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British Muslim Comedy

18 Jun
© BBC

© BBC

To celebrate the start of Ramadan, BBC iPlayer has released five comedy shorts, written by and starring British Muslim comedians. They explore the highs and lows of modern Muslim life, including personal struggles around Ramadan.

All the shorts are directed by Dave Lambert, with costumes by Suzy Evelyn-Hall of DeadDogInBlackBag. Eid Mubarak is written by and stars Asim Chaudry who stars in Hoff The Record.

The mixture of stories and styles means there is something for everyone, and not just for Muslims.  You can see them all here on BBC iPlayer, where they are available for 29 days.

While you are there, don’t forget Matt Berry‘s moving tribute to UK Father’s – Father’s Day, which also features Bob Mortimer.

Onion Talking: Dave Lambert goes Undercover

16 Jun
© UKTV / Topher McGrillis

© Baby Cow / UKTV / Topher McGrillis

This week sees the launch of Undercover – the new sitcom starring Daniel Rigby and Sarah Alexander. In it, Rigby plays hapless detective Chris Anderson, who goes undercover within the Sarkissian crime syndicate in an attempt to nail the head honcho Ara, and Alexander is his uncompromising boss, Zoe Keller.

One of a string of new, original comedy commissions by freeview channel Dave, the show is directed by none other than Boosh veteran and Common Ground director Dave Lambert.

In the middle of his hectic schedule, we caught up with Lambo to ask him a few undercover questions of our own.

Every now and then on wonderfully named freeview channel Dave, they’ll replay an episode of Mock the Week, which will make a big joke out of the fact that their last joke was going to feel so out of date for the people watching on Dave all those years later. Because, in fairness, that’s exactly what Dave has been known for in recent years: wall to wall Top Gear by day, wall to wall Mock The Week/Russell Howard’s Good News/Red Dwarf by night.

However, that last show brought about a sea of change in the channel’s fortunes. When BBC Two passed on making more Red Dwarf in 2009, ten years after the last series aired, Dave – who were already having lots of success with their repeats of the Crimson Short One’s adventures – stumped up the cash. The result was a record breaking audience. Another full series followed suit in 2012, with two more filming back to back at the end of this year. Suddenly, Dave found they could have just as much success making their own shows as they could repeating the same old shows for all eternity, if not more so.

The upshot of that has been felt across the last few years with a string of occasional commissions, including the sublime Crackanory, but this week sees the channel stick two new flagpoles in the ground and hope the wind doesn’t knock them over. There’s mockumentary Hoff the Record, in which David Hasselhoff rips his persona to shreds in the name of comedy, and then there’s Undercover – which, if you don’t count the hilarious pilot to their aborted Zimbani in 2010, is the channel’s first actual original sitcom about a policeman in deep surveillance as he tries to take down an Armenian crime syndicate from the inside.

© Baby Cow / UKTV

© Baby Cow / UKTV / Topher McGrillis

At the helm is Dave Lambert: a director who cut his teeth making behind the scenes features for The Mighty Boosh and Gavin & Stacey before taking on Alan Partridge in Welcome to the Places of My Life, and helming Sky Atlantic’s brilliant series of shorts, Common Ground. With Undercover, he shares the channel’s sitcom virginity, in spite of a long legacy of great comedic output.

“I knew I always wanted to be a director,” he tells TVO as we grab a moment of his time after a preview of the first two episodes. “But I was never sure of the route to get there. There are so many ways you can do it. My personal ethos was to learn as much as possible from everyone involved in the production of a tv show, and then I would understand where everyone is coming from when I was directing.”

Judging by the evidence of Undercover‘s opening installments, he learnt a lot. The show is visually impressive, with Lambert working with Director of Photography Si Bell, and production designer Jim Holloyway to create a look that is playful with the format of ‘cop-shows’ and has a truly cinematic feel. This contrasts nicely with the Zucker-esque broad gags whilst supporting the considered, often gritty plots. “The jokes were there when I came on board,” Lambert explains. “I had to work out how to accommodate them and the reality of the plots. I always thought it had to look authentic to the genre to succeed and to play the whole thing as straight as possible, as that’s when the silly moments really sing.”

© Baby Cow / UKTV / Topher McGrillis

© Baby Cow / UKTV / Topher McGrillis

“I always wanted it to have a cinematic feel,” he continues, “and the faded colour scheme was really important to make it feel real. We watched a lot of clips of Scorsese films. Jim has worked on so many comedies over the years, and is fantastic. We found an empty rundown restaurant in the heart of Newcastle that he converted into Vartan’s, the Sarkissian restaurant that acts as a front for their operation. It looks stunning and just has such great texture to it. Totally authentic.”

Indeed, the viewer is thrust straight into the dangerous situations that Chris Anderson, our titular undercover cop in disguise as Christapour Gergorian, is placed in. The screen is filled with close-ups and tight angles, the cameras handheld to give a natural unsteadiness that puts audiences right in the thick of it.

“I always felt we needed to do that from the off,” Lambert confirms. “To see the world through Chris’ eyes. The viewers need to feel they are in his shoes, scared when he’s scared, or laughing when he does something ridiculous or idiotic. The one line pitch for the show was: Imagine Woody Allen in The Sopranos. He’s a guy who is terrified of being killed, whilst trying to have sex.”

Put like that, the comedy angle becomes a lot clearer. Because let’s face it: an undercover cop investigating Armenian gangsters is not your typical basis for a comedy. “Anything different or out of the ordinary is always good in my book,” Lambert enthuses when this suggestion is put to him. “I was sent the scripts and I just loved them. I read them all in one sitting, and instantly knew I had to do the job. I really liked the idea of making a cop-show, gangster film and comedy hybrid but within a culture that isn’t really represented on TV.”

© Baby Cow / UKTV / Topher McGrillis

© Baby Cow / UKTV / Topher McGrillis

Undercover was a long time coming. A pilot was shot two years ago, with another director, though parts of it survive in the opening episode. However, there was still a lot of scope for Lambo to add his own touches across the production, right down to finer details: indeed, the first joke to truly hit its target comes not from the script, but when the director has fun playing with the format. As Chris walks down the street, the generic cop-show music soars: he steps into a cafe, the door bleeps open, and the music cuts out. Simple, but effective.

