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Vintage Sights: Top Ten Alice & Steve Moments On YouTube

30 Nov

Today marks the release of Sightseers into UK cinemas.  At long last, this brilliant film starring Alice Lowe, Steve Oram and Richard Glover can be shared by you all.  Directed by Ben Wheatley, we’ve gone bananas for it because it truly is brilliant and deserves your attention.  It opens in 92 cinemas nationwide, and it’s success this weekend will decide if it expands to further cinemas next week, so it’s crucial if you have a passing interest in the film, you go and see it now!

Of course, most of you will be more than aware of the work of Alice Lowe and Steve Oram before this film was released, but for those of you who are new to their genius, we thought we’d compile a handy list of easy-to-access clips from the Tube of You.  It’s been tough selecting only five each, but we think we’ve found you some absolute corkers.

© Eamonn McCormack/Getty Images Europe

© Eamonn McCormack/Getty Images Europe

All of these clips are either web-shorts, live clips or tv taster pilots which didn’t go to broadcast, which helped narrow the list down somewhat.  Obviously, they only scratch the surface of the great work the pair have been crafting for the past decade.  To truly experience their mastery, you simply must see them live at the earliest opportunity, and to find out when that next is, you’ll have to keep coming back here!  We’ll be keeping you posted on any appearances they make, so pop back every now and then to find out more.

If that’s too long a wait, you can browse their ‘videographies’, as it were, via our TVO webstores.  Both run by Amazon on our behalf, we have dedicated sections for every artist we feature in a UK and US store – and both will ship internationally too.  For Alice’s stuff, visit here for UK, and here for US – and if Steve’s your bag, visit here for UK, and here for US.

Now to the top ten! Continue reading

Talking About Tom

29 Jan

© E4

Tom Meeten is currently entertaining us in roles as diverse as Andy Warhol, Daran Cache and a fruit fly in Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy.  TVO’s Afroharold sheds a bit of light on his rich and varied career to date…

Whilst many comedy fans know him best for his work with Steve Oram, for a lot of Velvet Onion readers he will forever be identifiable thanks to his roles in The Mighty Boosh.  His first appearance on the series is in Fountain of Youth, as Pepo the artist who kills himself when Vince isn’t impressed with the fringe on his portrait.

© BBC

He later appeared as the disreputable Lance Dior in the third series’ The Power of the Crimp. A near perfect clone of happy-go-lucky Vince, he and his jazzy Northern sidekick Harold Boon (Simon Farnaby) memorably fought Vince & Howard in an epic Crimp Off. Later, the character reappeared at The Royal Albert Hall, attempting to replace Vince at the opening of Noel Fielding’s Teenage Cancer Trust comedy night.

Casting Tom as Lance Dior was an inspired move as he has a similar  take on acting as Noel, an attractive man who is willing to make himself unattractive to the point of grotesque to bring a character to life. No one could call the fruit fly in Luxury Comedy attractive! Tom’s comedy partner is also a bearded bloke from somewhere north of London!

© Andy Lane

Away from the Boosh, Tom’s most notable collaboration has been with the aforementioned Steve Oram - himself no stranger to Vince Noir, having played Donny the Tramp in The Strange Tale Of The Crack Fox.   After a string of successful live shows, including memorable turns at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the pair crafted a television pilot together for Comedy Lab and posted a string of sketches on YouTube including cult classic Porto & Roy.

In 2011, Oram & Meeten developed a new pilot show for So Television, entitled The Forgotten Picture Show, joined by a huge cast of TVO favourites in a pitch perfect homage to 50s rock-n-roll movies.  The pilot is currently under development with plans to make a full series, and we at TVO can’t wait to see the results.

Collaborations with other names at TVO are frequent – from appearances in Jackal Films with Alice Lowe, such as the stupendously silly Birdhandler to his work with James Bachman and recently Arnab Chanda on sketches for BBC Nought – including a truly inspired turn as Jools Holland!

© Channel 4

He has also appeared in a number of other notable shows from the TVO stables, including The IT CrowdHow not to Live Your Life, Saxondale, Lifespam and Beehive. He also made an everlasting impression in Blunder on Channel 4 as the surreal evil known as The Baron and the stupendously rude Karate Johnson. Although studio executives were impressed with his work on Blunder, he still hasn’t been given the opportunities his talents deserve to showcase them to a wider television audience.

Last year, following cameo appearances in Magicians and Burke & Hare, he played his first major leading role in a film via lo-budget Manchester rave scene flick Weekender, and he is set to appear in Oram & Lowe’s forthcoming film The Sightseers too.

As you can see Tom is a very talented actor, singer, writer and comedian, who has appeared in a variety of roles and is not afraid to wear outrageous costumes to complete a character. So if you were watching Luxury Comedy and wondering where you’ve seen him before, now you know!

Spring Back In Time: A Look Back At April-June 2011

2 Jan

So far our review of 2011 has covered January to March. Today we bring you the sequel: April to June. Aaaah, Springtime…the time of fresh starts and new beginnings! And it turned out to be a very busy time in the Booshniverse too!

April

© BBC

April started with the news of Chris O’Dowd’s appearance in The Crimson Petal and The White, a Victorian drama adaptation miles away from The IT Crowd! It was a fantastic production with a great cast and Chris was excellent in it.

