Stubbings And The Milkman

9 Jul

Rachel Stubbings will be appearing in a new short film from director Dan Berg – The Milkman.

The 9-minute movie is described as “comedy drama” and follows the story of milkman Lee, as he struggles to retain his customers, while pursuing romance with one of the few who remain. Stubbings co-stars with fellow comedians Joe Bor and Nick Helm.

As yet, there’s no information about the planned release of the film, but you can watch the trailer below. We’ll let you know more as soon as we do:

Rhod Gilbert Joins Buzzcocks

9 Jul

Stand-up comic and tv presenter Rhod Gilbert is to join Never Mind The Buzzcocks as permanent host.

© BBC

© BBC

The show – originally presented by Mark Lamarr and later Simon Amstell – has had a series of revolving guest presenters since 2009, with Rhod himself being only the second guest host, back in October of that year.

Gilbert, who first appeared on the show as a guest in 2006, returned in December 2011, and now joins regular team captains Phill Jupitus and Noel Fielding for the 28th series this Autumn.

When the news broke this afternoon, Rhod commented on his official Facebook page:

So the secret is out! I’ll be the new permanent host of Never Mind The Buzzcocks when it returns for its 28th series this autumn. When I first guest hosted, back in 2009, I was told I was in with a shout to take over as regular host, and now, just 5 years later, I got the call. It’s all happened so fast. Never Mind the Buzzcocks is one of those rare shows that feels like it belongs on our screens, it’s an institution, in a good way. It’s a great honour to be asked to take the reins full time and to hang out with Noel and Phill, and I’m equally excited and nervous about adding my name to those who have hosted it in the past.

It is currently unknown if Noel’s forthcoming tour will affect any of his commitments to the full Buzzcocks run, but we’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear more about the series. In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for ticket applications opening over yonder.

Rich On A Bus

8 Jul

Rich Fulcher has lent his acting talents to a new US TV commercial for Greyhound buses.

In the ad Rich plays the part of a bespectacled tour manager, who has swapped his band’s usual tour bus for a Greyhound bus, in recognition of its cheap prices and fantastic facilities. If only Rich had had more of a hand in writing the spot…

Anyway, you can see the ad below:

And while we’re at, we figured that this Fulcher news provided us with the perfect excuse to share this recent photo of Rich from Funny or Die, with fellow comedians Steve Agree and Moshe Kasher. We have no idea what was going on, but we love it! Here’s hoping it cheers up your Tuesday too:

© Funny or Die

 

 

Dan Clark: Growing Up For Edinburgh

8 Jul

© comedy.co.uk

Last week Dan Clark performed a couple of warm up gigs in preparation for the run of his new show, Me, My Selfie and I, at the Edinburgh Fringe. We were lucky enough to grab a chat with Dan after his sold out show at The Pleasance in Islington. Velveteer Mog reports:

In the past, Dan Clark’s on-stage persona has felt like an extension of his best-known on screen creation, Don Danbury. Although a tad more charismatic and a lot more musical than the feckless anti-hero from How Not To Live Your Life, the distinction between Dan and Don wasn’t always clear. Dan’s new show, on the other hand, sees him in more contemplative, grown up mood. Like most men in their thirties, Dan hasn’t abandoned his laddish youthfulness completely – you’ll be relieved to know that the wank gags are still there – but now they’re framed with moments of mature introspection.

Dan acknowledges that the shift in tone could challenge some of his fan base: “It’s my most personal and honest show,” he says, “For an audience who have come to see Don Danbury, and you talk about death and mortality when they’re expecting knob gags, they might get confused.” So why the change? He explains: “I fell out of love with it (comedy), and I didn’t like what I was watching on TV, so I thought if I’m going to do this again, I’m going to write a bit more from the heart. There are plenty of 30-something comedians just doing jokes; we don’t need another one.”

© The Evening Standard

This is Dan’s first entirely-solo show for seven years, having previously gigged with guest musicians (in the shape of regular collaborator, Ben Parker), or in the case of his most recent stage show, These Songs May Contain Jokes, an entire backing band. He says that he misses the camaraderie of being part of a gang  (“You feel safer when you’re on stage with other people”) and the buzz of rocking out with his musical mates every night – they regularly ended their set to standing ovations: “They were the most fun shows to play; nothing beats that…but I can’t afford to take those fuckers to Edinburgh!” He laughs.

