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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.

TVO’s Review Of The Year 2013: Part Three

3 Jan

If you’ve previously taken a mosey through Part One and Part Two of our Review of 2013, you’ll already be aware that it’s been a busy old year in Onion Land. July to September was no exception, with news, reviews, new shows and live performances from both our regulars and the new names on our roster.

So here are the best bits from the third quarter of the year – hand-picked from over 700 news stories across 2013, and jam-packed with forgotten treasures and instant classics alike. Enjoy.


The month began with the release of Dan Clark‘s debut album, Dan Clark & The Difficult Three, which had been funded via a successful Pledge Music campaign. Combining genuinely funny lyrics with proper tunes played by a bona fide band, the record offered fans of Clark’s musical comedy an opportunity to re-live some of his live show classics and enjoy some newer compositions. For a wee taster, here below is a live recording of ‘Don’t Kiss Me’ (and if you fancy buying a copy of the album, head on over here):

We also featured a series of introductions to the TVO-recommended artists you could see at 2013’s Edinburgh Fringe. We intentionally mixed up the folk who we already write about with the people who we define as “beyond the Onion”; those featured included Colin Hoult, Tony Law,  Paul FootSpank, Joey PageAisling Bea, Late Night Gimp Fight, Tim Fitzhigham, Jonny & The Baptists (+ Jonny Donahoe), Pete Heat and Glen Wool.

On 19th July the world of comedy sadly lost one of its pioneers, in the shape of Mel Smith. Whilst Smith’s contribution to modern comedy is undeniable, we can also claim a link between him and the TVO family, with Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthew’s first TV sketches being written for Alas, Smith And Jones. You can watch one of them below:

In terms of new TV and film projects, this month saw the release of Ben Wheatley‘s hotly-anticipated follow-up to Sightseers, the psychedelically historical A Field In England, which launched simultaneously in cinemas, on TV and on DVD on 5th July.

Filming also began on the second series of Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, and the Marmite-like TV adaptation of Graham Linehan’s Count Arthur Strong also hit our screens. Chris O’Dowd continued with his world domination of the airwaves with a role in the part-improvised US sitcom Family Tree:

Finally, fans of The Mighty Boosh got all hot and bothered over Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt‘s first live performance together since 2010 when the pair performed at The Barbican at a concert to honour the musician, Beck. Expect a bit more of the Boosh boys down below (honestly not as rude as it sounds)…

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Benny & Jolene (& Dolly & Laura)

13 Dec

We love it when separate TVO-related worlds collide. And right now we are loving that Dolly Wells and her writing partner, Laura Patch, are starring in a film with Submarine star, Craig Roberts.

Benny & Jolene features Roberts and Charlotte Ritchie (Fresh Meat) as an up and coming folk duo. Dolly plays the part of Jolene’s mother, Rosamund. The film explores the growing tensions between Benny and Jolene as they attempt to balance commercial success with artistic integrity. They’re forced to confront their ambitions and emotions when they travel to a festival in Wales.

The part-improvised film was originally called ‘Jolene: The Indie Folk Star’. You can see a trailer from back when it went by that name:

The film will be receiving its World Premiere at the BFI Southbank, National Film Theatre Screen 1, on January 24th 2014 as part of LOCO Comedy Film festival. The organisers of the event have described Benny & Jolene as: “Exactly the kind of film that LOCO is here to celebrate: an independent British romantic comedy, written and directed by Jamie Adams, that’s fresh, funny and charming.”

If that wasn’t exciting enough, the screening will also feature a Q&A with director, Jamie Adams, and some of the cast. And the Premiere party takes place afterwards in the BFI benugo lounge with live music and DJs! Tickets for the Premiere screening, Q&A and party cost £15 (concs £11.50) and can be booked by clicking here.

You can also follow Benny & Jolene on Facebook.

