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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.

BAFTA Craft Awards

26 Apr

© BAFTA

This Sunday, BAFTA will be handing out its 2014 awards for craft in television, and there are a few TVO-connected shows in the list of nominations.

If you’re wondering what television craft is all about, put simply it’s the skill and artistry that takes place behind the scenes to get a TV show onto our screens.

This year’s shortlist includes nominations for Count Arthur Strong (Graham Linehan & Steve Delaney)  and The IT Crowd (Linehan again) in the ‘Best Comedy Writer’ category. There are also a handful of nominations for Utopia, which featured a bevy of TVO folk amongst its cast, including Michael Smiley, Dan Tetsell and Simon Farnaby. The series features in ‘Best Director – Fiction’, ‘Best Digital Creativity’ and ‘Best Photography & Lighting’ categories.

The full list of nominations can be seen here. For live updates from the awards ceremony on Sunday follow @BAFTA on Twitter.

Best of luck to everyone for Sunday!

Bafta Bonanza

8 Apr

© Channel 4

The Bafta nominations are out, and there are many TVO connections to be found.

To begin with; The IT Crowd has 4 nominations, with Chris O’Dowd, Richard Ayoade and Katherine Parkinson nominated for Best Male/Female Performance in a Comedy Programme, and Best Situation Comedy, where it shares the nomination with Toast of London and The Count Arthur Strong Television Programme.

Richard III: The King in the Car Park, featuring Simon Farnaby, is nominated for Best Factual Programme.

There are also nominations for Rory Kinnear (Count Arthur Strong), and Doon Mackichan (Toast of London), for other roles.

In the Single Drama category, Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror: Be Right Back, featuring Claire Keelan (Nathan Barley) and Mark Gatiss’s An Adventure in Space and Time, featuring Reece Shearsmith,  are both nominated.

A full list of nominations is here, where you can also vote for the Radio Times Audience Award.

Matt Berry Observer Interview

17 Mar
© Frantzesco Kangaris for the Guardian

© Frantzesco Kangaris for the Guardian

Matt Berry was interviewed by The Observer this weekend and spoke about his varied career, some hints on what is in store for the next series of Toast of London, and how he’s inspired by things that frighten him.

Matt told John Plunkett that he got into comedy ‘by the back door’, through his friendship with Matt Holness and Richard Ayoade, who he met while doing warm-ups at Mighty Boosh gigs, and working at the London Dungeon.

We also find out that Toast of London is nominated for tomorrow’s Royal Television Society Awards – along with Psychobitches and  also a Broadcasting Press Guild Award, where it is up against Ambassadors.

Click here to read the full article and listen to the interview.

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.

Festive TV Catch-Up

5 Jan
© bbc.co.uk

© bbc.co.uk

There were some great TV programmes on over the Festive period, many featuring TVO favourites. We’ve posted about most of them, but there’s still the opportunity to catch up on many of the delights:

Most recently, Kevin Eldon took part in Celebrity Mastermind, if you didn’t see it on Thursday, you can catch up here.

Kevin popped up again during the festivities as Doctor McFee in Death Comes to Pemberley, which is still available on BBC iPlayer.

The Christmas edition of Lee Mack’s Not Going Out featured Katy Wix and can be viewed here.

Charlie Brooker reviewed 2013 in 2013 Wipe, although not featuring any TVO related people, Mr Brooker has written many great shows featuring TVO artists.

There was also a re-run of Ambassadors, starring Robert Webb and David Mitchell, with a scene stealing guest appearance by Mr Michael Smiley. You can catch this episode – and the others – on BBC iPlayer.

Matt Berry fans had plenty of opportunities to see and hear the man himself on New Year’s Eve, first Matt was in the final episode of The IT Crowd – also available on 4OD along with every other episode of The IT Crowd and the special documentary, The IT Crowd Manual, which was broadcast on Christmas Eve.

This was followed by Matt narrating The 50 Funniest Moments of 2013, which is now available on 4OD. Then to round off the New Year celebrations, Channel 4 showed every episode of Toast of London, also available on 4OD.

Rich Fulcher popped up as a commentator on The 50 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians on Channel 5. This featured clips from a wide variety of comedians spanning the years up to the present. You can catch up with this on Demand5.

Rich also presented 2013 Mashed on Channel 4, which also featured a sketch by Hayden Black. Again you can still see this on 4OD.

And of course there was the Big Fat Quiz of The Year featuring Noel Fielding and Richard Ayoade – on the same team! If by any chance you missed it, there’s still time to catch up on 4OD

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.