“With that moment,” Lambert explains, “it wasn’t in the script, but I wanted the audience to have a moment up front where we show them what you would expect to hear in the genre, straight to the normality. The audience gets the tone early on, and we had more beats like that written in, or added while shooting. It’s my job to serve the script and bring anything else I can to the table to enhance that blueprint. We found over the course of shooting the series that new things come up. You tweak lines here and there, question whether characters would do what they are doing. The scripts were really solid from the off, so nothing major, but things do develop and change when you have all this great talent on set.”

Naturally, that paves the way for improvisation in the right situations. “Dan Rigby is great at coming up with extra Chris-isms that he would throw in on the day,” says Lambert, filled with enthusiasm for his star. “That man is incredible,” he continues. “He really prepares and arrives on set with a delivery of a line that I never saw coming. If there’s time on the day and the atmosphere is right then it’s always great to have a play with the scene and have a fun run take. It’s really based on the schedule for me, and getting through the day with all the material you need.”

© Baby Cow / UKTV / Topher McGrillis

© Baby Cow / UKTV / Topher McGrillis

When Lambert came on board Undercover, Rigby had already been cast as Chris, but he stresses he honestly cannot see anyone else playing the part. However, it took a while for them to find the right person to play his boss, Zoe, until Green Wing veteran Sarah Alexander came along. “We saw a lot of people,” Lambert reveals. “They’d come in and do great things, but it wasn’t until Sarah came in that we saw the complete character. Her first read was incredible, and there was instant chemistry with Daniel. I just knew we had found our Zoe.”

The duo are ably supported by some great talent filling out the cast, with the opening episodes including the likes of Being Human‘s Michael Socha, Sherlock‘s Yasmine Akram, Up The Women‘s Ryan Sampson and a preview for Episode Three revealing Comic Strip veteran Keith Allan crops up as a hardcase ex-con. Natuarlly, Lambert is full of admiration for his cast.

“Everyone you mentioned,” he insists, “makes directing this show a joy. Mark Heap also appears later in the series and is hilarious. It was a great highlight to direct him, as I’ve been a fan for many years. Ivan Kaye, who plays Ara’s right hand man Garabad is fantatic, both visually and comically. he is such a scary and commanding presence on screen, but plays the comic moments so brilliantly.”

The cast helped Lambert acclimatise to his first long-form narrative: five weeks of filming with them allowing the building of a shorthand and complete investment in the work. In retrospect, whilst the end result is a different form, this is no different to Lambert’s previous work filming behind the scenes on all three series of The Mighty Boosh. The director insists he simply wanted to tell stories, and that they ended up being documentaries at first owes more to circumstance than any original intent: the first series of Boosh shared a producer, Alison MacPhail, with Baby Cow’s Cruise of the Gods, which he had previously worked on, and therefore he was a logical choice for the job, as we’ve previously discussed.

“I knew they were great,” he states when it is noted he was there to chart the rise of the Boosh from television newbies to international superstars. “But I didn’t ever imagine I’d be filming them performing live at the Roxy in LA, with Robin Williams in the audience!”

His work on the Boosh then led to work with one of big bosses of Baby Cow: Steve Coogan. After editing Mid Morning Matters, Lambert was asked to direct and produce the one-off special Welcome to the Places in My Life, and he is filled with praise for the megastar turned studio head honcho. “Steve is great to work with,” he tells TVO, “as he has an attention to detail that is second to none. I’ve learnt so much from him and Henry Normal [the other half of Baby Cow’s top tier], and the environment they foster is very creative. There’s no change whether you are on set together or having a meeting in the office.”

Up next for Lambert is editing a Channel 4 Comedy Blap he’s directed entitled High and Dry starring Mark Wootten (La La Land), Harry Peacock, Jessie Cave and Asim Chauhdry, which he says was great to shoot. This week also sees the launch of a series of iPlayer shorts he’s directed to tie in with Ramadan featuring five up and coming Muslim comedic talents.  But of course, Undercover is still on the agenda, and should Dave the channel want Dave the director to return for a second run, there’s still lots of scope for fresh ideas to add to the mix.

© Baby Cow / UKTV / Topher McGrillis

© Baby Cow / UKTV / Topher McGrillis

“As much as we hit the ground running on the very first day of the shoot,” he insists, “by the end we really felt we nailed the DNA of the show. When it airs, I think viewers will enjoy the journey over the six episodes. There’s a real build, twists and turns, surprises and lots of laughs. I would love to return to do more, as I think we’re only at the start of Chris and Zoe’s story, and there is so much left to do and see. Andrew Milligan (co-writer/co-creator) and I speak at least twice a week at the moment about possible scenarios, scenes and even shots if we get a second series.”

Here is, of course, hoping. Undercover is broad and wears its influences on its sleeve, but it’s also great fun, is stylishly shot and edited, and demonstrates that there is far more to Dave the channel than repeats of old panel shows. As their first true original sitcom, they couldn’t have been bolder, and alongside Hoff the Record, TVO hopes they demonstrate a channel willing to buck the trend and find an audience willing to take them to heart. And if, for any reason, these six episodes are all we’re gonna get, Lambert has made a show to be proud of.

“By the time you get to Episode Five,” he enthuses when pushed for a favourite moment, “everything I mentioned is in place, but you’re so invested in the characters and know their world, I think it just flies and sets up a thrilling finale that…”

He pauses, and thinks for a moment. “I have to stop myself now as I’m getting excited and might reveal something big!” Guess we’ll just have to stay tuned, then!

Undercover airs at 9pm on Tuesday 16th June 2015, exclusively on Dave. The show is also repeated in a double bill with ‘Hoff the Record’ on Thursday evening at 9:40pm. Thanks to Dave Lambert for talking to us, and UKTV for their behind the scenes imagery!

So Hot Right Now: #35

15 Jun

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

GET HOFFED

Hoff The Record, Thursday, 9pm, Dave

© UKTV

© Me And You Productions / UKTV

This week sees the launch of two new comedy shows on Dave, both with TVO connections.  The first of these is Hoff The Record – a semi-improvised mockumentary based on the surreal life of Knight Rider and Baywatch legend David Hasselhoff.

Fergus Craig – formerly of Star Stories and Colin & Fergus fame – plays The Hoff’s utterly useless English manager, Max Coleman, who brings the out-of-work actor to the UK in an attempt to kick-star his flagging career.

