.  There’s a wibbly line right through the work featured on these pages which can, if you so wished to do so, be traced right back to the pioneers of silly: the Pythons, Goodies and Goons of yesteryear, even if our focus is on the last two decades or so.

Yet for all the talk of family: of Ealing Live, The Mighty Boosh and friendships forged in blood and sweat and late night petrol stations when a gig in the middle of nowhere’s gone awry, there’s one friendship which has remained untapped until now… and that’s that of Dolly Wells and Emily Mortimer.

Though an actress for some time, we first came across Dolly as the stunning Methusula – wife of Head Shaman Dennis in Series Three of The Mighty Boosh.  From there came multiple roles in Star Stories and The IT Crowd, plus recurring roles in Free Agents and Campus and more recently Some Girls and Spy.

© Dave Brown / Secret Peter / Channel 4

© Dave Brown / Secret Peter / Channel 4

To many, though, she is simply Dolly – the German socialite friend of Noel in Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy.  Ahead of the second series of this candy-cane slice of liquid nonsense, comes a very different project which sees her first work with lifelong friend, Emily Mortimer.

Mortimer, of course, also started out as an actress in English television, before a series of film roles became increasingly high profile.  The 51st State catapulted her to stardom in America, which was followed up by roles in Match PointThe Pink PantherCity Island, Cars 2 and mega-smash Shutter Island.  Recently, she’s been appearing in the hugely successful HBO drama serial The Newsroom.

© HBO

© HBO

Through Doll & Em, which the two titular stars co-wrote with director Azazel Jacobs, the pair play hyper-exaggerated versions of themselves.  Emily is the movie megastar, currently filming a motion picture in LA with John Cusack and a hot-shot director who is adamant his film is not a female version of The Godfather.

Dolly, on the other hand, is not an actress, but a lifelong drifter whose nasty break-up with her slimy ex (played by her Luxury co-star Tom Meeten in a series of increasingly cringe-inducing cameos), gives Em the perfect idea.  In need of a break, Doll becomes Emily’s assistant, and whilst at first all seems cozy, it’s not long before the cracks in this set-up begin to show.

© King Bee Productions / Sky Living HD

© King Bee Productions / Sky Living HD

What begins almost as the pitch for a romantic comedy, complete with Doll and Em both falling for the same man, turns in a surprisingly different direction.  There’s a sense of British awkwardness abroad, and some scenes do perhaps play as broader than others – a seemingly disastrous encounter with a legendary actress, or Dolly getting locked out of the house springing instantly to mind – but the naturalistic tone soon takes hold and allows the flowing narrative room to breathe.

Those celebrity cameos never seem to get in the way, perhaps because they’re not handled the way a show like Extras did it.  Andy Garcia, Susan Sarandon and John Cusack are there because they’re acquaintances in Hollywood, not to bag ratings or give the actors a ‘wacky’ moment to play on.  Similarly, the appearance of Noel Fielding in the final, London-based episode doesn’t feel shoehorned in, even if his surreal suggestions for a great night in are so typically Noel!

© King Bee Productions / Sky Living HD

© King Bee Productions / Sky Living HD

It’s this naturalism that makes the show stand on its own legs, as the slow burning dissection of a lifelong friendship takes hold of Dolly and Emily.  As Doll starts to find her feet both on set and as a mature woman, Em’s own insecurity begins to take its toll.  A string of bad luck moments bring out her selfish side, which in turn causes a similar reaction in Dolly, and the two actors rise to the challenge of portraying this on screen beautifully.  When they finally confront one another in the penultimate episode, you feel for them both equally, and their mutual despair is heartbreaking.

If there’s one complaint, it’s with the show’s format.  With each episode only twenty-two minutes long,the piecemeal mini-plots do seem to be over so very quickly.  Where this show will shine, perhaps, is in its lifespan after broadcast: the digital age actively encourages marathon gorging sessions, and at just over two hours, it’s very easy to just sit back and let the whole series run through.

Indeed, TVO watched the series pretty much back-to-back, and the end result was reminiscent of an independent feature: you could re-cast this with Laura Linney and Catherine Keener, put it out in arthouses as a two-hour feature and it would still work, even though we’d be missing those glorious central performances.  Doll & Em just has that amount of class. As such, it will be interesting to see how it takes hold of an audience tuning in each week, as the nuances of the story may be clearer without the weekly gaps in broadcasts. We’re definitely hoping for a blu-ray release so we can revisit this world in one go once again.  