Continue reading

Toast The New Year!

31 Dec
© Kuba Wieczorek

© Kuba Wieczorek

If you are staying in for New Year and like Matt Berry then you are in for a treat tonight!

Channel 4 are hosting The 50 Funniest Moments of 2013, where celebrities and others choose their funniest moments of the year. The whole show is narrated by Matt and runs from 11.05pm until 1.05am, so will see you into the New Year.

Following this is the complete series of Toast of London, Mr Berry’s surreal, fantastic sitcom about an eccentric actor and those around him.

For even more Berry goodness, tune into 4seven from 9pm, when you can watch the last ever episode of The IT Crowd – The Internet is Coming, followed by the people’s choice episode – The Work Outing and Graham Linehan‘s favourite episode – The Final Countdown.

This takes you nicely to 11.05pm and The 50 Funniest Moments ….

IT Crowd Night Preview!

22 Dec

As we’ve previously mentioned, Channel 4 will be dedicating an evening of airtime to The IT Crowd on Christmas Eve. And we’re pretty darned excited to be able to share a couple of preview clips with you from a new documentary about the series, which will be shown on the night!

The IT Crowd Manual is an hour-long celebration of the sitcom, narrated by Stephen Mangan, which includes classic clips from the show and up-close and personal interviews with the basement-dwelling trio; Richard Ayoade, Chris O’Dowd and Katherine Parkinson. Matt Berry also reveals how he felt taking the mantle of the boss of Reynholm Industries from Chris Morris, while Noel Fielding details the forbidden chemistry that mild-mannered Richmond secretly shared with Jen. Meanwhile the show’s biggest fans and guest stars (Paul Whitehouse , Danny Wallace, Kevin Eldon, Frances Barber, Matthew Crosby, Boyd Hilton and Lucy Montgomery) share their top moments.

The clip below features IT Crowd creator, Graham Linehan, giving a guided tour of the iconic basement set which he likens to “the inside of my head and my office… a cheerful mess”:

And the second preview clip Kevin Eldon talks about what a taskmaster Linehan can be when it comes to getting an accent right:

Don’t forget you’ll also be able to watch the final IT Crowd episode again, vote for your favourite episode and watch the one that gets Linehan’s vote too. Wowzers!

Tune into Channel 4 from 9pm on 24th December to get your fill of geekery.

Vote For Your Favourite IT Crowd (& See It On The Telly)

7 Dec

© Channel 4

On 24th  December Channel 4 are hosting a special IT Crowd night. And they need you to vote for your favourite episode so that they can include it.

The evening will include a repeat of the last ever episode, Graham Linehan‘s favourite episodes, and a premier of The IT Crowd Manual, a behind-the-scenes documentary about the show. At 11pm, they will also air the fan’s favourite episode, as voted by you!

To cast your vote you need to head on over to Channel 4’s website. There, you’ll find a short clip from each episode (to refresh the memory box), and you simply click onto your favourite one and hit ‘Vote Now’ to vote. Before you’re allowed to do so, you’ll need to sign in to channel4.com. All of the details can be found on the website via the link above.

So which one is it going to be then?…

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!

More IT Teasers

24 Sep

© Hal Shinnie

© Hal Shinnie

Unless you have been out of circulation somewhere very remote, you must have noticed that this Friday is the day we get to see a new, extended episode of The IT Crowd!

We first thought that the special final episode would be part of a The IT Crowd Night, but the night has been postponed until later in the year. We’ll tell you all about it when we hear more.

Meanwhile if you can’t wait until Friday there are some clips on the Channel 4 website.

If you’re really desperate you can read our spoiler-free review of the episode by our Editor in Chief.

Or you could wait until Friday at 9pm on Channel 4 to see it all in its full glory!

Preview Peeling: The IT Crowd – The Internet Is Coming

16 Sep

It can’t have escaped your attention that The IT Crowd returns for a one-off special on Friday, September 27th.  The first – and most likely final – episode since 2010 airs at 9pm, as part of a whole night devoted to the beloved sitcom, and TVO has been lucky enough to see the results.

Here, then, is our spoiler-free preview…

© Hal Shinnie

© Hal Shinnie

As the cast of Not The Nine O’Clock News once famously sang, saying ‘Kinda Lingers’ and then walking away is, at least, better than saying goodbye, “cos goodbye is the hardest word to say”.  The ethos of this enthuses The Internet Is Coming, the final episode of seminal cult comedy The IT Crowd.