Music still played a part in his warm up shows last week, however – even if it’s now one man and his guitar. Dan’s cleverness in weaving together strange comedy and genuinely tuneful melodies is something that distinguishes him from his peers. He acknowledges that ‘comedy + music’ is a magical mixture which audiences lap up: “Even if the material isn’t that funny, it’s the combination of it being quite amusing, with music – the room just loves it.” Dan notes that the comedy community is still figuring out whether it’s a cheap trick to get easy laughs or a sophisticated comedic ploy that cleverly works an audience.

© Dave Brown

The Edinburgh Fringe can be something of an endurance test for artists – nearly 4 weeks of tough audiences, late nights and – sometimes – bitter critics. Dan recalls a particularly biting review of his 2005 Edinburgh show, in which he was awarded 1 star. The following year the same critic gave him 2 stars, perhaps in recognition that she had been immortalised, none too positively, in one of his songs. So does a poor review hurt?

“Bad reviews are no longer yesterday’s newspaper,” Dan explains. “They stick around on the Internet. Someone googles your name and that 1 star review is the third thing that comes up!”  He compares the power that the critics wield to that of Simon Cowell on X-Factor, “Except in print you don’t get the humour or charm you get on TV. It just comes across as vicious.” He sighs and smiles, “Aaah, I can’t wait!”

The Velvet Onion would like to thank Dan for taking the time to chat to us last week, and we wish him all the best for Edinburgh. Don’t forget that you can see show Me, My Selfie & I at The Pleasance Dome from 30th July to 24th August. For more information and to buy tickets take a look at this.

Besides his own show, Dan’s other recommendation for TVO readers heading to the Fringe is Every Loser Wins, a cabaret-based comedy featuring the lovely Kelly Wenham and Simon Salmon. Dan describes it as: “A character comedy show with silly and weird characters” and reckons fans of Boosh/Paul Foot humour will love it. To check it out for yourself, head on over here.

COMPETITION! Win Tickets to see Mathew Baynton, Elizabeth Berrington & Daniel Rigby in Holes!

7 Jul

The Velvet Onion is proud to be able to offer one lucky winner a pair of tickets to see Tom Basdens razor-sharp comedy play Holes at The Arcola Theatre this summer.

© Arcola Theatre 2014

© Arcola Theatre 2014

Starring Mathew Baynton (Horrible Histories, Yonderland, Gavin and Stacey), Elizabeth Berrington (Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, Psychoville, Doctor Who), and Daniel Rigby (Eric and Ernie, Black Mirror, Cardinal Burns), Holes is written by Tom Basden, who may be familiar to TVO veterans from his acting appearances in Star Stories, Hyperdrive and most recently, W1A.

Basden is also an award winning writer, with a Royal Television Society award under his belt, alongside three BAFTA nominations (including one for The Wrong Mans), a Fringe First Award and an Edinburgh Comedy Award.  Holes tells the story of four survivors of a plane crash, who don’t know where they are… or if anyone is coming to help them.

© Arcola Theatre 2014

© Arcola Theatre 2014

It’s an absurd, hilarious and fast-paced comedy, which saw rave reviews when it made its Edinburgh Fringe debut last year.  Now it reaches the Arcola Tent for a strictly limited run between 16th July and 9th August, directed by Phillip Breen (The Merry Wives of Windsor), who last worked with Basden on Party – a play which later became a much loved radio series featuring Anna Crilly and Katy Wix.

Thanks to our friends at The Arcola Theatre and AKA, The Velvet Onion is able to offer a pair of tickets to one lucky winner for a performance of their choosing.

To be in with a chance of winning, simply tell us the answer to the following question:

What is the name of the 2013 BAFTA-nominated sitcom which was co-written by and starred Mathew Baynton and Tom Basden?

Email your replies to competitions@thevelvetonion.com by 11:59pm on Sunday 13th July.

