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Crims From Kay & Swimer

24 Oct

BBC Three has announced a forthcoming sitcom written and created by two writers with previous TVO connections.

© BBC Comedy

© BBC Comedy

Crims follows straight-laced Luke, (stand-up comic Elis James), who is unwittingly led into trouble by his girlfriend’s brother Jasaon (Kadiff Kirwan).  Sentenced to two years in a Young Offenders Institution, Luke will have to rely on Jason’s street smarts to get him through. Unfortunately, Jason is a massive idiot.

It comes from the pens of Dan Swimer, whose past credits include Grandma’s HouseHow TV Ruined Your Life, Big Fat Quiz of the Year and Never Mind The Buzzcocks; and Adam Kay, writer on Mongrels and Anna and Katy, as well as a comedian in his own right and frontman of the band Amateur Transplants.

With a supporting cast including Doctor Who legend Sylvester McCoy, what TVO has seen from a sneak preview is a witty, oddly charming show packed with great gags, and we’ll aim to bring you more news on the show as soon as possible.  Crims is set to air in January.

Inspector Richard (Do-Be-Do-Be-Do-Bee-Boo!)

27 Aug
© North One Television / Channel 4

© North One Television / Channel 4

The third series of Gadget Man - Channel 4’s tech-fuelled funfest hosted by Richard Ayoade is now underway, and the next two episodes bring two familiar faces in to play with all the toys.

Following the appearance of Tim Vine and Marcus Brigstocke in the first episode (now viewable on 4oD if you missed it), the next two episodes will feature Good News star Russell Howard and Never Mind The Buzzcocks regular Phill Jupitus.

You can catch the next episode on Monday, 1st September at 8:30pm, and it, like all previous editions, including the first series hosted by Stephen Fry, will be available on 4oD shortly after transmission.

If that’s still not enough Ayoade for you, don’t forget you can pick up his forthcoming book, Ayoade on Ayoadeand his latest film The Double on dvd and blu-ray now via The Velvet Onion Amazon Store.

Rhod Gilbert Joins Buzzcocks

9 Jul

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



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.

Juplicity This Weekend!

9 Apr
© Andy Hollingworth

© Andy Hollingworth

We interrupt our usual tales of Onion Land hijinx to bring you news on a special, last-minute event this weekend featuring Never Mind The Buzzcocks stalwart, Phill Jupitus.

Phill recently returned to his word-slinging alter ego Porky the Poet, and will be performing his first ever full-length London poetry show this Saturday evening: Phill Jupitus is Porky the Poet in ‘Juplicity’.

For one night only, his pencil is sharpened towards religion, dieting, hate, hipsters, love, parenthood, sex, The Clash, death and Michael Gove, as part of the Tristan Bates Theatre’s FIRST 2013 Festival.

Tickets for the show in Convent Garden are on sale now, priced just £11, so grab ‘em whilst you can!

BBC Bans All Male Panel Shows

9 Feb

© BBC/Talkback/Brian Ritchie

The BBC has made a stand against the male domination of quiz panel shows that pepper our TV schedules by banning all male line ups.

Danny Cohen, the BBC’s director of TV has said: “We’re not going to have panel shows on any more with no women on them. You can’t do that. It’s not acceptable.” The news has been warmly greeted by the likes of Katy Brand on twitter

In the past, current affairs-based comedy panel shows like Mock the Week and Have I Got News For You have been criticised for their male-dominated line-ups. Today’s Observer noted that all the regular comedians on the most recent series of Mock the Week were men and only five of the 38 guest panellists were women. Arts and entertainment-based shows like Never Mind the Buzzccoks tend to have a more balanced line-up.

A BBC spokesman said panel shows that had already been recorded but not yet been broadcast may feature all-male teams, but all those filmed in the future would include at least one female participant.

In 2012, writer Caitlin Moran said she had been asked to appear on, “All the big panel shows” but turned them down because “I refuse to be the token woman. “I think that’s a boys’ game that works for boys,” she said. “It’s not like they built it to screw women over, it’s just that boys built it so they made it to work for boys. If I go on there as a token woman, it’s not going to work for me.”

