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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.

Mongrels Return – To Dave

14 Jun

© Alexandra Thompson

Although it’s not quite the return we had hoped for, series one of Mongrels is set to air on Dave from Monday 30th June at 3.15am!

As regular readers know Adam Miller‘s foul-mouthed puppet show featured Tony Way as Gary, the owner of a South London pub that just so happens to be surrounded by vermin – from meek metrosexual fox Nelson (Rufus Jones), and his best friend, simpleton feline Marion (Dan Tetsell), to psychopathic champion vulpine swearer Vince (Paul Kaye), and deranged, scheming pigeon Kali (Katy Brand). With Gary’s pedigree chav dog Destiny (Lucy Montgomery) completing the line up, the show was an instant cult smash, until it was axed by BBC3 a couple of years ago.

Dave is a digital channel and part of the UKTV network, who are now making original content for their channels, including the recent revival of BBC 2’s cult favourite Red Dwarf. UKTV Gold has also recently announced that they have the rights to show the final Monty Python live show, so they are obviously serious about investing in content for their channels.

If you can’t wait to see Mongrels again, you can get both series from TVO Store.

Dolly On The Telly

8 Nov

© BBC

Dolly Wells will be known to most of you lovely lot as Noel Fielding‘s uber-cool neighbour in Luxury Comedy. And now she has a new TV role!

Dolly features in the regular cast line-up of new BBC Three comedy Some Girls, directed by Adam Miller. The show revolves around the lives of four 16 year old girls who live in South London. The Radio Times says of them: “They swear, have sex and regularly countermand their mothers and fathers.” So far so normal, huh? Dolly plays the part of their Antipodean PE teacher, Anna.

The first episode of the 6-part series aired on Tuesday evening, and is currently available to watch on iPlayer by clicking here. Episode 2 airs next Tuesday at 10pm on BBC Three. For more information about the series visit the show’s website, where you’ll find a whole page dedicated to Dolly’s character.

Mongrels 2 Out On DVD At Last!

7 Oct

© BBC Worldwide

Monday 8th October sees the long-awaited, almost-cancelled release of Mongrels second (and sadly final) series on dvd.

Series Two of Adam Miller‘s foul-mouthed puppet show again featured Tony Way as Gary, the owner of a South London pub that just so happens to be surrounded by vermin – from meek metrosexual fox Nelson (Rufus Jones), and his best friend, simpleton feline Marion (Dan Tetsell), to psychopathic champion vulpine swearer Vince (Paul Kaye), and deranged, scheming pigeon Kali (Katy Brand).  With Gary’s pedigree chav dog Destiny (Lucy Montgomery) completing the line up, the show was an instant cult smash, and is sorely missed following its baffling cancellation in January.

The second series saw the gang fend off an invasion of horny zombie dogs, rehabilitate a showbiz chimp and go to a really shit house party, whilst Marion became a parent and Destiny dabbled in the world of showbiz doggery. Amongst the celebrity cameos this year were Richard O’Brien, Russell Tovey, Ainsley Harriot, Zoe Ball and Nina Wadia, whilst the TVO Links were extended with appearances from Rich Fulcher, Steven Burge and Waen Shepherd.

With a defiant looking Vince Fox on the front cover, this dvd is sure to leap off the shelves and ask you if you called it a **** in no time… and The Velvet Onion cannot recommend it highly enough.  Pick up a copy right now from The Velvet Onion Amazon Store for just £13.99 or check your high street or supermarket at the nearest opportunity.

If digital downloads are more your thing, the series is also available from iTunes in the UK, whilst US readers shouldn’t feel left out of the party… both series can be downloaded from our TVO Amazon US Store!

Sadly, unlike the first series, there’s currently no sign of a blu-ray release, but as the show was almost destined never to be released at all (we like to think our little stinking paddy about that decision helped change their mind earlier this year!), we’ll take what we can get!

That’s not to say a blu-ray release is still impossible.  We asked BBC Worldwide, who are handling the release, about the lack of a hi-def edition, who replied: “We have no immediate plans to clear and release this title on Blu-ray. However your correspondence will be kept on file as each quarter we review public enquiries and often revisit titles which are frequently requested.” 

So there you have it – if you want to see a blu-ray edition of Mongrels Series 2, email BBC Worldwide’s DVD Enquiry team at dvdenquiryline@bbc.com and let them know your desires. It might just happen!

Blinkbox Booshdom!

6 Aug

© Copyright blinkbox Entertainment Limited.

