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Psychobitches Returns

1 Apr

© Sky Arts HD

Filming has started on a second series of Sky’s Psychobitches, the sketch show which has starred a few TVO artists from the fairer sex, including Katy Brand, Julia Davis and Sharon Horgan.

The show puts history’s most iconic women into the psychiatrist’s chair to have their psychoses and obsessions analysed. It will return for six new episodes later this year. Sky have said of the show’s return: “Following the success of the first series, the therapy sessions in front of discerning therapist Rebecca Front are set to continue as the appointment diary looks as booked up as ever.”

Executive Producer Ben Cavey added: “It’s fantastic to bring the team back together for Series 2 of Psychobitches. We have a whole new line up of women from history getting a dose of modern day therapy and the results promise to be just as clever, insightful and downright silly.” The final line up for series 2 hasn’t been confirmed, but we hope to see a few familiar faces.

The new series is being directed by Jeremy Dyson from The League Of Gentleman, and it will air later this year on Sky Arts 1.

The Big Comedy Vote

7 Jan

© British Comedy Guide

Voting for the 2013 Comedy.co.uk 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 Comedy.co.uk 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

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.

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TVO’s Review Of The Year 2013: Part Two

2 Jan

Yesterday we brought you a round-up of the first quarter of 2013, as we’d probably forgotten half of it ourselves, let alone you lovely lot out there.  The second quarter provided loads more great things to celebrate, so we’ve been ploughing through TVO’s archives to pluck out the best bits from over 700 news stories across 2013. This second instalment of our round-up covers April-June, and is jam packed with forgotten treasures and instant classics alike.  Enjoy.

APRIL

April, or Ape-ril as it was renamed by the Sumatran Orangutan Society, began with a plea from TVO regulars Dave Brown and Tony Law to grow your beard as large as possible.  This was, of course, in aid of ape conservation: we are all 96.4% Orangutan after all…

The facial hair theme continued apace, with some of Onion Land’s most mighty beard-wearers being active this month.  First up, Paul Kaye hosted a short exhibition of his art, with TVO attended the star-studded press night to admire his work and have a quick chat to the man himself, though sadly his hectic schedule postponed our latest catch-up… we’re gonna get ya in the new year, mate! Kaye also became the latest big name to join the cast of hugely acclaimed fantasy show Game Of Thrones, as warrior Thoros of Myr.

He wasn’t the only one, either. Whilst the world got increasingly excited about his (then) forthcoming film A Field In EnglandBen Wheatley did the last thing critics expected, and made a string of commercials for Go Compare, further proving he works on his own terms ahead of one of the oddest films of 2013…

Another beardy Onion layer up to good things this month was Matt Berry, who was quietly preparing to unleash his new album, Kill The Wolf. May and June would see an awful lot of Berry activity, but April was no push-over, either.  First off, his radio series I, Regress… returned to the airwaves, and he went on to release the first snippet of his new album with a track called The Devil Inside Me

He wasn’t the only one returning, either. Rhys Thomas brought back his incredibly popular Radio 4 show Down The Line for a fifth run – the sixth if you include short-lived tv spin-off Bellamy’s People. Once again it featured Thomas’ fellow Fast Show veterans Paul Whitehouse, Charlie Higson, Simon Day and the late, great Felix Dexter. Also along for the ride were Look Around You star Robert Popper, Big Train(and It’s Kevin) actress Amelia Bullmore, Citizen Khanwriter Adil Ray, and another TVO regular (and Rhys’ wife), Lucy Montgomery.

Also back this month were Boosh veterans and indie-folk legends The Ralfe Band, who released the single Come On Go Wild from their new album, Son Be Wise, and toured as support to Manchester’s finest ever band, I Am Kloot.  A video for the single followed on 1st May, which can be seen below.

This month also saw us bid farewell to Life’s Too Short, which returned for a one-off special at Easter. Sadly lacking in Matt Holness magic (Matt was a regular in the show’s first and only series), it nevertheless found the time to bring back Colin Hoult as Warwick Davis‘ useless psychic, Brian. Also along for the ride were telly veterans, Les Dennis, Keith Chegwin and Shaun Williamson, as well as former Batman star Val Kilmer. A fine send-off, then, for a show that ended way too soon.