Alongside an inexperienced PA and a superfan mini-cab driver, Max attempts to bolster The Hoff’s profile with a series of increasingly wonky schemes. In this debut episode, Max has signed off the rights to The Hoff’s life story to a hotshot young movie director (played by the magnificent Craig Roberts of Submarine fame), but finds he has no control over the casting decisions. Or the script. Or just about anything.

Hasselhoff is more than game for a laugh, even if most of them come at his expense, and where Life’s Too Short perhaps dwelled too much on that famous Gervais cringe-factor, Hoff the Record is sillier, more playful and all the more enjoyable as a result.

Watching The Hoff battle for the role of himself against a dwarf actor and an LA luvvie who thinks Michael Knight would be using Kit’s internet access to do a spot of tweeting at the wheel, is a joy from start to finish. And with later episodes also featuring guest appearances by Tim Downie (Toast of London, Paddington), Anna Crilly (Anna & Katy, Dead Boss), Steve Oram (Sightseers, Luxury Comedy), and Simon Greenall (I’m Alan Partridge, Alice’s Wunderland) and a second series already confirmed and in pre-production now, this is one you really won’t want to miss.

Keep your eyes peeled for our exclusive chat with Fergus Craig later this week, and catch Episode One on Dave this Thursday at 9pm. Series One is also available to pre-order on dvd already via The Velvet Onion Amazon Store.

GO UNDERCOVER

Undercover, Tuesday, 9pm, Dave

© Baby Cow / UKTV

© Baby Cow / UKTV

The second of two new comedy commissions from Dave this week is the ambitious sitcom Undercover – which features Daniel Rigby (Eric & Ernie, From There To Here) as Chris: a detective deep inside the Armenian Mafia, trying to impress his new ‘family’ whilst staying out of trouble until he can ‘bring em in’.

Directed by Dave Lambert (The Mighty Boosh, Common Ground, Alan Partridge), the show also features comedy legend Sarah Alexander of Green Wing, Coupling and Smack The Pony fame, as Chris’ equally dim-witted boss, Zoe Keller.

Also along for the ride is Yasmine Akrin (SherlockStella) as a femme fatale member of the Armenian family with a bit of a thing for hapless Chris, and there are guest appearances across the run from the likes of Being Human‘s Michael Socha, Horrible Histories star Jim Howick and Comic Strip veteran Keith Allen.

Co-written by one of the show’s co-stars, Sacha Tarter alongside Scallywagger scribe Andrew Milligan, the series is an interesting blend of high-octane police procedural drama and Airplane levels of silly wordplay. And with Lambo at the helm, it looks stunning. Check it out for yourselves on Tuesday evening at 9pm, only on Dave, or right after Thursday’s first edition of Hoff The Record at 9:40pm. Now that’s what we call a double bill of Onion goodness…

VELVET (ONION) GOLDMINE FOR DOLL & EM

Doll & Em, Wednesday, 10:10pm, Sky Atlantic

© Sky Atlantic / HBO

© Sky Atlantic / HBO

Hollywood heartthrob Ewan McGregor cameos in this week’s edition of the superlative Doll & Em on Sky Atlantic.

As Dolly Wells and Emily Mortimer’s alter-egos continue to develop their play, the former meets a rather sleazy version of the Scottish superstar in a bar and finds he’s as smitten with her as she is of him, until, that is, he begins reader her his poetry.

Elsewhere, the closeness between Doll & Em falls into question, as Olivia Wilde and Evan Rachel Wood: the two actresses hired to play them in their off-Broadway play, reveal their portrayals are a lot more than platonic.

It’s all as wonderfully akward and utterly charming as ever, and another fine way to spend twenty-five minutes in the company of two extremely talented individuals who are not afraid to make themselves look ridiculous to get the laughs. Catch it at the slightly later than usual time of 10:10pm on Wednesday evening via Sky Atlantic, and both series are available on catch-up services now.

DIVERSITY DAN

Man Down, Monday, 10:00pm, Channel 4

© Channel 4 / Shamil Tanna

© Channel 4 / Shamil Tanna

The second series of Man Down starring Greg Davis and Stephanie Cole continues this week, with some very impressive guest stars cropping up.

The show about a childish schoolteacher who refuses to grow up, is produced by Boosh veteran Spencer Millman and happens to be one of Channel 4’s most enjoyable traditional sitcoms in years. This week, Dan has been caught playing Camp Aisle while invigilated the science exam, and is sent on a diversity awareness course for good measure.

Elsewhere, Jo (Roisin Conaty) has hit on the idea of cobining two celebrity looks into one genuinely incredible makeover: the Halle-Lulu. Madness, as always, and this week sees Daniel Lawrence Taylor (Cockroaches, How Not To Live Your Life) make a guest appearance, alongside Ricky Grover (Murder in Successville) and Annette Badland (Doctor Who).

Catch the latest episode on Monday evening at 10pm, or previous editions online now via All 4.

MAKE WAY FOR THE HOMOSUPERIOR

Humans, Sunday, 9:00pm, Channel 4

© Channel 4 / AMC / Kudos

© Channel 4 / AMC / Kudos

Things are hotting up in Channel 4’s dystopian sci-fi drama Humans this week, including a guest appearance from one Paul Kaye, no less.

In this second episode, George (William Hurt) is assigned a new Synth, Vera (an eerie Rebecca Front) whom he cannot stand, and Laura (Katherine Parkinson) feels threatened by Anita’s presence in her home. Elsewhere Fred (Sope Dirisu) is held captive by Hobb (Danny Webb), which leads him to fear for the future of the human race, and Leo (Colin Morgan) finds himself on a dangerous path in the search for information.

If you’re not watching on tv – and you really should – Humans is also available to pre-order for £14 on dvd now via The Velvet Onion Amazon Store. US audiences will be able to see the show on AMC later this year.

MADNESS & MAGIC

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Sunday, 9:00pm, BBC One

© JSMN Ltd / Matt Squire

© JSMN Ltd / Matt Squire

The curious case of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is almost at an end, and we’ll be incredibly sorry to say goodbye to it’s magical realm next week.

Until then, we can rejoin the glorious ensemble cast as Strange (Bertie Carvel) seeks a way to drive himself insane so as to access the fairy world and restore Arabella (Charlotte Riley), and Norrell (Eddie Marsan) continues his grim determination to maintain control of all magic in England.

The two men face dire consequences as the government turns against Norrell, and the Gentlemen (Marc Warren) unleashes a terrible curse to stop Strange in his tracks. Elsewhere, Stephen is still in the Gentlemen’s clutches, but Vinculus (Paul Kaye) offers him a means of escape.

