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Fancy A Nice Cup Of Tea?

12 Apr
© Teds Tees

© Ted’s Tees

Ted’s Tees, the T-shirt shop for any Father Ted slogan you could possibly want, have branched out into mugs.

So you can now have your favourite brew from a mug with the legend “That would be an ecumenical matter”, “Down with this sort of thing” or more appropriately “There’s always time for a nice cup of tea”, along with many other classic Ted quotes.

You can still get T-shirts and shopping bags as well as the mugs. Everything you need to know can be found here.

Bafta Bonanza

8 Apr

© Channel 4

The Bafta nominations are out, and there are many TVO connections to be found.

To begin with; The IT Crowd has 4 nominations, with Chris O’Dowd, Richard Ayoade and Katherine Parkinson nominated for Best Male/Female Performance in a Comedy Programme, and Best Situation Comedy, where it shares the nomination with Toast of London and The Count Arthur Strong Television Programme.

Richard III: The King in the Car Park, featuring Simon Farnaby, is nominated for Best Factual Programme.

There are also nominations for Rory Kinnear (Count Arthur Strong), and Doon Mackichan (Toast of London), for other roles.

In the Single Drama category, Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror: Be Right Back, featuring Claire Keelan (Nathan Barley) and Mark Gatiss’s An Adventure in Space and Time, featuring Reece Shearsmith,  are both nominated.

A full list of nominations is here, where you can also vote for the Radio Times Audience Award.

Get It Seen

1 Apr

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

© Hen & Chickens

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

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

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

© Bob Pipe

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

Dead Rappers Society Latest

31 Mar

Film maker Ben Gregor has created an awesome new video for DRS (Dead Rappers Society).

DRS is an organisation that helps at-risk young people express themselves through song-writing and music videos. It was founded by Ben and Geoffrey Okol, and currently operates in the UK, South Africa, Canada and the US. The video below is for DRS South Africa:

Ben has said of the scheme: “DRS is my way of giving back to hip-hop, and it’s becoming the love of my life.” To find out more about DRS pay a visit to their website.

And to follow what else Ben’s up to, why not follow him on twitter?

 

Own Part Of A Movie

27 Mar

We enjoy being the bearer of news for you lovely lot via this here website, but we feel a special kind of joy when we discover something random and just a bit ridiculous that we can share with you!

© Prop Store

May we introduce you to Prop Store, a website that offers a whole array of weird and wonderful prop from films and TV shows, some of them TVO-related! The only downside is that some of them are on the (very) expensive side, but for a piece of one-off authentic film memorabilia, perhaps they’re worth saving up for.

First off, take a look at the item above. It’s the rocket launcher from Four Lions which was used by Omar in Pakistan at a terrorist training camp. He misfires this particular rocket and kills his follow terrorists in the process. Somewhat bizarrely, due to the Violent Crime Reduction Bill, the item is only for sale to people who reside outside the UK. If that’s you, the rocket launcher can be yours for the princely sum of £595/$809. For more information click here.

There are also some lovely newspaper props from Bunny & The Bull (plus a script for just £20!), Chris O’Dowd‘s name tag from Bridesmaids,  and a whole range of props from The Boat That Rocked. If you spend a bit more time snooping around, you’ll probably find more.

Enjoy – and start saving!

Dave Brown & The Porcelain Panther

14 Mar

© Newten’s Porcelain Panther

Dave Brown has appeared on Episode 9 of Newten’s Porcelain Panther podcast.

Newten’s Porcelain Panther is a series of podcasts Hosted by Jim Stoten and Ben Newman, in conversation with a bevy of creative people.

Eagle-eyed trivia fans may have spotted that Jim Stoten is the illustrator who created the colourful background of bonkers on Noel Fielding’s 2014 tour poster.

They talk about what they do and their passion for music, with each guest selecting three of their favourite songs. A “relaxed, alcohol induced environment”(according to the presenters)  is created to facilitate the flow of interesting conversation.

Dave’s podcast was recorded back in January and you can hear all 48 minutes of it by clicking here.

If you scroll down the page a wee bit you can also here the TVO-connected illustrator, all round good chap (and mate of Dave), Mr Bingo on podcast 6 from 2013.