One winner will be picked at random, and contacted by AKA to arrange tickets for a Monday-Thursday performance of their choosing, subject to availability.  For more details, full terms and conditions are below.  Good luck!

If you don’t win, or just want to be sure you’ll see the show, tickets are available now, and you can find out more information about the production via their official website, Facebook and Twitter profiles.

This competition offers 1 pair of tickets for one performance of ‘Holes’ at The Arcola Theatre on a selected date between July 16th 2014 and August 9th 2014. Monday-Thursday performances only. The winning entry will be selected at random, from all who correctly answer the question: “What is the name of the 2013 BAFTA-nominated sitcom which was co-written by and starred Mathew Baynton and Tom Basden?”  The winner will be contacted via the email address they use to enter. Details will not be shared with any additional third parties beyond The Velvet Onion, The Arcola Theatre, AKA and the guest-list for the venue.
Only entries made to competitions@thevelvetonion.com 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, 13th July. This competition is being run entirely by The Velvet Onion, with prizes organised by The Arcola Theatre and AKA.  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. The winner must choose their preferred performance to attend prior to confirmation of their seats following discussion with AKA, and dates/performances cannot be changed.  The winner 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.

Ayoade On Ayoade

7 Jul

© Larry Busacca / Getty Images North America

Richard Ayoade has confirmed he is to release a book… about himself.

Ayoade on Ayoade is part autobiography, part self-depreciating, self-aggrandising satire.  As the man himself puts it:  Would it be too much to say that my somewhat-wry prose has changed the way the film community thinks about itself (and indeed how it thinks about the concept of community)?

No. It wouldn’t. In fact, it’s actually pretty insulting that this so-called ‘Community’ hasn’t done more to acknowledge (or even begin to repay) its undoubted debt to me.”

Captures the director, writer and comedian in his own words: pompous, vain, angry and very, very funny – Ayoade on Ayoade will be released in October, and is available to pre-order via The Velvet Onion Amazon Store now.

As per usual, buying from the TVO store helps keep the site afloat, so get your pre-orders in pronto! We’ll bring you more details as soon as we can, so stay peeled.

TVOers On Tour

7 Jul

tvoukWith the Edinburgh Festival looming, the time has come for preview season to hit the land, and a number of TVO regulars – some of which are usually confined to the London area – are out and about and possibly in your area!

First up, Dan Clark will be previewing his Edinburgh show Me, My Selfie And I in Darlington (Sunday 13th July) and Leicester (Tuesday 22nd July).  The continually touring Paul Foot will also be visiting Leicester (Wednesday 23rd July) and is at the Larmer Tree Festival next week (Friday 18th July) – as well as taking his Edinburgh show Paul Foot’s Hovercraft Symphony in Gammon Sharp Major on tour in the Autumn.

There’s a rare chance to see Sarah Kendall‘s Edinburgh show Touchdown as part of the Cambridge Comedy Festival on Sunday 20th July, whilst Aisling Bea (without an Edinburgh show this year, sadly) continues her near constant gig schedule with appearances at Latitude Festival the same weekend, and The Pheonix Fringe in London on August 7th.

Festival booking seems to be the in-thing at the moment – as Colin Hoult is rocking Camp Bestival between July 31st and August 1st in East Lulworth, and cheeky chappy Joey Page is at Milton Keynes Fringe on Sunday 20th July.  Meanwhile, King of Krazy Tony Law lets the good people of Tring enter the Tone-Zone on Sunday 13th July, the folks in Leicester on Wednesday 16th July, and lots of places across the land this Autumn.

This week also sees friend of TVO and frequent Rich Fulcher collaborator, Harry Deansway make a rare excursion to the North West – he’s performing at The King’s Arms in Salford on Thursday night, previewing his new show Harry Deansway is a Bit of a Character Android.  Tickets are available right now.

Parkinson & Eldon Join Crackanory Series 2

5 Jul

© Dave

Earlier this year we reported that anthology comedy Crackanory would be returning for a second series.

Series 1 included TVO regulars Sharon Horgan, Kevin Eldon, Tom Meeten, Steve Oram, Alex Kirk and John ‘Willie’ Hopkins on screen, whilst the score for the show was composed by Waen Shepherd and two episodes were directed by Gareth Tunley.