The BBC’s decision has led to a fair amount of debate over our Sunday roast at TVO Towers: Should panelists be selected purely on their own merit or should gender enter into it? What do you think?

The Big Comedy Vote

7 Jan

© British Comedy Guide

Voting for the 2013 Awards has now opened, so pour yourself a large glass of something cold and head on over there to cast your votes!

The nomination lists for the Awards are notoriously comprehensive, so if your taste in TV and radio comedy is wide and varied, chances are they’ve got it covered. What’s more, there are a ton of TVO-connected shows on offer.

For Best TV Sitcom the list includes Count Arthur Strong, Family Tree, Man Down, Bob Servant Independent, Yonderland and Heading Out; for Best Returning Sitcom you’ll find IT Crowd and Phoneshop amongst the nominees; Best TV Sketch Show features Anna & Katy, Fit, Horrible Histories, It’s Kevin and Psychobitches; Best Radio Sketch Show includes Alice’s Wunderland and Colin Hoult’s Carnival of Monsters; Best TV Panel Show includes BFQOTY, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Was It Something I Said?; Best Comedy Drama offers Black Mirror and Crackanory as options; and finally Best Overall 2013 Comedy reads as a who’s who of The Velvet Onion (with a few exceptions – well, you can’t win em all!).

To vote visit The British Comedy Guide; voting closes on Friday 17th January, and the winners will be announced on 20th January via their newsletterTwitterFacebook and homepage.

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 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

Festive Buzzcocks

8 Dec
© BBC/Talkback/Brian Ritchie

© BBC/Talkback/Brian Ritchie

The Festive edition of Never Mind the Buzzcocks will air on Monday 16th December, and will be  hosted by Jonny Vegas. Team captains Phill Jupitus and Noel Fielding, will be joined by Westlife singer Brian McFadden, Jessica Hynes, Sara Pascoe and DJ Locksmith from Rudimental.

The show will air at the normal time of 10pm – 10.30pm on BBC 2, except  Northern Ireland where it airs at 11.50pm.

Buzzcocks will also be on BBC 2 at its usual time tomorrow (except Scotland when it’ll air at 11.20pm), when Krishnan Guru-Murthy takes a look back at highlights from the series, while investigating the claim that there is a missing edition!

A Smashing Story

9 Nov

As the week that introduced the public to ‘mug-gate’ draws to a close, here’s our round up of what went down and the bizarre commentary that followed:

Unless you’ve been avoiding all forms of media consumption for the past 6 days you can’t fail to have noticed that Huey Morgan from Fun Loving Criminals lost his rag during the final round of Monday’s Never Mind the Buzzcocks and (horror!) smashed a mug, before storming off set. While he lost his cool, Rizzle Kicks (this week’s hosts) retained theirs. Big time. For anyone who missed it, here’s how it all kicked off:

Since then the story has been picked up and raked over by the tabloid press (The Mirror, The Mail, Metro) and online news sites (Huffington Post, Digital Spy), amongst others. Perhaps more surprisingly, the quality press have been getting on on it too, with coverage in The Guardian and The Independent.

The day after the incident, Noel Fielding‘s twitter response to the furore was reproduced as a further news story. It appeared that an insider‘s initial analysis of what happened, suggesting that everyone in the studio was fed up with the duration of the filming and were supportive of Huey, was wrong. Noel asserted that the audience had backed Rizzle Kicks, and quite rightly made light of the whole thing.

However, that was not to be the end of it! Next, headlines were made as the Fun Lovin Criminals star blocked Buzzcocks on twitter. Alarmingly, this made it into the broadsheets too!  Well at least absolutely nothing important has been happening in the wider world this week.

Since then an alternative version of Huey’s Buzzcocks hissy-fit has made it onto youtube…

…and unsurprisingly, the TV show‘s marketing folk have been milking the story; expect to see a significant hike in the series’ viewing figures.

