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Coogan’s Run On Gold

28 Jul

© Sky Atlantic

Some of you may have seen Steve Coogan – The Inside Story on UKTV GOLD last Saturday evening – a look back at Steve Coogan‘s comedy career, with contributions from Reeves and Mortimer, Ben Miller, Kevin Eldon, John Thomson, Mark Williams, Matt Horne,  Julia Davis and many others.

Following on from this, UKTV GOLD is hosting Summer Nights of Coogan – every weekend from 9pm during August they will be showing a variety of shows from Steve Coogan, including I’m Alan Partridge, Knowing Me, Knowing You, Dr Terrible’s House of Horrible, The Trip, Paul Calf Video Diary, Coogan’s Run, Saxondale and Live Shows, so it really is a variety pack of Steve Coogan TV.

UKTV GOLD can be found on Sky channel 110 or Virgin 126.

Steve was a guest on Radio 2′s Steve Wright in the Afternoon on Thursday to talk about the UKTV GOLD shows - the same day Noel Fielding was on talking about Luxury Comedy 2. Catch up here, Noel is on at – 01:38:05 and Steve is on at – 02:13:20.

Don’t forget you can stock up on all your favourite Steve Coogan titles at TVO Store.

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.

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.

 

My First Planet Makes Second Contact

16 Jul

Sci-fi radio sitcom My First Planet returns to Radio 4 Extra next week.

© Pozzitive / BBC

Written by and starring Phil Whelans (Kill Phil, The Day They Came To Suck Out Our Brains, It’s Kevin) and Doctor Who audio range author/actor John Dorney, the show features Only Fools and Horses legend Nicholas Lyndhurst as the ineffectual head of a new space colony, and asks the powerful question: if humankind were to colonize space, is it destined to succumb to self-interest, prejudice and infighting? (By the way, the answer’s yes. Sorry).

Also featuring Vicki Pepperdine (Getting On, Mid Morning Matters), Tom Goodman-Hill (Dead Boss, Free Agents) and Cariad Lloyd (Cardinal Burns, Fit), Series 2 was recorded back in October and November last year, and will be first broadcast from Monday via BBC Radio 4 Extra at 9:30am.

Following this, it will be available on iPlayer for seven days after transmission, and repeated on Radio 4 in September.

You can hear a preview of the first series, which is available to buy digitally, below…

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.

Rhod Gilbert Joins Buzzcocks

9 Jul

Stand-up comic and tv presenter Rhod Gilbert is to join Never Mind The Buzzcocks as permanent host.

© BBC

© BBC

The show – originally presented by Mark Lamarr and later Simon Amstell – has had a series of revolving guest presenters since 2009, with Rhod himself being only the second guest host, back in October of that year.

Gilbert, who first appeared on the show as a guest in 2006, returned in December 2011, and now joins regular team captains Phill Jupitus and Noel Fielding for the 28th series this Autumn.

When the news broke this afternoon, Rhod commented on his official Facebook page:

So the secret is out! I’ll be the new permanent host of Never Mind The Buzzcocks when it returns for its 28th series this autumn. When I first guest hosted, back in 2009, I was told I was in with a shout to take over as regular host, and now, just 5 years later, I got the call. It’s all happened so fast. Never Mind the Buzzcocks is one of those rare shows that feels like it belongs on our screens, it’s an institution, in a good way. It’s a great honour to be asked to take the reins full time and to hang out with Noel and Phill, and I’m equally excited and nervous about adding my name to those who have hosted it in the past.

It is currently unknown if Noel’s forthcoming tour will affect any of his commitments to the full Buzzcocks run, but we’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear more about the series. In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for ticket applications opening over yonder.

COMPETITION! Win Tickets to see Mathew Baynton, Elizabeth Berrington & Daniel Rigby in Holes!

7 Jul

The Velvet Onion is proud to be able to offer one lucky winner a pair of tickets to see Tom Basdens razor-sharp comedy play Holes at The Arcola Theatre this summer.

© Arcola Theatre 2014

© Arcola Theatre 2014

Starring Mathew Baynton (Horrible Histories, Yonderland, Gavin and Stacey), Elizabeth Berrington (Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Psychoville, Doctor Who), and Daniel Rigby (Eric and Ernie, Black Mirror, Cardinal Burns), Holes is written by Tom Basden, who may be familiar to TVO veterans from his acting appearances in Star Stories, Hyperdrive and most recently, W1A.