Like its predecessor, series 2 will be made and broadcast by UK freeview channel Dave, and will feature top drawer British comedians telling Jackanory style stories for grown ups.

So far, those confirmed for the new series include Vic Reeves, David Mitchell, Meera Syall, Warwick Davies, Ben Miller, Sue Perkins, Johnny Vegas, Ruby Wax – and Katherine Parkinson. Emilia Fox and Simon Callow will lend their voices to the series too, and it’s hoped that a performance by the legend that is Rik Mayall will also be shown.

Writers for the new series include Yonderland and Mitchell and Webb scriptwriter Toby Davies, Holly Walsh and Kevin Eldon, who will be authoring his second story for the show and will also make an appearance in another tale.

The new series will air on Dave in the Autumn.

Matt Cuts The Mustard

4 Jul

We reported a while ago, that Mustard Comedy Magazine had produced its last ever print copy, but that it would ‘live on’ in other forms, well the good news is that it did!

The magazine is now available as an app on iTunes. The first issue has been revamped and expanded, including an extended interview with Graham Linehan looking back on The IT Crowd, Father Ted and Black Books, plus his thoughts on Twitter, TV vs Movies and the possibility of writing for Dr Who.

So even if you own an original print copy of the magazine, there is plenty of new content to keep you interested. There’s no word on whether there will be an android version coming out yet, but we’ll let you know as soon as we do.

Matt Berry is a guest contributor to the magazine and you can hear him and his music in the trailer below:

 

Yonderland Returns!

3 Jul

© Sky

Yonderland, the fantasy comedy series featuring people and puppets (including Simon Farnaby in brilliantly evil form), is to return for a second series.

The first series from the makers of Horrible Histories ran in November 2013, generating critical acclaim and strong viewing figures. The new series will see the lead character and housewife/heroine, Debbie, battling to keep her family life and her role as savour of the world separate.

In case you missed it the first time round, it offers the perfect introduction to the world of silly surreal comedy for younger family members, whilst entertaining us adult folk too. This writer’s 9 year old is beside himself with joy about its return to our screens.

Lucy Lumsden, Sky’s Head of Comedy, has said of the recommission: “We’re delighted to be able to reunite the multi-talented Yonderland team for another series. Many more magical treats of silliness await”.

To find out more about the show, including clips and cast interviews, take a look at this on Sky’s website.

On Yer Bike, Tony!

3 Jul

Tony Law has become the new face of Halfords in a series of online films for the chain of bike shops.

He stars as a ‘bike whisperer’ in a campaign which went live on Halfords’ YouTube channel this week. The ads are shot in a documentary style and show Law interacting with real Halfords customers and staff while in character as The Bike Whisperer, a man who believes he can communicate with bikes.

The first film in the series is out and you can see it here:

Peacock Season: Edinburgh From the Comfort Of Your Sofa

3 Jul

© FMW Films

A wee while ago we mentioned that Peacock Season, the movie by and featuring James Wren, alongside a bevy of TVO-related comedians, would soon be available to view via Distrify, a site which allows you to buy films via social media. Well now it’s on there!

The film follows the story of advertising executive Keith Graham (Wren). When he’s fired from his job a chain of events leads to him taking a stand-up comedy show to the Edinburgh Festival.

This comedy about comedy was shot on location at the Festival and features a cast of festival veterans, including:

Dan Antopolski, Scott Capurro, Nina Conti, Rhys Darby, Justin Edwards, Felicity Wren, Pete Firman, Paul Foot, Richard Glover, Joy Gohring, Richard Herring, Adam Hills, Sammy J, Fergus March, Phil Nichol, Lucy Porter, Millie Reeves, Reece Shearsmith, Isy Suttie, Glenn Wool and James Wren himself.

To buy or rent the film and/or view the trailer visit this place.

Cook Gets Indie Minded

30 Jun

James Cook has been interviewed about his new album Adventures in Ausland by indie music website Indie Minded.