A Sneaky Peek At WarpFilms10

4 Nov

© Warp Films / Golden

A few months ago, we told you about the forthcoming WarpFilms10 boxset from seminal film production company Warp.  Made to celebrate the company’s tenth birthday, this deluxe presentation of some of their finest work over the past decade including a number of big movies from Onion Land.

The limited edition Book and DVD Set features exclusive behind-the-scenes photographs and unreleased archive materials, plus ten key productions from the Warp legacy.

To make it even more sweet, the book contains a foreword by Chris Hewitt of Film 2013 fame, and an exclusive interview with Warp Films creative bods Mark Herbert and Steve Beckett.

In chronological order, the set features: Dead Man’s Shoes, This Is England, All Tomorrow’s Parties, Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee, Bunny And The BullFour LionsSubmarine, Tyrannosaur, Kill List and Snowtown.

Mark Herbert, who also produced Four Lions and Submarine, will be signing and hand-numbering the first 1000 copies, to make the set even more collectible.  It will only be available on dvd, sadly (no blu-ray copies it seems for some reason!), and will retail at £95, but pre-orders can currently be placed for just £80.

It’s money well spent, we feel, and you can join the elite club of owners of this gorgeous bit of kit over yonder.  But just in case you needed any further persuasion, the good folk at Warp have very kindly sent us this exclusive preview of one of the book’s spreads on Bunny And The Bull – featuring previously unseen production stills featuring Edward HoggSimon FarnabyJulian Barratt and director Paul King.  Just click on the preview below to see a bigger version… enjoy.

© Warp Films / Golden

© Warp Films / Golden

The Best Brits

31 Oct

Today’s Shortlist magazine featured the 2013 Brit List, their annual list of the most exciting emerging talent in the country. And there are two TVO faces on the list!


Richard Ayoade features in his guise as a feature film director. Shortlist says of him: “He isn’t new to us as an actor, but he makes the list for his work as the most adventurous new British director around. He’s followed up the Godard-gone-pop Submarine with the Dostoevsky-gone-pop The Double, starring Jesse Eisenberg. And, of course, 2014 will see him pen another film, a process he calls a ‘slow boil of anxiety’.”

Matthew Baynton also appears in the list – as ‘writer/actor’. According to Shortlist: “A man with a slew of hits to his name, including kids show Horrible Histories and comedy noir The Wrong Mans is about to be very busy with Sky fantasy sitcom Yonderland and big-screen Shakespeare biopic Bill. His early work on children’s TV means he’s used to acclaim. ‘A friend did once call me Elvis for kids.'” If a further TVO connection was needed, Baynton also appeared in Spy with Dolly Wells.

To find out who else made the grade and to read the list in full visit Shortlist here.

Ayoade’s Double Premiers In Toronto

17 Aug

© Alcove Entertainment

The World Premier of the latest feature film from Richard Ayoade, an adaptation of Dostoevsky’s The Double,  has been confirmed for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

The film marks Ayoade’s directorial follow-up to the critically-acclained Submarine. The historical Russian setting of the novella has been replaced by contemporary America, and it features Jesse Eisenberg in the lead role of Simon, the man whose life is turned upside down by the sudden appearance of his doppelganger. The cast also Include Noah Taylor (who played the dad in Submarine), Mia Wasikowska and Yasmin Page (who played Jordana in Submarine).

The festival programme will be announced on 20th August, so have a look at the TIFF website after that date to find out when The Double will be shown and how to get tickets. Tickets go on sale on 1st September.

To mark the announcement of the film’s presence at TIFF, a set of new photos have been released – two of which you can see here. To take a look at the others click on this.

The film is due to have its general release in “Winter 2014”, so we’ll be keeping our ears and eyes peeled for more news as we hurtle towards the end of the year!

© Alcove Entertainment


24 Jul

Seminal film production company Warp are celebrating their tenth birthday this year, and film buffs and collectors can savour a very special presentation of some of their finest work over the past decade, including a number of big movies from Onion Land.