If, like us, you’ve been enjoying JS&MN, you can pick it up on on dvd and blu-ray now via The Velvet Onion Amazon Store, and US audiences can see now the show on BBC America on Saturday evenings at 10pm (9pm central). Our recent interview with Paul Kaye about the show, can be read over yonder.

AN ISLAND GAMBLE

Sun Trap, Wednesday, 10:35pm, BBC One
(BBC One Wales: 11:10pm, BBC One Northern Ireland: 11.35pm)

© Happy Tramp / BBC / Mark Bourdillon

© Happy Tramp / BBC / Mark Bourdillon

Brutus and Woody’s adventures in the Sun Trap continue this week with guest appearances from Keith Allen, Michelle Collins and Martin Marquez.

Allen makes his debut as recurring character Senor Big: an unscrupulous gangster and owner of the island’s Casino Gamberos. Barman Zorro (Jamie Demetriou) has just emerged from a three-day gambling binge there, in which he’s foolishly gone and lost Brutus’ (Bradley Walsh) bar. It’s up to Woody (Kayvan Novak) and his masterful disguises to catch an elusive thief and win a handsome enough reward to get back the watering hole before it’s too late.

Directed by Ben Palmer (The Inbetweeners Movie, Bad Sugar, Star Stories) once more, Sun Trap may have divided critics, but it’s won itself a loyal audience – thanks in no small part to the Friday night repeats after The Graham Norton Show and inheriting Wednesday’s wobbly Count Arthur slot with its regional variances.

Previous episodes have featured the likes of Tracy Ann Oberman, Alex Kirk, Morgana Robinson and Simon Day, and we’ve still got appearances from Paul Kaye and Tony Way to come in future weeks, so if you’ve not checked out Sun Trap yet, there’s no better time to get on iPlayer, or hit pre-order in our store.

LOVE IS IN THE AIR FOR THE GADGET MAN

Gadget Man, Monday, 8:30pm, Channel 4

© Channel 4

© Channel 4

Richard Ayoade investigates dating gadgets this week in the third installment of Gadget Man Series 4, and as usual, he’s got a couple of helping hands on board. Comics Katherine Ryan and Tom Rosenthal try out a £1,500 handbag that displays messages, and a carbon dioxide cooling vest to make sure the wearer remains ice cold, however hot things get.

For those already in a relationship, there’s hope too, as Goodness Gracious Me star Sanjeev Bhaskar joins Richard to investigate 3D chocolate printing, virtual flowers and a new system that teaches people how to play romantic music on the piano.

NAUGHTY NAPOLEON

Horrible Histories, Monday, 5:00pm, CBBC

© Lion TV / Laura Rawlinson

© Lion TV / Laura Rawlinson

There’s a double dose of Sanjeev Bhaskar on our screens on Monday, as a few hours before his Gadget Man appearance, he pops up in this week’s Horrible Histories as the Indian traveller who brought shampoo to the world.

The main focus of this week’s special, however, is French military leader and rule Napoleon Bonaparte, and we follow his rise from humble beginnings to being crowned emperor of France, with Horrible Histories veterans Simon Farnaby and Jim Howick in tow.

If the 5pm start time is just a little bit awkward for you big kids in work, all of the previous episodes of this series are available now on iPlayer, alongside a selection of vintage episodes with the original cast.

YOO-KAY DADDIES

Matt Berry Does… Father’s Day, Available on iPlayer

© Pett TV

© Pett TV

It can’t have escaped your attention that it’s Father’s Day in the UK on Sunday, and in typical fashion, Matt Berry has taken the occasion as an excuse to chart the development of Dads in the UK since the days of Neanderthal Man.

We also get to look at the animal kingdom, in which Yoo-Kay Daddies are keen jazz admirers, genital tweakers and lovers of a cheeky Nandos. Made once again with Bob Mortimer, and executively produced by House of Fools producer Lisa Clark for Pett TV, this is another stone-cold Berry classic, that’s more than deserving of your attention. Check it out now!

ON STAGE THIS WEEK

There’s almost always a chance or two to see a TVO regular on stage, often in London, but occasionally up and down the country. Whilst it’s a quiet week ahead, here’s where you can find them throughout the week.

© Joey Page

© Joey Page

Wednesday 17th June

Joey Page & Yve Blake
Komedia, Bath
7:30pm, £8.00
TICKETS

Thursday 18th June

Sarah Kendall & Bridget Christie
The Tommyfield, London
8:00pm, £6.60
TICKETS

Cariad Lloyd in Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel
Udderbelly, London
9:00pm, £21.50
TICKETS

Sunday 21st June

Aisling Bea, Mae Martin and Lolly Adefope
Aces and Eights Saloon Bar, London
7:30pm, £3.00
TICKETS

AND THE REST…

As always, there’s so much going on within the Velvet Onion, it’s easy to miss things. As well as our News pages, the best way to keep track is via our Twitter feed, so here are a few highlights from throughout the week gone by.

Undercover on Dave for Dave

21 Apr
© Baby Cow

© Baby Cow

Dave Lambert directs new show Undercover – coming to Dave this Summer.

The sitcom stars BAFTA award winner Daniel Rigby (Eric and Ernie), Sarah Alexander (Green Wing, Coupling), Brett Goldstein (Derek, Uncle), Ryan Sampson (Plebs, Up the Women) and Yasmin Akram (Stella, Sherlock), and focuses on neurotic, over analytical, metrosexual traffic policeman Chris (Rigby), who is also an undercover cop in a vicious Armenian crime family.

With Chris’ day to day tasks mainly resolving around not getting killed whilst blending in with excessively violent gangsters, his goal is to try and smoke out the upper echelons of the Sarkissian family and bring them to justice.

Sarah Alexander plays demanding new police handler DI Zoe Keller, who has to battle her growing feelings for Chris… who himself is more concerned with staying alive through the family battles for supremacy. The series also features guest appearances from former Being Human star Michael Socha, Comic Strip legend Keith Allan and Horrible Histories star Jim Howick.

Produced by Baby Cow and Bonafide, the show is the brainchild of co-star Sacha Alexander, and is co-written by Andy Milligan (Scallywagga) and Sacha’s regular collaborators Mark Staheli and Simon Dean. Where TVO comes into the equation is that the whole run is directed by Dave LambertMighty Boosh documentary maker extraordinaire who moved into directing the fictitious side of comedy with Alan Partridge: Welcome to the Places of My Life in 2012, and Sky’s TVO-star-packed Common Ground in 2013.

