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She’s A Rainbow: TVO Interviews Ameena Kara Callender

14 Aug

© Greg Sick

At The Velvet Onion we try to bring you a different, deeper view of the comedy you love. It was with this mission in mind that we hunted down the Stylist and Costume Designer responsible for the fantastical costumes in Luxury Comedy, to find out how the improbable from Noel Fielding‘s imagination is brought to life with a sewing machine. Mog reports. 

One of the things that strikes you about the cast and crew of Luxury Comedy is their dedication to the cause. When you listen to them talk about their involvement in the two series, it’s clear that this was no mere job. The loyalty and commitment that Noel has inspired amongst the team has created a tightly-knit family of can-do’s, happy to go to the ends of the earth to make everything perfect. And Ameena Kara Callender is no exception.

© Ameena

I meet Ameena at her Hoxton studio, surrounded by the colourful chaos of what she does. She looks exactly as you’d hope a stylist would: an unselfconscious  mish-mash of clashing colours and patterns, sparkly sandals and powder pink socks; an unexpected balance point between the fabulously exotic and the genuine girl next door.

She tells me that she has always enjoyed dressing up; when she was younger she used to make outfits for nights out with her Mum and Gran from the fabrics they kept in their sewing cupboard. However, she didn’t train as a stylist – the origins of her creative education were fine art, sculpture and painting.

One of her specialisms at college was 3D craft and design, which gave her a useful grounding in working with plastic-based materials. “It’s why I’m able to make these more bizarre sculptural costumes for Noel. All of the random things I’ve learned over the years came together in this one job, which harnessed all of it all at once.”

© Ameena

© Ameena

Originally connected via a mutual friend, Ameena has known Noel for years, but it was at his art exhibition at Maison Bertaux in 2010 that he asked her if she wanted to work on the show. Ameena was particularly drawn to an installation at the exhibition which turned out to be a precursor to the Jellyfox sketch from series 1.

“I really vibed off the animations that he’d done with Nige,” she says. “Noel asked ‘Do you want to make some Leigh Bowery type costumes for me?’ and I was like ‘Hell yeah – that’s right up my street!” she laughs.

Given that Noel has such clear ideas of his own about the look of the characters in the show, I ask her how the creative development process plays out between them. “Working with Noel is amazing. He’s a visual artist, and that goes across the spectrum of everything he does.”

“He draws constantly, and a big part of him coming up with a character is drawing it and figuring out what it looks like. Sometimes they pretty much have the outfit on that they’ll have on when the character comes into the real world, but sometimes he’ll leave it open for me,” she explains.

Taking on that level of responsibility can sometimes be a little daunting; trying to second-guess what Noel wants for a character or working out what would surprise him (in a good way!) can be a challenge, particularly when most of the characters are unlike anything that’s gone before. “You don’t know what really works until you go through the magical process; you can’t get out a reference from Dazed & Confused and say ‘I want him to be like that’, because it’s a whole weird, insane new concept.” she explains. “I’ve spent nights with matchsticks to keep my eyes open doing designs to show Nige and Noel the next day!”

© Ameena. Illustration on jumpsuit by David Shillinglaw

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Luxury Cafe Competition: A Massive Thank you

13 Aug

© Channel 4

A week and a half ago we announced a competition which would give 5 readers the chance to win a Luxury Comedy mug and pack of coffee. To enter, we asked you to create something from the Luxury Comedy cafe menu.

We didn’t think it was fair to award the prizes on the basis of cooking ability, so to give everyone an equal chance we decided to select the winners randomly from all of the entries. We secretly hoped that some of you would make a bit of effort, but we had no idea how inventive, hilarious and downright incredible so many of your entries were going to be!

Here are a small selection of those which knocked us sideways with their creativity and put a smile on our faces – and we had many, many more besides! Just click on the thumbnails to view a larger image.

It just goes to prove how much you’re loving the new series of Luxury Comedy and how much the show inspires you; we hope Noel Fielding is justifiably chuffed! It also suggests that you’re pretty desperate for a mug of coffee, but perhaps that’s not really the point ;-)

The 5 winners have been selected at random from all of the entries received and have now been notified. They are: Cali Rivlin, Chaas, Imaginary Nadya, Spaceboy and The Dream Tiger (twitter names).  A rather splendid Luxury mug and pack of coffee will be winging its way to you.

Huge congratulations to the winners and a massive thank you to everyone who took part!

Luxury cookery shown above thanks to Afrika D, Alleshia Cook, Anita, Arthur M, Azzy, Becca Moody, Becky Price, Bluey, Cali, Cali Rivlin, Catie, Chaas, Faye Loretta Lee, Gothic Bob, Imaginary Nadya, Jadie Rae, Jodie Kozo Konatsubara, Mol, Nikki Burns, Sean Feehan, Terry, The Dream Tiger, The Plasticine Punk, Spaceboy and  . (yes, that’s their name). You’re all awesome!