Throw in a cheeky little appearance from Dolly’s other long-standing collaborator Laura Patch, and perhaps this is a show to set your DVR for, and swallow whole, but if you’d rather not do that, then stick with this it to find something you’ll treasure for a long, long time.

Doll & Em airs on Thursday 18th February at 10:00pm on Sky Living HD.  It will be available exclusively to Sky Go customers from Tuesday 11th February at 10:00pm.

Benny & Jolene (& Dolly & Laura)

13 Dec

We love it when separate TVO-related worlds collide. And right now we are loving that Dolly Wells and her writing partner, Laura Patch, are starring in a film with Submarine star, Craig Roberts.

Benny & Jolene features Roberts and Charlotte Ritchie (Fresh Meat) as an up and coming folk duo. Dolly plays the part of Jolene’s mother, Rosamund. The film explores the growing tensions between Benny and Jolene as they attempt to balance commercial success with artistic integrity. They’re forced to confront their ambitions and emotions when they travel to a festival in Wales.

The part-improvised film was originally called ‘Jolene: The Indie Folk Star’. You can see a trailer from back when it went by that name:

The film will be receiving its World Premiere at the BFI Southbank, National Film Theatre Screen 1, on January 24th 2014 as part of LOCO Comedy Film festival. The organisers of the event have described Benny & Jolene as: “Exactly the kind of film that LOCO is here to celebrate: an independent British romantic comedy, written and directed by Jamie Adams, that’s fresh, funny and charming.”

If that wasn’t exciting enough, the screening will also feature a Q&A with director, Jamie Adams, and some of the cast. And the Premiere party takes place afterwards in the BFI benugo lounge with live music and DJs! Tickets for the Premiere screening, Q&A and party cost £15 (concs £11.50) and can be booked by clicking here.

You can also follow Benny & Jolene on Facebook.
 

Onion Selling

16 Sep

Whilst TVO appears to be in a ‘proper telly’ lull as we await a few big name shows coming soon, there’s no shortage of Onion faces cropping up on our screens thanks to the world of ad-breaks.

© Reed.co.uk

© Reed.co.uk

Such is the fickle nature of the acting profession – and stand-up comedy for that matter – every once in a while, TVO regulars crop up in commercials.

Whilst some may baulk at the notion of talented people turning up in adverts, let us remind you that, much like voiceover work, it pays well, doesn’t take long, and adds to the portfolio.  And hey, if it’s good enough for John Cleese, Dawn French, Kylie Minogue and Kevin Bacon, to name but a few big names who succumb to acting in ads, then who are we to complain.   Plus… it gets our good friends on the tellybox when we least expect it!

In the past, we’ve rounded up a number of commercials featuring so many faces of Onion Land, and the last month or so has seen the debut of three more such ads.

First up in this latest collection is the return of Rufus Jones as the face of job website reed.co.uk, in an advert which debuted during this weekend’s top-rated edition of X-Factor, no less.  Once again Richard Sandling is one of his potential targets for new work after a rude awakening…

Elsewhere, Channel 5 is keen to push it’s own catch-up service, Demand 5, which is now available on smart televisions, as well as NOWTV boxes, their website and YouTube.  Catching up on Neighbours with a rather heavy hangover in this commercial is none other than Rachel Stubbings

And then there’s Virgin Media, who are using athlete Usain Bolt and company founder Richard Branson in a series of adverts, all of which are voiced by Richard Ayoade

Lastly for now, is the return of Paul Kaye in typically maniacal form as the star of BetVictor’s long running campaign.  Here, Victor Chandler is enjoying a nice, gentle, first-class train ride, but typically, Maurice can’t quite leave him in peace…

As long as there is an Onion Land, it seems, there will be commercials featuring its inhabitants.  There are far too many for us to possibly collate, but we’ve done our best to dig into the archives and find you some of the better moments via the handy playlist below.

Included here are such classic moments as Julian Barratt advertising Metz way back in 1997, and his co-hort Noel Fielding being creative with handcuffs for Carling Live five years later.  There are big name ads you’d never realise had TVO links, from Simon Farnaby voicing a horse with a penchant for NutriGrain through to Ben Wheatley helming recent Go Compare ads.

