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From Pingu to Paddington

19 Jul

© Heyday Films/Studio Canal

No, not the cute plasticene penguin, but the one from Nathan Barley. Yes, Ben Whishaw has been confirmed to play the voice of Paddington Bear in Boosh director, Paul King’s new film about the bear from darkest Peru.

Wishaw has replaced Colin Firth in the main role, who left the film in June after saying he did not have the right voice for the character. Producer David Heyman said at the time that Paddington needed “a slightly more open, and younger, voice”.

Heyman said Firth had sensed early on in the production his voice did not suit the bear. “He was saying, ‘Are you sure I’m right?’ He was way ahead of us – Colin was brilliant, but his voice was, ultimately, too mature.”

After hearing Whishaw audition for the role, Paul King said he, “Slowly found myself hearing his voice when I was thinking about Paddington…he breathes and he speaks and he sounds like Paddington.”

Wishaw joins an all start cast that includes Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi and Nicole Kidman. The film is set for release on 28th November.

For more information about the film check out the movie’s Facebook page.

 

Deepest Darkest Paddington Bear

19 Jun

© Studio Canal

The team behind the new Paddington Bear movie, currently in production and directed by Paul King (Mighty Boosh, Bunny & The Bull), have released an image of the cuddly bear from the film – only he’s not so cuddly.

In fact, some people think that he looks rather ominous. So much so that it’s become a meme called #CreepyPaddington, with people creating horror-themed images featuring the bear. Here, below right, is one of them – but to see a whole to more click on this.

© Studio Canal

It sounds like the producers of the Paddington Bear movie have another challenge on their hands too: the voice of Paddington, Colin Firth, has left the project 6 months before its release. So far there appears to be no replacement confirmed. We’ve got a few ideas for who we’d like to hear voicing the bear from deepest darkest Peru…

Here’s the latest trailer from the movie, which was released last week; the film itself should be out before Christmas:

 

Own Part Of A Movie

27 Mar

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

© Prop Store

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

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

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

Enjoy – and start saving!

Paddingtease

5 Mar

© Studio Canal

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

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

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

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

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

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

TVO’s Review Of The Year 2013: Part Four

4 Jan

Hello and a warm welcome to the final part of our Review of 2013. Although October to December may feel like it only just happened, prepare to be amazed by how much you’ve forgotten. We were, but then we’re getting on a  bit.

So here are the best bits from the fourth quarter of the year – cherry-picked from news stories about both our regulars and a few new faces too. Enjoy.

OCTOBER

October was the month that Booshmania returned.  Just as the fantastic Behind the Boosh exhibition started its run at Proud Camden, showcasing the history of that most Mighty of comedic troops via the majesty of Dave Brown‘s photography, the boys were back in town.  Or rather, on the pier, as The Mighty Boosh went from the Soho Theatre to Tenacious D’s Festival Supreme in LA. A final (chaotic) UK warm-up show and a further run through at The Comedy Store, almost halted by a Visa saga, paved the way for a live performance that turned out to be one of the Festival’s highlights. Fan forums and social media platforms were buzzing with photos, footage and reviews of the show.

Another announcement that got us more than a bit over-excited in October was the news that Ben Wheatley is to direct the first 2 episodes of the next series of Doctor Who, starring the new Time Lord, Peter Capaldi. How good is that!?  We’re itching to see what happens when you combine one of the UK’s finest directors with its biggest export, now in the capable hands of an Oscar-winning acting legend to boot.  You can see the moment Capaldi became the Doctor in the 2013 Xmas special below…

More telly stuff, with the launch of Matt Berry’s new series, Toast Of London.  We’d been itching to see it since the pilot back in 2012, and it did not disappoint…

Elsewhere, Richard Ayoade established himself as a permanent fixture on prime time panel shows with a stint as team captain on Was It Something I Said? on Channel 4. Ayoade’s intellectual sparring with host David Mitchell certainly made our Sunday evenings feel a bit more highbrow!

