Steve Coogan is to take the lead in revamped Showtime series Happyish, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
© David M Russell/Showtime
The series was initially piloted last year, with the late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman in the lead role, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch creator John Cameron Mitchell directing the first episode.
It featured Hoffman – who also acted as executive producer – as a fortysomething going through a mid-life crisis working for new bosses half his age, with Rhys Ifans as his co-star.
Granted a full series commission, the show was put on indefinite hold following Hoffman’s tragic death in February, with Showtime yet to confirm if they will ever release Hoffman’s completed episode.
© Dan Hallman/Invision/AP
The series creator Shalom Auslander, told The Hollywood Reporter: “Steve’s range is astounding — he is a comedy legend, a gifted satirist, and he possesses the unique combination of talents this role demands.”
As big fans of Hoffman’s work here at TVO, we can only say they’ve picked a fine man to step into his shoes, and we offer Steve all our support, as always. Happyish will presumably air in 2015, and we’ll be watching!
© Matador Pictures
Back in February we revealed that Paul Kaye was starring in a cinema release called 8 Minutes Idle. The film will be getting its DVD release on Monday and is now available to pre-order.
8 Minutes Idle is a part Kickstarter-funded debut feature from director Mark Simon Hewis, based upon the novel by Matt Thorne.
The warped urban comedy was set and filmed in Bristol, it features Tom Hughes (Cemetery Junction), Ophelia Lovibod (Nowhere Boyi), Antonia Thomas (Misfits), Pippa Heywood (Green Wing) and, of course, Paul Kaye.
The film follows the story of Dan – a man looking for an easy life, who deliberately chooses what he believes will be the easiest job out there: working in a call centre. However, a misunderstanding leads to him eviction, and he is forced to secretly move into his office, along with with his most prized possessions and his cat.
Check this out to pre-order the film from our amazon store for £14.75. In case you’re deliberating, check out the trailer for 8 Minutes Idle below.
© Sutton Guardian
Following hot on the heels of the award-winning Hunderby, Julia Davis has been working on a new pilot for Channel 4.
Morning Has Broken follows the story of Gail Sinclair, the star of daily television programme, Good Morning… with Gail Sinclair. After eight years of high ratings and awards, the show featuring ‘The Queen of Daytime’ starts to lose viewers and tensions build within the production team.
Morning Has Broken has been written by and will star Davis, and the 45-minute pilot episode (which will be filmed in London next month) will be directed by none other than Dan Clark!
Producers of the show have said: “It’s a show less about the making of television and more about the relationships between a group of co-workers who, everyday, are under the immense pressure to deliver topical, meaningful content in the world of current affairs, lifestyle, medical issues and showbiz.”
If the pilot episode proves popular with the big cheeses at Channel 4, a full series should go into production later this year.
We’re seriously looking forwards to this one!
© James Cook
James Cook has released the final track from his covers album, Reverse Engineering, in the form of the early 80’s pop classic ‘Our Lips Are Sealed’.
For the uninitiated out there, Reverse Engineering consists of two 7-track EPs featuring reworkings of musical material with which Cook feels a connection. Previous releases have included Ashes to Ashes by David Bowie, XTC’s Making Plans For Nigel and Hiroshima Mon Amour by early-incarnation Ultravox.
Our Lips Are Sealed was originally written by The Specials/Fun Boy Three singer Terry Hall and The Go-Go’s guitarist Jane Wiedlin (who were alleged to have been having an affair). It was first recorded by The Go-Go’s in 1981 and was released by Fun Boy Three in 1983.
Of his version of the track, Cook says: “As a little boy this song helped me get through bullying and teasing of playground days. Although I sensed the deep adult emotions than ran through it, it would only be fully understood by myself in my 20s.”
To listen to the new instrumentation click here (where you can also buy the download by naming you own price). And if you fancy checking out the two previous recordings, here are The Go-Gos and Fun Boy Three doing their thing:
© BBC Films
A long, long time ago we revealed that the debut feature film from the Horrible Histories cast would be called Bill, and would offer up a uniquely alternative view of Shakespeare’s life story. With production now underway, further details about the film are starting to emerge:
Another TVO-connected artist will be joining Horrible Histories’ regular, Simon Farnaby, in the cast – in the shape of Rufus Jones. Behind the scenes, the movie also involves Ben Wheatley‘s regular collaborator, Laurie Rose (Sightseers, Kill List, A Field In England).