© Warp Films / Golden

WarpFilms10 is a deluxe limited edition Book and DVD Set, featuring exclusive behind-the-scenes photographs and unreleased archive materials, plus ten key productions.  To make it even more sweet, the book contains a foreword by Chris Hewitt of Film 2013 fame, and an exclusive interview with Warp Films creative bods Mark Herbert and Steve Beckett.

The ten films included, in chronological order, are: Dead Man’s Shoes, This Is England, All Tomorrow’s Parties, Le Donk & Scor-zay-zee, Bunny And The BullFour LionsSubmarine, Tyrannosaur, Kill List and Snowtown.

Mark Herbert, who also produced Four Lions and Submarine, will sign and hand-number the first 1000 copies, to make the set even more collectible.  It will only be available on dvd, sadly (no blu-ray copies it seems for some reason!), and will retail at £95, but pre-orders can currently be placed for just £80.  Money well spent, we feel, and you can join the elite club of owners of this gorgeous bit of kit over yonder.

Eldon Arts Emergency!

22 May

© Justin Sutcliffe

Kevin Eldon is to appear at a charity fundraiser in the name of arts for all.

The Arts Emergency Service was set up by comedian Josie Long and campaigner Neil Griffiths. The organisation is working to keep subjects in the Arts and Humanities accessible to everyone who wants to study them regardless of the barriers and perceived barriers.

To highlight their work and to raise funds, they are having a huge night of comedy, live art and music at the Hackney Empire on Thursday 20th June at 8pm.

Among those appearing are Kevin Eldon Josie Long, Mark Watson, Jake and Dinos Chapman (the world-famous artists), Tim Key, Isy Suttie, Kate Tempest, Robin Ince, Jo Neary, The British Humanist Association Choir, Brigitte Aphrodite and the VOBs, Horrible Historieswriter Greg Jenner and Author of Submarine Joe Dunthorne.

Tickets cost £ 20 (£ 10 students).

If you can’t wait until June to hear Kevin Eldon, he was a guest on Just a Minute last Monday, you can catch the show on BBC iPlayer.

Ayoade Gets Animated

26 Apr

Richard Ayoade of Submarine, The IT Crowd, and The Mighty Boosh fame, will voice a part in Strange Hill High, a CBBC series that has been commissioned for 2013.

The series was created by Josh Weinstein, (Futurama, Simpsons) and is filmed using a new technique that includes, vinyl puppets, stop motion, cgi, and movie-style lighting and effects. Strange Hill High chronicles the mystery solving adventures of Doc Brown ( Ben “Doc” Brown), and his two best friends, Becky Butters, (Emma Kennedy), and Templeton (Richard Ayoade). New kid Doc, confident Becky, and nerdy Templeton, get to the bottom of the other-worldly happenings that take place at the school.

13 episodes have been commissioned for the first series, and additional episodes have been requested for season 2, before the first series has even premiered.

As per his usual, Richard Ayoade’s new project is current, interesting, and sure to gain the attention of viewer’s everywhere.

Look for Strange Hill High on CBBC this spring.

Being Human Extra

5 Apr


The 5th and final series of BBC Three’s Being Human comes out on DVD and Blu-ray on Monday (8th April).

As all regular readers know, this series featured a guest role for Julian Barratt as Werewolf Larry Chrysler – a former TV Weather Man, and a recurring role for Colin Hoult as Crumb – the new Vampire who gets revenge on his old work colleagues.

The show is about a Werewolf, Ghost and Vampire who share a house and try to live a normal life, but stuff just keeps happening to them. The final series leads up to what could be the end of the World, or at least the end of the World as we know it.

The DVD and Blu-ray contain an exclusive extra scene set after the final episode!

You can also get all five series together as a box set, previous series have had guest appearances by Laura Patch and Submarine‘s Craig Roberts.

As always, the DVD and Blu-ray are available from  TVO Store.

If you want to see more Being Human, the US series is starting on Watch at 9pm on Thursday 11th April. The series was written by Toby Whithouse, so fingers crossed!