What else?  Well, in movie news, there was an update on the cast for Paul King‘s long-awaited Paddington Bear feature film, which included mention of Rufus Jones and James Bachman. To end the month, TVO artists offered us a veritable smorgasbord of comedy options for Halloween night’s out, with special spooky performances from Colin Hoult and Richard Sandling.  And we were sad to lose the talented comedy actor Felix Dexter, who died at the too-young age of 52. He left behind an incredible legacy of great TV performances on shows like Bellamy’s PeopleAbsolutely Fabulous, The Fast ShowKnowing Me Knowing You… With Alan Partridge, Mongrels and Alexei Sayle’s Merry Go Round to name but a few. He will be much misse, and would typically hate all this fuss about him, so let’s remember him with one of his silliest moments – dancing for Sport Relief alongside Rhys Thomas and Lucy Montgomery.  What a dude.

Continue reading

Onions In Peru… More Paddington Castings Revealed

8 Oct

© Screened

We’ve been getting a bit excited about the forthcoming Paddington Bear movie. Partly driven by our love of all things Paul King-directed, and partly driven by our 70s and 80s childhoods, the film about the bear from deepest, darkest Peru can’t come soon enough.

So far we’ve had confirmation of the identity of the lead cast members; today we received news that there may be some other TVO connections amongst the cast! Rufus Jones has been confirmed as “a dastardly geographer”, and  James Bachman‘s name has also been mentioned in connection with the movie.

As soon as we hear any more about the film we’ll be sure to pass on the news. Rumour has it that the script is a real corker, so watch this space for updates…

Enter Garth’s Coatspace

27 Sep
© Avalon

© Avalon

Your chance to own a piece of history is here – as the charity auction to win Garth Marenghi‘s white coat and name badge from Darkplace has begun.

Garth’s clothing was made to wear in his seminal series Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, which first aired on Channel 4 in January 2004 after the powers-that-be finally let the show out of the vaults it had been languishing in since the 1980s.

Now the author, dream-weaver, visionary plus actor has granted the sale of these items, alongside a personal note from Garth, via journalist Julia Raeside and Marenghi’s long-standing associate Matthew Holness.

With the proceeds from the sale going to Macmillan Cancer Care, there’s even more of an incentive to get involved and offer to part with your cash.  Bidding already stands comfortably into three figures, but we’re sure there’s scope for much more.

The auction ends at 9:14am on Sunday, 30th September, and we’ve got a gallery of images to further proof the might of this coat, that badge, and that titan of terror below.  So what are you waiting for?

BID TO WIN NOW!

Lastly, if by any chance you’re unaware of the cultural landmark that is Darkplace, you can see the entire series online for free via 4oD, and you can buy the extras packed dvd from our store now.  Considering it’s one of the main reasons this website even exists, we think you owe it to Garth to check it out!  Episode one is below…

Onion Selling

16 Sep

Whilst TVO appears to be in a ‘proper telly’ lull as we await a few big name shows coming soon, there’s no shortage of Onion faces cropping up on our screens thanks to the world of ad-breaks.

© Reed.co.uk

© Reed.co.uk

Such is the fickle nature of the acting profession – and stand-up comedy for that matter – every once in a while, TVO regulars crop up in commercials.

Whilst some may baulk at the notion of talented people turning up in adverts, let us remind you that, much like voiceover work, it pays well, doesn’t take long, and adds to the portfolio.  And hey, if it’s good enough for John Cleese, Dawn French, Kylie Minogue and Kevin Bacon, to name but a few big names who succumb to acting in ads, then who are we to complain.   Plus… it gets our good friends on the tellybox when we least expect it!

In the past, we’ve rounded up a number of commercials featuring so many faces of Onion Land, and the last month or so has seen the debut of three more such ads.

First up in this latest collection is the return of Rufus Jones as the face of job website reed.co.uk, in an advert which debuted during this weekend’s top-rated edition of X-Factor, no less.  Once again Richard Sandling is one of his potential targets for new work after a rude awakening…

Elsewhere, Channel 5 is keen to push it’s own catch-up service, Demand 5, which is now available on smart televisions, as well as NOWTV boxes, their website and YouTube.  Catching up on Neighbours with a rather heavy hangover in this commercial is none other than Rachel Stubbings

And then there’s Virgin Media, who are using athlete Usain Bolt and company founder Richard Branson in a series of adverts, all of which are voiced by Richard Ayoade

Lastly for now, is the return of Paul Kaye in typically maniacal form as the star of BetVictor’s long running campaign.  Here, Victor Chandler is enjoying a nice, gentle, first-class train ride, but typically, Maurice can’t quite leave him in peace…

As long as there is an Onion Land, it seems, there will be commercials featuring its inhabitants.  There are far too many for us to possibly collate, but we’ve done our best to dig into the archives and find you some of the better moments via the handy playlist below.