Sights and Sounds from Painted Hawaii

9 Aug

We’re now two episodes into Series 2 of Luxury Comedy on E4, and as part of our ongoing celebration around the show’s return, we’re digging into the magical land created by Noel Fielding and Nigel Coan for the series.

© Lauren Taylor / The Velvet Onion

© Lauren Taylor / The Velvet Onion

Whilst we’re all quite understandably excited about the huge number of TVO regulars who are involved in the show in front of the camera, it’s rewarding to know there are a number of familiar faces behind it too.

One such face is the legendary James Dillon, who Boosh fans will know as the designer for all three series of The Mighty Boosh, and the subsequent national tours. He was also responsible for the set design of shows as eclectic as Not Going Out, Live at the Electric, Gimme Gimme Gimme, Bill Hicks Live and The Crystal Maze, to name but a few: check out his website to see more from this truly incredible man.

During TVO’s exclusive visit to the film studios which housed Luxury Comedy last summer, James very kindly allowed us to photograph the main standing set: the interior of Noel’s Luxury Cafe.  A selection of these images can be seen below, and show the sheer level of detail that James put into the set in collaboration with Noel & Nigel.

This set, used as a focal point for the whole series, was a labour of love for Dillon, and it shows in the impressive range of vintage props, paintings by Noel, the authentic cafe menu (as featured in our competition over yonder), and our favourite part of the set: the jukebox!

What makes this lovely model so special is the attention to detail on the choice of records chosen. This beauty houses 100 discs, which are all carefully chosen to represent either the Hawaiian feel of the cafe, or a general Summery 60’s/70’s vibe, in line with the rest of the set design.

Wherever possible, given rights issues prevent some of those records being added, we’ve rounded up the selection into a Luxury Jukebox playlist on Spotify, which you can listen to at your leisure. Full details of the tracks listed (and not listed) can be found after the ‘Read More’ button below, so if you fancy recreating the 100% accurate jukebox vibe for your next Luxury themed party, get scouring ebay for these classics now!

© Lauren Taylor / The Velvet Onion

© Lauren Taylor / The Velvet Onion

There are two records which, for some reason, appear twice on the jukebox, but even with those duplicates and the rights-restricted tracks absent from the playlist, that still leaves 157 tracks for you to savour.  Enjoy.

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Luxury Gallery, Ooh-Yeah!

1 Aug

Suck my beans! Luxury Comedy officially launched last night, and with Episode Two now on 4oD, there’s still lots we have to share with you as the series progresses.

© Dave Brown / Channel 4

© Dave Brown / Channel 4

For starters, there’s our making of featurette: a rough-n-ready rumble-tumble through the madness of filming Luxury Comedy.  TVO hung around for four very different days on set and highlights from the organised chaos will be seen very soon.

There’s also a competition coming later today, and a few more surprises to come – including our own behind the scenes photo galleries.  But it’s only right and proper that we begin such proceedings with the official photography, lovingly crafted by the incredible Dave Brown and the genius that is Nigel Coan. Enjoy, and keep coming back for more!

Obviously, we’re aware that, given TVO is read in 161 different countries at last count, that a large number of you have no access to Channel 4.  In that case, we heartily recommend you order Series 1 and Series 2 on dvd from The Velvet Onion Amazon Store now!

Luxury Archives

29 Jul

As we excitedly skip towards the official launch of the new series of Luxury Comedy, we’ve come over all nostalgic at TVO and  we thought it might be nice to have a look back at some of the exclusive interviews, reviews and content that we created for your delectation for series 1. Here then is a trawl through our Luxury archives from back in the day:

First off, a biggie! Noel Fielding and Channel 4 were kind enough to invite us along to the filming of  the first series. Here’s what went on when we were there (and there are a few teasers that you can watch while you’re in a viewing mood too – just click on the links in this sentence):

Next up, we got all intellectual as our in-house art expert, Lozzy Taylor, wrote this article about the myriad of artistic inspirations contained within the show. On the subject of art, some of you will remember our call for you to send us your Luxury-inspired artistic output. We were deluged with an incredible range of colour and creativity, which we collated into a gallery of fan-generated awesomeness. Take a look at it here; did you make it into the gallery?

© Lozzy Taylor

We were lucky enough to get the chance to talk to the very lovely Dolly Wells and Mike Fielding (in what is, by his own admission, Mike’s most honest and revealing interview) about their role in Luxury series 1. Plus we managed to persuade the interview-shy co-creater and director of the show, Nigel Coan, to talk to us about working with Noel.

We also ran profiles on Nigel and Tom Meeten, in case they and their work needed a proper introduction to their new army of fans.