A Very British Connection

8 Nov

© Warp Films

From this Friday, 9th November, Film 4 will be running a season of great British films including a number of TVO-connected features.

On 10th November you can see Kill List by Ben Wheatley (director of Sightseers), as well as an interview with the director. On 11th November you can catch an interview with Richard Ayoade about Submarine, and the film itself will be showing on Monday 12th (oh dear, a bit of an unfortunate ‘Ayoade clash’ there with Never Mind the Buzzcocks which airs on Monday at 10pm). Finally, A Gun for George, the short by Matthew Holness, airs on 13th and 16th November.

To find out what else is on during this excellent season of films, including all transmission times, visit Film 4’s website. If you need us in the meantime, we may very well be glued to the TV…

Watch The Watch

29 Aug

© Twentieth Century Fox

The Watch, featuring Richard Ayoade, hits the big screen in the UK this week, but you will soon be able to see it on the small screen in the US.

What’s more, you can get your hands on the DVD via our brand spanking new US Amazon store! The standard DVD is available for pre-order here for $26.98, and the Blu-ray edition is available to pre-order here for $35.99.

Ayoade fans who are looking to balance his recent Hollywood outing with something more low-fi can also get their hands on Submarine and The It Crowd from the store by clicking here.

Submarine Emerges

29 Aug

© Warp Films

Richard Ayoade‘s critically acclaimed feature film directorial debut, Submarine, will get its UK terrestrial television debut this weekend.

The film, which stars Craig Roberts (Being Human) and Yasmin Paige (The Sarah Jane Adventures) as two young teens dealing with adolescent love, karate chopping new age neighbours and terminally ill or deeply depressed parents, was a huge criticial hit when it was released in cinemas last year.

Now, it airs on Channel 4 this Sunday, 2nd September, at 11.15pm.

To find out more about the film you can read our review from last summer, along with our exclusive interview with Ayoade about the film here.

If you enjoy it, of course, you can also own it on DVD and Blu-ray from the UK TVO Store, or the new US TVO Store.

The Nerdiest Nerdist

26 Jul


The lovely Richard Ayoade guested on the popular Nerdist Podcast yesterday.

While he was in America to attend the premiere of The Watch, he spent some time with the Nerdist team (who you can see on the left), before he flew back to London.

During the podcast they discuss everything from The Olympics to Darkplace, ADBC, The Mighty Boosh, Submarine, Nathan Barley and The IT Crowd, and many other topics besides. Given how rare Richard’s public appearances are, it’s quite a treat to get the opportunity to listen to what he has to say for nearly  whole hour!

Listen to the podcast here.

You can see Richard in The Watch starting tomorrow (Friday 27th) in the USA or August 24th in UK. Read our review of the preview here.

Bunny & The Beast

20 May

Many of you may already be familiar with the internet-based comedy band, The Midnight Beast. What you may not have noticed is Simon Farnaby guesting on the webisodes!

© The Midnight Beast

For the uninitiated over a certain age, TMB is a British comedy band, arguably most famous for their YouTube cover-parody of the 2009 single TiK ToK by American pop artist Ke$ha The group consists of its three founding members, Stefan Abingdon, Dru Wakely and Ashley Horne.

The Midnight Beast has now been adapted to a TV series for E4, and Farnaby’s involvement  in the show is reported to be continuing. If its Booshniverse credentials were in any doubt, the series is being overseen by producer Mary Burke, whose previous credits include the films Submarine and Bunny and the Bull. Furthermore, it’s being produced by Warp (production company of many TVO filmic favourites)!

The TV series follow the band as they try to claw their way towards pop stardom. We’ll see the band having to cope with day-to-day challenges like sharing a dingy East London flat and trying to impress girls when they have no cash and one of them has to sleep in the kitchen. All this will be interspersed with their music videos.

Transmission is currently fixed for Summer 2012.

Success At The NMEs!