Basden is also an award winning writer, with a Royal Television Society award under his belt, alongside three BAFTA nominations (including one for The Wrong Mans), a Fringe First Award and an Edinburgh Comedy Award.  Holes tells the story of four survivors of a plane crash, who don’t know where they are… or if anyone is coming to help them.

© Arcola Theatre 2014

© Arcola Theatre 2014

It’s an absurd, hilarious and fast-paced comedy, which saw rave reviews when it made its Edinburgh Fringe debut last year.  Now it reaches the Arcola Tent for a strictly limited run between 16th July and 9th August, directed by Phillip Breen (The Merry Wives of Windsor), who last worked with Basden on Party – a play which later became a much loved radio series featuring Anna Crilly and Katy Wix.

Thanks to our friends at The Arcola Theatre and AKA, The Velvet Onion is able to offer a pair of tickets to one lucky winner for a performance of their choosing.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply tell us the answer to the following question:

What is the name of the 2013 BAFTA-nominated sitcom which was co-written by and starred Mathew Baynton and Tom Basden?

Email your replies to competitions@thevelvetonion.com by 11:59pm on Sunday 13th July.

One winner will be picked at random, and contacted by AKA to arrange tickets for a Monday-Thursday performance of their choosing, subject to availability.  For more details, full terms and conditions are below.  Good luck!

If you don’t win, or just want to be sure you’ll see the show, tickets are available now, and you can find out more information about the production via their official website, Facebook and Twitter profiles.

This competition offers 1 pair of tickets for one performance of ‘Holes’ at The Arcola Theatre on a selected date between July 16th 2014 and August 9th 2014. Monday-Thursday performances only. The winning entry will be selected at random, from all who correctly answer the question: “What is the name of the 2013 BAFTA-nominated sitcom which was co-written by and starred Mathew Baynton and Tom Basden?”  The winner will be contacted via the email address they use to enter. Details will not be shared with any additional third parties beyond The Velvet Onion, The Arcola Theatre, AKA and the guest-list for the venue.
Only entries made to competitions@thevelvetonion.com will be accepted.  The Velvet Onion will not accept entries as comments to this post, replies to our Facebook/Twitter pages, comments to any other posts in error or emails to any other email address in our domain, nor any entries received after 11:59pm on Sunday, 13th July. This competition is being run entirely by The Velvet Onion, with prizes organised by The Arcola Theatre and AKA.  One entry per person. Any entrants found making multiple entries from the same IP address will be disqualified, and banned from entering further competitions run by The Velvet Onion. The judge’s decision is final. There is no monetary value to this competition and no cash alternative will be offered. The winner must choose their preferred performance to attend prior to confirmation of their seats following discussion with AKA, and dates/performances cannot be changed.  The winner will be responsible for their own travel and/or related expenses. The Velvet Onion reserves the right to withdraw this competition if any overriding issues arise.

Parkinson & Eldon Join Crackanory Series 2

5 Jul

© Dave

Earlier this year we reported that anthology comedy Crackanory would be returning for a second series.

Series 1 included TVO regulars Sharon Horgan, Kevin Eldon, Tom Meeten, Steve Oram, Alex Kirk and John ‘Willie’ Hopkins on screen, whilst the score for the show was composed by Waen Shepherd and two episodes were directed by Gareth Tunley.

Like its predecessor, series 2 will be made and broadcast by UK freeview channel Dave, and will feature top drawer British comedians telling Jackanory style stories for grown ups.

So far, those confirmed for the new series include Vic Reeves, David Mitchell, Meera Syall, Warwick Davies, Ben Miller, Sue Perkins, Johnny Vegas, Ruby Wax – and Katherine Parkinson. Emilia Fox and Simon Callow will lend their voices to the series too, and it’s hoped that a performance by the legend that is Rik Mayall will also be shown.

Writers for the new series include Yonderland and Mitchell and Webb scriptwriter Toby Davies, Holly Walsh and Kevin Eldon, who will be authoring his second story for the show and will also make an appearance in another tale.

The new series will air on Dave in the Autumn.

Rose D’Or Awards Nominations

22 Jun

© Kuba Wieczorek

The nominees for the television, online and radio 2014 Rose d’Or were announced this week, and there are two TVO shows in the shortlist for Best Sitcom!

Toast of London (featuring Matt Berry) and Yonderland (from the Horrible Histories Team) are two of just three nominees in the Best Sitcom category.