Finally, we’ll leave you with this interview with Noel from Spring 2013, which we filmed while he was writing series 2. He talks about the reaction to the first series and his plans for the new one. It’s interesting to see just how much of what he said developed into the new shows:

Stay peeling, as we hope to bring you more exclusives for series 2!…

An Early Look At Luxury 2

24 Jul

© Channel 4

Last week we were lucky enough to get a sneaky peek at the new series of Luxury Comedy. So without giving away any spoilers, what can we expect when it finally hits our screens on 31st July?

In interviews about the new series, Noel Fielding has been pretty open about his decision to move away from the sketch show format of series 1, towards a more narrative programme structure with a beginning, middle and an end to each episode. He says it’s because he’s a story-teller at heart, and it’s what he does best. This change of structure is certainly one of the most noticeable differences between the two series. So does it work?

Luxury Comedy is Noel’s stand up in visual form. That’s not to do it down; the fact that anyone has managed to capture the fantastical mayhem that goes on inside Fielding’s mind is impressive enough. Noel’s stand up material is at its best when allowed to slowly weave its shapes, layer upon layer, over a period of time. Stories unfold, characters evolve and concepts crystallise through repetition. By contrast, on the occasions I’ve seen him perform short slots on crowded comedy bills, his ideas don’t always have time to develop. This is not a man for the rat-tat-tat of machine-gun punchlines.

In the same way, expanding his TV ideas into 30-minute stories gives them proper form, allowing the viewer to step inside, appreciate their complexities and get carried along with the narrative. These are ideas rich enough for full episodes; and to reduce each of them to a sketch of a few minutes would underplay them. For me, then, the new format isn’t just about telling stories – it’s about telling strange stories much better.

© Channel 4

The different characters whom we encounter across the series are now part of each week’s story, which gives them purpose and makes the interaction between them feel genuine. The relationships between the characters are one of the aspects of the new series that gives the show its heart. This is no longer a disjointed collection of strange misfits; they’re friends, neighbours, and occasional enemies – as the story requires.

The friendship between the main four – Noel, Dolly, Andy and Smooth, allows for a solid dynamic at the centre of the action. The series 2 versions of the core team feel more ‘human’ and rounded, and as a result more sympathetic than before. Noel, in particular, presents a very different on-screen persona to anything we’ve seen from him previously: awkward, eager to please and uncool, he’s the Howard to Dolly’s preening Vince. Devoid of Howard Moon’s pomposity, however, this Noel is a character with whom we empathise, not just the one we laugh at.

Noel has said that he and Nigel spent longer writing the second series, and this comes across. I loved the first series, but there are more funnier moments in series 2 (based on the two episodes we saw). The writing’s sharp, the physical comedy is hilarious, and the characters are beautifully honed and gloriously wonky at the same time. Look out for star turns throughout from a whole host of TVO faces, including Richard Ayoade, Steve Oram, Dave Brown, Rich Fulcher, Arnab Chanda, Tania Wade, Barunka O’Shaughnessy, Stuart Silver, Simon Farnaby and others.

© Channel 4

This series is arguably the most self-aware output that we’ve ever seen from Fielding, with a number of knowing references to the public reaction that series 1 generated. He’s said that it’s a natural reaction to criticism – you try to get in there first before anyone else does. And it works well in this context, tethering the strange Luxury world to our own experience from time to time (thereby making it more relateable), and imbuing the series with a large helping of humility which, one hopes, the cynics out there will respond positively to.

Added to all of that, Luxury Comedy is still a fabulous feast for the eyes: the distinctive day-glo sets, wardrobe, make-up and animation all combine to create a uniquely visual world. Huge credit to Nigel Coan and his production team for putting it all together; you can see that it’s a labour of love in every single scene.

So will the rest of the world like it? I hope so. If people enjoyed the Boosh and the naysayers can get over their disproportionately extreme reaction to series 1, they would like this. Genuinely funny, beautifully magical and full of heart – what’s not to love?

Don’t forget to tune in: Luxury Comedy series 2 airs at 10pm on E4 on 31st July. For the less patient amongst you, episode 1 is available to view from TODAY –  a whole week early, on 4oD here.

Time For A Serving Of Luxury

16 Jul

© Channel4

We’ve seen the trailer, we’ve wondered at its vague promise of “coming soon” – and you’ve been asking us in droves: WHEN WILL SERIES 2 OF LUXURY COMEDY BE HITTING OUR SCREENS?? Well wonder no more..

We can confirm that the new series kicks off on E4 on 31st July!

We’ve got all sorts of exclusive goodies up our sleeves to mark the occasion, so stay peeling to make sure you stay on top of everything.

In the meantime, here’s an interview with Noel Fielding that Channel 4 have released ahead of the new series.

Luxury Amusement

27 Apr

It’s been a quiet weekend on the news front, so we thought we’d take the opportunity to decorate our home page with a few pictures, courtesy of Noel Fielding‘s creative output during the past 48 hours.