Bill will hit UK cinemas in just under a year’s time – on 20th February 2015, with preview screenings 18/19th February.
To keep on top of the latest news updates and photos from the set of Bill, we recommend liking the movie’s Facebook page or following its twitter feed. Or you could just keep checking in here, of course.
© The Weinstein Company
It’s happened! And TVO couldn’t be happier. Steve Coogan’s Philomena has been nominated for not one but FOUR Oscars!
The film, based on a newspaper article he wondered if he “might be able to turn into a film” is up for the categories of Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actress, and Best Original Score.
“I was absolutely dumbfounded,” he told The BBC today.
Ever the gracefully humble one, Coogan says he thought it might be a “small interesting film”that some people might like and that he “failed [his] English O level twice . . . so if I can do it, anyone can.”
Well we think your talent is enormous, and apparently the Academy does too. So best of luck with the votes and we’ll see you at the Oscars.
And if you haven’t seen it yet (what are you waiting for?!?!), here is the official trailer.
© BBC Drama
Justin Edwards made a surprise guest appearance in today’s edition of day-time period drama Father Brown.
In yet another sign of TVO regulars taking over television drama (cropping up in Sherlock, Game Of Thrones and Doctor Who to name a few of late), the former Ealing Live regular – perhaps best known to mainstream audiences for his role as Ben Swain in The Thick Of It – played a Welsh constable in the popular murder-mystery saga.
Led by Mark Williams (The Fast Show), the ensemble cast make this show a feel-good treat, but we have to admit that as we’re not avid viewers of daytime telly, even we were surprised to stumble upon the one episode that happened to have a connection to Onion Land. Call it our comedy sonar, eh?
To make matters even more Oniony in the most trivial of ways, the episode revolved around a character called Stephen Evans, which must have been a bit weird for Justin!
You can see the episode now on iPlayer via this handy linkage, where it will stay until 24th January. Whilst there’s currently no sign of a UK release, Series 1 was recently released on dvd in Europe, so we’ll keep our eyes peeled should the second series – featuring this episode – follow suit.
Steven Coogan is busy Stateside promoting his new film Philomena.
On CBS This Morning he discusses the topic of the film, which has already won a screenplay award and has chatter around it for an Oscar nod.
The hosts also bring up Coogan’s UK comedy fame, which he humbly acknowledges along with his interest in branching out to dramatic roles and projects. Peelers can see the interview here:
And for an added treat, he’ll also be appearing tonight on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, which can be viewed tomorrow on either the Comedy Central website, or by Hulu+ subscribers.
© Noel Fielding
Waaaaay back in February a little bird told us about some exciting new Luxury Comedy merchandise that was in development. So we waited…and we waited. And then we waited a bit longer. And now those items are now available to buy!
You can now get your mitts on an actual Bryan Ferry kite, a Pele mug, character finger puppets, an array of awesome t-shirts and a very pretty keyring. As you’d expect of anything Noel Fielding-related, it’s all beautifully executed and a cut above standard TV show merch. We want it all, please.
Click here to view the full range and to buy stuff.
Even if you’re super-speedy and the Royal Mail are ON IT it’s still unlikely that you’ll get your goods by Christmas, but then we reckon Luxury fans wouldn’t want anything as predictable as giving and receiving presents on Christmas day – so here’s to receiving that parcel from Firebrand on 28th December!
Time to start saving…
© Baby Cow / HMV
Steve Coogan will be making an in-store appearance at HMV Oxford Street next week to promote the home media release of Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa.
The man behind Norwich’s finest will be signing copies of the dvd and blu-ray of his debut feature film, which was released this week. The event takes place on Monday 9th December between 5:30pm and 6:30pm.
HMV are currently stocking a limited edition version of the film, which features both formats, the soundtrack CD and an exclusive Shortlist mini-mag for good measure, so there’s never been a better excuse to get a copy and meet the legendary comedian.
As the small print explains, space in the queue will be operated on a first-come, first-served basis, and due to the short time-scale of the event, only copies of Alpha Papa bought that day will be signed.
If you can’t make it down there, the magnificent Alpha Papa is still available to buy on dvd and blu-ray from The Velvet Onion Amazon Store now, alongside that soundtrack cd for good measure. You can see the theatrical trailer for the film below.
© Gina R Snape
Calling all Psycho Delia fans! Dee Plume has lined up one more gig before departing NYC!