Nearly 400 programmes from more than 100 broadcasters and production companies from all over the world were submitted for this year’s Rose d’Or awards, so to be shortlisted for an award is an achievement in itself!

The winners will be decided at the 53rd Rose d’Or Awards ceremony which will be held in Berlin on 17 September. For the full list of nominees, take a look at the Rose D’Or website.

Congratulations to all the nominees, and best of luck to ‘our lot’!

 

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:

 

RIP Rik Mayall: 7 March 1958 – 9 June 2014

9 Jun
© Sweet Chuck Productions

© Sweet Chuck Productions

The Velvet Onion is shocked and saddened by the death of Rik Mayall at the age of 56, and would like to extend our sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Rising to fame in the early 1980s as a member of the highly prestigious team behind The Comic Strip Presents, his career began alongside respected contemporaries Nigel Planer, Alexei Sayle, Peter Richardson, Arnold Brown, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Pete Richens and of course, his long-standing comedy partner Adrian Edmondson.

The team were the toast of Soho when they were snapped up by Channel 4 to make a series of comedy shorts for the fledging channel, with the first – sadly not featuring Mayall – appearing on the very first night of Channel 4. However, it was anarchic sitcom The Young Ones which would propel several of the team to superstardom, and continue to be cited as one of the all time comedy greats to this day.

Mayall, Edmondson and Planer followed The Young Ones with the brilliant, but less well received Filthy, Rich & Catflap before Mayall found further success in his own right as Alan Beresford B’Stard MP in political satire The New Statesmen - a role he reprised on stage for a successful UK tour in 2006.

Following a starring role in cult favourite (but box-office bomb) Drop Dead Fred, Mayall and Edmondson regrouped to create the seminal sitcom Bottom - which managed to outclass even The Young Ones at its peak, and become a firm favourite across three series, a string of successful live tours and even a spin-off movie.

© BBC

© BBC

Recent years saw a slowing down of mainstream activity, though Mayall was rarely far from our screens due to both repeats of his classic works, and his guest roles in shows like Jonathan Creek and Midsomer Murders.  He became the face of Bombardier Bitter for a string of controversial (but hilarious) adverts, and was most recently seen on screens portraying Greg Davies’ father in Channel 4′ sitcom Man Down, produced by TVO regular Spencer Millman.

Since he first graced our screens over three decades ago, Mayall has amused and delighted countless fans of his work, and as TVO can personally attest, he was as far removed from his grotesque characters in real life as could be: a truly charming, polite man, and a true talent that will never be forgotten.

© Rich Hardcastle

© Rich Hardcastle

The sheer scope of his work is such that we have got this far down the list without mentioning Mad Gerald and Lord Flashheart in Blackadder, his incredible Jackanory telling of George’s Marvellous Medicine, his criminally underrated 1993 series of one-off comedy plays - Rik Mayall Presents, or his early film roles in Shock Treatment and An American Werewolf in London.  Let alone his voiceover work for Watership Down, Hogs of War and even Spongebob Squarepants introducing him to a whole new generation, or getting to #1 with Cliff Richard in aid of Comic Relief – a charity which also saw him reunite with Ade Edmondson in 2012 for one last painful hurrah.

An enormous influence on many of our regulars, he leaves behind his wife and three children, and our thoughts are with them and the rest of his family and friends.  He shall be missed.

For a selection of initial tweets from TVO reglars about Rik, see below…  Continue reading

Ayoade Returns As Gadget Man

8 Jun

© Channel 4

He may have become one of the premiere indie film directors since the first series of Gadget Man, but that hasn’t stopped Richard Ayoade stepping up for a second series!

Last month a section for the show was recorded in a Sainsbury’s supermarket in Chingford, where Richard tried out a rather clever-sounding lambent shopping handle (you can read all about that here).

The new series is likely to air this Autumn; as soon as we can find out an actual transmission date, we’ll let you know. It remains to be see whether he’ll be inviting his TVO-connected buddies to accompany him in this series. We hope so!

In the meantime, you can feed your Gadget Man hunger by visiting Channel 4 here, where you can watch clips galore. There’s even an entire episode on youtube if watching short clips makes your brain dizzy.