© Mog

We were lucky enough to catch one of Noel’s (slightly) secretive warm up shows last night, along with his fellow Luxury crew, Dolly Wells and Tom Meeten, who were chuckling away at the bar. It would be unfair on Noel to write a spoiler-riddled review of the gig at this stage in the development of his live show, so we thought we’d share a few artfully-blurred (ahem!) photos with you instead. Suffice to say that his characteristic charismatic energy is there is spades, and the fruit cake is still being baked.

On a different topic, followers of Fielding on twitter were treated to a series of images on Friday evening which showed his early sketches of some of the characters from Luxury Comedy, including Sergeant Ray Boombox, Dondylion, Andy Warhol, Fantasy Man, Rene, Gaviskon, and the costume reveal at the end of the series 1 Jellyfox episode.

The closeness of the final on-screen characters to these early sketches shows how clear Noel’s vision for the show was right from the off, and demonstrates the skill of his production team (Nigel Coan, Christine Cant and Ameena Kara Callender, amongst others) in helping him to pull it off. It’s further whetted our appetite for series 2!

For those of you who didn’t catch Noel’s tweets, here are the pictures of the characters in all their glory:

© Noel Fielding

© Noel Fielding

© Noel Fielding

© Noel Fielding

© Noel Fielding

© Noel Fielding

© Noel Fielding

A Glimpse Behind The Boosh

26 Oct

© Proud Camden

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, most of you will by now be aware that Dave Brown’s behind-the-scenes photos of The Mighty Boosh have become an exhibition, Behind the Boosh, which is currently showing at Proud Camden.  A few of our gang were lucky enough to be at the opening night; here’s a summary of what it’s all about from Velveteer Mog:

© Mog / The Velvet Onion

The opening night of Behind the Boosh was buzzing. The gallery was full of friends and fans, including the Mayor of Camden (!), and a bevy of TVO-connected folk such as Noel Fielding, Julia Davis, Tom Meeten, Steve Oram, Arnab Chanda, Nigel Coan, Barunka O’Shaughnessy and Mr Bingo - plus Dave Brown of course.

You may feel like you’ve seen a significant chunk of Behind the Boosh reproduced in the various newspapers and websites that have been writing about the show. Trust me, it’s worth seeing the pictures in the flesh if you can.

The images themselves are undeniably aesthetically pleasing, and all the more so in larger dimensions than the recent online coverage has provided. But more than that, the photographs really come to life when viewed in the physical form: from the gentle undulations of the photographic paper beneath the glass of the frames to the signature delicately scratched onto the bottom right hand corner of every shot, it lends the images a warmth and authenticity that feels just right for the Boosh. It’s something you simply don’t get from a computer screen. The real life photographs present personal glimpses into their world as opposed to being just a visual report of something that happened.

© Dave Brown

Some of the photographs are so familiar they’ve become synonymous with the Boosh ‘brand'; it’s odd to think that someone actually took them. Others have never been seen before, and for those of us who are familiar with the TV show’s visual history, it’s these which have the greatest initial impact. An ambiguously moody shot of Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt in Buxton, which draws you in and holds you there, being a case in point.

Some of the photos depict the Boosh as a modern day rock band on tour: skinny jeans, tousled hair, stages, tour buses. By contrast, the black and white images from behind the scenes of the TV show have a timeless quality about them – the costumes, the intense conversations and the camera and lighting equipment that frames the shots makes them feel like they could have been taken in the early days of television.

© Dave Brown

Across the exhibition we get to see The Mighty Boosh in all its colours and shapes: the daftness and the the seriousness, the joy and the boredom, the camaraderie and the loneliness.

Throughout, their personalities come across as human, likeable and open for scrutiny. The result of the photographer being a trusted part of the story, one suspects. Dave’s absence from the images is the obvious downside of this arrangement, however.

The only complaint one could make about the exhibition is that it ends too soon. When we came to the final picture we were left wanting more; as if we’d been offered a window into the fascinating world of the Boosh rather than being told the full story.  We live in hope for a part 2!

For more photos from the opening night visit Proud’s Facebook page. Behind the Boosh is running at Camden Proud until 1st December, so there’s still time to get yourself down there.

Soho Fantastico

5 Jul

© Mog

Wednesday night saw the hotly anticipated Club Fantastico, Steve Oram and Tom Meeten‘s wildly demented comedy show, take place at the Soho Theatre.

The TVO contingent were out in force, with a star-studded and appreciative audience that included Alice Lowe, Tony Way, John Hopkins, Noel Fielding, Dolly Wells, Nigel Coan, Kim Noble, Dan Clark, Arnab Chanda, Gareth Tunley, Waen Shepherd, Barunka O’Shaughnessy and Bob Pipe. Phew!