© Hudebniknihovna

In the interview, he talks about how he has evolved as a musician since becoming a solo artist, which are his favourite tracks on the new album, and what music he like to listen to when he’s not creating it himself.

Of his latest musical direction he says: “I think I have managed to completely distance myself from my previous work in NEMO now. ‘Arts & Sciences’ was somehow a hybrid of the electronics and pop sensibilities of my old band, NEMO, and the work i did with Anne Marie Kirby on ‘The Dollhouse’. This new album a step away from that into a new, hitherto uncharted, musical universe for me. They are still basically pop songs, but the tone, arrangements and concepts definitely come from a more lyrical approach.”

To read the interview in full visit Indie Minded here.

Adventures in Ausland is released on 31st July. For regular updates and Cook-flavoured news follow James on twitter.

Free Ralfe Band Download!

29 Jun
© ralfe band

© ralfe band

If you’re a fan of Ralfe Band, it’s your lucky day!

Not only is the video for the new single Cold Chicago Morning available to view, you can now download the single free, courtesy of Lauren Laverne’s MPFree service!

The video features the band playing in a house, interweaved with footage of a girl emerging from a wardrobe and wandering around the same house, which appears empty.

Remember there are more Ralfe Band CD’s, DVD’s  and vinyl available at  TVO store.

MPs Say No To Father Ted’s Lovely Horse

28 Jun

The Irish parliament has rejected a petition to make ‘My Lovely Horse’ from Father Ted Ireland’s official entry into next year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

The petition entitled “legislate to make ‘My Lovely Horse’ Ireland’s entry for Eurovision 2015” was formally submitted to the government last month by the intriguingly-named Mr Finn McCool. You can see the petition here.

The Oireachtas petitions committee considered the request this week but Pádraig Mac Lochlainn, the chairman, said the committee “didn’t have the musical expertise” it needed to consider the issue. Brilliant stuff!

Lovely Horse was part of the “A Song for Europe” episode of Father Ted – and we reckon it would be a dead cert for Eurovision success, given half a chance. For now, however, you can simply relive the video below:

Deep Breath For Wheatley’s Who

27 Jun

Legendary sci-fi smash hit Doctor Who returns to TV screens on August 23rd, and BBC One have confirmed the first episode – directed by Ben Wheatley will be a feature length special.

© BBC

© BBC

Entitled Deep Breath, the episode marks the full debut of Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth (proper) incarnation of The Doctor, alongside returning co-star Jenna Colman as Clara Oswald.

Wheatley – whose TVO credentials include his films A Field in England, Sightseers, Kill List and Down Terrace – has directed two episodes for the new series, including this opening episode, which features a cameo appearance by his regular collaborator Tony Way.

Also along for the ride this year in a later episode is Michael Smiley, who joins other big name guest stars Keeley Hawes, Frank Skinner and Foxes in the twelve-episode run.

We’ll bring you more news as we get it, but in the meantime, here’s a lovely new teaser trailer to keep your appetites whetted.

Noel Gets The Call

27 Jun

© BBC

Noel Fielding was a randomly chosen phone guest on Nick Grimshaw’s Radio 1 Breakfast Show this week, thanks to his placement in Serge Pizzorno’s phonebook.

The Kasabian axe-man and one half of Loose Tapestries was on the show to promote the former’s appearance at Glastonbury this weekend, in aid of their new album 48:13.  As part of a regular feature on the show, Grimshaw urged Serge to partake in a game of Call or Delete, and flicking through his contacts until Nick yelled stop, he landed upon our very own Captain Noelio.

The resulting conversation (and the pre-amble leading up to it) can be heard 8 minutes into the podcast you can find over yonder. Having called Noel ourselves a few times over the years, we can confirm that the chances of this being staged are very slim – he really is firing on all cylinders that early in the morning. Enjoy…

Walking on Sunshine… with Dinobots!

27 Jun

© LFI / Photoshot

Today sees the theatrical release of two big films featuring Ealing Live veterans.

The biggest of these is Michael Bay’s latest mega-budget sfx extravangaza, Transformers: Age of Extinction - starring Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Sophia Myles and our very own James Bachman as Gill Wembley.  The film sees those metal giants hunted down by the humans, and the rise of the Dinobots at last!