The six part series will air on Dave in June, and we’ll have more details for you very soon. Until then, stay peeled!

TVO’s Review Of The Year 2013: Part One

1 Jan

2013 has been a funny old year in Onion Land. We’ve seen our regulars scoop bucketloads of awards, from Best British Film at the Empire Awards to International Emmy Awards and everything in-between. Some names on our roster have reached new heights of success, becoming household names to people who have no idea of their cult origins. Others have just continued being quietly amazing, but all of them have been worthy of your attention.

As a result, we’ve been ploughing through the 12 months of TVO, to pluck out the best bits from over 700 news stories across 2013. This first instalment of our round-up covers January-March, and is jam packed with forgotten treasures and instant classics alike.  Enjoy.

JANUARY

The year began quietly, with the only key new show on the box being, on the surface, designed for kids. FIT was a sports-based sketch show on CBBC from the team behind Sorry, I’ve Got No Head, and featured TVO regulars Tony WayRufus Jones and Aisling Bea in its ensemble cast. For the most part, however, it was the involvement of Peter Serafinowicz – reprising his beloved cult character Brian Butterfield – which got everyone’s attention…

On the other end of the spectrum, Michael SmileyDan Tetsell and Simon Farnaby turned up in the very-much-for-grown-ups cyber-thiller Utopia on Channel 4. The show concerned itself with attempts to trace the only known copy of a graphic novel which left a trail of bloody carnage in its wake. With Four Lions star Adeel Akhtar part of its ensemble cast, as well as Kill List actor Neil Maskell as a creepy hitman, and The Thick Of It‘s Paul Higgins as a blackmailed civil servant, the show became an instant cult hit, and will be returning for a second series in 2014.

Closer to home, and the good folk of Onion Land seemed keen to dish out advice. Comedic agony aunt Rachel Stubbings was offering specially crafted miniature versions of herself for sale to anyone in need of a friendly ear. Or, to be more exact, a bit of unemotional plastic which happened to look a bit like her, in a variety of costumes. The Stubby Buddy was a quick sell out, though something tells me we won’t be seeing them in the shops next year…

Elsewhere, conceptual artist and Luxury Comedy star Kim Noble was offering handy tips on how to buy an oven

And as Bowie-fever gripped the world, James Cook released his own, haunting interpretation of Mr Jones’ classic track, Ashes To Ashes

Continue reading

Coogan On Screen & In Print

29 Jul

Sky Atlantic HD will be premiering an exclusive two-part TV special of Steve Coogan‘s stand-up tour around Australia and New Zealand.

© Baby Cow/Sky Atlantic

The behind-the-scenes tour documentary Stand Up Down Under will be shown at 9pm on 6th and 7th August. It features two hour-long shows which were filmed during Coogan’s 2009 world tour. It promises a funny, intimate and honest portrait of one of Britain’s best loved character comedians and includes exclusive footage from his performances as Alan Partridge, Pauline Calf and Tony Ferrino, as well as unrestricted backstage access. It’s produced and directed by David Lambert, also known at TVO Towers for his brilliant Boosh documentaries.

According to the production company Baby Cow Productions, Sky Atlantic will also be repeating the BAFTA nominated Alan Partridge: Welcome to the Places of My Life and Alan Partridge On Open Books With Martin Bryce on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th August respectively at 9pm. The first series of Mid Morning Matters will also be shown again over three evenings on 5th, 6th and 7th August, ahead of the second series which is due for transmission later in the year.

With the big screen debut of Alan Partridge about to wow cinema audiences, large dollops of Coogan were to be found in this weekend’s newspapers: he was on the cover and in the pages of this week’s Guardian Guide, talking (as Alan) about becoming a national treasure. The publication also featured a revealing interview with Coogan’s Partridge co-writers, Peter Baynham and Neil and Rob Gibbons. Finally, The Observer published a profile on the comic actor.

Don’t forget that you can see Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (which has been receiving a fair few rave reviews) in UK cinemas from August 7th.

Hunderbafta… With Alan Partridge.

9 Apr

© Baby Cow Productions / Sky Atlantic

No, it’s not the title of another useless television pitch by yer man Alan, but the news that TVO’s top hitters are up for yet more gongs – this time at the BAFTA Television Awards.

The seemingly never ending cycle of BAFTA award ceremonies is no bad thing when the likes of HunderbyAlan Partridge and Game Of Thrones continue to get nominated.

Hunderby – Julia Davis twisted period black comedy co-written with Barunka O’Shaughnessy and featuring Rufus JonesKevin Eldon, Arnab ChandaPrinces In The Tower and the dulcet narrative tones of Julian Barratt – has been nominated in the category of Situation Comedy, where it must fend off competition from Episodes, Twenty Twelve and the incredibly popular The Thick Of It. 

The latter also has a TVO connection, with Justin Edwards in its huge ensemble cast, and its creator Armando Iannucci being one of the driving forces behind Partridge all these years.

Speaking of Partridge, the Dave Lambert directed special Welcome To The Places Of My Life has been nominated for Best Comedy Programme, against The Revolution Will Be Televised, Mr Stink and Cardinal Burns.  The one off show was the first original slice of Alan made for Sky Atlantic last year, after they bought the rights to web-show Mid Morning Matters.

© Baby Cow Productions / Sky Atlantic

Alan’s alter-ego, Steve Coogan, has a lot to celebrate – he’s also been nominated for Male Performance In A Comedy Programme – versus Greg Davies (Cuckoo), Hugh Bonneville (Twenty Twelve) and Peter Capaldi (The Thick Of It).  Similarly, the Female Performance In A Comedy Programme list features none other than Julia Davis once again, for her role in Hunderby – a show made by Coogan’s BabyCow Productions.  She’ll be up against old friends Jessica Hynes and Olivia Colman (both for Twenty Twelve) and Miranda Hart (Miranda).

TVO would like to extend our congratulations to all at Baby Cow and especially everyone involved with Hunderby and Welcome To The Places Of My Life, and assure you our fingers are crossed for your victories!