The increased interest in Buzzcocks this week has led to another story about the show spreading via social media. It appears that Jim Bob from Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine has been approached several times to appear in the ID Parade section of the show. His manager’s charmingly polite two fingers to that request can be seen here. Genius.

Don’t forget to tune into the next episode of Buzzcocks on BBC2 at 10pm on Monday to see what the following week’s ‘news’paper headlines might hold…

Further Your Comedy Career Here

15 Oct

© British Comedy Guide

The Big Comedy Conference is your chance to hear some of comedy’s finest talking about their careers in comedy – including a few folk with TVO connections!

The day of comedy-related talks and workshops is been organised and curated by The British Comedy Guide. It presents a unique opportunity for anyone interested in pursuing a career in comedy to meet and listen to from some of the industry’s most successful writers, performers and producers. The event will include talks, networking and pitching sessions, and will be rounded off by a bar and live comedy gig in the evening.

© BBC Comedy

The full list of speakers is mightily impressive, but for the purposes of this here website, here are the ones with a link to TVO:  Dan Tetsell (Mongrels), Andrew Ellard (IT Crowd, Count Arthur Strong), David Schneider (I’m Alan Partridge), Caroline Norris (Horrible Histories) and Pete Sinclair (Never Mind the Buzzcocks).

You can see who else is attending by clicking here - and more speakers are still to be announced!

The Big Comedy Conference will take place on Saturday 30th November at The Old Sessions House, 22 Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1R 0NA. The venue will open at 9:30am, with the talks and workshops running in different rooms at the venue from 10am until 7:30pm. A comedy gig will follow in the evening and the bar will be open until 11pm.

Tickets are usually £149, but can be purchased for the early bird price of £99 before 21st October. Lunch is included in the price. To purchase tickets and for more information about the event, visit the British Comedy Guide here (scroll down for booking info). If you go, we’d love to hear all about it!

Tony Travels For Fairtrade

7 Oct

Tony Law is fronting a new campaign for Fairtrade.

The Power of You promotional campaign sees Tony and a companion, Hannah, travelling around the world to discover what choosing Fairtrade means to farmers in developing countries.

And you could go there too! If you can guess where Tony and Hannah travel to, you could win a trip to the coffee harvest for you and a friend. There are a series of six videos to help you in your quest; the first of the videos is shown below, and you can visit Fairtrade’s ‘Finding Hannah’ youtube page to see the remaining five (all featuring Tony). We’re not entirely convinced by the authenticity of Hannah’s supermarket ambush in the first film (below), but given it’s for a worthy cause, we’ll overlook that one ;-)

Head over to the campaign website for more information and to enter the competition. Once you’ve figured out the clues  all you have to do is drop the pin where you think they went. Whoever’s pin is closest on 11.59pm on 13 October 2013 wins the trip. That’s six and a bit days left, so there’s still time to get hunting and win a holiday!

Don’t forget you can see Tony on tonight’s Never Mind The Buzzcocks at 10pm on BBC2.

Tony Law Returns To Buzzcocks

4 Oct

Monday’s installment of Never Mind The Buzzcocks will feature a return visit from Tony Law.

© BBC/Talkback/Brian Ritchie

© BBC/Talkback/Brian Ritchie

The brilliant stand-up, and Ealing Live veteran, also appeared on the show last year in what may possibly be the most perfect team line-up ever – Noel Fielding, Tony, and incredible singer songwriter (and TVO reader), Paloma Faith. Monday’s show will be his third appearance on Noel’s team.

Law, to whom improvised madness is a natural state, is a veteran of panel shows of course, ever since the days of Does Doug Know?, so it’s always a delight to see him back on our screens.

Also joining, Noel, Phill Jupitus and Tony are Dancing On Ice judge Jason Gardiner, Scissor Sisters vocalist Ana Matronic, and White Lies bassist Charles Cave.  The guest host is 90s pop star turned reality tv personality Peter Andre, so we’re expecting the banter to have Flava!

The following week will see presenter Jake Humphries, comedian Matt Richardson and singers Eliza Doolittle and Iggy Azalea being asked questions by radio dj Sara Cox.  The show airs each Monday at 10pm, and will be available on iPlayer shortly after transmission.

