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Brains Movie is a (indy) Go-Go!

24 Oct

© Bob Pipe / Channel Flip

It’s the news we’ve been waiting for… The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains is becoming a movie – and YOU can get involved with the production!

Written and created by Bob Pipe (the man behind The Forgery Club) and James Wren (the man behind The Hen & Chickens), the film will be an adaptation of the cult web series, which featured a whos-who of TVO and beyond.

Phil WhelansRichard GloverColin HoultStephen EvansAlex KirkNeil ColeGareth Tunley, Waen ShepherdAntony ElvinWill Summers and Richard Sandling were joined by Warwick Davis (Life’s Too Short), Chris Kendall (Crabstickz), Gemma Whelan (Game of Thrones), Ricky Grover (Red Dwarf), Phil Nichol (Holy Flying Circus), Marny Godden, Thomas Nelstrop, Lizzie Roper, Nick Helm, Katy Derby and many, many more for the 50s B-movie homage.

If you haven’t seen it, and really, with all the love we gave it at the time, you really should have, you can see the each individual episode – including several off-shoots featuring Colin Hoult as egotistical actor Eric Shepherd and Warwick Davis as preposterous movie mogul Stanley Chester, over yonder – or right below this sentence.

Now the team are gearing up for a full length version of the tale, and are asking for pledges from fans and supporters through Indiegogo.

PLEDGE FOR THE MOVIE HERE!

For £5, you get a simple thank you, and £10 gets you a social media based thank you.  Where it gets interesting, is if you want to stump up a little more…

If you fancy a Brain Drain goody bag, you can have one for just £25.  If you’d prefer a unique, personalised picture of James and Bob holding hands in bathing shorts thanking you – and frankly, who doesn’t need one of those in life – it can be yours for just £40.

Pop your bid up to £50, and get all of the above, plus a movie poster – which you can have signed if your bid reaches £75.

© Bob Pipe

Those budding filmmakers out there may want to bump their bids up to £100, you get online access to the whole production and making of process – including scripts, storyboards and edits.  And if you have even more cash, £500 will give you a daily skype chat update with the film makers during film festivals, whilst £750 will get you pints and chats with the film makers AND the stars about the production at Shoreditch House.

For really flashy types, £5000 will get you the pints, and also the opportunity to be an extra in the film… and £10,000 will make you an associate producer with an invite tot he film festival of your choice.

All in all – this is a great opportunity to support independent film makers and see a brilliant project reborn as a whole new adventure.  So get involved now!

Daylight Music At The Chapel

28 Apr

Antony Elvin and Will Summers will be appearing as Tudor Unit at The Union Chapel on Saturday (3rd May), as part of Daylight Music 161.

The happening is described as “A lazy afternoon with music, tea and cake”, so what’s not to like. The show is produced by Arctic Circle, and entry is free, but a donation would be appreciated (suggested donation £3.50).

The show starts with Tudor Unit at midday, and other participants are My Autumn Empire  (Staffordshire based dreamy folk-pop melodicist Benjamin Thomas Holton) and film composer David Julyan, who is teaming up with  Iskra Strings on a new non film project.

For more information about the event and the participants, head over to the event Facebook Page, and you can see Antony and Will in action at TVO Live! below:

Experiment At The Invisisble Dot

5 Apr

© The Invisible Dot

Strap in, because there’s going to be a wave of TVO-connected artists appearing at The Invisible Dot over he next few months!

 ‘Experiments’ is a new series of monthly  shows that sees a collection of established performers come together to comedically experiment.

Here’s the confirmed line-up for reach show so far, with ‘our lot’ helpfully highlighted in bold type:

13 April: LUCY BEAUMONT, DAVID MILLS, BENJAMIN PARTRIDGE, HOT BREW & more
18 May: WHELAN, DAVID REED, LYNDSAY SHARMAN, KEVIN ELDON, MATTHEW CROSBY & more
15 June: BRIDGET CHRISTIE, PAT CAHILL, HARRY DEANSWAY, ELLIE WHITE, LOLLY ADEFOPE, & more.

Although, strictly speaking, Harry Deansway isn’t one of ours, he’s a top bloke and has hosted a myriad of comedy nights for TVO folk over the years – so do check him out!

Tickets for each show cost £8 and the gigs start at 7pm. For more information and to book tickets visit The Invisible Dot’s website.

Check out Hot Brew’s appearance at TVO Live (they are awesome. Fact):

Get It Seen

1 Apr

No, that title isn’t just an instruction from us… it’s also the name of a new underground film festival taking place at legendary venue The Hen & Chickens Theatre in Islington this month.