The film is released in most territories today, with UK release following next week, and much of Europe throughout July – for a full list of release dates, check out imdb.  Bachman and his wife attended the US première in New York City earlier this week, and pictures of the pair are all over Getty images if you’re thataway inclined.

Here in the UK, romantic musical comedy Walking on Sunshine (originally titled Holiday) finds its way into cinemas today, featuring Katy Brand as part of its ensemble cast, which also features former X-Factor winner Leona Lewis and Being Human star Annabel Scholey.  The feel good flick features a variety of 80s pop classics reworked to drive its ‘boy-meets-girl’ narrative along, including songs by Madonna, The Human League, Duran Duran and Roxette.

You can see trailers for both very different films below, and whilst there’s no news of a wide release for Walking on Sunshine across the world just yet, a handful of other countries have been announced, and we’ll bring you news of release in major territories should we find it.

 

Rose D’Or Awards Nominations

22 Jun

© Kuba Wieczorek

The nominees for the television, online and radio 2014 Rose d’Or were announced this week, and there are two TVO shows in the shortlist for Best Sitcom!

Toast of London (featuring Matt Berry) and Yonderland (from the Horrible Histories Team) are two of just three nominees in the Best Sitcom category.

Nearly 400 programmes from more than 100 broadcasters and production companies from all over the world were submitted for this year’s Rose d’Or awards, so to be shortlisted for an award is an achievement in itself!

The winners will be decided at the 53rd Rose d’Or Awards ceremony which will be held in Berlin on 17 September. For the full list of nominees, take a look at the Rose D’Or website.

Congratulations to all the nominees, and best of luck to ‘our lot’!

 

TVO Favourites In New Roles

22 Jun
© bbc.co.uk

© bbc.co.uk

This week has seen news of new roles for some TVO folk.

July sees the launch of nine new Comedy Feeds pilots exclusively on BBC iPlayer, with a cast including Aisling Bea and Katy Wix. The pilots will be available on iPlayer from 20 July.

Speaking about the Comedy Feeds, Shane Allen, Controller of BBC Comedy Commissioning, says: “This exciting range of shows and new talents cement BBC Three’s place as the key place for emerging comedy talent on and off-screen. With so many spin-off series springing from these, the Comedy Feeds show serious commitment to finding the next best writers, directors and faces of British comedy.”

This year’s Comedy Feeds include:

Fried
A new manager tries to motivate the staff of a fried chicken shop. Starring Katy Wix, Mandeep Dhillon, Simon Greenall and Imran Yusuf. Written by Jack and Harry Williams (Roman’s Empire, Full English, Bamboo). Produced by Sarah Hammond. Directed by Nick Collett. Executive Produced by Harry Williams and Jack Williams. A Two Brothers Pictures production.

Vodka Diaries
Four girls share a flat and get up to no good. Starring Aisling Bea, Cariad Lloyd, Rosamund Hanson and Gwyneth Keyworth. Written by Rachel Hirons (Powder Room). Produced by Iona Sweeney. Directed by James De Frond. Executive Produced by Lawrence Bowen. A Feelgood Fiction production.

Otherworld
Surreal sketch show set in an alternative universe populated by puppets. Written by Mongrels’ Adam Miller and Nico Tatarowicz. Produced by Chris May. Directed by Adam Miller. Executive Produced by Helen Williams. Hat Trick Productions.

The other Comedy Feeds will be Josh –  Sitcom based on the stand up of Josh Widdicombe, In Deep, Parents Evening, Flat TV. Rude Boys and Access all Areas with Jenny Bede.

In other news Aisling Bea is also joining the cast of Sky 1’s hit supermarket based comedy Trollied, as Charlotte, the hopeless daughter of the owner of Valco.

We have also heard that Tony Way will be a guest in the much-anticipated new Matt Lucas visual comedy Pompidou, which started shooting this week and will be aired in early 2015. The show stars Lucas as Pompidou, who has fallen on hard times and lives in a caravan outside his dilapidated estate, with his faithful butler Hove (Alex MacQueen) and Marion, an elegant Afghan Hound.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,422 other followers