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New Thomas & Way

25 Feb

© Tony Way Rhys Thomas

The Thomas & Way Podcast is back, and this one has their old mate Matt Lucas to keep them company.

Find out about Matt’s relationship with Creme Eggs, and the lads have an in-depth discussion about chocolate, cheese, Shooting Stars, Queen and Google Glasses.

They also mention Vic and Bob’s new sitcom,  the genius of Christine Cant and some weird audition experiences including one for The Hobbit.

Why not listen or download now.

Craft Winners!

28 Nov

© Channel 4/Secret Peter

There were some well-deserved victories for TVO-related TV shows at last night’s Royal Television Society Craft & Design Awards 2011/12.

The awards recognise the achievements of the people who work behind the cameras – the designers, technicians and and visual artists who help to produce the programmes we watch.

We’re delighted to reveal that Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy picked up two awards: Ameena Kara Callender & Noel Fielding won the award for Best Costume Design Entertainment & Non Drama Productions, beating Strictly Come Dancing and another TVO-related show, Horrible Histories. Their win was described by RTS as, “A true collaboration, a seamless piece of highly creative work that is a live cartoon – true visual madness!”

Christine Cant was honoured for her wonderful make-up design on the series scooping up Best Make Up Design Entertainment & Non Drama Productions. Christine’s contribution was described as, Sheer creativity and madness.” RTS then went on to say, “Our winner’s interpretation of Noel’s work was seamlessly integrated with the costume design. Great skill was demonstrated in the various make up techniques employed here, including bold and fantastic colouration.”

© BBC

Mongrels also picked up an award, well-deserved in our opinion. Andy Heath & Iestyn Evans of Talk to the Hand won ‘Best Special Effects’ for Series 2, beating the much-lauded Downtown Abbey in the process.

RTS said of the win, “It’s not easy to add humour and comedic timing to a puppet show, but our winners succeeded and on a very tight schedule.”

For a full run down of the winners and nominees across all categories click here. Congratulations to everyone who picked up a gong!

Funny Fortnight Favourites: Father Ted

27 Aug

© Channel 4

This weekend saw Father Ted come up trumps in Channel 4′s 30 Greatest Comedy Shows countdown.  With an impressive three shows in the top four, it cemented Graham Linehan’s place as a king of comedy.

Helen Cowlyn looks back at a timeless classic, below…

Father Ted was shown from 1995 to 1998, and was written by Graham Lineham and Arthur Matthews, who both have TVO connections. When you read a description of Father Ted – a comedy about three Roman Catholic priests living in a small parochial house on a tiny outcrop of rock somewhere off the west coast of Ireland, with their housekeeper – it does not sound like a comedy at all. Luckily for us, the show was commissioned by Hat Trick Productions and we now have 25 episodes of Father Ted to enjoy. There are 6 in series 1, 10 in series 2, with an hour-long Christmas special, and 8 in the third series. Another TVO connection is that Christine Cant was the make-up designer for all three series.

© Hat Trick

The theme tune was written and performed by The Divine Comedy, who  later reworked it into Songs of Love, which became a track from their album Cassanova. It’s not a typical comedy tune, being quite melancholy and slow. Neil Hannon, (who is mostly The Divine Comedy) wrote most of the original music, including My Lovely Horse, from the episode Song For Europe and My Lovely Mayo Mammy from the episode Night of the Nearly Dead. ‘Father Neil Hannon’ was also one of the names Mrs Doyle guesses in A Christmassy Ted, the 1996 Christmas special.

Each episode involved the trials of Father Ted Crilly (Dermot Morgan) as he tries to get on with life on Craggy Island, hindered by Father Dougal McGuire (Ardal O’Hanlon), a young priest who gives the impression that he’s not sure what’s going on most of the time, and Father Jack Hackett (Frank Kelly), a very old priest with some nasty habits. Ted himself is not blameless, there are references to Lourdes money that was ‘just resting’ in his account, and Bishop Brennan inferred in the episode The Passion of St Tibulus, that all three of them were sent to Craggy Island as punishment for earlier misdeeds. The Priests are looked after by Mrs Doyle (Pauline McLynn), a lady of a certain age whose obsession with cups of tea, sandwiches and cakes is an integral part of her character. Continue reading

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 Luxurious Digital Oz!

11 Jul

© Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Australia Pty Ltd

Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy is to receive it’s dvd premiere in Australia next month.

News of the release of the entire first series, complete with extras including behind the scenes footage, first appeared on blog The Momus Report, and naturally, we at TVO were highly curious.  After all, this release is seemingly premature – with the UK launch date pencilled in for early next year, and for once, we were completely out of the loop!

TVO confirmed news of the release with Noel directly today, as well as the possibility that a release in R2 may – and we stress may – be pushed forward to compensate.  We’re sure we can speak for the fans when we say we’re really hoping this happens, and that a dvd is joined by a simultaneous blu-ray release to really take advantage of the glorious visual canvas Noel & Nigel Coan crafted for the series.

With plans for series two starting to take shape (more on those in due course, but don’t think you’re just getting more of the same!) – it does make logical sense for the first series to be released in tandem with its launch, but if you’re desperate to have Luxury Comedy in your Christmas stocking, let us know in the comments on this article.

In the meantime, check out our behind the scenes documentary which provided peelers with an exclusive insight into the making of a cult classic, below.

 

Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy is released on dvd in Australia on August 22nd.

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