Channel 4 have released more details of their Funny Fortnight next month, which features more than a smattering of TVO regulars and influences.
Over 30 hours of programming across two weeks of television, the season promises brand new shows, excellent stand up and familiar faces staging their returns to the channel.
A new video preview over on the Channel 4 press website showcases highlights from some of the channel’s flagship shows, and offers an exclusive look at a number of exciting specials.
Amongst these new shows is Bad Sugar – written by Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong of Peep Show and Four Lions fame. It combines three of comedy’s biggest names of the moment – Julia Davis, Sharon Horgan and Olivia Colman, and centres on a dysfunctional, wealthy mining dynasty, with an ailing patriarch and some greedy siblings.
The show also stars David Bradley, Peter Serafinowicz, Kayvan Novak and Reece Shearsmith, and it’s producer is Derren Schlesinger – who was previously responsible for both Four Lions and Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy. Undoubtedly one of the most exciting shows on telly in some time, this Tiger Aspect Productions show has real potential to be a smash hit.
Also set to première is Toast Of London, the new sitcom pilot by Matt Berry and Father Ted/Big Train creator Arthur Matthews. Matt stars as successful actor Steven Toast, who has recently made a career faux pass by electing to star in a controversial west end stage play.
Recently divorced, and attacked in the street by members of appalled public, the previously much loved actor auditions for a role in the long running television series, Inspector Somerset. However, it’s producer (played by the legendary Geoffrey McGivern) has been imprisoned for racial chanting on set, so Toast auditions for the part of a gay corrupt detective during prisoner’s visiting time. Made by Objective Productions, we’re keen to see if this show lives up to its potential.
Other new shows include: Them From That Thing – a two part sketch show featuring Kayvan Novak, Sally Phillips and many more, co-written by one Charlie Brooker; The Function Room – a traditional looking sitcom featuring the likes of Reece Shearsmith, Kevin Eldon, Simon Day and James Fleet; Lucky Sexy Winners – a new panel show from Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer; Very Terry – a Phonejacker spin off from Kayvan Novak focusing on car salesman Terry Tibbs; Harry Hill: The Reunion – in which the madcap comic seeks out the cast of his old Channel 4 show to find out “where are they now?”; The Boyle Variety Performance – a spoof of the annual royal-attended show from Frankie Boyle; Just Around The Corner – from the creators of Drop The Dead Donkey; and I’m Spazticus – a prank show featuring disabled performers which has been seven years in development since its pilot aired in 2005.
And that’s not all! As we previously reported, Channel 4 are counting down their 30 Greatest Comedy Shows, which will feature the Onion flavoured vehicles Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, The IT Crowd, Brass Eye, Father Ted, Star Stories, Spaced, Black Books, and Friday Night Dinner.
These classics will be up against the likes of The Comic Strip Presents, Vic Reeves’ Big Night Out, The Adam & Joe Show, Da Ali G Show, Trigger Happy TV, Pheonix Nights, Bo’ Selecta!, Peep Show, Green Wing and The Inbetweeners and more.
The channel have also turned to the writers of classic shows to name their favourite episodes, which will air across the fortnight. These include Graham Linehan‘s favourite ever The IT Crowd and Father Ted; Chris Morris‘s legendary Brass Eye; mockumentary series Star Stories which featured Fergus Craig, Alice Lowe, Tom Meeten, Laura Patch, Rhys Thomas and Dolly Wells in it’s expansive cast; plus episodes of Spaced, The Inbetweeners, Peep Show and Vic Reeves Big Night Out.
There’s also a chance to catch tv premieres of live shows from Alan Carr, Peter Kay, Lee Evans and Micky Flanagan, plus the early and rare Vic & Bob special The Weekenders, Harry Endfield one-off Norbert Smith: A Life and Peter Cook’s interview with Clive Anderson, plus editions of Comedy Labs featuring Dynamo, Peter Kay, Karl Pilkington and TVO’s very own Anna And Katy! Plus we’ll still have The Midnight Beast featuring Simon Farnaby every Thursday too!
Phew – we think we’ll need a lie-down after all that! Exciting times indeed. We’ll aim to bring you a complete run-down of exactly when each show will air as soon as possible, so stay peeled. In the mean time, check out the video preview over on the Channel 4 press website – and you can pick up a string of Channel 4 classics in The Velvet Onion Amazon Store.