Of course, there’s a huge chunk of voiceover king Matt Berry, but his IT Crowd co-stars Chris O’Dowd and Katherine Parkinson get a look in too.  Regular collaborators Tom Meeten and Barunka O’Shaughnessy pop up in a few ads, and we’ve got loads more to savour featuring the likes of Richard GloverLaura PatchAlex KirkRhys ThomasJustin EdwardsDan TetsellAnna CrillyKaty Wix and the well trained eye of Paul King.  We’ve also got a ridiculously early tv appearance by Steve Coogan, and a couple of later ads in character as Paul and Pauline Calf. Enjoy…

Straw Donkey Unveiled

18 Aug

© Outsider

The short film Straw Donkey is now available to view online.

We first told you about Matt Huntley’s short back in January, as it features Tony WayLaura PatchBarunka O’Shaughnessy and The Inbetweeners star Joe Thomas, plus a cameo from Justin Edwards

At the time, all we could share with you was a preview clip, though TVO were lucky enough to see the full piece soon after posting, and we’ve been itching to share it with you ever since.

Now at last, this delightful little film is available to all.  So sit back, relax, and enjoy a classic tale about a food allergy, a shotgun and a meddlesome neighbour conspiring to make a dinner party an evening that everyone involved would rather forget.

TVO Live Videos Part 4: Dolly Wells & Laura Patch

21 Jun

Last month marked the first anniversary of The Velvet Onion Live – our inaugural live event, which will hopefully be followed by many more in the future.

That star studded event featured the likes of Dave Brown, James Cook, Antony Elvin, Stephen Evans, Suzy Evelyn Hall, Mike Fielding, Richard Glover, Alex Kirk, Alice Lowe, David McNeill, Tom Meeten, Steve Oram, Laura Patch, Richard Sandling, Holly Jane Shears, Rachel Stubbings, Will Summers, Dan Tetsell, Gareth Tunley, Dolly Wells and the disembodied voice of Rich Fulcher.

Over the coming weeks, as we inch slowly towards putting on more events in the future, we’re showcasing footage from that glorious night of madcap fun.

This week’s slice of lo-fi posterity features Dolly Wells and Laura Patch as business partners and best buddies and shit.

Come back each Friday for a brand new installment, and stay peeled for further developments of TVO Live: The Sequel, coming soon…

The Velvet Onion Live: One Year On…

31 May

Today marks the one year anniversary of The Velvet Onion Live!

In character, Matt Berry once memorably said: “Time is a menstruous woman. One cannot control her eddying currents.”  Rarely has a truer remark been uttered in jest.  It’s hard to believe a whole twelve months have passed since our inaugural live event at The Vandella, Shepherd’s Bush, made in collaboration with James Wren and Bob Pipe.  And yet, there it is – a big fat first anniversary.

To celebrate this occasion, as we slowly but surely gear ourselves up to arrange further live events before the second anniversary is upon us and we increasingly look like one-hit-wonders, we will be bringing you weekly installments of footage from the jam-packed event.  It’s fairly lo-fi due to a few technical hiccups on the night, but we recorded the whole event for posterity and now, at last, we can share it with you all.

For those not in the know, the event gathered together a number of our regular names for a night of fun and games.  We had live comedy sets from duos Steven Oram and Tom MeetenRichard Glover and Stephen EvansDolly Wells and Laura PatchGareth Tunley and Alex Kirk.  We had solo sets from Dan TetsellRichard Sandling and Rachel Stubbings, whilst David McNeill nabbed Evans & Glover back for a spot of twisty-nonsense.

And that wasn’t all. Alice Lowe and Antony Elvin gave us a set from Hot Brew, whilst Elvin also regaled us with jaunty ditties alongside Will Summers.  There was a rare chance to see DeadDogInBlackBag perform, and we heralded the return of Waen Shepherd as Gary Le Strange.  The night was rounded off with a sumptuous set from James Cook, and we had Mike Fielding DJ-ing whenever performers took a well earned rest.

The night began, proper, however, with an important health and safety announcement from our honorary member, Bollo:

We’ll be bringing you more footage, all being well, on a weekly basis, so come back next Friday for your next installment!

Jolene: The Indie Folk Star

26 May

Dolly Wells, Laura Patch, and Craig Roberts (Submarine) are amongst the stars of a forthcoming independent film.