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The British Comedy Awards 2013 Nominations Announced!

3 Dec
© Channel 4

© Channel 4

Next week sees Channel 4 host the annual British Comedy Awards ceremony in Wembley, which will also be broadcast live on the channel.

Starting at 9pm on Thursday, 12th December, the ceremony will be hosted by Jonathan Ross, and feature some of the cream of British comedy – including, of course, a number of TVO regulars.

Most notably, the category of Best Sketch Show has a guaranteed winner from Onion Land, as its nominations have all been featured on our pages.  Sky’s new star-packed historical therapy show Psychobitches will battle it out with the nation’s sweetheart, Horrible Histories and the long awaited It’s Kevin and veteran favourites Harry And Paul.

Between them, those shows featured some of our most beloved regulars: Alice Lowe, Matt BerryKaty BrandSimon Farnaby, Sharon HorganAlex KirkJustin EdwardsJulia Davis and, of course, Kevin Eldon.

“The Actor” Kevin Eldon is also nominated for Best TV Comedy Actor, alongside Greg Davis, David Mitchell and Jack Whitehall, whilst Psychobitches is also up for Best New Comedy Programme, alongside CuckooPlebs and another TVO favourite, Count Arthur Strong.

Elsewhere, the man behind Count Arthur, Steve Delaney, is nominated for Best Comedy Breakthrough Artist, alongside Adam Hills, Jonny Sweet and Tom Basden, whilst the show itself (directed by Graham Linehan, no less) is up for Best Sitcom against Bad Education, Getting On and Peep Show.

To find out who the winners are, join Channel 4, a whole host of comedy legends, and TVO itself, on 12th December.  The full list of nominations can be found below the ‘jump’, and to find out more visit: Channel4.com now! Continue reading

And The Winner Is…

25 Nov

Awards season is upon us, and a few TVO-connected TV shows have been getting some well-deeserved recognition from the juries!

© CBBC

First up is Horrible Histories, which has picked up another award, this time for Best Children’s Comedy at the Children’s BAFTAs. In doing so, it pipped another TVO-related show to the winning post in the shape of FIT (a sports-based sketch show airing on CBBC, which features Tony WayRufus Jones and Aisling Bea in its ensemble cast – plus Peter Serafinowicz as Brian Butterfield). Click here to watch the presentation of the award to the Horrible Histories team.

To see the full list of winners and nominees take a look at the Children’s BAFTAs website.

Next, a look at the Southbank Sky Arts Awards, the winners of which will be announced at a ceremony on 27th January, presented by Melvyn Bragg. The nominations feature three of our lot, with AlanPartridge: Alpha Papa and Psychobitches both up for ‘Best Comedy’, and Philomena (co-written by and starring Steve Coogan) up for ‘Best Film’. For the full list of nominees click here.

Congratulations to everyone nominated, and the best of luck for the awards ceremony in January!

 

Brand On The BBC

9 Jun

Katy Brand was interviewed on BBC’s This Week…erm, this week.

© BBC

In the week when Michael Douglas has been criticised for  over-sharing, while Angelia Jolie has been praised for doing the same, Katy discusses celebrity indiscretions with the show’s panel of guests. You can watch the clip by clicking on this link here.

Don’t forget that you can see Katy, plus fellow TVO artists Julia Davis and Sharon Horgan, in the critically-accalimed Psychobitches on Sky Arts on Thursdays. For more information about the show, which sees famous historical figures on the therapist’s couch, take a look at this earlier post.

Psychobitches Starts Thursday

29 May

A while back we mentioned that a full series of Playhouse Presents…Psychobitches would start airing in May 2013. Well hold onto your hairdo, because the first episode is on tomorrow night!

© Sky Arts HD

Psychobitches reads like a who’s who of female TVO artists, featuring the likes of Katy Brand, Sharon Horgan and Julia Davis amongst its A-grade comedic cast. The five-part series follows the format of last year’s one-off episode, putting history’s most iconic women into the psychiatrist’s chair to have their psychoses and obsessions analysed.