And finally, while we’re talking about Mr Ayoade’s audiovisual output, why not take a look at this recent interview with him and Jesse Eisenberg (published last week), in which they discuss working together on The Double with Jian Ghomeshi. Admittedly it’s got nothing to do with Gadget Man, but we like to mix things up around here occasionally:

Teasaaaaaaahs From Toyah

7 Jun

© Toyah Willcox

The Crimson Queen herself, Toyah Willcox, has teased further information about Steve Oram‘s début directorial feature, Aaaaaaaah!

Since it was announced in January, news of the production has been thin on the ground.  Filming was due to start in April, but was delayed for some unknown reason – potentially the top-notch cast and their hectic schedules!

The film, in which Oram, Willcox, Tom MeetenJulian BarrattTony WayWaen Shepherd, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Hannah Hoeskra will communicate entirely in ape-like grunts, shrieks and moans, promises to be a typically surreal treat from the unique mind of Steve Oram.

In it, Oram and Meeten will play marauding characters who encroach into the hostile territory of the kitchen, with Barratt the former alpha-male who, now deposed, lives in the garden.

Last month, Willcox posted a photo of her copy of the script, which she was reading in Seattle whilst touring with The Humans – the side project she founded with Chris Wong and former REM drummer Bill Rieflin.  It came alongside the message: “Learning AAHHHH! In Lowell’s Seattle. This script is brilliant…..and naughty xxx”

Now her website’s official blog has provided more details, including the planned start date for filming.  She writes: “…Steve Oram’s film shoot starts on the 30th June, so fingers crossed all will run smoothly and effortlessly once we get into July for the rest of the shoot.

Steve and I are in regular contact as he sends me test films where he and other cast members have got together and improvised how we are going to deal with the lack of language. He has stripped the language down to the bare minimum of guttural grunts and the way he is shooting the scenes……..all I can say….it makes one hell of a comment about life………I find his idea of there being no language as we know it, very sinister as well as funny. He has struck a great idea here.”

We can’t wait. More news on Aaaaaaaah! as we get it.

Wee Paper People

1 Jun

Regular readers of TVO might remember Paper People – cut out and keep paper models of your favourite TVO folk. We’ve just revisited the site and there are many, many more characters for you to cut out and keep. How many do you recognise from the pictures below?

If you can’t wait to get your hands on your own Wee Paper People, all you have to do is click on the website, download your favourites then print and assemble. Assembly instructions are on the site.

If you want something more personal, the creator of all these fantastic models, Sally Grosart, can make personalised little people of your friends and family, or personalised cards or banners. To contact Sally and see the rest of her creations click here.

BAFTA Wins For Ayoade & Parkinson

19 May

This weekend saw Richard Ayoade and Katherine Parkinson pick up BAFTA TV Awards for their roles in The IT Crowd.

The duo were nominated for Best Performance In A Comedy Programme, in the Male/Female categories respectively.  Parkinson faced off stiff competition from Doon Mackichan (Plebs), Kerry Howard (Him & Her) and Frances De La Tour (Vicious) to collect her gong, which you can see below.

Things were even more heated in Ayoade’s category – especially as he was up against his co-star Chris O’Dowd, no less, as well as comedy heavyweights James Corden and Matthew Baynton for their roles in The Wrong Mans. You can see his typically self-dismissive speech filled with gags and praise for his collaborators below.

Sadly, The IT Crowd itself lost out on the title of Best Situation Comedy, as did Graham Linehan‘s more recent Count Arthur Strong and Matt Berry‘s star vehicle Toast of London - with all three being snubbed in favour of Him & Her: The WeddingNo, we didn’t see that coming, either… but well done to the team behind the BBC Three smash, and to all the winners on the night – which you can see in full here.

Monk-day Approacheth!

12 May

This week sees the broadcast of the new pilot episode for revamped project, Monks, featuring TVO regulars Fergus Craig and Justin Edwards.

© Anna Brabbins / BBC

© Anna Brabbins / BBC

As we’ve mentioned previously, the project has been on-and-off for 14 years, no less – first appearing on radio as Hey Hey We’re The Monks - a one off episode of BBC Radio 2′s Comedy Showcase.  Co-written by Danny Robbins (We Are History) and Dan Tetsell (Mongrels, Lab Rats), this pilot starred none other than future megastars Bill Bailey and Catherine Tate, yet it has never been repeated… lost into the ether (and the BBC Archives, we hope!).