Jolene: The Indie Folk Star is a romantic comedy about two young musicians on their first tour. Urged on to play their first live gig at a festival, Jolene (Ritchie) and Benny (Roberts) must reckon with the swirl of industry experts, advice, support and problems they experience along the way.

Shot in five days, the largely improvised-based script looks to be an interesting exploration into the pressure for commercial success and the strain of emotions that brings. Jolene is set for release Autumn 2013. Peelers can “like” their Facebook Page for pictures, articles and updates. And be sure to check out the trailer, below.

Being Human Extra

5 Apr
© BBC

© BBC

The 5th and final series of BBC Three’s Being Human comes out on DVD and Blu-ray on Monday (8th April).

As all regular readers know, this series featured a guest role for Julian Barratt as Werewolf Larry Chrysler – a former TV Weather Man, and a recurring role for Colin Hoult as Crumb – the new Vampire who gets revenge on his old work colleagues.

The show is about a Werewolf, Ghost and Vampire who share a house and try to live a normal life, but stuff just keeps happening to them. The final series leads up to what could be the end of the World, or at least the end of the World as we know it.

The DVD and Blu-ray contain an exclusive extra scene set after the final episode!

You can also get all five series together as a box set, previous series have had guest appearances by Laura Patch and Submarine‘s Craig Roberts.

As always, the DVD and Blu-ray are available from  TVO Store.

If you want to see more Being Human, the US series is starting on Watch at 9pm on Thursday 11th April. The series was written by Toby Whithouse, so fingers crossed!

Picture Preview: Barratt & Hoult In Being Human 5

29 Jan

The launch of Being Human Series 5 is fast approaching, and with it comes a handful of images of the cast in character – including our very own Julian Barratt and Colin Hoult as werewolf Larry and vampire Crumb, respectively.

© BBC / Touchpaper

© BBC / Touchpaper

Both actors feature in the main series image featured above, which we brought you last week – but now the embargo has been lifted on showing you another little glimpse of the two in action.  With each character looking as if they’re up to no good, it seems they will put the new trinity of vampire Hal, werewolf Tom and ghost Alex to the test as the threesome try to stay under the radar at Honolulu Heights.

© BBC/Touchpaper

© BBC/Touchpaper

The six part series begins on Sunday 3rd February at 10pm on BBC Three.  Colin appears throughout the run, with Julian set to guest star in Episode Three.  With hints about characters from Series Four making a reappearance, there’s also a possibility that Laura Patch may return during the run – though we must stress this is completely down to speculation on the part of TVO – we know no more than every other viewer!

© BBC/Touchpaper

© BBC/Touchpaper

You can see the series trailer below, and catch the last two episodes on Series Four on iPlayer to whet your appetite. For more news on all things Being Human, check out the official BBC website now.

Crumbs! It’s Colin!

24 Jan

As the fifth series of Being Human looms ever closer, we’ve finally got our first glimpse of Colin Hoult as vampire villain Crumb.

© BBC

© BBC

The show returns to BBC3 at 10pm on Sunday, February 3rd – with Julian Barrat also set to appear as deluded werewolf Larry, whose cardboard cut-out you can just about make-out upturned bottom left.   With a return appearance of Laura Patch as goth poet turned vampire Michaela not beyond the realms of possibility, as the show’s creative team have teased for the return of some characters from last year, we really can’t wait to see more!

A handful of press images featuring Colin & Julian in more detail have been released, but these are embargoed until Tuesday, January 29th – so come back here then to see them!  For more info on the return of the show, visit this earlier peeling.

Bark At The (Howard) Moon: A Real Horror Show For Colin & Julian!

14 Jan

© BBC

News of Julian Barrat and Colin Hoult‘s roles in Series Five of Being Human has emerged via sci-fi magazine SFX.

The action packed show starring Michael Socha, Damien Molony and Kate Bracken as werewolf Tom, vampire Hal and ghost Alex will be returning to our screens very soon – possibly by the end of the month, but likely to be February 3rd – and the six part run will see the trio now running the Barry Grant Hotel.

However, life is never going to be cozy for our supernatural friends, and those wicked vampires are typically up to no good.  This time around, their number includes the villanous Crumb, played by our very own Colin Hoult.  A recurring character, who crops up in the first episode, he’ll be around for at least two thirds of the run – with Episode 4 pegged as his “big episode” by SFX.