The Ghoul’s Cast Begins To Form

11 Mar

As filming continues apace on Gareth Tunley‘s directorial film debut, The Ghoul, a few more exciting cast details have emerged.

© Gareth Tunley

© Gareth Tunley

The film, which is written and directed by Ealing Live veteran Tunley, features Tom Meeten alongside Alice Lowe, who was revealed to be part of the cast last month.

© Gareth Tunley

© Gareth Tunley

Since filming began, it’s been revealed that they will be joined by a cavalcade of talented TVO regulars, with Rufus Jones, Rachel Stubbings, Waen Shepherd and Paul Kaye all shooting scenes for the picture in the last few days.

Also on board is comedy legend Geoffrey McGivern, who is perhaps best known as the original Ford Prefect in the radio version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, but has also appeared in shows as prestigious as Blackadder The Third, 15 Stories High, Peep Show and A Bit Of Fry And Laurie.

© Andy Hollingworth

© Andy Hollingworth

His TVO connections are sound, too.  McGivern appeared alongside Waen Shepherd and Stephen Evans in Hypderdrive, as well as a regular role in Lab Rats alongside Dan Tetsell and Chris Addison.  Geoffrey was also involved in the first series of Big Train alongside Kevin Eldon, and more recently turned up as a useless lawyer in Sharon Horgan’s Dead Boss (alongside Aisling Bea), and cameoed in Holy Flying Circus alongside Rufus Jones. Wowsa.

So if you’re not excited about The Ghoul yet, you really, REALLY should be. We can’t wait to see the results, and of course, we’ll keep you updated as and when we can. Stay peeled…

Ape-ril Tee For The Boys

10 Mar
© SOS

© SOS

Dave Brown and Mr Bingo have designed this limited edition t-shirt for the Sumatran Orangutan Society to publicise their  Ape-ril campaign.

The campaign is to sponsor men to grow beards and ‘release your inner ape’  during April in solidarity with our red-haired cousins, to raise money for the work – helping to protect critically endangered Sumatran Orangutans and their rainforest homes.

The fundraising pack can be found here – featuring Bill Bailey, who is a patron of the charity.

Get your Ape-ril T-shirt now for the special price of £24 from their online shop, where you can find other t-shirts, books, cute toy Orangutans and DVD’s, or if you raise over £150, they will send you one free as a thank you, so why not ditch the razor in April and make a difference to our orange friends?

And who knows… maybe TVO will go a little bit Ape to celebrate the campaign next month. Stay peeled for more info.

Digital Field

7 Mar

© Rook Films Ltd

The soundtrack to A Field In England is to be released digitally later this month.

The film, directed by Ben Wheatley and starring Michael Smiley, Richard Glover, Julian Barratt and Reece Shearsmith as part of its small ensemble cast – was released in cinemas, on television, on demand and via physical media last Summer.

Scored by Jim Williams, who was also responsible for the Sightseers score previously, the soundtrack has already seen release as limited edition vinyl and cassette editions, but until now the only track available digitally was the Glover-sung Baloo My Boy, which was released for a limited time only via The Velvet Onion at Christmas.

The fifteen track album is available for pre-order via Amazon UK for just £7.49, and at this moment in time, it seems they’re the only place “stocking” it for its March 24th release date, so get in whilst you can! We’re crossing everything that the equally non-digital Sightseers score follows suit.

If you don’t yet own the film, you can pick it up on dvd and blu-ray via our store now.

Paddingtease

5 Mar

© Studio Canal

The teaser trailer for Paul King‘s second feature film, Paddington, has been released.

Based on the ever popular books by Michael Bond, the long-gestating film tells the tale of an impeccably polite, marmalade loving bear from Peru who arrives at Paddington station and is taken in by the Brown family.

It features Colin Firth as the voice of the titular fuzzy one, alongside an interstellar who’s-who of British acting talent.

Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters and Peter Capaldi head up the cast, which also features Nicole Kidman and a couple of TVO regulars in cameo roles.

Rufus Jones and James Bachman are set to appear as dastardly geographers, and we wouldn’t put it past King sneaking in a few other recurring collaborators too.

