Welcome to The Velvet Onion – the central hub for an interconnected range of alternative comedy and more. Click through for the LATEST NEWS, and see what’s so hot right now below.
THE VELVET ONION IS FIVE
This week marks our fifth anniversary, and to celebrate, a number of our regulars sent us video messages wishing us a very happy birthday. Kind of. The video below features, in order of appearance: Rachel Stubbings, Colin Hoult, Dave Brown, James Cook, Bob Pipe, Dave McNeill, Katy Brand, Neil Cole, Phil Whelans, James Wren, Spencer Millman, Waen Shepherd, Jacqueline Wright, Holly Jane Shears, Rufus Jones, Stephen Evans and Tony Way.
Our huge thanks to all involved – and we’ve got a few more messages coming through to give you Part Two very soon, so stay peeled!
THE WEEK IN TV & RADIO
A couple of regular shows wrapped up last week, but we’ve still got a number of great things on telly to savour across the week. Each one is as important as the other to us, as has always been The Velvet Onion way, so for ease of understanding, we’ll tackle them in chronological order.
MONDAY: DRUNK HISTORY
© Comedy Central UK
Airing at 9:30pm on Monday 26th over on Comedy Central UK, the fourth episode of Drunk History UK once more sees famous British comedians get absolutely plastered in the name of reciting tales from the past – which are then re-enacted by a top notch cast.
With the likes of Tony Way, Seb Cardinal, Dustin Demri-Burns, Tom Rosenthal, Mat Horne, Marek Larwood, Tom Stourton, Alex Owen, Ben Bailey Smith and Rebecca Front on re-enactment duties across the series, tonight’s edition also features Ben Ashenden, Russell Kane and Joy Lycett getting hammered. Enjoy.
© Ed Miller / Channel 4
Monday 2nd February at 10pm brings us Episode Three of Catastrophe – the brand new comedy from Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney, in which an American man and an Irish woman fall in love in London whilst navigating the choppy waters of their increasingly complicated lives.
In this week’s edition, Sharon’s hormones plague her with waves of different emotions, and she has a chance meeting with an old flame (Phil Nichol), which leads to dinner. Meanwhile, Rob struggles to generate advertising business, since he has very few contacts in London, and begins a clandestine friendship with Chris, who is married to a woman Sharon can’t stand.
After wowing critics and audiences alike, Catastrophe will be returning for a second series, so it’s naturally a treat to watch the story unfold a little more this week. If you missed the first two episodes, you can catch up with the series now via 4oD, whilst iPlayer houses Sharon and Rob’s last minute guest appearance on The Graham Norton Show last Friday.
© Colin Hutton / Big Talk Productions / ITV 2
Tuesday 3rd February at 10pm sees Episode Four of Cockroaches air on ITV2. The post-apocalyptic comedy stars Daniel Lawrence Taylor (How Not to Life Your Life), Esher Smith, Jack Whitehall and Tom Davis, alongside a string of big name guest stars such as Dan Skinner, Alexander Armstrong, Caroline Quentin, Robert Bathurst and Nigel Planer.
In this week’s episode the survivors race to find an antidote after the camp’s children turn green – believing they may have nuclear radiation sickness or have become vampires – and the Doctor has gone power mad. If they do not find a cure, Tom may be forced to go through with a grisly deed.
As to be expected, you can catch up with past episodes via ITV Player, and the series will also be released on dvd on February 23rd.
TUESDAY (and Wednesday): COUNT ARTHUR STRONG
© BBC / Freemantle Productions
Also on Tuesday 3rd February comes Episode Five of the second series of Count Arthur Strong – airing on BBC One at FOUR different times, depending on your location.
Viewers in England can see it at the slightly later than usual time of 10:45pm, whilst those watching in Northern Ireland have to wait until 11:40pm. However, if you’re in Wales, there’s an even sillier timeslot, as it airs at 12:15am – and viewers in Scotland can see the episode on Wednesday at 10:40pm!
Episode Five, once more from the pens of star Steve Delaney and Graham Linehan (best known for The IT Crowd and Father Ted), sees a documentary team arrive to film a profile of Michael, but Arthur threatens to steal the show with his new career. Fun stuff, as ever.
WEDNESDAY: LOVE IN RECOVERY
© Karla Gowlett / Lucky Giant
Wednesday 4th February brings us Episode Five of Love in Recovery on Radio 4. Written by Pete Jackson, the series follows the lives of an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting group, made up of characters portrayed by Sue Johnston, John Hannah, Eddie Marsan, Rebecca Front and Paul Kaye, whilst Julia Deakin plays village hall cleaner Marion.
This week’s episode focuses on Kaye’s character, Danno, as he deals with the death of his father after returning from his memorial service – in the pub down the road. If you missed previous installements, you can catch all previous episodes on iPlayer now, but be quick – as Episode One will vanish in four days time…
© Hal Shinnie / BBC
Thursday 5th February brings Episode Five of Crims – the new BBC Three sitcom from the pens of Mongrels writer Adam Kay and Grandma’s House writer Dan Swimer – at 10pm. And gawd, have we been waiting to rave about this one.
As ever, starring Elis James and Kadiff Kirwan, alongside Cariad Lloyd, Ricky Champ and Theo Barklem Biggs, with a guest appearance once again by Toast of London‘s Tracy Ann Oberman, this week’s episode draws on Adam Kay’s musical comedy background in the best possible way, as plans for the Young Offenders Institute to put on its own theatre production, are hijacked by Marcel, and turned into a musical interpretation of Twilight, which poor ol’ Luke has to write in 24 hours.
Typically bonkers, with charming tunes and possibly the best Elton John joke ever, this is possibly our favourite episode of the run, and the cast and crew seem to agree. If you only see one episode, make sure it’s this one, but if you have missed previous episodes, you can catch up on iPlayer now.
SATURDAY: HORRIBLE HISTORY’S SPECIAL
© Phil Miller / Laura Rawlinson / LionTV / BBC
On Saturday 6th February, Horrible Histories returns for a one-off special focusing on the story of King John and the Magna Carta. As you can see from the image above, comic actor Ben Miller leads the cast as King John, by sheer coincidence, just a few months after he appeared as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Doctor Who!
Whilst the original HH team moved on to create Yonderland for Sky One, and the forthcoming movie Bill, regulars Jim Howick and Simon Farnaby return for this special, with Farnaby’s famous character Death now hosting his own chat show.
As fun as ever, this transitional episode prior to the next series (with a mostly new leading cast), airs on Saturday evening at 5:15pm on BBC Two. The team have also made a series of new videos promoting internet safety for children – you can see Farnaby’s contribution (alongside Matt Baynton) below.
AND THE REST…
As always, here’s some of the news you may have missed during the last week, via our Twitter feed. We’ll see you again next Monday, and throughout the week for more news, reviews and interviews. Keep on peeling!