Indeed, the show’s official Series 5 synopsis, revealed back in December, gives more of a peek into how important Colin’s character will be to the run – stating: “When Hal recruits Crumb as a vampire and welcomes him to the supernatural world, the meek becomes mighty and we see what happens when a bullied man finds his bite.”  Exciting times ahead, then!

Meanwhile, Julian Barratt will be appearing in (at least) Episode Three, as what’s been described as “a deluded werewolf named Larry”.  Whether he returns in more episodes is currently uncertain, but we can’t wait to see the results.  The magazine also teased that the finale will see a number of returning cameos – including some last seen in Series 4, so we’re hoping Laura Patch‘s Michaela, last seen accompanying Mark Williams’ comic foil Regus, will be amongst them.

© BBC

In the meantime, you can catch up with repeats of Series 4 via iPlayer now – with Patch’s guest role from last year available for the next seven days.  See it again right here!

For more details, check out the latest edition of SFX, on newstands all month.

Being Repeated

10 Jan

© BBC

We’re all very keen to see what Julian Barratt and Colin Hoult add to the mix when Being Human returns for its fifth series in the next few weeks, so what better way to get ready for the launch than catching up with Series 4?

First airing twelve months ago, the fourth series of Toby Whithouse scifi smash is being repeated on BBC Three on Monday and Tuesday mornings throughout January.

Episode One had the unfortunate job of writing out leading man Russell Tovey on-screen, as well as another series regular, Sinead Keenan, who exited the show off-screen after yet another star, Aiden Turner, went off to film The Hobbit.  However, the new housemates were soon up to their own fun tricks, as you can see from Episode Two – both of which are available on iPlayer now.

Episode Three, entitled The Graveyard Shift, which airs a repeat this coming Monday (January 14th) features the first TVO face to make an appearance in the show, as Laura Patch plays pretentious, pseudo-Gothic poet Michaela, who falls for vampire Hal.

You can see it on BBC Three at the appropriate graveyard hour of 3am, or you can wait for it to appear on iPlayer via the link above.  If you like what you see, the series is available on dvd and blu-ray from our Amazon UK store, and dvd from our Amazon US stores now.

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that the four-week repeat run of all eight episodes concludes on January 29th, and as every season so far has held a regular Sunday night slot, we’re expecting to see Series Five première on February 3rd.

As soon as we hear any more about the mysterious involvement of Messrs Barratt & Hoult, we’ll be sure to peel, but in the meantime, stick close to the official Being Human blog for news before anywhere else.  Catch a sneaky peek at Barratt into action below…

Straw Donkey

4 Jan

A trio of TVO stars appear in forthcoming short film Straw Donkey from director Matt Huntley.

© 2013 Outsider

Tony WayBarunka O’Shaughnessy and Laura Patch are joined by The Inbetweeners star Joe Thomas in the black comedy, though very little is currently known about the project beyond a short clip posted on the website of production company Outsider.

You can see the clip over yonder now, and as soon as we find out more about where to see the full project, we’ll let you know, so stay peeled!

Familiar Faces Offer Emergency Cash

5 Oct

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have spotted a couple of TVO-related faces in a new TV ad from RBS (and if you joined us at TVO Live! earlier this year you’ll have seen both of them live on stage).

Alex Kirk and Laura Patch both appear in the advert, which offers RBS customers emergency cash if their card gets damaged or lost. Kirk plays the part of a man who leaves his wallet on the roof of his car, while Patch manages to leave hers on a train. Silly billies.

To watch the ad, click on this image below:

 

You’ll also notice Karen Gillan as the voice-over, but we’re afraid she doesn’t quite qualify as a Velvet Onion artist.

 

Funny Fortnight Forthcoming!

20 Jul

© Channel 4

Channel 4 have released more details of their Funny Fortnight next month, which features more than a smattering of TVO regulars and influences.

Over 30 hours of programming across two weeks of television, the season promises brand new shows, excellent stand up and familiar faces staging their returns to the channel.

A new video preview over on the Channel 4 press website showcases highlights from some of the channel’s flagship shows, and offers an exclusive look at a number of exciting specials.

© Tiger Aspect Productions

Amongst these new shows is Bad Sugar – written by Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong of Peep Show and Four Lions fame.  It combines three of comedy’s biggest names of the moment – Julia DavisSharon Horgan and Olivia Colman, and centres on a dysfunctional, wealthy mining dynasty, with an ailing patriarch and some greedy siblings.