In this week’s episode the discerning therapist (honorory TVO artist, Rebecca Front) meets with super-divas, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford (Frances Barber and Mark Gatiss respectively); Selina Griffiths, Katy Brand and Sarah Solemani as the arguing Bronte sisters, and Davis as the not-so-jolly Sylvia Plath.

In addition to the all-star woman cast the series includes characters from Jack Whitehall and Harry Enfield. And what’s more, it reunites The League of Gentlemen team of Jeremy Dyson (writer) with Mark Gatiss, Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton. Seriously exciting stuff for us comedy fans!

You can see epsiode 1 of Pyschobitches on Sky Arts HD at 9pm this Thursday.

Hey Diddly Dee, It’s Paul Kaye And Kylie!

18 Jan

Paul Kaye is part of the star studded cast of the next series of Playhouse Presents for SkyArts, starring alongside Peter Serafinowicz and pop princess Kylie Minogue in a one-off comedy drama.

©2013 Sky Atlantic

The series allows a number of big name stars a chance to direct their own short films – with the likes of Idris Elba, Matt Smith and Johnny Vegas amongst this year’s helmers.

Hey Diddly Dee, described as a dark comedy drama about the death of a theatre actor, is written and directed by Hustle star Mark Warren.  It’s leading lady is non other than legendary pop singer, and occasional actress Kylie Minogue, who was quoted by Radio Times as saying:  “When the script was sent to me, I read it and knew instinctively I wanted to be part of this project. Marc has created a beautiful and quirky story.”

The project co-stars Paul Kaye, Peter Serafinowicz (pictured above with Minogue), Matthew Horne and David Harewood.  Serafinowicz has been confirmed as playing a character callde Roger, who is portraying Andy Warhol in a play – whilst Minogue plays actress Bibi, set to portray one of Warhol’s muses, Edie Sedgwick.

Kylie, who celebrated her 25th year in pop music in 2012, seems to be a fan of alternative comedy.  She recently posted a photo of a signed copy of The Peter Serafinowicz Show (which featured the work of Matt Berry, no less), to her Twitter page, including the glorious hashtag #bonbonbonbons, and since then posted a link to a sketch from CBBC show Fit featuring Serafinowicz as Butterfield.  Last year, she also waxed lyrical on Twitter about Julia Davis, so we’d be honoured if she ever graced our pages to find out what her favourite funny people are up to!

Hey Diddly Dee opens the Playhouse Presents series on March 14th exclusively on SkyArts, and the series will continue until May – culminating in a full series of last year’s one-off show Pyschobitches featuring Davis, Sharon Horgan and Katy Brand – with another TVO face, Lucy Montgomery on the writing team.  We can’t wait!

© Tiger Aspect / Sky Atlantic

Psychobitches Returns

18 Dec

One-off sketch show Pyschobitches will return for a full series in 2013.

© Tiger Aspect / Sky Atlantic

The Sky Arts show features The Day Today legend Rebecca Front as The Therapist – who interviews history’s most famous women about their obsessions and psychoses.  The pilot episode featured Catherine Tate, Sheila Reid, Samantha Spiro, Selina Griffiths and TVO’s very own Katy Brand and Sharon Horgan.  A pilot aired back in June, and proved to be a hit with audiences and critics alike.

News of its return leaked at The British Comedy Awards last week, and Sky Comedy have now confirmed the show will return.  Alongside the current cast, the show will also feature Julia Davis, Frances Barber and Kathy Burke amongst others, with The Therapist talking to Sylvia Plath, Eve, Audrey Hepburn, Bette Davis, Mona Lisa, Mary Shelley and more.

There’ll also be guest appearances by Jack Whitehall and Harry Enfield – and most excitingly of all, The League Of Gentlemen themselves: Mark Gatiss, Reece Shearsmith & Steve Pemberton.  The show is directed by the fourth member of The League, Jeremy Dyson, making this only the second project the team have worked on together since their last tour in 2005 – the other project being, of course, Horrible Histories.

We can’t wait. Psychobitches will return next year, and we’ll be bringing you more news as we can get it, so stay peeled.

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