© Hen & Chickens

The venue, which has been a spiritual home for TVO regulars for almost two decades – from The Mighty Boosh and Garth Marenghi to recent shows like the magnificent Kill Phil, has gathered together some of the finest low-budget features and shorts of recent years to come out of the London comedy scene, to show from today through to April 26th,

This includes Peacock Season on April 1st, 4th & 11th.  This legendary film about the Edinburgh Fringe shot at the festival features a top-notch cast including Justin EdwardsPaul FootRichard Glover, Nina Conti, Rhys Darby, Richard Herring, Reece Shearsmith, Isy Suttie, Glenn Wool and co-writer James Wren.

Other TVO connected films on offer include Phil Whelan‘s slapstick farce Clowntime Is OverStephen Evans‘ nostalgic short The Notorious Bruiser Brothers Revisitedand a chance to see the star-studded Bob Pipe masterpiece The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains on a big screen!

© Bob Pipe

There’s loads more on offer too: we particularly recommend Adriel Leff’s brilliant mockumentary Bloody Lip! To see the full list of shows, and to pick up tickets, visit the festival’s Facebook page now!

Princes In Chelsea

15 Mar

© Edward Lloyd

Tudor Folk trio Princes in the Tower, are playing their next gig in London at 6.30 on Friday 28th March, and it’s happening at The Triangle Space, Chelsea College of Art and Design.

The trio, comprising Michael Tyack, Antony Elvin and William Summers, will be wearing clothes designed by Stephanie Dickinson.

Their appearance is part of Utopographies – a two-day event of work by teachers at Chelsea and a few guests.

Admission is free, and you can find out more about the Space here.

Don’t forget to check out our store for Princes related media.

Dead Dog Unbagged

10 Feb

The archives of Dead Dog In Black Bag are open, and are now available to hear via Soundcloud.

© Angel Ceballos

© Angel Ceballos

The band began life around 2006, as Holly Jane Shears joined forces with Amy Richardson to form a dynamic duo responsible for pure electropop filth. Together, they both appeared in the third series of The Mighty Boosh the following year, most notably as party-goers invited by Vince to what was meant to be Howard’s party – both suitably unimpressed by the corset clad corduroy catastrophe trying to chat them up!

After releasing their debut EP, featuring a collaboration with Rich Fulcher, Richardson departed the band, to be replaced by the delightful Suzy Evelyn-Hall.  Their single Calimari Queen was an underground favourite, and the band continued to appear live sporadically around the duo’s other commitments, including Holly’s time with folk-rockers Circulus.

In recent years, Dead Dog have been somewhat quiet – appearing only on special occasions, such as The Velvet Onion Live in May 2012, which you can see footage of below.

Now in a moment of retrospection, they’ve gone and released a selection of their previous work on Soundcloud.

This includes the aforementioned Fulcher duet, Uncle Kevin; the ode to internet dating, Digital Princess; and the smutty fun of Love Meat.  Also uploaded are collaborations with Frisky And Mannish and a remix made for Robots In Disguise. You can hear them all over at the DDIBB Soundcloud account now, or below via our handy playlist. Enjoy…

Seeing The Sights

28 Jan

© Rook Films / Big Talk / Studio Canal / Film 4

Next month’s edition of Caravan Magazine will feature a belated Sightseers special feature.

Here at TVO, we love to report the weird and wonderful side of Onion Land, and this story is no exception.

Whilst we, and critics at large, fell in love with Sightseers upon release in 2012, we couldn’t help but wonder how real life caravanners would take to the black comedy from the minds of Alice LoweSteve Oram and Ben Wheatley.

We needed have worried – it appears the community fell in love with it, and perhaps inspired by our very own guide to the film’s locations (provided courtesy of Steve’s dad), the route undertaken by Chris and Tina is fast becoming a favourite for holiday travellers.

John Sootheran and Ben Hackney are two such fans of the film, who have taken the Marquis Majestic 504 on a tour of the Peak District locations used within the film.

Starting, as the film does, at Crich Tramway Museum, they’ve visited a number of local landmarks, such as Blue John Cavern, Mother Shipton’s Cave and Ribblehead Viaduct.  Albeit with a bit less killing involved.  Not even a chicken sacrifice for good measure.

The results can be seen in the video below, and there’s a full feature expected in the March 2014 issue of Caravan Magazine, out on 12th February. In the meantime, if you don’t yet own a copy of Sightseers for yourself, you can pick it up on dvd and blu-ray from The Velvet Onion Amazon UK Store now.

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

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

The Union Of Elvin & Summers

19 Dec

Footage of Antony Elvin and Will Summers performing at The Union Chapel has emerged online.