The London Comedy Writers Festival took place this month, with input from TVO favourites Alice Lowe, Jaqueline Wright and Colin Hoult. It was a very busy month for Alice, she starred in  Tap at the Window, appeared with Antony Elvin at Popcorn Comedy, and had the pilot  Alice’s Wunderland broadcast on BBC Radio 4. At the time we were lucky to bag an interview with her which you can read here. We also reviewed Jackal films 2010 calendar project.

Colin Hoult announced the second New Adventures show and Paul Foot was in Australia, tweeting as he went.

TVO enjoyed a bit of a spring clean itself in April with a revamp of the TVO Amazon store, making it even easier to cater for all your comedy needs!

Continue reading

The Velvet Onion Calendar 2012

29 Dec

The Velvet Onion are pleased to bring you our exclusive 2012 calendar!

We’ve been working with a number of our friends both in front of the camera and behind it, to bring you twelve great shots to print out and stick up on your wall between January 1st and December 31st.

With a fantastic new design from one of our own Velveteers, inspired by the beautiful design work Peeler Kerrie Leisch provided for the site back in 2010, we really hope you like the results – which are available for a free download by clicking on the picture above!

Thank you to everyone involved, and to all of you – our dearest Peelers – for a truly fantastic 2011… here’s to another great year in the realm of the Onion!

The Forgotten Picture Show

3 May
© Katy Darby

A brand new short featuring a host of TVO favourites has appeared online.

Last year we told you about an exciting new project entitled The Last Summer On Earth, written by and starring Steve Oram and Tom Meeten alongside Alice Lowe, Simon Farnaby, Tony Way, Waen Sheperd, Barunka O’Shaugnessy and Shelly Longworth and even more familiar faces too!

Now a pilot episode has been posted online by production company SoTelevision, and features an opening link delivered by none other than Julia Davis!

Davis appears as the editor of FilmFace Magazine, Bebe Löam – introducing a lost epic from director Mia Kaufman, which featuers the rest of our glorious gang.  It’s beautifully shot and very very funny, and well worth your attention.  Hopefully this isn’t the last we’ve heard of the show, with this first episode acting as backdoor pilot and a tantilising “To Be Continued” slogan emblazoned across the climax of the clip.

You can catch the fifteen minute short film below, and TVO will endeavour to keep you posted on any future developments.

More TV Comedy On The Horizon?

30 Sep

Will we see more of our favourites soon?

The British Comedy Guide has reported back from the Broadcast Comedy Forum 2010 with news that all of the major broadcasters are looking to develop new ideas for television after a long period of comedic drought on our tv screens which has seen many an artist we cover on these pages turn to the internet as a means of self-commission.

You can read the full report on the British Comedy Guide website – but a few notable points may have a bearing on what we here at The Velvet Onion may be reporting to you over the next few years.  First off, is the BBC’s renewed interest in making something different, with their executive Simon Wilson stating quite clearly BBC3 wanted to make ‘more unusual and different’ comedies after the success of adult puppet show Mongrels (featuring Tony Paul Way), and referenced CGI-laden sketch show The Wrong Door (which featured Matt Berry) as an example of where they may be headed.

After several years of poor scheduling choices and no real support given to the likes of Snuffbox, Lifespam, meeBox and many more shows we could mention – perhaps we’ll be seeing a lot more of our favourite faces on the BBC once again soon?  After all, recent repeats of The Mighty Boosh at a more convenient time of 9pm (instead of the previous 10:30pm) caused it to reach the top Trending Topics on social networking site Twitter – proof if any was needed that the way forward may actually be the way back.

Channel 4 has also commissioned another two series of its Comedy Lab pilots in 2011 and 2012, and several of our key artists have previously been involved in such productions, most recently in the case of Julian Barratt appearing in Penelope: Princess Of Pets earlier this year.  On a similar note, freeview channel Dave is pleased with the success of its original productions and, as well as almost certainly making more Red Dwarf, they will also be looking towards broadcasting more short pilots in the hope of finding a new hit.  We at The Velvet Onion can only hope they decide to make more episodes of the mighty Zimbani!

This year has seen a number of pilots made involving members of the Booshniverse, and some of them have yet to find an audience – Oram & Meeten’s The Last Summer On Earth for example, or David Bussell’s Missing Scene for example.  With even Sky One reporting an interest in developing fresh comedic output, one can only hope we get to see something worth our while again very, very soon…

The Last Summer On Earth

31 Jul

© Katy Darby

The Velvet Onion has learnt of a very exciting new project hopefully coming your way in the near future – The Last Summer On Earth.

Written by the sublime double-act of Steve Oram and Tom Meeten – whom many of you will know from their previous short films and live shows together, as well as appearances in The Mighty Boosh as Donny the Tramp and Lance Dior respectively – the project also features Simon Farnaby and Alice Lowe alongside frequent collaborators Barunka O’Shaugnessy and Shelly Longworth, plus popular comedians Tony Paul Way, Waen Shepherd and Richard Sandling.

Filmed as a pilot for SO Television, it’s early days for the show so far, and as such there isn’t much more we can tell you.  Hopefully it will not only be broadcast, but be given a series commission – with that amount of talent on board the tv execs would be fools not to fall in lust with the project!  We’re sure an awful lot of you out there would love to see all these comedic giants working together, so here’s hoping!

As soon as we can find out any further details on the project, we’ll chuck some peel at ya.

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