Steve Coogan‘s sitcom Saxondale and anthology spoof Dr Terrible’s House Of Horrible are amongst a smattering of TVO favourites available to watch free online.

UK based video on demand service Blinkbox offers television and film from both sides of the pond to download or stream via pc, mac, games consoles, tablets and smart tv’s – and already offers a large back catalogue of programming for purchase.

This includes the TVO flavoured likes of The Mighty Boosh, Dead BossThis Is Jinsey, Horrible Histories and Mongrels, and movies Come On Eileen, Weekender and The Boat That Rocked to name but a few.

Coogan’s work is well represented on the site, from films such as Tropic Thunder and Hot Fuzz (also featuring our very own Alice Lowe), and the televisual adventures of one Alan Partridge.

Now as part of a deal with the BBC, a number of comedy classics are available to stream free of charge.

These include Saxondale – which also featured Matt BerryJames Bachman and Tom Meeten, and underrated spoof Dr Terrible – featuring Julia Davis.

© BBC

Also up for free viewing is criminally ignored sitcom Lab Rats featuring Dan Tetsell alongside Chris Addison and Dead Boss star Geoffrey McGivern.

You can also take another look at Rob Brydon’s Annually Retentive which co-stars Sharon Horgan and Alice Lowe, or That Mitchell And Web Look featuring James Bachman.

For something a little bit more ‘out there’, you can also catch rarely seen French animation series A Town Called Panic – which included Lucy Montgomery and Alexander Armstrong in it’s English dub cast.

To browse the full Blinkbox catalogue, click on any of the links above, or be really obvious and fall onto it’s home page via the word Battenberg – and of course, almost all of these shows, and more, can still be purchased the good old fashioned way on dvd and blu-ray via THE VELVET ONION AMAZON STORE!

Get Mongrelled! Pre-Order Series 2 Now!

5 Aug

© BBC

Series Two of Mongrels finally looks set for an October dvd release, as Amazon.co.uk have now joined other online retailers with a potential release date.  As a result, we can finally offer pre-orders via The Velvet Onion Amazon Store!

After a string of delays, denials and postponements since the show aired late last year, the final run of eight episodes from the cult classic looks set for a dvd only issue, despite previous announcements to the contrary.

The show was the brainchild of Adam Miller featuring Tony Way and the voices of Rufus JonesDan TetsellLucy MontgomeryKaty Brand and Paul Kaye – plus cameos from Rich Fulcher and Waen Shepherd.

Utterly hilarious from start to finish, the show was inexplicably axed in January, as part of a proposed revamp of BBC Three by incoming controller Zai Bennett, who had previously expressed a fondness for the show just weeks before he put it to sleep at the vets.

When it’s expected release on home media failed to materialise, TVO turned to the BBC Comedy team to find out if we really had heard the last of Nelson and co.  Sadly, they confirmed our suspicions – the dvd and blu-ray had been scrapped.

Our announcement was treated with dismay across the interwebs, and it seems “just a little tap on the nose” was all it took to get the release back on the cards.

Sadly, there’s no sign of a hi-res release to match that of the first series, just yet… but it’s too early to rule it out just yet.  Standard practise for Amazon in the past has been to put up a placeholder for the dvd first, which is then joined by a blu-ray link closer to release.  It remains to be seen if this will be the case here, but we live in hope, and will keep you peeled if we hear any more.

In the meantime, you can pre-order the dvd edition for just £14.99 via The Velvet Onion Amazon Store now.

Mongrels Resurrection?

11 Jul

© BBC

Several online retailers are reporting that Mongrels Series 2 will be released on dvd in the Autumn.

The much missed show, featuring a bevy of TVO favourites but sadly cancelled by BBC Three earlier this year, was all set to be denied a full release of its second season outside of iTunes, as we reported recently.  Delays had become indefinite, and BBC Comedy confirmed plans for its release on dvd and blu-ray had been scrapped.

However, Play.com and a few other notable sites are now listing a dvd release for 8th October 2012.  Whilst Amazon (and as a result, The Velvet Onion Amazon Store), still have the title listed as unavailable, we’re hoping that Play knows something Amazon does not, and will be pushing to find out more information as soon as possible.  Stay peeled!

Choose Your Winners

30 May

Voting for the 2012 TV Choice Awards is now open, and there are a few Booshinverse-related shows nominated.