Reviewing Club Fantastico presents something of a challenge; it’s difficult to do justice to a performance that features the techno dancing antics of Shaun the Prawn, an apparatus for feeding peanuts to ladies from a distance, an mind-melting version of Paper/Scissors/Rock, a phonecall with a pet lizard and “..but I won’t go South of the River” as what could possibly be one of the best comedy catch phrases ever. It also features Mary, who we will continue to find hilarious until the end of time. For their charm, energy and downright silliness Oram & Meeten are hard to beat.

So instead of a written review, we thought we’d share a few photos from the night. We think they tell their own story!

© Mog

© Mog

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Noel Fielding Interview Part 5: The Mighty Boosh

25 Jun

Two weeks ago we brought you Part 4 of our exclusive interview with Noel Fielding, in which he answered your questions about Luxury Comedy. This week Noel talks about The Mighty Boosh, a topic very dear to many people’s hearts (if the recent social media furore around the team’s reformation for Festival Supreme is any indication!).

Please accept our apologies that this one has been a wee while coming. We hope that the end result was worth the wait, and that we’ve been able to provide you with an angle on The Boosh story which we don’t ususally get to hear about in interviews; anyway, we’ll let you be the judge of that!

This marks the end of our series of interviews with Noel; we hope you’ve enjoyed watching them (feel free to let us know what you think in the comments box below). Thanks to all of you who sent in questions in the first place, and thanks for subsequently commenting, capping and giffing (is that a word?) the hell out of our little films across tumblr, twitter and the like. Fieldmice, we salute you!

Of course, the biggest thanks goes to Noel for allowing us to badger him with questions, and for his amazing energy, patience and downright loveliness throughout the project.  Thank you, Noel – you’ve been brilliant!

If you’ve missed any of the previous instalments, here are the links in easy-to-click-on format: Teaser; Part 1 (Turning 40); Part 2 (Random questions); Part 3 (Random questions); Part 4 (Luxury Comedy). Enjoy!

Luxury Models

26 Mar

© Richard Martin

As we wait patiently for further news about Series 2 of Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, some kind soul has uncovered some fascinating background info about the show to tide us over.

Richard Martin is the model maker whose creations populated the series’ unique visual world. His models include such seminal props as The Golden Needle, used by Fantasy Man to repair the rift in the barrier between YouTube and YouPorn, Ice Cream Eyes’ ice cream eyes, and the frisbee that doubles up as a Greek dipping platter and also has the face of Brian Eno – plus many more besides!

To see the weird and wonderful models that Martin created for the show and to read his comments about them visit his website here. Wonderful stuff!

Editor’s Note: Thanks to oohyeahboomalackaway and funeral-march on tumblr for spotting this.

Teenage Cancer Trust Comedy Night: Review

22 Mar

Wednesday evening was the comedy night of 2013’s Teenage Cancer Trust concerts at the Royal Albert Hall. The evening was hosted by Noel Fielding and Russell Brand, and as you’d expect, we were there to take notes. Velveteer Mog reports:

It’s fair to say that I’ve managed to see Noel Fielding live more times than is strictly necessary and/or healthy. But I’d never seen him perform as The Goth Detectives with Russell Brand until now. This alone was reason enough to warrant a ticket to the TCT Comedy Night. That, and it’s for a good cause.

© The Evening Standard

The Albert Hall is a grand, imposing venue and it was fulll to the rafters with people who had paid up to £50 for a ticket: two facts that might influence one’s expectations about the type of entertainment on offer. I wondered how the Goth Detectives’ somewhat haphazard improvised style would come across. I needn’t have worried: from the moment they skipped on stage holding hands to Love Cats by the Cure, through to the interval, the duo crackled and buzzed with mischief and charm. The audience were putty in their hands, and while the majority of people there were clearly already fans, the Goth Detectives genuinely impressed.

Of particular delight was the opening film, animated in the style of Luxury Comedy‘s Joey Ramone sketch, by Nigel Coan. Visually lovely, created for one night only, and very, very funny – a lot of effort had been put into the film and the crowd appreciated it. Russell and Noel’s search for a secretary, complete with a powerpoint-style chart detailing minimum wage levels and a multiple-choice interview, was well thought-through, and rewarding because of it. Russell’s protestations about removing the attractive blond from the stage because otherwise he would be incapable of concentrating on the show felt fresh and spontaneous. And then there was a wonderful film of the Moon at the end of the first half, where he paid respect to the memory of Neil Armstrong. Yes, The Goth Detectives were shambolic, but there were enough pillars of material to hold everything up, and the chemistry between them kept things bubbling along at a cracking pace.

© Mog

For me, the second half of the show didn’t quite reach the same dizzying heights, however. There seemed to be fewer moments of considered comedic intent, with the result that the improvised content meandered rather more than it had done previously. The dynamic between the pair also subtly shifted to become less of an equal partnership and more focused around Brand, whose ego is perhaps a tad larger than his cohort’s.