Don’t forget, Tony Law is currently on tour with his Nonsense Overdrive show, with a huge number of dates across the country.  For more details, visit his website.  Below is a teaser of what to expect, though be warned… no two Tony Law shows are ever the same!

Boosh Warm Up Line Up Announced

20 Sep

© Soho Theatre/The List/The Basis

As you’ll know if you’re a regular peeler of this here website, earlier this week we broke the news that The Mighty Boosh are performing two warm-up shows at the Soho Theatre. We can now confirm who the comedians are who will be performing before the Boosh Band take to the stage.

The line up will consist of Joey Page, Stuart Silver and Holly Burn. Many of you will know Joey as one of the acts who we’ve supported over the years (his TVO connection stemming from his various links with Noel Fielding via his involvement in Luxury Comedy and as a Buzzcocks panelist), but you may be less familiar with the work of the other two acts.

Stuart Silver is an award-winning writer/performer/producer/director/mentor who works across a variety of creative channels.  His Velvet Onion pedigree is  pretty impressive, with appearances in The Mighty Boosh, Luxury Comedy, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace and Man to man With Dean Learner. He’s worked extensively with Kim Noble as the acclaimed nobleandsilverAnd if more was needed, he’s  recently produced a “featurette” for Richard Ayoade‘s film The Double. You can find out more about Stuart on his website.

Holly Burn is a stand-up comedian who has been described by the Guardian as “extravagantly odd… a some-time sketch performer, some-time character comedian, but in truth her refreshingly peculiar material defies easy categorisation.”  She was also named the ‘New Hero of Alternative Comedy’ by Bizarre magazine in 2012. To find out more about Holly visit her website.

The three acts will perform at the two Soho Theatre shows before the Boosh Band. They promise to be quite a night!


Gadget Man Goes South (With Noel Fielding)

17 Sep

The episode of Gadget Man (the Channel 4 series starring Richard Ayoade as the man with access to the latest tech gizmos), that features Noel Felding will air on Monday.

© Channel 4

According to Channel 4, the fourth episode in the series, titled ‘Summer Holiday’, sees Noel joining Richard to road test holiday gadgets. This includes a superfast motorcycle/car, anti-jet lag glasses, a BBQ dinghy, an unbreakable suitcase and a box of holiday smells developed by the American military.

The pair travel to the South of France examining gadgets to make journeys less boring, lying on the beach more relaxing and swimming in the pool more entertaining. Sounds like a tough gig ;-) The show culminates with Richard trying to recreate the South of France in Southend with the help of an astronomical device.

You can watch the broadcast at 8.30pm on Monday 23rd September on Channel 4, or afterwards on 4oD.

Monday is going to be a busy night for Fielding fans, with the first of the new series of Never Mind the Buzzcocks, featuring Noel as one of the team captains, airing at 10pm on BBC2.

Just enough time between the two shows to get your dinner down…

Onion Fringes – Part 11: Glenn Wool – This Road Has Tolls

28 Jul

The Edinburgh Fringe is almost upon us, with a host of TVO favourites set to descend upon the city between 2nd and 26th August. In the build up, we’re bringing you a smattering of recommendations of great shows to go and see throughout July – from our regulars to acts beyond the usual confines of Onion Land.

Today’s showcase highlights Glenn Wool, the Canadian comedian who travels the World.




Glenn Wool: This Road Has Tolls


Assembly George Square


31 July – 26th August




This Road Has Tolls

The first time I saw Glenn Wool was on my first visit to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. We didn’t go to see his solo show as we were accompanied by under 16’s, so we saw him in a kids show called Onomatopoeia Society which was brilliant; funny but not patronising like some kids shows.

The next time I saw him was in Edinburgh again, this time we saw his show No Lands Man, in which he tells of his travels while pursuing his comedy career, and how he feels he doesn’t belong anywhere anymore. You can see a clip of this below (adult content).