Included here are such classic moments as Julian Barratt advertising Metz way back in 1997, and his co-hort Noel Fielding being creative with handcuffs for Carling Live five years later.  There are big name ads you’d never realise had TVO links, from Simon Farnaby voicing a horse with a penchant for NutriGrain through to Ben Wheatley helming recent Go Compare ads.

Of course, there’s a huge chunk of voiceover king Matt Berry, but his IT Crowd co-stars Chris O’Dowd and Katherine Parkinson get a look in too.  Regular collaborators Tom Meeten and Barunka O’Shaughnessy pop up in a few ads, and we’ve got loads more to savour featuring the likes of Richard GloverLaura PatchAlex KirkRhys ThomasJustin EdwardsDan TetsellAnna CrillyKaty Wix and the well trained eye of Paul King.  We’ve also got a ridiculously early tv appearance by Steve Coogan, and a couple of later ads in character as Paul and Pauline Calf. Enjoy…

Paddington Cast Confirmed

13 Sep

© Studio Canal

It’s four years since we first heard about Paul King’s movie adaptation of Paddington Bear (blimey) – and finally the cast has been confirmed! 

Previously we’ve mentioned that Hugh Bonneville will play Mr Brown. It’s now been announced that  Colin Firth will be the voice of Paddington Bear and Sally Hawkins (the Mum in Submarine, fact fans) will play Mrs Brown. Julie Walters will be Mrs Bird the housekeeper, and Jim Broadbent will play Mr Gruber, Paddington’s friend and the owner of the antiques shop. Nicole Kidman plays the part of an evil taxidermist determined to wreak her revenge.

Paddington will be produced by David Heyman, who produced of all eight of the Harry Potter films (and directed by King, of course!).

So far so exciting! However, there’s still a fair wait ahead: the film will open in the UK November 28th, 2014 and will be released wide in North America in the first quarter of 2015.  We’ll let you know as and when we hear anything further.

WarpFilms10

24 Jul

Seminal film production company Warp are celebrating their tenth birthday this year, and film buffs and collectors can savour a very special presentation of some of their finest work over the past decade, including a number of big movies from Onion Land.

© Warp Films / Golden

WarpFilms10 is a deluxe limited edition Book and DVD Set, featuring exclusive behind-the-scenes photographs and unreleased archive materials, plus ten key productions.  To make it even more sweet, the book contains a foreword by Chris Hewitt of Film 2013 fame, and an exclusive interview with Warp Films creative bods Mark Herbert and Steve Beckett.

The ten films included, in chronological order, are: Dead Man’s Shoes, This Is England, All Tomorrow’s Parties, Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee, Bunny And The BullFour LionsSubmarine, Tyrannosaur, Kill List and Snowtown.

Mark Herbert, who also produced Four Lions and Submarine, will sign and hand-number the first 1000 copies, to make the set even more collectible.  It will only be available on dvd, sadly (no blu-ray copies it seems for some reason!), and will retail at £95, but pre-orders can currently be placed for just £80.  Money well spent, we feel, and you can join the elite club of owners of this gorgeous bit of kit over yonder.

Latest On Paddington Bear

9 Jun

© BBC

Since way back when we’ve been bringing you occasional updates about Paul King‘s feature-legth adaptation of Paddingon Bear.

The director of The Mighty Boosh and Bunny & The Bull has been associated with the project for some time, and now news is emerging that the two lead roles have been filled. Hugh Laurie is rumoured to be in line for the voice of (animated) Paddington, while Downton Abbey star, Hugh Bonneville, is in negotiations to play the live-action role of Henry Brown, the father figure in Paddington’s adopted family.

