Welcome to The Velvet Onion – the central hub for an interconnected range of alternative comedy and more. Click through for the LATEST NEWS, and see what’s so hot right now below.
LOVE IN RECOVERY
This week sees the launch of a brilliant new radio 4 comedy drama, Love in Recovery, featuring a top-notch cast of astronomical star status, including our very own Paul Kaye.
The show is written by Pete Jackson and inspired by his own road to recovery, following the lives of five very different recovering alcoholics: plain-speaking and fun-loving Julie (Sue Johnson, The Royal Family), sarcastic and beleaguered journalist Simon (John Hannah, A Touch of Cloth), kind and naive group leader Andy (Eddie Marsan, The World’s End), snobby and spikey ex-banker Fiona (Rebecca Front, Psychobitches) and dodgy geezer with a heart of gold Danno (Paul Kaye).
They are joined by Marion (Julia Deakin, Spaced), the cleaner of the church hall where the show is set, as the group get to know each other, learn to hate each outer, argue, moan, laugh, fall apart, fall in love and tell their stories.
You can hear Episode One at 11:15pm this Wednesday evening on BBC Radio 4, with the episode available on iPlayer shortly after transmission.
THE CARNIVAL RETURNS
Not content with bouncing five instalments of fried comedic gold at us each week via his YouTube channel, the eternally hard-working Colin Hoult returns to BBC Radio 4 this week with the long-awaited second series of Carnival of Monsters.
The show features a combination of new material and vintage pieces from Colin’s seminal Edinburgh shows, and reunites the team behind those via supporting artists Stephen Evans, Dan Snelgrove and Zoe Gardner.
Once more produced by Sam Bryant (Alice’s Wunderland, I Regress), Carnival of Monsters features several of our favourites: Andy Parker, Anna Mann, Eddie Cortinez… you name it, they’re here, all as monstrous yet oddly delightful as ever.
The show will be available on iPlayer after transmission on Wednesday at 11pm, and you can also catch up with the latest videos from Colin’s YouTube channel over yonder.
THE COUNT AND THE CRIMS
Two new series appear on our tellyboxes this week, with the return of Count Arthur Strong and new BBC Three sitcom Crims.
The former, Count Arthur Strong, has been given a big boost of support from the BBC – with the show being promoted to BBC One in the perennial Mrs Browns Boys slot of 10:35pm. Written once again by star Steve Delaney and IT Crowd head honcho Graham Linehan, the show polarised audiences in its first season two years ago, but a more mainstream timeslot may just see it find its audience at last.
In the first episode, the former variety star and his former showbiz partner’s son stage a heist to retrieve a salacious manuscript of Arthur’s semi autobiographical novel. Rory Kinnear and Chris Rhyman co-star, and you can see Episode One on Tuesday evening.
Over on BBC Three, brand new prison based comedy Crims launches this Thursday, in which cult standup Elis George and newcomer Kadiff Karwan star as two hapless friends who find themselves in a robbery situation and get sent to prison for 600 days.
Surrounded by guards and inmates even more stupid than them, the duo must use all their wits to stay out of trouble… except they don’t really have any.
Written by former Mongrels writer – and amazing musical standup – Adam Kay, alongside former Grandma’s House writer Dan Swimer, the show also features Cariad Lloyd (Cardinal Burns), Ricky Champ (Dead Boss) and a brilliant guest appearance in Episode Two by former Doctor Who star Sylvester McCoy.
Former Big Train star Tracey Ann Oberman also features in Episode Four, and from what we’ve seen of the show, it’s a gloriously ridiculous sitcom that we think will be right up your street.
We’ll have an exclusive interview with Adam Kay for you later this week, and you can catch Episode One on Thursday night at 10pm over on BBC Three.
GLOVER IN THE WOOD
This Friday sees the UK release of Disney’s blockbuster musical Into the Woods, and if you’ve been watching the trailers, you may have spotted a TVO face in the midsts of it all.
The film stars Meryl Street, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Tracy Ullman and Johnny Depp – as well as our very own Richard Glover as The Steward.
Based on the hit musical by Stephen Sondheim, Into the Woods will give us another chance to hear the delightful Mr Glover’s singing voice on the big screen, which we’re sure he’s loving! Already out in US cinemas, the film can be seen in the UK from the end of this week.
AND THE REST…
As always, here’s some of the news you may have missed during the last week, via our Twitter feed. We’ll see you again next Monday, and throughout the week for more news, reviews and interviews. Keep on peeling!