For the full list of nominations, check out the Radio Times website, where you can also vote for the Radio Times Audience Award BAFTA.  This highly charged poll battle is between some serious tv big-hitters: The London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, directed by Danny Boyle, could be expected to walk away with the trophy, but it’ll be up against stiff competition from Strictly Come Dancing, The Great British Bake OffCall The Midwife, Homeland and Game Of Thrones – the latter of which has featured Tony Way and Paul Kaye amongst its guest cast.  Vote for your favourite now!

Nods & Nominations

26 Mar

© Queenonline

The Oscars may seem like a distant memory already, but Awards Season continues apace, and TVO regulars are, as always, in the offering.

The BAFTA Craft Awards were announced this weekend, and comedy legend Rhys Thomas is up for the highly prestigious Breakthrough Talent award for his documentary Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender, which shone a candid light on the period between Freddie’s debut solo album in 1985, and his premature death in 1991.

He’s up against stiff competition from Mike Bartlett for The Town, Julie Gearey for Prisoners’ Wives and Tim Whitnall for Best Possible Taste: The Kenny Everett Story.

Elsewhere, in the comedy department, Julia Davis has been nominated for “Writer (Comedy)” due to her gloriously funny period piece Hunderby.  She’s up against Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche and Simon Blackwell for the final run of The Thick Of It (which featured Justin Edwards), as well as John Morton for Twenty Twelve and Jo Brand, Vicki Pepperdine and Joanna Scanlan for Getting On.  For the full list of nominations, check out Digital Spy’s rundown over yonder.

Last week saw the Royal Television Society Programme Awards take place in London, and again, there were TVO connections on show.  Horrible Histories was pipped to the post as Children’s Programme by Room On The Broom, but Sherlock – the last episode of which featured Katherine Parkinson and Tony Way – won the award for Drama Series ahead of Call The Midwife and Line Of Duty.  Sherlock also picked up an award for “Writer – Drama”, given to its showrunner Steven Moffat.

© RTS

However, the big TVO win belonged to BabyCow for Alan Partridge: Welcome To The Places Of My Life – which picked up the nod for Scripted Comedy – so congrats to Steve CooganDave Lambert and the rest of the team!  For more info, pop here.

Lastly, and by no means leastly, the delightful Tony Law won Best Club Comic and Best Show for Maximum Nonsense at this weekend’s Chortle Awards, with Stewart Lee & Richard Herring also scoring double wins.

And of course, as we told you this weekendSightseers picked up yet another gong – this time for Best British Film at the Empire Awards.  All in all, a glorious time for the stars of TVO – and we’re over the moon for everyone winning things!

Who Makes You Chortle?

28 Feb

© Mog

Voting is now open for the 2013 Chortle Awards, the UK online comedy guide.

Nomination are now up and include a couple of TVO-connected acts (as well as a whole host of other worthy nominees).

There are a few omissions that we’d like to correct given half a chance, but we’re very glad that the awesome Tony Law is up for two awards: Best Club Comic and Best Show (for the critically-aclaimed Maximum Nonsense), and 2012’s Alan Partridge Sky Atlantic TV Specials are also nominated in the Best TV category.

To view the full list of nominations and to vote click here.

Bill & Sinclair

25 Feb

© Baby Cow Productions / Sky Atlantic

Baby Cow and Sky Atlantic’s series of highly inventive comedy shorts, Common Ground continues tonight with a heavy dollop of TVO talent.

One half of tonight’s double bill – directed as ever by Dave Lambert – is an episode written by and starring Rufus Jones and Dan Renton Skinner – the latter another one of those ‘not-quite-TVO’ faces we love, perhaps best known as his alter-ego Angelos Epithemiou, but also a regular collaborator with a number of our regulars.

Bill & Sinclair tells the story of a banker, William [Jones], who has had an almighty fall from grace, and is forced into a frosty reunion with his roguish brother, Sinclair [Skinner], who takes great delight in this new turn of events, especially as Bill’s wife Francesca knows nothing of her husband’s sticky situation.

If the reuniting of Jones & Skinner, who were both part of sketch troupe Dutch Elm Conservatoire with Stephen Evans many moons ago, isn’t enough – the short also features the likes of Rufus’ Mongrels co-star Paul Kaye, and a role for everyone’s favourite agony aunt stand-up comic, Rachel Stubbings.

You can see the show tonight only on Sky Atlantic at 9:15pm.  It will then be available on SkyGo for subscribers only, and if we hear of a dvd release, we’ll be sure to keep you peeled.

Dave Lambert: Not Your Common Man

17 Feb

Common Ground is a new series of shorts currently showing on Sky Atlantic on Monday evenings. The anthology of ten stories follows the ordinary lives of some rather interesting characters, with two episodes airing each week.

© Dave Lambert

We were lucky enough to talk to the show’s director, Dave Lambert, a man already well-known to us through his work with the Mighty Boosh and Steve Coogan, amongst others:

Dave, can you tell us how Common Ground come about and how you first became involved in the series? 
Baby Cow were approached by Lucy Lumsden, Head of Comedy at Sky, to come up with ten shorts for Sky Atlantic featuring brand new comic characters. I became involved after Ali MacPhail, the producer, had been working on it for a while and had narrowed down the potential scripts.

We met with the writers/performers to develop the scripts and started to cast the episodes. Then we got out there and shot them. I’m really proud of the show and hope lots of people see it.

Do you have a favourite episode or character from the series?
No! They are all my favourites! Seriously, I do love them all because they are all different and each tells a different story. There really is something for everyone in this series.

Could you see any of the stories developing for a second run?
Definitely, whether it is a standalone series for the individual characters or a second series of Common Ground – I think these characters need to be seen again, 11 minutes leaves you wanting more. I don’t think it’s the last you’ve seen of them.

© Sky Atlantic

At TVO, we’re increasingly directing people to Sky Atlantic to watch the TV shows we write about. Do you think Sky has taken over as the home of interesting TV comedy?
I think Sky have been fantastic over the last couple of years in regard to TV comedy in the UK. There’s energy and excitement around the industry and there’s some great shows being made. Sky Atlantic are all about trusting the talent to deliver the goods and they also give the perfect amount of guidance and input. As a viewer I really like the channel, ‘Girls’ is one of the best things on TV at the moment.

© Baby Cow/Sky Atlantic

Over the years you’ve been involved in a number of Steve Coogan projects, most recently producing and directing him as Alan Partridge. Why do you think Partridge has been so popular for so long?
Alan is one of the great comic characters. I grew up watching it religiously and it blows my mind that I’ve had the chance to produce and direct Partridge shows. I think audiences will always want to hear his views on the world. He’s always relevant and he’s just brilliantly performed by Steve.