Brilliant though Laurie is, for those of us  brought up on a diet of Paddington Bear cartoons in the 1970’s, we’ll miss the familiar voice of Charlie Adler as the titular bear!

Filming is due to begin this Autumn, so it sounds like production of the film is finally off the ground. It remains to be seen whether King will be bringing any of his Boosh or Bunny & the Bull buddies into the project, but we’ll be keeping our eyes and ears open on your behalf for any further reports.

Ralfe Band Reminder

7 Sep

© Ralfe Band

We mentioned it a while back, but don’t forget that the Ralfe Band will be appearing as part of the bill at The Lexington in London on Tuesday 11th September.

If you haven’t encountered their music and you’re wondering what their connection to the world of TVO is, Oly Ralfe has appeared in The Mighty Boosh, the band created the soundtrack for Paul King‘s Bunny and The Bull, and Oly filmed and directed the Boosh tour documentary Journey of the Childmen. So quite a TVO pedigree. Plus, their music is enchantingly beautiful – which is even more of a reason to check them out.

Ralfe Band will be performing alongside Piney Gir and Correatown on the night. Tickets are only £7 and the gig starts at 7.30pm. For more information and tickets click here.

Funny Fortnight Favourites: Darkplace Remembered

25 Aug

© Dan Goldsmith / Avalon Television

This weekend sees Channel 4 countdown its top 30 comedy shows ever, as part of its Funny Fortnight. One show in the top 30 was somewhat unloved at the time, yet has since gone on to become widely regarded as a cult classic.  Here’s Michael Glynn’s take on why Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace is worth your attention…

Back in the 1980s, acclaimed horror writer Garth Marenghi set to transfer his talents the small screen; the results were a television program ‘so radical, so risky, so dangerous, so goddamn crazy’ that it didn’t see the light of day until Channel 4 broadcast it during the worst programming drought in broadcast history in 2004. To bump up the runtimes of the episodes we were treated to interviews with Garth’s publisher, Dean Learner, who also starred in the series, as well as the other cast members.

Except of course, none of that is true. GARTH MARENGHI’S DARKPLACE was actually spawned from the minds of Matt Holness and Richard Ayoade, and filmed in the early 2000’s – though you would be hard pressed to believe that last part. With an emphasis on cheap production values and bad acting it’s easy to believe you’re really watching a forgotten piece of TV, even the retro Channel 4 logo is present. Continue reading

Funny Fortnight Favourites!

13 Aug

© Channel 4

Details have emerged of the exact transmission times for much of the programming in Channel 4’s Funny Fortnight – which features a number of TVO faces in new productions and old favourites.

These include Julia Davis and Sharon Horgan in Bad SugarMatt Berry in Toast Of London  Kevin Eldon and Colin Hoult appearing in The Function Room and repeats of The IT CrowdGarth Marenghi’s DarkplaceBrass EyeJam and more.

The season will also include new material from Vic & Bob and Harry Hill, archive programming long forgotten, stand-up from the likes of Steve Coogan, Lee Evans and Peter Kay, plus a count-down of the Top 30 Comedy Shows in the history of Channel 4.

© Talkback Productions

The special season starts this Thursday night (Aug 16th) with the broadcast of Peter Kay’s latest live show, followed by Phonejacker spin-off Verry Terry from Kayvan Novak.  The first TVO flavoured show crops up after these – with a repeat showing of the infamous Brass Eye at 11:30pm.

Not too long afterwards, the early hours of Friday 17th bring us a repeat of Russell Brand And Friends at 1:10am, which featured a memorable appearance from Paul Kaye as Mike Strutter.  Another Onion flavoured repeat comes along on Saturday night (Aug 18th) with another chance to see a firm favourite from The IT Crowd.  Series two opener The Work Outing is the chosen episode, which of course, was the one with the gay musical, the disabled toilet, and Richmond’s missing copy of Heat.

© Phil Fisk

Sunday evening (Aug 19th), sees the first new show to feature TVO faces, in the form of star-packed trad-sitcom The Function Room.  In this pilot episode, police officers hold a public meeting to discuss crime in the local area.  However, their plans for the event get derailed when it emerges local residents only want to talk about one thing – a notorious criminal with a highly offensive alias.