1 Mar


For the handful of people that have managed to miss the news about last night’s NME Awards which has been floating around online today, here’s the scoop:

Booshniverse-related artists were up for three awards: Best Book (Scribblings of a Madcap Shambleton), Best Film (Submarine) and Best TV Show (Never Mind the Buzzcocks). Success was seen in two of the three categories: Best Book and Best Film. Best TV Show was won by Fresh Meat. Thanks to all of you who voted.

Big, velvety congratulations to Noel Fielding and Dave Brown for the Best Book win and to Richard Ayoade for his award for Best Film. Sadly these awards weren’t given out on the night, so we didn’t get to see our boys up on stage collecting their gongs. Noel and Dave were at the event, however, and we had the joy of seeing Noel introduce Kasbian onstage, dressed as The Hitcher. This alone was worth the ticket price!

For the full list of winners and to more photos of the Awards visit To watch the Awards in full, tune in to Channel 4 on Saturday (March 3) at 11.55pm (GMT). Half an hour of highlights will be shown on T4 at 9.25am (GMT) the same day.

And if you fancy a peek at Dave Brown’s snaps from the night take a look at his twitter photos.

BAFTA Treats!

11 Feb

© GQ

This week BAFTA is offering up two (not one but two!) Booshnivserse-related treats for your delectation:

First up is an interview with the man who combines IT geekery and being a hammerhead shark with directing the stupendous Submarine: Richard Ayoade. The interview focuses on Ayoade’s approach to directing and how his experience in front of the camera has influenced what he does when he’s behind it. His practical tips for aspiring directors are:

1. Trying not to get depressed definitely applies to both [directing and acting]. You need be healthy so don’t get a cold.

2. Noah Taylor [who plays Oliver’s father in Submarine] told me the main thing as director was to get comfortable shoes because you don’t sit down for two months.

3. The best tip for directing I ever heard came from Roman Polanski who apparently said: You rehearse a scene, then you stand where you want to see it, and that’s where you put the camera.

To read the interview in full click here.

© Cornerhouse

Secondly is a BAFTA event that’s connected to Submarine: A BAFTA Masterclass in Cinematography with Erik Alexander Wilson, the cinematographer on Ayoade’s debut feature. He’s worked on another recent Warp Films production, the award-winning Tyrannosaur, as well as videos for Arctic Monkeys and Kasabian (and lots of other awesome things!).

The Masterclass takes place at 6pm on 23rd February at Cornerhouse, Manchester’s international centre for contemporary visual arts and independent film. Tickets are only £3.50 (£3 conc), so it’s well worth checking out if you’re in the north west. For more information and to purchase tickets visit Cornerhouse’s website.

NME News Overload!

1 Feb


This week there’s a weighty chunk of NME-related news to tell you about!

The nominations have now been confirmed for the 2012 NME Awards, and voting is open! The Booshniverse features in several categories this year:

Best TV Programme  –  Never Mind the Buzzcocks
Best Film  –  Submarine
Best Book  –  The Scribblings of a Madcap Shambleton
Hero of the Year  –  Noel Fielding

And if you include Kasabian as honorary Booshniverse members due to Serge Pizzorno’s involvement in Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, there are a few more!

To cast your vote visit NME’s awards site by clicking here.

What’s more, tickets for the awards show itself are now on sale. The event takes place on 29th February at the Brixton Academy in London; tickets are £22 plus booking fee, and are only open to over 18s. To book tickets visit See Tickets. And hurry, they’ll go quickly!


Our final helping of NME news for this week is the appearance of Noel Fielding in the current issue. It features the Q&A with Noel that we mentioned a few weeks back (and which some of you have been lucky enough to get your questions into!), and is being billed as “His weirdest interview yet”.

If you can’t lay your hands on a paper copy, to purchase the issue digitally here’s where to go.

There’s also a short video of Noel’s latest NME cover shoot and an interview with the man himself on NME’s website, in which he talks about Luxury Comedy and what’s next for him and Julian. Click here to view it.