© BBC/Hulu

Amongst many others you can vote for:

  • Black Mirror (Written by Charlie Brooker and featuring Julia Davis) and Holy Flying Circus (starring Rufus Jones) in the ‘Best New Drama’ category
  • Facejacker (featuring Kayvan Novak who also starred as Waj in Four Lions) in the ‘Best Entertainment Show’ category
  • Mongrels and This is Jinsey (featuring Alice Lowe and Colin Hoult) in the ‘Best Comedy’ category (given Mongrels’ lack of support from the powers that be, we say let’s unite in support of it!)

You can cast your vote here; voting is open until midnight on Friday 15th June.

Mongrelled

17 May

© BBC

The Velvet Onion can confirm that the proposed dvd and blu-ray release of Mongrels Series 2 has been scrapped.

The cult puppet sitcom from the mind of Adam Miller, and featuring a bevy of TVO regulars, was given a big budget revamp for its return last Autumn, but the show was cancelled alongside almost every other show on the BBC3 roster by new controller Zai Bennett in January.

A dvd release was given a placeholder spot on Amazon during the run of Series 2, yet failed to materialise.  Six months after the show finished airing, we asked the bods at @bbccomedy on Twitter what was happening, and they confirmed: “There’s currently no plans to bring Mongrels 2 out on DVD, but it is available on download – for example on iTunes.”

© BBC

Ah yes, iTunes. The series has been available on there quietly for some time, bafflingly in standard definition only, despite broadcasting in hi-def and the first series being made available in the format.

At £1.89 per episode, and £15.99 for the entire run plus the behind-the-scenes mockumentary, it’s a costly alternative to a physical release, in a vastly inferior format, and in only one region – blocking out international viewers of which the show has legion – but alas it seems for Mongrels fans, it’s the best we’re going to get.

Of course, the situation may change – as long forgotten shows from yesteryear leak out onto disc on a regular basis.  If BBC Worldwide realise the commercial value of a real release, we’re sure it will happen.  The fan-campaign starts here… and we’re sure somewhere out there at least one of you is drafting your petition right now.

In the meantime, you can download Series Two here – and see a classic clip from the second series below.

Some Girls

4 May

© BBC

Mongrels creator Adam Miller has recently wrapped his first project since the show was brought to an untimely end – and it’s a brand new sitcom for BBC3 with an onion flavoured sprinkling.

Entitled Some Girls, the six part series from Bernadette Davis – the creator of cult 90s sitcom Game On - follows the lives and loves of a group of quirky 16 year old girls living on an inner city estate.

Starring Adelayo Adedayo, Colin Salmon, Natasha Jonas, Mandeep Dhillon, Alice Felgate and TVO’s very own Dolly Wells, the show is one of the first in a string of new commissions expected for a new look BBC3 after its controller Zai Bennett axed every comedy in its line-up for a clean break.

Directed by Miller and set to air on BBC3 later this year, the show’s producer Justin Davies promises “an unadulterated celebration of teenage life: messy, sexy and a little bit wrong – but always lots of fun”.  TVO will do its utmost to keep you peeled.

Mongrels Axed By BBC3

18 Jan

© Alexandra Thompson

It’s a sad day at TVO, as we join those mourning the loss of BBC Three’s Mongrels - which it was confirmed would not be returning today.

It’s creator, Adam Miller, took to the show’s official Twitter page to reveal the news to fans, stating that: “a decision that has been made based on the fact that apparently you need more than two people watching a programme to make it successful. Crazy talk.”

Speculation about the show’s future began due to a string of re-commissions made by controller Zai Bennett for the channel late last year, when Mongrels was not amongst them.  At the time, Bennett took to Points Of View, to suggest that the reason the show’s future had not yet been decided was because it was still airing, even though other programming then airing had been granted additional runs at the time.

Sadly, Mongrels has joined How Not To Live Your Life in the scrap-heap of a once great comedic stockpile from the channel which gave birth to The Mighty Boosh tv series, but has been faced with slashed budgets and an increasing reliance on imports, repeats and reality television.  We at TVO cannot say we’re surprised, but we’d be lying if we said we were understanding of the decision – especially now the show is reaching international audiences as well as gaining a healthy cult following in the UK.

The Mongrels team, many of whom we interviewed back in November, were a fine band of extremely talented men and women, including actors, puppeteers, writers, directors, producers and a strong technical crew who brought so many memorable characters to life over the course of sixteen episodes.  Going forward, TVO shall continue to try and cover the work of these talents in their new adventures in front of, and behind the cameras – and we would like to thank them all for their support of TVO as well as the fantastic comedy they created.  After all, breaking up is such a faff… and we’re sure whatever is on the horizon for the Mongrels team will be worth the wait.

Mongrels is dead.  Long live Mongrels.

© BBC

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