Produced by the man behind the Harry Potter franchise, David Heyman, you can expect this one to go intersellar on release in November.  The first teaser, can, as promised, be seen below.

Blue Jam Again With 4 Extra

1 Mar

Those of us of a certain age hold will always have a special place in our hearts for Chris Morris‘s game-changing radio series Blue Jam, which first aired on BBC Radio 1 between 1997 and 1999. And the first five episodes of the series are now being repeated on Radio 4 Extra!

© Warp

The series consisted of a unique mix of surreal monologue, music, synthesised voices, heavily edited broadcasts and recurring sketches. It was described this week in The Guardian as: “Lo-fi anti-comedy featuring jokes about dead children and sexually exploitative doctors to an ambient soundtrack of Portishead and Brian Eno.”

The show’s TVO pedigree is second-to-none, with a cast that includes Julia Davis and Kevin Eldon, and writing honours shared with Graham Linehan (amongst others).

When interviewed in 1998, Morris said that the show was a response to the work he had put in on the controversial Channel 4 satire Brass Eye“It was so singular, and it came from a mood, quite a desolate mood. I had this misty, autumnal, boggy mood anyway, so I just went with that,” he said.

Blue Jam was a double Sony award winner, and later evolved into the equally as noteworthy Channel 4 TV show, Jam (which the Ofcom of the day said “pushed at the boundaries of acceptability”).

Caroline Raphael, commissioning editor of Radio 4 Extra, said: “Radio 4 Extra is all about bringing the best of BBC’s radio archive to our listeners and Blue Jam as a cult comedy series from the 90s most certainly is one of the programmes that we’re glad we can give a second outing for. It will be broadcast as part our evening comedy offer and we hope that in addition to many of the old fans of the show, it will also find some new listeners when it’s broadcast on Radio 4 Extra.”

Blue Jam will be broadcast on Fridays on Radio 4 Extra at 11pm. Episode 1 aired yesterday, but is available for a further 6 days on iPlayer; episode 2 will air next week, Friday 7th March.

Not Mrs Brown’s Boys

26 Feb

© Boom Pictures

Graham Linehan has been talking to the press this week about his new sitcom The Walshes.

The three-part series, which starts on BBC4 in March (provisionally 13th March), features an oddball Irish family. However, Linehan is keen to avoid comparisons with Brendan O’Carroll’s hit show Mrs Brown’s Boys, saying, “It (Mrs. Brown’s Boys) is more pantomimey but I haven’t actually seen it. I think it’s more larger than life than what we’re trying to do. I was never really a big fan of Brendan’s in Dublin so it probably wouldn’t appeal to me. It’s an interesting phenomenon. I don’t expect a mass migration from their show to ours. We’re probably aiming at different audiences.”

Linehan penned The Walshes with Irish comedy troupe Diet of Worms, who also appear in the show. The characters are based on The Taste Of Home, a low-budget web series created by the comedy group in 2010. What’s more, they have already been sketching out ideas for a second series. “Hopefully we will get a recommission.” Linehan said.

To read his interview with the Radio Times click here. To see what he said to The Independent click there.

Toast Of The Awards

26 Feb

© Kuba Wieczorek

There are more award nominations for TVO related shows, starting with Matt Berry‘s Toast of London being nominated in the TV Award category of the Chortle Awards 2014.

Meanwhile in the Empire Awards, A Field in England is nominated for Best Horror, with Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and The World’s End both being nominated in the Best Comedy and Best British Film categories, with Edgar Wright nominated for Best Director, making three nominations for The World’s End.

Click on the links to vote for your favourites. The Chortle Awards are open until midnight on 4th March, and while there’s no closing date mentioned for the Empire Awards, it’s best to get your votes in soon!

If you’ve missed any of the nominated shows, don’t forget you can get everything you need at the Velvet Onion Store, just click to buy.

Toast of London

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa DVD or Blu-ray.

A Field in England.

Cornetto Trilogy.