Billed as an “Acoustic noodlings of the extensive PD songbook” Dee Plume invites all to “Join in on vox and foot-tap” for this tour of Psych Delia oeuvre at Spike Hill Music in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
So come on down for this free gig, before she flies back to the UK for Oxjam Brixton!
(Stay tuned for more on her adventures in the Big Apple!).
© Jonny Donahoe
Jonny Donahoe, one half of magnificent musical comedy duo Jonny and the Baptists, is bringing his solo stand-up show, Class Whore to the Pleasance, Islington tomorrow and next week.
Slightly outside TVO’s normal remit, we recommended Class Whore, along with Jonny and the Baptist’s show Bigger Than Judas, back in July. Having since gained much acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe (**** from The Scotsman, Broadway Baby and more), this will be the show’s first outing in London. In it, Jonny takes a witty and insightful look at the British class system through satire, jokes and some heartwarming stories of his upbringing.
Class Whore is at The Pleasance, Islington on 12th and 16th October and tickets are a steal at just £6 (available here). Jonny is also gigging with Jonny and the Baptists in venues up and down the country, the full details of which can be found on their website.
Joking for Justice, the World Development Movement’s annual comedy night, is on next month and TVO favourite Kevin Eldon is on the bill.
The night has a spectacular line-up of Arthur Smith, Ava Vidal, Kevin Eldon, Holly Walsh, Sara Pascoe, Catie Wilkins, Ria Lina, Daniel Simonsen, Amadeus Martin and David Morgan. Returning for its fourth year, Joking for Justice will showcase some of the country’s finest satire, musical comedy and downright silliness, all in aid of the World Development Movement’s campaign to win justice for the world’s poor.
It’s at London’s Leicester Square Theatre on 17th October and is just £20 for a ticket which can be grabbed here.
Sky Atlantic HD will be premiering an exclusive two-part TV special of Steve Coogan‘s stand-up tour around Australia and New Zealand.
© Baby Cow/Sky Atlantic
The behind-the-scenes tour documentary Stand Up Down Under will be shown at 9pm on 6th and 7th August. It features two hour-long shows which were filmed during Coogan’s 2009 world tour. It promises a funny, intimate and honest portrait of one of Britain’s best loved character comedians and includes exclusive footage from his performances as Alan Partridge, Pauline Calf and Tony Ferrino, as well as unrestricted backstage access. It’s produced and directed by David Lambert, also known at TVO Towers for his brilliant Boosh documentaries.
According to the production company Baby Cow Productions, Sky Atlantic will also be repeating the BAFTA nominated Alan Partridge: Welcome to the Places of My Life and Alan Partridge On Open Books With Martin Bryce on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th August respectively at 9pm. The first series of Mid Morning Matters will also be shown again over three evenings on 5th, 6th and 7th August, ahead of the second series which is due for transmission later in the year.
With the big screen debut of Alan Partridge about to wow cinema audiences, large dollops of Coogan were to be found in this weekend’s newspapers: he was on the cover and in the pages of this week’s Guardian Guide, talking (as Alan) about becoming a national treasure. The publication also featured a revealing interview with Coogan’s Partridge co-writers, Peter Baynham and Neil and Rob Gibbons. Finally, The Observer published a profile on the comic actor.
Don’t forget that you can see Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (which has been receiving a fair few rave reviews) in UK cinemas from August 7th.
UK fans of Chris O’Dowd will now get a chance to watch Family Tree. The 8-part series airs on BBC2 beginning 16 July.
Chris O’Dowd takes the lead as the show looks at character Tom Chadwick’s exploration of his lineage after inheriting a mystery box of goodies from a relative he doesn’t recall ever meeting.
Fans of Christopher Guest’s other creations (Spinal Tap, A Mighty Wind, Best In Show) will find familiar faces and humour. Peelers might recall an interview last week with Radio Times.
And here is another trailer (courtesy of HBO).
You may have spotted from our tweets last night that something Booshy is happening at London’s Barbican Centre tonight.
The full picture has now been revealed, with Julian Barratt and Noel Fielding reuniting for a special gig as part of Beck’s ‘Song Reader’ night at the Barbican in London.
They will be performing one of the songs from Beck’s 2012 Song Reader album (actually a book of 20 songs of sheet music, which people were asked to interpret themselves and perform).
As well as the Boosh, Beck himself, Jarvis Cocker, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Franz Ferdinand, Beth Orton, Guillemots and Michael Kiwanuka will be bringing the music to life at the venue.