The Fucntion Room stars the legendary Kevin Eldon, League Of Gentlemen/Psyschoville star Reece Shearsmith, Fast Show favourite Simon Day, and The Vicar Of Dibley‘s James Fleet, alongside Paul Ritter, Daniel Rigby, Blake Harrison and our very own Colin Hoult!  Eldon portrays unflappable Inspector Marks, who wants to present a human face to the force, but is just a little bit weird.  Meanwhile Hoult and Josephine Bulter play local well-to-do couple Stuart & Marina, who effortlessly rub all the other locals up the wrong way.

A few hours later, early into Monday, Aug 20th, is a very rare chance to see a compilation episode of The 11 O’Clock Show from 1999.  The satirical news-based show was a breeding ground for comedic talent – launching the careers of Iain Lee, Daisy Donovan, Sacha Baron Cohen, Mackenzie Crook and Ricky Gervais.  It also brought to prominence Rich Hall’s blossoming UK career, and boasted a fine writing staff which included James Bachman, Rhys ThomasTony WayPhil Whelans, Charlie Brooker and Stephen Merchant, and one of it’s associate producers was none other than Spencer Millman!

© Kuba Wierczorek

Monday 20th is, perhaps, the biggest night for Onion fans – starting with the première of Toast Of London at 10pm- written by Matt Berry and Arthur Matthews, and starring Matt alongside Robert Bathurst, Geoff McGivern,  Tracy-Ann Oberman and Lee Cornes.  With that fantastic cast behind it, the lineage of both it’s writers, and the hilarious preview clip which appeared online recently, we’ve marked this one down as a must-see.

© Dan Goldsmith

Not long afterwards, the repeats kick in, with a re-run of Steve Coogan‘s 1994 live show Live & Lewd at 11:40pm, preceded by a new introduction from the comic.  This is followed by a repeat episode of Chris Morris‘ dark and devious project Jam featuring Kevin Eldon and Julia Davies, followed by a very rare chance to see Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace back on our screens with the classic episode, Skipper The Eye-Child.

For those who don’t know, Darkplace aired not long before the first series of The Mighty Boosh, and this sci-fi horror spoof featuring Matthew HolnessRichard AyoadeAlice LoweMatty BerryKim NobleStuart Silver and occasionally, Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding too {though not in this episode, sadly} was a golden nugget of genius which sorely deserves en-mass reappraisal.

Things go a little quiet on the Onion front for a while after that, beyond Friday night’s short editions of Baby Cow’s Comedy Blaps which will feature the voice of Steve Coogan, but with the promise of Julia Davies & Sharon Horgan‘s Bad Sugar, repeats of Anna & Katy, Star Stories  and Black Books, plus the countdown of Channel 4’s greatest comedy shows ever still to come at some point between the 25th and the 31st, we’ll be keeping a close eye on the schedules for any news worth shouting about.

In the meantime, enjoy the gallery of images from Bad Sugar below.  With the likes of Olivia Colman, Reece Shearsmith, Peter Serafinowicz, Greg Davis & Kayvan Novak joining Davis & Horgan, this is looking likely to be an absolute cracker!

Funny Fortnight Forthcoming!

20 Jul

© Channel 4

Channel 4 have released more details of their Funny Fortnight next month, which features more than a smattering of TVO regulars and influences.

Over 30 hours of programming across two weeks of television, the season promises brand new shows, excellent stand up and familiar faces staging their returns to the channel.

A new video preview over on the Channel 4 press website showcases highlights from some of the channel’s flagship shows, and offers an exclusive look at a number of exciting specials.

© Tiger Aspect Productions

Amongst these new shows is Bad Sugar – written by Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong of Peep Show and Four Lions fame.  It combines three of comedy’s biggest names of the moment – Julia DavisSharon Horgan and Olivia Colman, and centres on a dysfunctional, wealthy mining dynasty, with an ailing patriarch and some greedy siblings.

The show also stars David Bradley, Peter Serafinowicz, Kayvan Novak and Reece Shearsmith, and it’s producer is Derren Schlesinger – who was previously responsible for both Four Lions and Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy.  Undoubtedly one of the most exciting shows on telly in some time, this Tiger Aspect Productions show has real potential to be a smash hit.