Earlier this month, Elvin released his festive ditty My Heart Is As Pure As Snow on the Highline Records Festivus 2 compilation, as well as digitally in its own right.  The result is typically delightful – an ethereal, haunting treasure, and the track is amongst those featured in their recent show at The Union Chapel as part of the Daylight Music event on 7th December.

Front-row footage has appeared online, alongside additional tracks – a cover of A Winter’s Tale and a performance of fan favourite Regina.  You can see all three below.

Tellysight

13 Dec

Sightseers - the incredible comedy horror written by and starring Alice Lowe and Steve Oram, and directed by Ben Wheatley – will receive its television première on Boxing Day.

© Rook Films / Big Talk Pictures

The film, which also stars Richard Glover, Rachel Austin (Black Roses) and Jonathan Aris (Sherlock), was released in cinemas last Autumn and on home media formats in the Spring.  It features Oram and Lowe as nerdy caravanner Chris and Tina, who begin a romantic odyssey which takes an increasingly violent turn.

With cameo appearances by Tony WayTom Meeten and Antony Elvin, the film is a fully fledged TVO treasure, and rightly wowed critics and audiences alike on release.  Those who are still uncertain of its delights will now have no excuse not to check it out!

Film 4 have announced that Sightseers will be its 9pm film on Boxing Day – that’s December 26th for anyone genuinely struggling to remember.  As such, anyone with digital freeview, or subscription cable and satellite packages, will be able to tune in.

Earlier today,  Alice Lowe suggested on her Twitter page that fans of the film could perhaps take part in a tweetalong, and the idea appears to have gathered momentum, with members of the cast and crew, and Film4 themselves hitting the RT button.

© MPI Home Video

We’re all for it, so if you fancy joining the fun, why not get some pot-pourri (we don’t think you could live without pot-pourri), a packed lunch and/or a plate of cheap pasta, and get a break from all that snow and schmaltz for the most twisted romance in recent cinema history.

If you don’t yet own the film for yourself, or want to get the perfect last minute Xmas pressie, you can buy it on dvd or blu-ray from The Velvet Onion Amazon Store.

In related news, US fans can rejoice in the fact that it is also available on their side of the pond on dvd as of this week!  The disc is priced at just $22.98, though if digital HD is more your thang, Amazon also have the film available for $19.99 to buy, and $4.99 to rent.  Get in!

Festivus Fun With Antony Elvin!

30 Nov

© Lozzy Taylor/The Velvet Onion

Earlier this month we mentioned that Antony Elvin is contributing to a Christmas compilation album from Highline Records. Well now there are a couple of album launch parties!

The record, Festivus 2, features the likes of the Lilys and Dodgy, Glam Chops (Eddie Argos from Art Brut), Francis Macdonald of Teenage Fanclub, LA rockers Western Lows, Piney Gir – and the very splendid Mr Elvin, who has contributed the track My Heart Is As Pure As The Snow.

He’s told us that the launch gigs, on 7th and 12th December, will feature all of the acts on the album playing a short set with a Christmas theme; he himself will be accompanied by the pipe-based musical artistry of his regular collaborator, William Summers.

The show on 7th December will take place at the Union Chapel in Islington as part of their free entry Daylight Music event (further details here), and the 12th December show will take place at Brixton Jamm in Brixton (further details and £6.85 tickets can be found here).

The Festivus album was released on November 25th, and is available to purchase The Velvet Onion Amazon Store for only £7.99.  If you’d prefer to just buy Antony’s track, that’s also available as an mp3 download here.

Princes In The Park

19 Nov

© Fiona Campbell

Fans of Tudor-folk will want to hop on down to Camley Street Natural Park in North London next month, to celebrate the forthcoming release of the long-awaited debut album from Princes In The Tower.

The traditional trio, featuring Antony ElvinWill Summers and Michael Tyack (former collaborators via Tyack’s band Circulus), have been performing across the capital and beyond over the last few years, and their album, A Golden Hour With Princes In The Tower was recorded throughout 2012 and 2013.

Late last year, TVO exclusively premièred a track from the record, on our limited edition In Holoserica Cepa EP.

Now the album is about to get its proper release, details of which we will bring you as soon as they’re completely confirmed, and to celebrate, the band will be heading up three hours of musical celebration at the nature reserve not too far from King’s Cross St Pancras, on Sunday 8th December.

The event promises to be a sterling lunchtime with, in Elvin’s words, “some other very marginal and interesting bands”, and will run from noon until 3pm.  For more details, keep an eye on the Princes In The Tower Facebook page.