The result of this was a harsher, less nuanced and more bullying second half of the show: crank phonecalls were made to audience member’s families, Philip the student had his hair hacked off and the knob/etc gags were never far away.

Noel seemed less able to fully engage with Brand, who by this point only really had eyes for himself. Whilst the energy levels in the room were still sky high, I think the performance suffered as a result; by the end anarchy ruled the Albert Hall to the extent that no one was quite sure that the show had actually finished.

In between all of this two other performers added some well-received texture and focus: Sheann Walsh presented a fresh, London-centric take on observational comedy (his mime of reaching the upper level of a bus only to find there are no available seats was utter genius), and Tony Law simply knocked people’s socks off. I watched him turn a row of people in front of me from confused to bemused, then to rolling in the aisles. Masterful stuff.

Overall it was a fun night, and all involved should be commended for putting on a show of this scale for free. There’s definitely a spark of magic to be seen between the two Goth Detectives, but whether they’re a viable double act beyond the first half hour remains to be seen.

Before you go, take a look at the short film below about the Goth Detectives Comedy Night made by TCT, then why not head on over to their website to see how you can support the brilliant work that they do? 

2012: A Year In Interviews

2 Jan

In 2012 we were lucky enough to get the chance to chat to a few of the artists that we write about on these pages. So here’s a look back at some of the year’s interviews – and the fascinating, colourful and revealing comments that were shared. A big thank you to everyone who gave us their time and permitted us to poke cameras and dictaphones in their faces – we couldn’t do this without you! 

© Dave Brown

“You kind of get sick of photographers going: ‘What about this? Let’s try a look. Gimme a look! thumbs up, relax that jaw, big smile, oooh, Cheeky! Whuhey!’ All that kind of crap. Whereas with this, it was the opposite and I think they enjoyed the novelty. I think there’s a certain power to looking moody.”
Dave Brown talks about the un-comedy portraits in his photography exhibition ‘Tough Crowd’

“You do sort of wonder how many more good dresses you can pull out of your wardrobe. I might just turn up to the next one looking like Tina and go: ‘Hi, everyone. I’m not actually a film star. I don’t have the wardrobe for this.’”
Alice Lowe discusses dressing for the multiple Sightseers premiers

“They keep going on! The London Film Festival was the gala screening, and I went to Cannes for the premiere there, which was very exciting. They had one last Thursday, which I couldn’t go to, and then this one tonight, which is being called the UK Premiere. I’m not sure what the difference is anymore, but it will be fun. I get to wear my suit again.”
Richard Glover’s take on dressing for the multiple Sightseers premiers

© Examiner

“That is completely Noel’s fault. I kept saying ‘Can’t I be called something like Jana or another German name?’ and he said ‘No, Dolly is better’ and he and Nigel Coan were absolutely certain that I was going to be called Dolly. I got really self-conscious about it, and in the early days of filming Tom Meeten enjoyed putting my name in every single sentence because I was so embarrassed about it.”
Dolly Wells squirms about playing a character called ‘Dolly’ on Luxury Comedy

“Before Boosh, I was the shyest person in the world. I was scared of my own shadow, I wouldn’t talk to anyone that I didn’t know. Boosh has made me who I am now. It’s given me an animated, childish confidence. People say that when you’re thirty, you can’t be stupid like that anymore, but who says? There’s no rules!”
Mike Fielding in introspective mood

“We thought we knew what we were doing – we didn’t – and suddenly we found ourselves on stage with all these people like Simon Farnaby. They assumed we must be good, so we had to come up with something. It was all an accident, no actual decisions were made.”
John ‘Willie’ Hopkins talks about his appearances at Ealing Live with Richard Glover.

© Amelia’s Magazine

“I’m not sure I have much of an opinion on mainstream music – I just don’t really listen to it! I imagine if I did listen too much I might not be too complimentary about it, so best not to get involved! Or maybe that’s where I’m going wrong. I think I’ll go and check out the charts RIGHT NOW!”
Sue Denim’s views on mainstream music

“You do get to see why it’s a bad idea to go and kill people, in a really cathartic way.”
Alice Lowe notes that Sightseers has a strong moral code 

“Maybe he doesn’t like the idea of being moody for me…the offer’s there, Paul, whenever you’re ready, stop body swerving me and get on your frown for Brown!”
Dave Brown courting Paul Foot for ‘Tough Crowd’

“Yeah. It’s not like I’m gonna go: ‘Well, actually, it’s funny you should say that. I’ve got a little pot of spunk in my pocket.‘”
Mike Fielding’s reaction to fans screaming at him that they want to have his babies

“My brother never stops talking. Usually about sweets.”
Noel Fielding’s analysis of bother Mike