Luxury Comedy In A Bargain-Basement Age

24 Jan

© Channel 4/Secret Peter

Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy is a show like no other you’ll see on television in 2012. It’s a show that has spent years gestating in the heads of its dual creators, Noel Fielding and Nigel Coan. It’s a show that combines live-action with animation in a crayola-drenched world filled with cartoon characatures that seem to have leapt straight out of the imagination of Fielding – as his longterm friend and colleague Dave Brown so eloquently put when talking to TVO last year – the show is a bit like downloading Noel’s brain.

More than a year in the actual, physical making, Luxury Comedy brings together a number of talents from that wider world of Booshdom we’ve been shouting about since our inception, and who we’ve all collectively been enjoying on stage and screen for the past fifteen years. Whilst its fair to say the show can never topple The Mighty Boosh in the hearts of many, the trick to watching Luxury Comedy is to block out all thoughts of that looming shadow of a cult classic and just enjoy the madness on its own terms.

© Channel 4/Secret Peter

Take for example, the character of Dondelion, images of which have been released to the press. On the surface, a cynical viewer may suggest he is a cast-off from the Boosh – a lost side-project from the days of the Zooniverse.  They would be wrong. Dondelion, like every other character Noel and Nigel have created – and there are many – is a brand new beast, the only similarities being that he has come from the same brilliant mind that co-created all those Boosh characters of yesteryear.

We’ve been living with the pilot since the summer of last year now, when Noel and his team at Secret Peter kindly invited The Velvet Onion to visit the set and document our findings. It’s multi-coloured, surrealistic world admittedly took us all by surprise on first viewing, but whilst not everyone was immediately in hysterics, repeat viewings found the laughs increased and, amazingly, a whole new realm of quotes and catchphrases subconsciously crept into our everyday lexicon.  We’ve been yelling “Fish Finger For Later” at one another since then, and random injections of “Paulsaid”, “LEEEGGGGOOOOHHHHH!” and rambling speeches about bikes, Gary Glitter and single baked beans have interjected our daily thoughts to the point where we started to wonder if we had developed a new form of madness. The show may be like downloading Noel’s brain, but more specifically it seems, for diehard fans that download will embed itself into the infrastructure of your mind’s root folders like a particularly shiny virus.

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Booshniverse At The BAFTAs – And Beyond

8 Jan

© Warp Films

The long list of films voted for by BAFTA members for entry in the 2012 Orange British Academy Film Awards has been announced, and there are a few Booshniverse-relevant favourites in there!

Richard Ayoade‘s critically-acclaimed debut Submarine is in the list for Outstanding British Film; and Anonymous, featuring Tony Way and Bunny & The Bull‘s Edward Hogg, is included in the lists for Best Original Screenplay, Production Design, Make-up And Hair and Costume Design.

Arthur Christmas, featuring the vocal talents of Rich Fulcher and Julia Davis is entered for Best Animated Film and Best Original Screenplay, and the much-lauded Girl With a Dragon Tattoo, which features Tony Way as hacker Plague, is listed in thirteen categories! Tyrannosaur, a Warp Films production (and therefore dear to our hearts!) is also listed in five categories.

Nominations in all categories will be announced on 17th January, and the winners will be announced at the Orange British Academy Film Awards on 12 February. For the full BAFTA long list click here.

© Optimum Releasing

While we’re on the subject of film awards, the ‘Critics Circle’ nominations have also recently been announced, and once again, the Booshniverse has fared well: Ayoade is up for Breakthrough British Film-maker and both Craig Roberts and Yasmin Paige are nominated for Young British Performer of the Year – all for Submarine.

Modern horror, Kill List, directed by The Sightseers’ Ben Wheatley, and featuring TVO faces Gareth TunleyAlice Lowe and Steve Oram, also gains nominations for British Film and Supporting Actor of the Year. Tyrannosaur again features, with two nominations.

Click here for the full list of nominations for the Critics’ Circle awards. The awards ceremony takes place in London on 19th January.

Congratulations to all of the nominees. We’ll let you know how they all fair on the respective awards nights, so keep you fingers crossed!


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