The show also stars David Bradley, Peter Serafinowicz, Kayvan Novak and Reece Shearsmith, and it’s producer is Derren Schlesinger – who was previously responsible for both Four Lions and Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy.  Undoubtedly one of the most exciting shows on telly in some time, this Tiger Aspect Productions show has real potential to be a smash hit.

© Objective Productions

Also set to première is Toast Of London, the new sitcom pilot by Matt Berry and Father Ted/Big Train creator Arthur Matthews.  Matt stars as successful actor Steven Toast, who has recently made a career faux pass by electing to star in a controversial west end stage play.

Recently divorced, and attacked in the street by members of appalled public, the previously much loved actor auditions for a role in the long running television series, Inspector Somerset.  However, it’s producer has been imprisoned for racial chanting on set, so Toast auditions for the part of a gay corrupt detective during prisoner’s visiting time.  Made by Objective Productions, we’re keen to see if this show lives up to its potential.

Other new shows include: Them From That Thing  – a two part sketch show featuring Kayvan Novak, Sally Phillips and many more, co-written by one Charlie BrookerThe Function Room - a traditional looking sitcom featuring the likes of Reece Shearsmith, Kevin Eldon, Simon Day and James Fleet; Lucky Sexy Winners - a new panel show from Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer; Very Terry - a Phonejacker spin off from Kayvan Novak focusing on car salesman Terry Tibbs; Harry Hill: The Reunion - in which the madcap comic seeks out the cast of his old Channel 4 show to find out “where are they now?”; The Boyle Variety Performance  – a spoof of the annual royal-attended show from Frankie Boyle; Just Around The Corner  – from the creators of Drop The Dead Donkey; and I’m Spazticus  – a prank show featuring disabled performers which has been seven years in development since its pilot aired in 2005.

© Avalon Productions

And that’s not all!  As we previously reported, Channel 4 are counting down their 30 Greatest Comedy Shows, which will feature the Onion flavoured vehicles Garth Marenghi’s DarkplaceThe IT CrowdBrass EyeFather TedStar StoriesSpacedBlack Books, and Friday Night Dinner. 

These classics will be up against the likes of The Comic Strip Presents, Vic Reeves’ Big Night Out, The Adam & Joe Show,  Da Ali G Show, Trigger Happy TV, Pheonix Nights, Bo’ Selecta!, Peep Show, Green Wing and The Inbetweeners and more.

© Talkback Thames

The channel have also turned to the writers of classic shows to name their favourite episodes, which will air across the fortnight.  These include Graham Linehan‘s favourite ever The IT Crowd  and Father TedChris Morris‘s legendary Brass Eye; mockumentary series Star Stories which featured Fergus CraigAlice Lowe, Tom MeetenLaura PatchRhys Thomas and Dolly Wells in it’s expansive cast; plus episodes of Spaced, The Inbetweeners, Peep Show and Vic Reeves Big Night Out.

There’s also a chance to catch tv premieres of live shows from Alan Carr, Peter Kay, Lee Evans and Micky Flanagan, plus the early and rare Vic & Bob special The Weekenders, Harry Endfield one-off Norbert Smith: A Life and Peter Cook’s interview with Clive Andersonplus editions of Comedy Labs featuring Dynamo, Peter Kay, Karl Pilkington and TVO’s very own Anna And Katy!  Plus we’ll still have The Midnight Beast featuring Simon Farnaby every Thursday too!

Phew – we think we’ll need a lie-down after all that!  Exciting times indeed.  We’ll aim to bring you a complete run-down of exactly when each show will air as soon as possible, so stay peeled.  In the mean time, check out the video preview over on the Channel 4 press website – and you can pick up a string of Channel 4 classics in The Velvet Onion Amazon Store.

The Velvet Onion: The Extreme Racists…

29 Jun

Today marks the one month anniversary of our evening of music, comedy and downright madness at TVO Live! So what better way to celebrate the night than to give all of you a taste of what went down in our first trailer!

Take a look below at the first snippets of footage from our film of the whole shebang, and we’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone that made it to the event; the superb comics and musicians that took to the Vandella’s stage, of course to James Wren and Bob Pipe for being amazing support, to Michael Henry Bull, Michael Glynn and Jon Burgess our fantastic camera team, and also extra thanks to Waen Shepherd for letting us use his brilliant track for our trailer.

To read more about TVO Live you can take a look at our previous recap of the evening complete with photos from the night!

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