“I’ve secretly always wanted to be in the S.A.S. A friend of mine used to say I could have been in the S.A.S. but on reception.”
Richard Glover talks about his alternative career path

“I’ve got my balls out on telly, they’re horrible things…I’ve got really dangly balls.”
Tom Meeten discusses his award-winning appendages

“Keep the faith! And let’s get The Boosh to make a film before they get too old and grey!”
Oly Ralfe’s message from NY to TVO readers

“Writing with Alice is like writing with your wife. It really is just like being with your wife, and arguing on holiday, whilst sightseeing, then writing it down.
Steve Oram’s take on writing Sightseers with Alice Lowe

© Big Talk Pictures

“I tend to write the first draft of stuff, then Amy totally rewrites it! She changes everything, and I’ve learnt over our twenty-odd year relationship to understand how that works for the greater good.”
Director Ben Wheatley’s approach to working with his long-term partner, Amy Jump

“We’ve got the power to take people on a journey – if we want to go to the moon, then let’s go to the moon for 10 minutes!”
Joey Page on the power of stand-up

© Marjorie Keak

“If a drama show goes out on TV and it’s not that good no one kicks up a fuss, no one goes ‘Whoever commissioned this should be shot. I want my license fee back!’ I could easily say that a drama that doesn’t engage me in the first five minutes is the same as a comedy that doesn’t make me laugh, but people just don’t mind as much – they just accept that it’s not their cup of tea. But rarely do people accept that about comedy!”
Dan Clark takes on the harsh critics of comedy

“There’s no limits with him, whereas when you meet an actor for the first time it can be a bit awkward to pull their trousers down or something. With Richard, you can punch him in the face, rape him, and he’ll still come back for more.”
Steve Oram shows his love for working with Richard Glover on Sightseers

“I’ve been looking at Noel’s face constantly for three years, and even I watch him and say ‘There’s NY Cop’. I don’t say ’There’s Noel doing NY Cop’. You’re not looking at Noel, you’re looking at the character. It’s pretty incredible because he’s got such a pointy, distinctive face.”
Nigel Coan, director of Luxury Comedy, talks about Noel’s character performances

“I can’t believe they didn’t have Minstrels!”
Mike Fielding

© Secret Peter / Channel 4

Luxury Comedy Revealed

20 Jul

© Secret Peter/E4

Earlier this week Noel Fielding was interviewed by Canberra’s BMA Magazine, as part of his current Australian press junket. What makes this interview worth a mention is that the interviewer managed to get some fascinating new insights about Luxury Comedy.

For a start we get to find out exactly how Daddy Push’s shell head was created; we hear about Noel’s thoughts on recording series 2 in front of a live studio audience; and we discover which characters he thought were more and less successful in series 1.

It’s a real pleasure to read an article by someone who clearly knows their stuff, and interviewer Allan Sko has also taken the trouble to include the full transcript of his 25 minute chat with Noel, so we also get to find out about tons of extra stuff – like Noel’s hatred of reality TV and snuff comedy gigs.

To read the main interview take a peek here, and to check out the full transcript have a wander over there.

 

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.

Luxury Returns

2 Feb

© Secret Peter / Channel 4

As we begin to round up our Luxury Comedy Takeover week, and put the finishing touches to our behind the scenes documentary, the worst kept secret in all of Booshdom has finally popped out today – Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy is to return next year.

Following ratings success and the majority of critics loving the show’s surreal aesthetic, E4 have ordered a second run for Noel & Nigel Coan’s madcap sketch show.

News outlets have started to pick up on the story, most notably DigitalSpy, who quoted Noel’s hopes to make the second series “more like a Wednesday morning”.  We can’t wait.

Meanwhile you can continue to see the first run of episodes premièring on E4 every Thursday night at 10pm.

Luxury Creativity – Behind The Art

2 Feb

© E4 / Ape Inc.

One of the most notable aspects of Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy is how visually stunning it looks. TVO’s very own art-school Velveteer, Lauren Taylor, has created a mini-guide to some of their artistic inspirations, should any peelers wish to investigate further…

Luxury Comedy is clearly a highly visual affair. Noel and Nigel’s art school background providing a brilliant source for the artistic references weaved into the fabric of the show. Here then, is TVO’s very own mini-guide to a few of the artistic inspirations behind Luxury Comedy, beginning with one of the most obvious references in the show: the pop-art pioneer, Andy Warhol.

Probably most famous for that soup tin, which elbowed his Marilyn Monroe piece into second place in the recognisable images chart, Warhol’s studio – The Factory – was decidedly the most creative place to be in 1960’s America. His visual work was heavily based around consumerism, and how certain branded products are the same regardless of your financial status.