Sharon Mans Up

25 Feb

© Sharon Horgan

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

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

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

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

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

© Ben Palmer

© Ben Palmer

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

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

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

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

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

© Sharon Horgan

© Sharon Horgan

Shrooms And The Silver Screen

9 Feb

© Alamo Drafthouse

Alamo Drafthouse in Austen is hosting a themed A Field In England Feast this Tuesday, 11th February.

In honour of the tripped-out psychedelia of the film, Chef Trish Eichelberger has created a mushroom-centric menu available only at a special screening. “After watching the feature I decided that doing a vegetarian dinner would be the best,” said Eichelberger.  “They only dine one time in the movie, on a humble stew made of mushrooms discovered in the field. The first course is direct homage to this – being a mushroom & barley stew in a brown ale broth, the men were in route to an ale house so I though the beer belonged in this course in well.”

We’re seriously loving the attention to detail, although we suspect that the mushrooms on this menu won’t have quite the same effect as the ones that were ingested in the film!

For more information and to book visit Alamo Drafthouse’s website. Somewhat bizarrely it states that children over 6 must be accompanied by an adult (the film is rated 15 in the UK), and we can’t find where to book tickets online. So if you fancy it, we recommend contacting the Slaughter Lane venue direct.

High Rising

6 Feb

© Jay Shaw

© Jay Shaw

Fresh details have emerged this week about Ben Wheatley‘s next directorial feature, High Rise.

Announced back in August, the film is a long mooted adaptation of the seminal JG Ballard novel of the same name, written by Wheatley’s long-standing collaborator (and partner) Amy Jump.

This week, Wheatley confirmed it is set to star Thor actor Tom Hiddleston, and its producer – in a deviation from Ben’s regular team – will be Jeremy Thomas (Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, Sexy Beast).

Little else is known right now, but in a recent Doctor Who flavoured interview with io9, Wheatley gave a tantalising hint of the project’s flavour, saying: “It’s set in 1975… it’s going to look like the 70s. It’s going to be very styled in that way. We’re looking at the Ridley Scott adverts of that period. It’s going to be modern in a way that the 70s looked. In a way that, “I don’t know what the future looks like anymore,” which is quite funny.

“We’re already in Buck Rogers land now. Aren’t we? We’ve all got phones, it’s not that exciting. But back then they had a real idea of what the future was going to be like, and it was much more stylish.”

Filming begins in the Summer, and we’ll bring you more news as we get it.

BBC4 Announces New Comedy

4 Feb

BBC4, the channel perhaps better known for meaningful documentaries about seminal albums is ramping up its comedy offering, and there are a few TVO faces in the line-up!

© Cambridge News

First up is The Walshes, a three-part series co-written by Graham Linehan and the five piece Irish comedy troupe Diet of Worms (who also play lead roles).  The Walshes are a tight-knit family from near Dublin, who are all still live at home because the state of the Irish economy has forced them all back together.

Next up is rock doc parody The Life Of Rock With Brian Pern by Rhys Thomas and fellow Fast Show comic, Simon Day. Brian Pern (Day) is an ageing rock star and former front man of prog rock group, Thotch. The premise is that the BBC have asked him to front a major new documentary where he presents his guide to The Life Of Rock, from prehistoric man to the present day, in a spoof three-part chronology of some of the biggest moments in rock history.

The series includes cameos from the world of comedy and music, including Paul Whitehouse, Matt Lucas, Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer (as Mulligan and O’Hare), Rick Wakeman (Old Gregg reference anyone?), Jools Holland and Roger Taylor.

And finally,there’s In And Out Of The Kitchen, a three-parter based on the BBC Radio 4 comedy created, written by and starring Miles Jupp about cookery writer Damien Trench (Jupp). His partner, Anthony, is played by Justin Edwards. It promises to show us everything that happens to him both in and out of the kitchen, ‘no matter how grizzly, or indeed, how gristly’. If the radio series is anything to go by, expect this to be a good un.

Shane Allen, BBC Controller of Comedy Commissioning, has said of the new commissions that they are, “A testament to BBC Four’s unique legacy in bringing the audience big name comedy talents in surprising and inventive shows that follow in the footsteps of award-winning predecessors like Getting On, The Thick Of It, Twenty Twelve and Screenwipe.”