Do you think the character of Partridge has evolved over time?
Steve himself said that in ‘Mid-Morning Matters’ we are seeing more of a ‘pure’ Alan. It’s just him, Simon and sometimes a guest, there are two cameras in that room and you see everything, there’s nowhere to hide. The performance is more nuanced and Alan is a little older. For ‘Places of my life’ that carried on but it was Alan in full presenter mode as well, which is a joy to behold!

You’re also famous around these parts for your Mighty Boosh documentaries. What was it like working with them, given they’re notoriously difficult to organise?
I loved filming the Boosh! There was a period of time when whatever they were doing I would document it. I have  tons of tapes and drives with footage of them. In terms of organisation there were a few occasions where my schedule was more urgent then theirs but that happens sometimes! They are a joy to be around, one of my best memories was making the documentary ‘A journey through Time and Space’ and revisiting the venues where they met and did early gigs. It was so funny and great to hear their memories.

We’re Taking Over!

5 Feb

2013 has only just begun, but already there’s a distinctly Velvet Onion flavour to the UK’s media landscape!

Last night you could watch two TVO-related TV shows on the box: Common Ground is the new series of shorts directed by Baby Cow’s Dave Lambert, which started its run at 9pm on Monday on Sky Atlantic.  Sky subscribers can watch the first two episodes (‘Floyd’ and ‘Patricia’) on catch up TV, while the next two episodes (‘Eleanor’ featuring Katy Brand, and ‘Sunshine Simon’) air at 9pm mext Monday 11th February.

© BBC

Also on yesterday was Richard III: The King in the Car Park, a documentary hosted by Simon Farnaby, which followed the geekily-exciting unearthing of the King’s remains. It was that newsworthy, the programme even trended on twitter! But as Danny Wallace noted : “I think it is great that Simon Farnaby is presenting this historic Richard III doc, but it’s a bit like Rich Fulcher doing the moon landing.” The show is available to watch on 4OD here and is repeated on 4seven over the next few days.

© Claire Jones

Last night was also notable for another award for Sightseers (yes, another one!), as the film scooped the prestigious Evening Standard Peter Seller’s awards for best comedy. Big congratulations to director Ben Wheatley and writers/stars Alice Lowe and Steve Oram.

Rewind 24 hours to Sunday and you might have caught Colin Hoult in stonking form as Crumb, in the new series of Being Human on BBC3. You can catch up on info about the show, watch clips and see the first episode here.

Then there’s the critical acclaim that’s gathering for Fit, the new CBBC sketch show that features a host of TVO regulars, such as Tony Way, Rufus Jones and Aisling Bea. 

Plus the sheer awesomeness of Noel Fielding’s presence on David Bowie’s official website following his weekend interview in the Guardian!

Yep, it’s been quite a week for the folk we write about (and it’s only Tuesday); we seem to have infiltrated most media touch points! So here’s to more of the same into February and beyond…

Common Ground Online

29 Jan

Sky Atlantic have launched the Common Ground minisite, in preparation of the series première next week.

© Sky Atlantic HD

The run of comedy shorts is directed by Dave Lambert, and features the likes of Katy BrandRufus Jones and Paul Kaye – as well as Snuffbox legend Alan Ford, and frequent TVO collaborator Jessica Hynes.

With the first two editions, featuring Hynes, Amelia Bullmore, Hugo Speer and Charles Dance, set to air at 9pm on Monday, February 4th -followed by a repeat screening of Hunderby – the show’s official site now contains clips from the episodes and a series of galleries to peruse.  There’s also this rather lovely trailer, which we’ve included below – alongside a preview clip of Katy Brand in her episode, Eleanor.

We’re currently keeping our eyes peeled for news of the show making it to dvd and/or blu-ray, so if you’re a fan of what you see – and it looks amazing, we must admit – check back for news as and when we get it.  For more info in the meantime, visit the Common Ground website.

Common Ground Finds February Launch

7 Jan

Common Ground – the forthcoming anthology of comedy shorts on Sky Atlantic we first told you about in October, will air in February, according to Radio Times.

© Sky Atlantic HD

Originally titled Common People, the ten part series will air back to back double episodes alongside a repeat run of TVO’s very own Hunderby – which is currently still basking in the light of its double win at the British Comedy Awards, ahead of an almost guaranteed second series (we hope!) – starting on Monday, February 4th at 9pm.

The first week’s episodes feature Charles Dance, Amelia Bullmore, Hugo Speer and Jessica Hynes, whilst week two will see Katy Brand‘s short, Eleanor, about a woman whose beloved organic shop slash café goes out of business and faces a takeover from greasy spoon owner Tony, played by Gordon Kennedy.   It will be supported by a second show starring Tom Davis, Sean Pertwee and Brendan Coyle.

© Sky Atlantic HD

The following week will see Johnny Vegas fronted short Rupert, air, which will co-star Paul Kaye, Tony Pitts and Celia Pacquola in a tale of tattoos – alongside another episode featuring Tom Palmer & Tom Stourton.  This will be followed by further shorts featuring Simon Day and Annette Crosbie.  In the final week, Rufus Jones will be teaming up with regular collaborator Dan Renton Skinner, for the story of a disgraced banker, Bill & Sinclair – and the series will end that night with Alex Lowe & Linda Robson starring in Barry – a reworking of Lowe’s popular pensioner live character.

The show is produced by TVO stalwarts BabyCow, and directed by none other than Dave Lambert – Boosh documentary maker extraordinaire who recently helmed Alan Partridge: Welcome To The Places Of My Life.  We can’t wait!

TVO Stars Up For British Comedy Awards!

3 Dec
© British Comedy Awards

© British Comedy Awards

The nominations for the 2012 British Comedy Awards have been announced, and a number of TVO flavoured productions are, quite rightly, in the running.

Amazingly, all four shows up for Best New Comedy Programme can be traced back to these very pages, starting with the remarkable Hunderby featuring Rufus Jones and Kevin Eldon, but most notably written by and starring Julia Davis.

The show will be battling it out against the wonderful Chris O’Dowd‘s sitcom Moone Boy and a third hilarious Baby Cow production, Alan Partridge: Welcome To The Places Of My Life which not only featured Steve Coogan as the titular character but was directed by Dave Lambert, no less!