You can still hear a preview of the track Stingo – second track featured – via our EP sampler, saved for posterity below.

My Heart Is As Pure As The Snow

11 Nov

© Fiona Campbell

Antony Elvin has recorded a new Christmas song, for release later this month.

Here at The Velvet Onion, we’re all huge admirers of Mr Elvin.  The incredibly talented singer songwriter and comedy mastermind has been wowing us for years with his solo material, work with Circulus and Princes In The Tower, his appearances as Crispin Wheatflake alongside Alice Lowe in Hot Brew, duets with DeadDogInBlackBag and his ties to The Mighty Boosh – appearing in Series 3, and donating Amongst The Dandies to the film Journey Of The Childmen.

But until now, we’ve never been able to buy his own music.  Many of his classics were uploaded to Myspace, which has almost been consigned to history, and several more were on his now defunct website.

A handful currently reside on his public Facebook page via ReverbNation, and another is on our own site here.  All of which, were completely free, and we’ve always said he could be making a fortune from his Antony Newly-esque whimsy with that mystical Bowie-style croon.

© Highline Records

Enter Highline Records Festivus 2 - a new Christmas compilation featuring the likes of Dodgy, The Priscillas, Glam Chops and our very own Mr Elvin, who has contributed the track My Heart Is As Pure As The Snow.

The album will be released on November 25th, and is available for pre-order on CD via The Velvet Onion Amazon Store for only £7.99.  If you’d prefer to just buy Antony’s track, that will be available as an mp3 download on that date over yonder.

Whilst you wait, our exclusive Hot Brew festive number from 2011 is still available to download for free, and can be streamed below.

TVO Live Videos Part 7: Hot Brew

24 Jul

At long last, here’s the latest installment in our TVO Live video series!

For various boring reasons, it’s been a few weeks since we were able to bring you some footage from our inaugral live event which took place in May of last year, but now we can continue apace with some more great performances from our regulars!

That star studded event last year featured the likes of Dave Brown, James Cook, Antony Elvin, Stephen Evans, Suzy Evelyn Hall, Mike Fielding, Richard Glover, Alex Kirk, Alice Lowe, David McNeill, Tom Meeten, Steve Oram, Laura Patch, Richard Sandling, Holly Jane Shears, Rachel Stubbings, Will Summers, Dan Tetsell, Gareth Tunley, Dolly Wells and the disembodied voice of Rich Fulcher.

Now as we inch slowly towards putting on more events in the future, we’re showcasing footage from that glorious night of madcap fun.

This latest slice of lo-fi posterity is a whopping 16 minute set from the new-wave folksters Hot Brew.  First discovered in the Jackal Film, Roots, Oona & Crispin Wheatflake still look remarkably like Alice Lowe and Antony Elvin to us… what do you reckon?

If you missed our previous videos in the series, you can check them out via this handy playlist over yonder. We’ll be bringing you more footage from the event soon, and are currently in initial stages of planning more shows, so stay peeled for all the latest info as soon as possible.

Praise For The Prince & The Pauper

12 Jul

© Lozzy Taylor/The Velvet Onion

It has just been announced that Antony Elvin has been nominated  for a BASCA British Composer Award for his work on the recent adaptation of The Prince & The Pauper. 

The prestigious BASCA Awards celebrate the music of today’s composers living and working in the United Kingdom and also UK premières of work by composers from outside the UK. Nominations were invited for works that had received their UK première between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013.

Elvin was the musical director and composer for a version of the famous tale about mistaken identities which played at the Unicorn Theatre at the end of 2012. For more information about this adaptation of The Prince & The Paper, please take a look at our earlier post about the production.

The 11th annual British Composer Awards will take place at Goldsmiths’ Hall, London on Tuesday 3rd December 2013, and exclusive coverage of the awards will be broadcast by BBC Radio 3. What’s more, winning works will be recognised by a presentation to the composer at the Awards ceremony and will be the focus of a BBC Radio 3 broadcast about the Awards on Sunday 8th December 2013.

TVO offers heartfelt congratulations to the very wonderful Mr Elvin, and we’ll be keeping all of our musical fingers crossed for 3rd December!

Brains Redux

1 Jul

Just as we had started to miss The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains - there’s a brand new version of it to savour!

The sitcom-sketch-hybrid from the minds of Bob PipeJames Wren and Phil Whelans arrived on YouTube channel The Multiverse earlier this year, and featured a whole bevvy of TVO regulars in the cast.

Now some of the best bits from the short episodes have been put together into a 30-minute version, which demonstrates how wonderfully the concept would work on television.  Revisit the magic below…

If you missed it earlier this year, you can read our interview with Bob, James & Phil about all things Brains right here

See The Tudor Unit Live!