Eight years later, and a non-broadcast tv pilot version featured James Corden, David Bamber, Geoffrey Whitehead and the addition of TVO regulars Fergus Craig (Colin and Fergus, Star Stories) and Justin Edwards (The Thick of It, Lifespam).  Sadly, the show was not commissioned, and that, it seemed, was that.

Until January of this year, that is, when a new attempt at the format was filmed at Elstree.  Standup and Mock The Week regular Seann Walsh is the new leading man, starring as benefits cheat Gary Woodcroft, who joins a religious order to avoid a jail term, only to find his choice of Rudley Abbey is just like prison, but with added praying.

Also along for the ride are Spaced veteran Mark Heap, The Vicar Of Dibley‘s James Fleet, former Have I Got News For You host Angus Deayton and, once more, Mssrs Craig and Edwards.   It’s all gloriously silly fun in the traditional sitcom mould, so any fans of Graham Linehan’s output or more mainstream fair like Miranda and Not Going Out should definitely check it out.  You can see a preview clip below:

The new pilot – For Whom The Bell Tolls - again written by Robbins, airs as the final edition of Comedy Playhouse this Tuesday evening at 10:40pm (11:10pm in Northern Ireland), and will be available on iPlayer shortly after transmission.  For a smattering of promotional images, look no further. Amen.

 

The Return Of Brian Pern

9 May

Smash hit BBC Four mockumentary The Life of Rock with Brian Pern has been granted a second series – and a promotion to BBC Two.

© BBC

Written and directed by Rhys Thomas, the show stars Simon Day as prog-rock legend and world-music inventor Brian Pern, alongside TVO regulars Lucy MontgomeryTony WayMichael Smiley and Steve Burge – who also composed the music for the series, now available on iTunes.

Alongside that stellar cast, were big names from comedy and music – with Thomas’s connections bringing in Matt Lucas, Paul Whitehouse, Vic Reeves, Bob Mortimer, Nigel Havers, Danny John-Jules, Michael Kitchen, Frances Barber, David Baddiel, Jools Holland, Rick Wakeman, David Arnold, Roger Taylor, Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel, no less.

The first three-parts aired on BBC Four back in February, to great acclaim, and though a dvd/blu-ray release was ruled out due to copyright issues with the huge amount of stock footage used, the show is bound to get a repeat in the run-up to the second run.

The return was revealed by Radio Times, who confirmed it is scheduled for the end of the year, with a working title of Rock Apocalypse.  Episode One will focus on Christmas songs, as Brian plans his own Xmas classic, whilst Episode Two will look at the history of music festivals… whilst Brian tries to launch his own.  Finally, the third episode will focus on jukebox musicals, as Brian is preparing his own.

We can’t wait. You can relive Brian’s greatest hits in anticipation below…

Bea’s Delivery

29 Apr

© Richard Gilligan

ITV have announced a new sitcom which features Aisling Bea in its ensemble cast.

The Delivery Man focuses on a policeman played by Darren Boyd (Spy, Holy Flying Circus, Hippies), who decides to change his career to become a midwife.

According to British Comedy Guide, the show will also feature Fay Ripley (Reggie Perrin), Dominic Coleman (Trollied), Holli Dempsey (Derek), Alex Macqueen (The Thick of It) and Miss Bea.

It’s from the minds of former Green Wing staff writers Robert Harley & James Henry, and is produced by the creator of the much loved Channel 4 sitcom, Victoria Pile.

With a pilot already filmed, the show joins Semi-Detached starring Katherine Parkinson in ITV’s sudden influx of new comedy commissions, following the ratings success of Vicious and Benidorm. We’ll aim to keep you posted on both shows, as soon as we hear more.

In the meantime, fans of Aisling can see her live this Thursday at Tooting Rhubarb Comedy Club, this weekend at the Machynelleth Comedy Festival and loads more dates across May and June in London, Cambridge, Telford, Inverness and Kilkenny – all of which can be found on her website.

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

Tony Talks Game Of Thrones

23 Apr

© HBO

Tony Way has given an interview to GQ Magazine about his character Dontos Hollard in Game of Thrones. He talks about his character, what he thinks will happen next, and his disappointment to find that Sean Bean’s character had been killed off before he had a chance to work with him.  The full interview can be read at the GQ site, (*may contain spoilers).

Game of Thrones also features Paul Kaye as Thoros of Myr, and the new series can be seen on Sky Atlantic on Monday evenings at 9pm.

If you need to catch up with previous series, they are all available in various formats from the TVO Store.

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