The final show in this category has a less obvious TVO connection, but it’s there all the same – as sketch show Cardinal Burns was script edited by Rufus Jones!  So whoever wins, TVO can celebrate!

In other categories, Hunderby will be fighting for the Best Sitcom gong against Rev (which featured a guest appearance from James Bachman), Twenty Twelve and The Thick Of It.  A tough competition for that one, but we’re naturally rooting for Julia over here!  The aforementioned Cardinal Burns is also up for Best Sketch Show, as is CBBC behemoth Horrible Histories which counts Simon Farnaby and Alice Lowe amongst its ensemble cast.  They’ll both be going up against Facejacker (starring Four Lions and Bad Sugar star Kayvan Novak), and cult new show Very Important People.

Steve Coogan will be fending off challenges from Peter Capaldi, Hugh Bonneville and Tom Hollander for the title of Best TV Comedy Actor, whilst Bad Sugar star Olivia Coleman’s two roles in Twenty Twelve and Rev will be up against Lizzie & Sarah star Jessica Hynes, and The Day Today legend Rebecca Front for Best TV Comedy Actress.

Harry Hill’s TV, produced by Spencer Millman has received it’s final nomination for Best Comedy Entertainment Programme, which sees it square up to The Graham Norton Show, Celebrity Juice and Alan Carr’s Chatty Man for the title.   Hill will also be hoping to win Best Male Television Comic, and he’s up against the likes of Sean Lock, Blunder and Bruiser veteran David Mitchell and Boosh radio series star Lee Mack, who is perhaps now best known for his role in Not Going Out alongside Katy Wix.  The Best Female Television Comic section is the only one with no TVO link, and it will be decided between Jo Brand, Nina Conti, Sarah Millican and Sue Perkins.

© Baby Cow / Sky

© Baby Cow / Sky

Despite being a standup veteran, Nina Conti is also up for Best Comedy Breakthrough Artist, as are Cardinal Burns, Morgana Robinson and our personal favourite, young Moone Boy star David Rawle.  Finally, Best Comedy Entertainment Personality will be one of the following four men: Stephen Fry, Harry Hill, Graham Norton or Nathan Barley writer Charlie Brooker.

For more details on the awards, which take place on December 12th and are broadcast live on Channel 4, visit their official website now – and good luck to everyone nominated!

The Moone, The Matters & The Bubbly Milk… New TVO DVD’s From Baby Cow!

19 Nov

Today sees the release of two of the latest additions to the TVO canon on digital versatile disc… as both Hunderby and Moone Boy are unleashed to the world, joining Alan Partridge: Mid Morning Matters which was released last week.

© 2|Entertain / Baby Cow Productions / Sky Comedy

Julia Davis‘ period comedy Hunderby also features the likes of Rufus Jones and Kevin Eldon in it’s powerful ensemble cast, and as rumours of a second series begin to gain strength, we’re pleased those who loved the show on Sky Atlantic can be joined by those who didn’t have the chance to appreciate this instant classic.  You can order a copy to accompany your bubbly milk right here for just £13.99.

Meanwhile, another production from Baby Cow sees the big man himself, Steve Coogan, make a guest appearance.  The charming Moone Boy written by, and starring Chris O’Dowd is also released today, in which Chris plays the imaginary friend of young dreamer Martin Moone.  The rural Irish setting and 80s period flavour combine with a whimsical style that again, deserves to return for another series as soon as possible, and it can be bought for only £13.69 by giving a dead bird the kiss of life, or just clicking here.

Finally, last week saw the release of another Baby Cow and Coogan concoction – the latest piece of the Alan Partridge saga.  Mid Morning Matters started life as a series of webisodes, before being picked up by Sky for broadcast earlier this year.  With another run currently in production, and the long awaited Partridge movie gearing up for production soon, this is a great chance to catch up with a legend of local broadcasting, and you can grab a cup of beans with a sausage in them to go with your dvd, which is only £14.15 in our store now.

Common(ion) People

11 Oct

© Ian Gavan / Getty Images Europe

The televisual resurgence in new wave comedy has had a surprising beacon of shiny awesomeness over the last twelve months, in the form of Sky Atlantic – and that association looks set to continue apace with the announcement of Common People.

An eleven part series of comedy shorts directed by Dave LambertCommon People is planned as a mockumentary style peek into the ordinary lives of some unusual people.

Naturally, much like previous Sky series Little Crackers, its makers are drawing upon the excellent reserve of talents we have here in Onion land.

Katy Brand will be writing and starring in Eleanor Popplewell – which will tell the story of the titular character’s beloved organic shop slash café, which goes out of business and faces a takeover from greasy spoon owner Tony.

Tony has a serious thing for Eleanor, but will she ever see things from his point of view?  There’s currently no word on who else will be in this short, but we’ll be keeping an eye out for any developments just in case Katy draws on her friends on these pages!

© Sky Atlantic HD

Meanwhile, Brand’s former Mongrels co-star Rufus Jones, will be crafting away on short film Scoundrels alongside occasional collaborator Dan Skinner (perhaps best known for his alter ego Angelos Epithemiou).

It will tell the story of an ex-city banker, Bill (Jones), who fell from grace after accusations of embezzling.  Now lives with his brother Sinclair (Skinner), Bill must stop his sibling from revealing all to his wife, Francesca.

Another short in the series has TVO links – as the living legend that is Jessica Hynes takes her cameo appearance in Moone Boy and turns it into a full blooded misadventure called Politically Incorrect.

Having perfected the art of getting away with terrible decisions in work and real life, and approaching the menopause on mixed medication, Local Councillor Patricia David manages to dodge professional bullets with sheer luck and a talent for being… somewhere else!

© Dave Lambert

Other shorts in the series will feature the likes of Johnny Vegas, Simon Day, Charles Dance, Tom Davis, Jose Lawrence, Annette Crosby, Alex Lowe, Linda Robson, double-act Totally Tom,  Big Train‘s Amelia Bullmore, and How Not To Live Your LifeHunderby star Daniel Lawrence Taylor.

To further links to TVO, the show will be produced by stalwarts BabyCow, and directed by Dave Lambert – Boosh documentary maker extraordinaire who recently helmed Alan Partridge: Welcome To The Places Of My Life.

We can’t wait.  Common People looks set to air in January, and we’ll be bringing you more news closer to transmisison.  In the meantime, check out the full story over yonder with our friends at The British Comedy Guide.

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