As soon as we get any information about the transmission dates of the above-mentioned shows, we’ll be sure to let you know.

R.I.P. Philip Seymour Hoffman 1967-2014

3 Feb

© Universal Pictures

The Velvet Onion would like to extend its sympathies to the family and friends of Philip Seymour Hoffman, who passed away this weekend aged 46.

An acting powerhouse whose glittering career has led to so many different ‘Top Ten Performances’ lists, Hoffman’s sole connection to TVO came with his central role as The Count in Richard Cutis’ 2009 comedy The Boat That Rocked alongside our very own Chris O’DowdKatherine Parkinson, and in a deleted sequence, Rich Fulcher.

Yet his legacy left a resounding impact on our regulars, and the team here, with masterful performances in productions as diverse as The SavagesSynecdoche New York, Boogie Nights, Mary And Max, A Late Quartet, The Hunger Games and The Big Lebowski.

In 2010, he also directed the feature film Jack Goes Boating, in which he also starred, and frequently directed theatre productions even in the later years of his life.  He had almost completed shooting on the final Hunger Games movie at the time of his death, has two other movies in the can for release this year and was about to start work on a new television comedy Happyish following a pilot episode filmed last year with Hedwig & The Angry Inch director John Cameron Mitchell.

Naturally, his work has inspired generations of performers and will continue to do so for decades to come.  This includes a number of TVO regulars who publicly expressed their shock and grief at his untimely passing.

Steve Coogan led public tributes at the London Critics’ Circle Awards last night, stating: “There are actors and there are movie stars and sometimes they’re both but he was an actor first and a movie star second. He did some tremendous work. People have different opinions about actors but you wouldn’t find anybody who would have a bad word to say about any of his performances – they were all incredibly nuanced.”

In the Twittersphere, more TVO regulars shared their views, which we have collated below.

Rest in peace, Mr Hoffman. You will be missed.

Captain America And Father Ted

1 Feb

© Channel 4

We bet that’s a pairing you never thought you’d see! And if anything, this story gets even odder when the connection between the two characters is explained.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the follow up to the 2011 movie Captain America: The First Avenger.  And we, the public, get to decide which TV show is referenced in the film.

In the movie sequel we see Captain America/Steve Rogers emerge from a 65-year ice coma to a changed worldOne scene in the film features the pages from his notebook, and these detail what he’s missed during his enforced absence – including some great telly. You can choose which TV show is mentioned in the pages of the diary from a list of options provided by RadioTimes.com. And Father Ted is on that list!

The TV show with the most votes will end up appearing on screen in the movie. So if you fancy seeing the Channel 4 comedy classic from the mind of Graham Linehan in Captain America’s latest outing, then get in there!

For more information and to vote click here. The film itself is released in UK cinemas on 26th March 2014.

Tony Way’s Appointment With The Doctor

30 Jan
© Tony Way

© Tony Way

Tony Way has been confirmed to appear in one of Ben Wheatley‘s episodes of Doctor Who.

The comic has struck out as a dramatic actor in recent years, with performances in smash hits like Game Of ThronesThe Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and the forthcoming Tom Cruise blockbuster The Edge Of Tomorrow (formerly known as All You Need Is Kill).

He’s also previously collaborated with Wheatley – appearing in both Down Terrace and Sightseers for the director, and now he is set to play a character called Alf in the first episode of Series Eight (or Season Thirty Four!), featuring Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman.

We first assumed that Way, who also appeared in Sherlock for Who head honcho Steven Moffatt, was involved with the show when he Tweeted about the state of Cardiff’s weather over the weekend. The series has been filmed there since 2004, with Ben Wheatley currently filming two episodes concurrently for the new run.

However, whilst Tony was sworn to secrecy, his agent profile has revealed his involvement, and the Daily Mail went one further by snapping Tony on set!  We can confirm this isn’t a huge part, but we’re looking forward to seeing the results all the same when Doctor Who returns in the Autumn, with two episodes helmed by Wheatley.

In the meantime, Tony returns as Dontos Hollard in Series Four of Game Of Thrones this April, and a trailer for the new run can be seen below.

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