Noel told XFM earlier today: “We’re so excited to be playing with Beck tonight, he’s an absolute genius! He’s one of our biggest influences and the song they gave us is actually pretty Booshy… It’s perfect.”
Unfortunately, the show is sold out, but if you’re lucky enough to have a ticket, we’d love to hear all about it tomorrow!
This marks the first Boosh musical performance since they announced that they would be reforming for Tenacious D’s Festival Supreme in LA in October. Let’s hope there will be many more!
© Rich Fulcher & Joey Page
Later this month, that surrealist master Rich Fulcher, and whimsical fancymaker Joey Page are heading outside the M25 to delight audiences in York and Hull, and TVO is giving you the chance to see them for free!
The duo will be appearing at The Duchess, Stonebow House in York on Wednesday 17th July, before hopping over to Tofts Lane on Newland Avenue in Hull the following day, Thursday 18th July.
Both shows are courtesy of C69 Comedy, and the good folk behind the show – RTCE Productions – are kindly providing us with 2 pairs of tickets for each night, which YOU can win!
All you need to do is email us your choice of venue, and the answer to the following question.
Which hit E4 sketch-show featured cameo appearances by Rich Fulcher & Joey Page?
Email us at email@example.com with your answer, and choice of either Hull or York to be in with a chance of winning!
You must include your full name, and choice of venue – we can’t accept any entries which forget to choose a city, sorry!
For logistical reasons, all entrants MUST be over 18. These are licensed venues and winners may be required to show age-verifying ID (drivers licenses, passports, citizen cards etc) at the door.
Winners will be notified via email after the closing date of 11:59pm on Sunday 7th July, and tickets will be collectible from the venue on the evening of each show. For full t&c, see below…
This competition offers 1 pair of tickets each to 2 winners per venue – 2x pairs for York, 2x pairs for Hull. The winning four entries will be selected at random, from all who correctly answer the question: “Which hit E4 sketch-show featured cameo appearances by Rich Fulcher & Joey Page?” Winners will be contacted via the email address they use to enter. Details will not be shared with any additional third parties beyond Mel Foster at RTCE Productions, and the guest-list for each venue. Only entries made to firstname.lastname@example.org will be accepted. The Velvet Onion will not accept entries as comments to this post, replies to our Facebook/Twitter pages, comments to any other posts in error or emails to any other email address in our domain, nor any entries received after 11:59pm on Sunday, 7th July. This competition is being run entirely by The Velvet Onion, with prizes organised by Mel Foster at RTCE Productions. One entry per person. Any entrants found making multiple entries from the same IP address will be disqualified, and banned from entering further competitions run by The Velvet Onion. The judge’s decision is final. There is no monetary value to this competition and no cash alternative will be offered. Winners must choose their preferred performance to attend, and dates/performances cannot be changed. Winners will be responsible for their own travel and/or related expenses. The Velvet Onion reserves the right to withdraw this competition if any overriding issues arise.
Snarky illustrator Mr Bingo continues his summertime busy-ness, with a talk at the “London’ best literary club night” in July.
He’s one of the guests at BookSlam, which takes place at Bedroom Bar (Rivington Street, East London) on 11th July. He’ll be joining fellow guests Simon Rich (Saturday Night Live writer) and Viv Groskop (author & critic) and music is provided by Fred Page.
Doors open at 6.30pm for a 7.30pm start and tickets cost £6 in advance (£8 on the door). For more information about the evening and those appearing, and to purchase tickets click here.
© MoonWalk London 2013
It may be miserable and chilly out there tonight, but a group of women will be walking through the night to raise money to fight breast cancer. And Sharon Horgan is amongst them!
MoonWalk London 2013 started earlier this evening and will see thousands of participants pounding the city’s streets until the sun comes up tomorrow (if the sun actually manages to break through the rain clouds!). Horgan is part of the ‘Booby Dazzlers’ team, which includes a number of faces from the TV and entertainment industry. So far they’ve raised an astonishing £13,681.40, but there’s still time to add to that total!
To sponsor the team visit their MoonWalk London page. Just click on the ‘Sponsor Me’ button to donate. It’s for a fantastic cause – and it’s truly grim out there tonight, so they deserve all the support they can get!
For updates on how the walk progresses through the night visit the event’s facebook page. TVO wishes everyone involved the best of luck.
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.