© Objective Productions

Also set to première is Toast Of London, the new sitcom pilot by Matt Berry and Father Ted/Big Train creator Arthur Matthews.  Matt stars as successful actor Steven Toast, who has recently made a career faux pass by electing to star in a controversial west end stage play.

Recently divorced, and attacked in the street by members of appalled public, the previously much loved actor auditions for a role in the long running television series, Inspector Somerset.  However, it’s producer has been imprisoned for racial chanting on set, so Toast auditions for the part of a gay corrupt detective during prisoner’s visiting time.  Made by Objective Productions, we’re keen to see if this show lives up to its potential.

Other new shows include: Them From That Thing  – a two part sketch show featuring Kayvan Novak, Sally Phillips and many more, co-written by one Charlie BrookerThe Function Room - a traditional looking sitcom featuring the likes of Reece Shearsmith, Kevin Eldon, Simon Day and James Fleet; Lucky Sexy Winners - a new panel show from Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer; Very Terry - a Phonejacker spin off from Kayvan Novak focusing on car salesman Terry Tibbs; Harry Hill: The Reunion - in which the madcap comic seeks out the cast of his old Channel 4 show to find out “where are they now?”; The Boyle Variety Performance  – a spoof of the annual royal-attended show from Frankie Boyle; Just Around The Corner  – from the creators of Drop The Dead Donkey; and I’m Spazticus  – a prank show featuring disabled performers which has been seven years in development since its pilot aired in 2005.

© Avalon Productions

And that’s not all!  As we previously reported, Channel 4 are counting down their 30 Greatest Comedy Shows, which will feature the Onion flavoured vehicles Garth Marenghi’s DarkplaceThe IT CrowdBrass EyeFather TedStar StoriesSpacedBlack Books, and Friday Night Dinner. 

These classics will be up against the likes of The Comic Strip Presents, Vic Reeves’ Big Night Out, The Adam & Joe Show,  Da Ali G Show, Trigger Happy TV, Pheonix Nights, Bo’ Selecta!, Peep Show, Green Wing and The Inbetweeners and more.

© Talkback Thames

The channel have also turned to the writers of classic shows to name their favourite episodes, which will air across the fortnight.  These include Graham Linehan‘s favourite ever The IT Crowd  and Father TedChris Morris‘s legendary Brass Eye; mockumentary series Star Stories which featured Fergus CraigAlice Lowe, Tom MeetenLaura PatchRhys Thomas and Dolly Wells in it’s expansive cast; plus episodes of Spaced, The Inbetweeners, Peep Show and Vic Reeves Big Night Out.

There’s also a chance to catch tv premieres of live shows from Alan Carr, Peter Kay, Lee Evans and Micky Flanagan, plus the early and rare Vic & Bob special The Weekenders, Harry Endfield one-off Norbert Smith: A Life and Peter Cook’s interview with Clive Andersonplus editions of Comedy Labs featuring Dynamo, Peter Kay, Karl Pilkington and TVO’s very own Anna And Katy!  Plus we’ll still have The Midnight Beast featuring Simon Farnaby every Thursday too!

Phew – we think we’ll need a lie-down after all that!  Exciting times indeed.  We’ll aim to bring you a complete run-down of exactly when each show will air as soon as possible, so stay peeled.  In the mean time, check out the video preview over on the Channel 4 press website – and you can pick up a string of Channel 4 classics in The Velvet Onion Amazon Store.

The King Of Cheese

8 Jul

In between directing movies Bunny & The Bull and Paddington Bear, Paul King continues his assault on the world of advertising with a new commercial for cheese.

King directed the new Cathedral City Chedds advert, which broke last month. In the 30 second ad an 11 year old ‘Head of Department’ talks the viewer through an array of increasingly elaborate child-run product testing experiments, whilst explaining how countless hours have gone into ensuring the Chedds range is perfectly designed for children. The ad is aimed at assuring mothers that Chedds is something they can feel good about giving their kids. You can watch the ad below (don’t pay too much attention to the suspect dubbing):

Those of you with sharp memories for dairy-based advertising with a Boosh connection may recall that King previously directed an ad for lactose free milk (featuring Julian Barratt as voice-over). And then there was the Matt Berry-voiced 2011’s Chedds ad campaign, with the Labrinth-esque Monty the Mouse and his sheepdog, which you can see here and here.