© Andy Warhol

While screenprinting was his medium of choice, as an ideal way to remove evidence of the artist’s involvement, Warhol also had notable success with photography, drawing, sculpture and film.

Though the vibrancy of some of Warhol’s pieces are not a million miles away from the visual look of Luxury Comedy, prehaps a stronger correlation can be drawn between their respective creative environments. Warhol surrounded himself with a range of artists, musicians, writers, and other creatives. Encouraging a level of collaboration not dissimilar from the many levels of creative practice that have gone into Luxury Comedy – music, animation, comedy, illustration…. the list is almost endless.

If you’re in the far south of the UK and want to know more about the Pop Art pioneer, De La Warr Pavillion in East Sussex is hosting ARTIST ROOMS On Tour with the Art Fund’s exhibition – Warhol Is Here – until 26th Feb. For readers across the Atlantic, there’s the dedicated Andy Warhol Museum in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pensylvania.  Continue reading

Onion Talking: Dolly Wells

2 Feb

Actress Dolly Wells is a welcome new addition to The Velvet Onion family. Last Thursday she burst onto our TV screens as Noel’s enigmatic neighbour in his new series, Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy. We had the good fortune of convincing Dolly to talk to us about her latest role and discuss what else she’s been up to. Velveteer Mog reports.

© Unknown

Dolly Wells gives out the kind of infectious energy that makes you feel like you’re actually vibrating following a conversation with her. She’s blessed with a pair of endless pins that will make her as envied as she is adored by Fielding fans, and she sparkles with an easy sense of fun that can fool you into thinking you’ve known her for years.

Is she prepared to be the new poster girls for the Boosh generation? “I’m not prepared, but I’d be very happy, it would be fantastic!” She laughs. Dolly is just beginning to appreciate the intensity of Noel’s admirers; the number of people following her on twitter recently accelerated with the announcement of her involvement in Luxury Comedy, and she was immediately showered with tweets about working with Noel. “I made the mistake of not really understanding it and answering questions individually, and now I’ve realised that it might take up a few too many hours of the day!”

Her character in the show is a German trendy, loosely based on Nico (vocal collaborator with The Velvet Underground); however Noel insisted that she kept her real name, much to her consternation. “That is completely Noel’s fault,” she says, “I kept saying ‘Can’t I be called something like Jana or another German name?’ and he said ‘No, Dolly is better’ and he and Nigel (Coan, Luxury Comedy director and animator) were absolutely certain that I was going to be called Dolly. I got really self-conscious about it, and in the early days of filming Tom Meeten enjoyed putting my name in every single sentence because I was so embarrassed about it. Now I feel fine, I’m quite happy about it.”

© Channel 4/Secret Peter

Continue reading

Post-Pay Day Pre-Order Frenzy!

29 Jan

Just been paid? We reckon the first pay-day of 2012 deserves a celebration! And what better way to celebrate than spending some of that pay cheque on yourself? If you’re after some inspiration, look no further than the Booshniverse-related DVDs that are due for release during 2012 and beyond.

© Channel 4

Charlie Brooker’s acclaimed techno-thriller trilogy Black Mirror is released on 27th February. The second part, entitled ’15 Million Merits’ features the wonderful Julia Davis in super-glam form. As yet there’s no news about DVD extras, but for more information about the release, to read reviews and to pre-order click here.

Life’s Too Short, the latest sitcom from the pens of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, about the exaggerated life of Warwick Davis – the world-famous cult actor with dwarfism, is released on DVD in October 2012. While it’s still some way off, you can pre-order it now by clicking here. The series features three Booshniverse-related artists: Matthew Holness, who plays Ian Wald – the lawyer in Warwick’s divorce case, and Steve Brody, who starred in Angelos and Lifespam, plays Eric – the worst accountant in the world. The series also features cameos from Colin Hoult and Tony Way.

© Sony Pictures

Anonymous is a historical melodrama which offers a bosom-heaving alternative view of Shakespeare’s world. It also stars Edward Hogg (Bunny & The Bull) and Tony Way, so deserves a mention here. Anonymous is released on 5th March and you can pre-order it on DVD and Blu-ray at the Velvet Onion Amazon store by clicking on the relevant links.

You can also purchase a DVD of the Ab Fab three-part special which aired over Christmas. You’d better be patient though, because the release date is 13th August 2013! However, for all the Ab Fab obsessives out there you can pre-order the show that features MongrelsLucy Montgomery here.

Finally, for those of you who have already pre-ordered the DVD of Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy (or for those of you who are planning to do so) please note that the release has moved back from its original optimistic date of 19th March 2012 to a more realistic 28th January 2013. Given the team are still finishing off the TV series this is hardly surprising, but it means we’ll have to be super-patient. You can pre-oder Luxury Comedy here.

We’ll be letting you know about further TVO-relevant DVD releases as they happen. Time to start counting the days until the second pay-day of 2012!…

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