Beginning in 2006, the show saw Father Ted creator Graham Linehan take his love of technology and internet culture, and transpose it upon three hapless heroes – shambolic Roy (Chris O’Dowd), uber-nerd Moss (Richard Ayoade) and hapless Jen (Katherine Parkinson).  Much like his earlier work on …Ted and Black Books, the show took it’s central trio into increasingly silly situations, keeping their characters just on the right side of two-dimensional to be believable and adorable, without ever spoiling the winning formula.

That the family also included a deranged boss – first Chris Morris as Denholm, later Matt Berry as Douglas – and occasionally depressed goth Richmond (Noel Fielding) – just helped sweeten the deal.  The characters were loud enough to understand on first viewing, and the performances matched the pitch perfect scripts.  It’s hard to argue the show isn’t one of the highlights of the last decade, and propelled it’s three leads to superstardom.

© Hal Shinnie

© Hal Shinnie

And that was the problem – it’s taken four years to get them back together for one last hurrah because O’Dowd, Ayoade and Parkinson have become megastars, and rightly so.  Yet in spite of this, The Internet Is Coming never feels awkward, or even that there’s been such a long break since they were together on screen.  To all intents and purposes, this is business as usual.

The plot, from what little we can reveal, concerns the usual social faux-pas which the gang typically find themselves in.  This time around, Jen and Roy accidentally find themselves the star of a viral video when a trip to get a good cup of coffee ends disastrously, while Moss turns to Douglas to ‘shoot-the-shit’ and find new levels of confidence, and Douglas does his best to get out of filming an episode of Secret Millionaire.

© Hal Shinnie

© Hal Shinnie

Each character gets a chance to shine, with Moss’ shopping trip and subsequent street encounter in particular standing out as easily being one of the funniest things the show has ever put on screen.  Part of the fun with Linehan’s sitcom work has often been how obviously he signposts the tropes of sitcom expectations, whilst also ensuring the ride towards the obvious outcome becomes the real surprise, and that’s particularly the case with Roy and Jen’s attempts at redemption via a nifty presentation.

Elsewhere, Linehan’s gift for satirical spoofing shows no signs of slacking.  Graham knows the internet well, and uses this knowledge to his advantage across Moss’ new web show, jokes about viral videos and a cheeky dig at online-anarchists Anonymous.  There’s also a short but sweet celebrity cameo that raises a quick titter, and of course, a certain other character makes a charming, albeit brief return following a tiny spot of nudging and nurdling and being in the right place at the right time.

Throw in enough gentle callbacks to previous episodes, including a truth which proves shocking to one character in particular – and a final scene that offers a few small morsels of closure for Roy, Moss and Jen, and we’re left with a warm glow inside.  Sure, the nature of the plot means there are precious few scenes of the whole gang in one place, and perhaps there will be some out there who long for something on a larger scale, but somehow this seems as close to perfect as it could get, and by not dwelling on the goodbyes, the IT department can kinda linger, forever more.

The IT Crowd’s Final Bootup

11 Sep

© Talkback Thames / Steven Peskett

As we announced back in July, the final, long-awaited episode of The IT Crowd will air during a special The IT Crowd Night, on Friday 27th September at 9pm, on Channel 4.

The hour-long episode re-unites Richard Ayoade as Moss, Katherine Parkinson as Jen, Chris O’Dowd as Roy and Matt Berry as Douglas, as well as writer and director Graham Linehan.

There will also be an appearance by Noel Fielding as everyone’s favourite Goth, Richmond.

Despite rumours to the contrary, the title of the episode is ‘The Internet Is Coming'; we’ll let you know more details on the episode and the supporting shows as soon as we can.

So clear your schedule and get ready to ‘turn it off and on again’ one last time!

Autumnal IT Crowd Special

22 Jul

Channel 4 has announced a night of IT Crowd-related programming, which will take place in October (exact date tbc).

© Channel 4

IT Crowd Night will feature the hotly-anticipated final episode, which was recorded at Elstree Studios last month. It will also include a selection of episodes from the last full series of the comedy, which aired in 2010.

Although further  details are sparse, previous Ch4 evenings that have celebrated a particular TV programme have included documentaries about the making of the series, as well as interviews with the writers and cast; however, as yet there’s no confirmation as to whether The IT Crowd evening will feature these extras.

Also scheduled to begin in October is the panel show Was It Something I Said?, which features The IT Crowd’s Richard Ayoade as a team captain, and the new sitcom Toast starring Matt Berry, who (as all good Peelers know) plays Douglas Reynholm in The IT Crowd.