But before we start assuming that the dairy connection is mere coincidence, let’s not forget the Catherdral City ad parody from The Peter Serafinowicz Show, also featuring Matt Berry:

There’s something going on here…

Paddington’s Poster!

22 Jun

© Studio Canal

The first poster for Paddington – the second feature film from director Paul King – has been released today.

We’ve been desperate to see this project ever since Paul mentioned it as a possibility before The Velvet Onion was more than a twinkle in our editor’s eye, and after initial rumours of his attachment turned into a confirmation back in April 2010, things went quiet on the Peruvian front for over two years.

Now after recent quotes from producer David Heyman made headlines across movie blogs and social networks, comes the theatrical teaser poster you can see here.

Heyman’s presence is the one which is being shouted about – perhaps understandably, as a family film from the makers of Harry Potter will always sound better than one from the people who brought you Old Gregg and The Crack Fox – but it’s King’s contribution that is whetting our appetites and we can’t wait to see what he does with the iconic character.

Wait we must. Paddington is released in 2014.  In the meantime, check out Paul’s sublime first film, Bunny And The Bull on dvd and blu-ray via The Velvet Onion Amazon Store.

Editors Note: Thanks to awesome website Bleeding Cool for alerting us about this one!

Thirty Greats

22 Jun

© Avalon Productions

It may be hard to believe for some of our older readers, but Channel 4 hits the big 30 this year, and as we’ve previously mentioned, there’s a whole host of comedy content to savour during their anniversary.

Part of that collection of comedy old and new looks set to be a countdown of The 30 Greatest Comedy Shows – and predictably, a number of shows with an Onion connection are in the running.

Shows with a TVO connection on the list include Garth Marenghi’s DarkplaceThe IT CrowdBrass Eye, Father Ted, Star Stories, SpacedBlack Books, and Friday Night Dinner, whilst the list also contains healthy competition from The Comic Strip Presents, Vic Reeves’ Big Night Out, The Adam & Joe Show,  Da Ali G Show, Trigger Happy TV, Pheonix Nights, Bo’ Selecta!, Peep Show, Green Wing and The Inbetweeners to name but a handful.

It’s a stellar list, which viewers can impact upon by voting for their three favourites over yonder.  Voting closes on 4th July.

Usually, these shows feature new interviews with members of the cast and crew, so we’ll undoubtedly be watching this one very closely.  As soon as we hear of a confirmed transmission date we’ll be sure to keep you peeled.

Mongrelled

17 May

© BBC

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

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

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

© BBC

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

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

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

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

Paddington Coming Soon?

10 May

© Paddington & Co. Ltd.

It usually takes a slow news day for the media to start digging up stories announced a long time ago, but sometimes, it’s because said story has stepped up a gear.

The planned live-action/cgi remake of Paddington Bear – which was attached to TVO’s very own Paul King back in April 2010 – has cropped up today on popular media website DigitalSpy, with quotes attributed to its producer, David Heyman.

The man behind the Harry Potter films is said to have described the film as “a modern take” on the character, stating: “Paddington Bear is a universally loved character, treasured for his optimism, his sense of fair play, and his perfect manners – and of course for his unintentional talent for comic chaos.  Michael Bond’s books offer such wit and wonder, and I am so delighted at this chance to bring Paddington to the big screen.”

When the film was first attached to Paul, he told the Herald Sun: “It’s not like I’ll be going, ‘OK, he’s gonna be a hip hop bear, he’s gonna get into street fights, he’s gonna pack a knife’. There’s none of that business. He likes marmalade sandwiches and pottering in the garden and has a green front door. I’ll be a traditionalist.”

Those of who you have watched King’s stunning theatrical debut Bunny And The Bull will no doubt remember the Paddington vibe of some of its early scenes, so we remain incredibly hopeful that he is able to do this classic character justice.  More news as it peels…

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