19 Jun

Antony Elvin and The Tudor Unit will be appearing on Sunday 23rd June at  Grasstonbury. The 4-day free indoor music festival will take place at The Lamb pub – 54 Holloway Road N7 8JL.

The festival will feature many acts, happenings and DJ’S and starts tomorrow. You can find out more from their website.

Watch the video below to see Antony and Will Summers in action at last years TVO Live event.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VKeW8Lu6qTQ

TVO Live Videos Part 2: Antony Elvin & Will Summers

7 Jun

Last week marked the first anniversary of The Velvet Onion Live – our inaugural live event, which will hopefully be followed by many more in the future.

Whilst we begin to gear up for another event, which we hope we can confirm before too long, we’re going back to that first night, and showcasing footage from the star studded event, which featured the likes of Dave Brown, James Cook, Antony Elvin, Stephen Evans, Suzy Evelyn Hall, Mike Fielding, Richard Glover, Alex Kirk, Alice Lowe, David McNeill, Tom Meeten, Steve Oram, Laura Patch, Richard Sandling, Holly Jane Shears, Rachel Stubbings, Will Summers, Dan Tetsell, Gareth Tunley, Dolly Wells and the disembodied voice of Rich Fulcher.

This week’s slice of lo-fi posterity features the folktastic pairing of Antony Elvin & Will Summers regaling our audience with a couple of angst free ditties.  You can see the results below.

Come back each Friday for a brand new installment, and stay peeled for further developments of TVO Live: The Sequel, coming soon…

Onion Talking: The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains!

5 Jun
© Bob Pipe / Channel Flip

© Bob Pipe / Channel Flip

You’d have to have been living under a rock these last few months not to notice us banging on about a brilliant new web series called The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains.

Jam-packed with TVO regulars, the show is the brainchild of Bob Pipe, and as the show comes to the end of its first run, TVO spoke to Bob and co-writers James Wren and Phil Whelans for the scoop on …Brains.

They came from outer space. Ok, not really. They live in London, but outer space sounds more exciting. Their mission: to suck out our brains. Again, this may be a lie. They’re more interested in stimulating our limbic systems within said organs to make us laugh.

When Forgery Club head honcho Bob Pipe got the call to create his own web-series, he turned to two regular collaborators – Hen & Chickens guru James Wren and improv legend Phil Whelans – to help develop it. The trio are jacks of all comedic trades and masters of several, and the resulting series became The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains, which premiered exclusively on YouTube earlier this year.

The cast list for …Brains reads like a who’s who of alternative comedy, with Richard Glover, Colin Hoult, Waen Shepherd, Alex Kirk, Stephen Evans, Gareth Tunley, Richard Sandling, Neil ColeAntony Elvin and Will Summers all furthering the TVO connections. Phil Whelans is also on hand as recurring scientist Professor Langhorne, who pops up to offer invaluable advice on avoiding brain sucking with his esteemed colleague Dr Von Busey (Glover). Alex Kirk plays the hapless Prime Minister with no clue how to handle the crisis, which sees everyone from Army heroes to spaced out teenagers to simple Northern Folk facing the wrath of the alien invaders. It’s all gloriously silly, and insanely addictive.

“To be fair,” Phil Whelans explains, when asked where it all began, “it was all Bob Pipe’s idea. But if it’s successful, then I’ve always wanted to do it. If not, then I thought it was a terrible idea. This concept is called ‘Schrodinger’s Answer’ – the theoretical concept that, in a lead-lined box with a decaying radioactive particle, my answer to this question exists in two distinct states at the same time.”

Bob Pipe directs Will Summers & Antony Elvin [© Bob Pipe]

“Bob is a go-to guy for filmed comedy,” he adds on a more serious note. “For people who are used to turning up at a venue with a bag of props and just walking on stage, filming stuff can be a bit daunting, but Bob knows how to make it happen.”

…Brains has been gestating in Bob Pipe’s mind for many years, with an early version of it forming Bob’s end of year project in his Media Studies HND back in 1999. “We only had a shitty S-Video camera, video deck editing and no proper actors at our disposal,” Bob remembers. “I knew I was limited at what I could make, so I decided to make a B-Movie! I tried to remake it when I was the In-House Director for [now defunct website] ComedyBox, but I never got round to it. Me and a friend tried to pitch it to Channel 4’s Comedy Blap initiative a few years ago but it never got picked up.  But I’ve never given up on the idea, so I pitched it again to Channel Flip when I heard about The Multiverse, who loved it. The rest is history. Or perhaps, the future?” Continue reading

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