Glenn has appeared in many TV and radio shows including Russell Howard’s Good News and  Never Mind the Buzzcocks, although not during Noel’s time as team captain. He is also a regular at many UK Summer Festivals including Reading & Leeds, Latitude, Bestival, Download and of course Glastonbury.

This year Glenn is back in Edinburgh with his new show This Road Has Tolls, where he talks about his continuing nomadic lifestyle, and the World’s financial crisis and who is to blame for the mess we are all in.

If you’re quick and live near York, you can see Glenn TONIGHT (Sunday 28th),  with Tom Wrigglesworth at The Basement, City Screen Picturehouse at 7.30pm.

If you can’t get to York or Edinburgh then you are in luck, as Glenn is embarking on a massive tour this autumn with The LumberJacks – who are Glenn, Craig Campbell and Stewart Francis – three Canadian comedians in one go. Tickets for this can be found here.

This Road Has Tolls runs from 31st July to 26th August at Assembly George SquareWe’ll have more Edinburgh recommendations throughout July, so stay peeled!

Noel Fielding Interview Part 5: The Mighty Boosh

25 Jun

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

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

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

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

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

Buzzcocks Retrospective

15 May

A new 8-part series that looks back on 16 years of Never Mind the Buzzcocks will be airing in late spring.


Hosted by Blur’s Alex James, What A Load Of Buzzcocks, which will look back at musical history though Buzzcocks’ critical eye. James has appeared on the show in the past, and has said: “I’ve always been a big fan of the show and I’m looking forward to seeing some of the highlights from the past 16 years.”

Since it started the show has featured two permanent hosts (Mark Lamarr and Simon Amstell), a range of guest hosts, and five  team captains: Phill Jupitus, Sean Hughes, Bill Bailey and Noel Fielding.

Although the format of the spin-off show hasn’t been confirmed, we can assume that the Fielding era Buzzcocks will feature somewhere in the series.

Kevin’s Latest Cameo is Something to Bragg About

12 May

© Billy Bragg/Ricky Grover

The video for (self-proclaimed Mighty Boosh fan) Billy Bragg’s next single, Highwayman Blues, looks set to be a good ‘un – it boasts a list of cameos as long as your arm (assuming you have pretty long arms), including Kevin Eldon.

Directed by Johnny Vegas, who popped up in It’s Kevin, and who also has a tendency to advertise tea bags with a talking monkey, the clip is going to have quite a few other famous faces dotted around it too.

Anyone who watches it might also spot Ricky Grover – who played werewolf Bobby alongside Colin Hoult in Being Human; The Alternative Comedy Experience mastermind, Stewart Lee; and Noel Fielding’s Never Mind The Buzzcocks adversary Phill Jupitus.

For what it’s worth, the video also stars Neil Morrisey, Andy Nyman and Ross Noble (and if that’s not enough for you, here’s a pretty funky photo on the left that we made earlier…*)

*Not really. Grover put it up on Twitter.

Christmas Buzzcocks Tonight!

22 Dec

Christmas festivities proper start at 9.30pm tonight with the Never Mind the Buzzcocks Christmas Special!

Tonight’s show is hosted by the god-like Bob Mortimer, and based on the preview clip below it’s going to be a cracker! What’s more, it features not one, but two TVO folk – Joey Page is one of Noel Fielding’s team members! If  you recall Joey’s appearance on the last series, you’ll know that this is another reason to tune in tonight. Plus there’s the fact that Noel’s wearing a silver dress. Of course.

Also guesting are Melanie C, Russell Tovey and DJ Fresh. The show is on BBC2 at 9.30pm tonight and should be available on BBC iPLayer for 7 days afterwards.

An Early Peek At Buzzcocks

11 Nov


Tomorrow night’s the night that Richard Ayoade will take on the role of guest host on Never Mind the Buzzcocks. Based on his previous comedy panel show partnerships with Noel Fielding it promises to be a classic!

To ease the pain of having to wait until 10pm on Monday the BBC have kindly released some preview clips of the episode and backstage shenanigans. You can take a look at them by clicking here before you go and reserve your spot in front of the telly for tomorrow evening.


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