To get yourself in the mood for geekery, why not take a look at this Top 10 IT Crowd moments, which we published earlier this year?

Be In The IT Crowd

19 Jun

Let’s be honest, not many of us managed to be present at the recent filming of the last ever IT Crowd at Elstree Studios. However, you can still be in the final episode if you’re quick!

© Graham Linehan

Graham Linehan has requested that fans send in photos of themselves reacting to something outrageous on their phone or laptop. Ideally the photo should show a famous landmark in the background too (e.g. Eiffel Tower/North Pole/Great Wall of China).

So if you can take a snap of yourself pretending to look at something really shocking on your phone/laptop with a landmark in the background you have a very good chance of being included in the show. A bit like the photo on the right, but with a real (and arguably less phallic) landmark. Photos should be submitted to TheItCrowd@retort.tv by 25th June.

Due to broadcasting regulations they need to be stringent about a few things, so here are the rules:

  • Stills photos need to be taken on a 10MP camera or higher
  • Don’t include any logos or brands – cover them up or reframe the picture, this includes the makes/models of your laptop or phone
  • Don’t have anyone in the frame that hasn’t given you personal consent to use their image or that you can’t identify and give the full details to them
  • Don’t include any artwork on walls, book covers etc as we won’t be able to seek permission to use the copyright

For more information and the essential legal blurb head over here. Please note that this page invites video submissions too, but only photo submissions are being accepted.

So good luck – and get snapping!

ITvine

8 Jun

Yesterday saw day 2 of the filming of the last ever IT Crowd, and Graham Linehan kindly treated his twitter followers to vine clips of three of the main cast members!

© Graham Lineham

© Graham Linehan

We retweeted Jen’s at the time, but in the spirit of completeness we thought it would be rather jolly to follow up with Moss’ and Roy’s vines. So here, for anyone who didn’t catch them yesterday, are mini videos of Chris O’Dowd, Richard Ayoade and Katherine Parkinson - alongside the  paraphernalia of geekery (as you’d expect). Just click on the name to watch the clip.

Filming continues today, and we live in hope of a Douglas Reynholm or Richmond vine to accompany the others!

To follow Linehan on twitter head over here.

Top Ten IT Crowd

28 May

© Talkback Thames

While we’re all buzzing off the fact that the filming of the final IT Crowd is underway, Metro has very kindly put together their Top 10 episodes of the past four series.

It includes such classics as Roy’s plans to shoot a nude calendar, the German cannibal incident and the moment that Douglas Reynholm crashed into his father’s funeral. What’s more, Metro has helpfully included a clip for each of the Top 10. Wonderful stuff! To view the full article (and to see whether you agree with their choices) click here.

Now all that remains is to wonder whether that conversation escalated beyond twitter and Richmond is indeed going to be making an appearance in the hotly-anticipated final episode…

Be In The IT Crowd Crowd

18 May

© Talkback Thames / Steven Peskett

Applications for audience tickets for the filming of the forthcoming IT Crowd special finale are now open!

Tickets are free, and SRO Audiences are running the audience selection process.  The filming of the show will take place on Saturday 8th June 2013 at Elstree Studios, Shenley Road, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire WD6 1JG; doors open at 6.45pm. Please note that the minimum age for attending the filming is 16 years.

To apply for tickets (max of 4 per person) visit SRO Audiences here. Be aware that, sadly, applying for tickets doesn’t guarantee you get them.

QI Confirmed

16 May

© BBC 2

In the wake of a flurry of online rumours last week, Noel Fielding has revealed to The Velvet Onion that he will be appearing in a future episode of QI, the quiz show with brains hosted by Stephen Fry.

He’ll be appearing with fellow panellist Ross Noble, in an episode yet to be filmed. Noble started out in the comedy industry around the same time as Noel, but until now the two have never appeared on TV together.

When asked if he’ll be taking his QI responsibilities terribly seriously or adopting the approach more common to his appearances on Big Fat Quiz of the Year, Noel  laughed and said, “I just  don’t understand it – I’ll be hopeless at it! But I’m hoping me and Ross (Noble) can build some comedy jazz together… they’ll never ask me back!”

It’s not yet clear when this particular episode of QI will be filmed or televised, but we’ll keep you posted.

At present, there’s no official confirmation as to whether Noel’s TV presence is going to be stretching as far as the special final episode of IT Crowd. Either way, we’ll let you know as soon as we know!

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