Press Clippings

Here is a collection of the latest previews, reviews and articles related to British comedy which have been published by newspapers and blogs from around the world. Don't forget to look at our news section for the significant stories - these won't be repeated here.

This is mainly related to TV and radio. For stand-up etc see our live press page and Edinburgh Fringe press page.

The book has taken two years to write by hand, although he tells me "The thing that takes the time is trying to think of something that you think is worth saying, and then the way that you like to put it down is totally secondary."

Written by Alex Cartlidge. Varsity, 31st October 2014

Liberal shows like Mock The Week just can't understand why UKIP has so many supporters. The fact that 4.4m people voted for UKIP at the European Elections baffles the media's elites.

Written by Nigel Farage. The Independent, 31st October 2014

The Missing Hancocks

I'm guessing I wasn't the only one who died a little at the thought of this programme. While the discovery of lost episodes is intriguing, the thought of another actor stepping into a hero's shoes usually fills fans with dread -- especially when that hero is the still very much-loved Tony Hancock.

That said, Kevin McNally is quite wonderful here as The Lad himself in this first of five episodes re-recorded to mark the 60th anniversary of Hancock's Half-Hour. Producers Ed Morrish and Neil Pearson have resisted the urge to tinker even slightly with the script and it's testament to the genius of writers Galton and Simpson that the words still sparkle.

Tony Peters, Radio Times, 31st October 2014


Those who were offended by the childish "poo and willies" humour of a recent QI won't be thrilled to hear mention of male and female genitalia, pubic hair and prostitution in tonight's edition. But not to tune in would mean missing some genuinely laugh-out-loud moments, including Alan Davies wearing antique glasses for those with poor peripheral vision. You'd also miss Stephen Fry apoplectic with embarrassment at having accidentally described Jo Brand as an ignorant pig. And you wouldn't know how impossible it is to twirl your right foot clockwise while trying to draw a six in the air with your right hand. Bet you're trying to do that right now.

Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 31st October 2014

The Graham Norton Show

Oscar-winners Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway are on the sofa tonight to discuss their latest film: Interstellar, a space adventure of galactic proportions (it's nearly three hours long). Unlike in, respectively, Dallas Buyers Club and Les Misérables, their roles in this didn't require them to crash-diet - just to save an environmentally devastated Earth by travelling through a wormhole in space to find humankind a new home.

Hopefully making us feel less paranoid about the future are Graham's other guests - Lena Dunham, the creator of cult show Girls, and comedian Micky Flanagan.

Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 31st October 2014

Not Going Out

If you like your smut applied not with a trowel but with a cement mixer, then you're going to be in heaven as the innuendo- and entendre-festooned gags simply don't stop.

The supply is inexhaustible because slacker Lee (Lee Mack) is at the epicentre of that beloved comedy set-up, the bloke donating his sperm. You might have to cover your ears and put granny in the porch for half an hour when the long-suffering Lucy, desperate for a baby, asks her friend and flatmate to help her.

It will surprise no one to learn that the opportunity to crack that old chestnut "pull out at the last minute" is given an airing in an episode that's as coarse as cardboard.

Alison Graham, Radio Times, 31st October 2014

Citizen Khan

I know, Citizen Khan is puerile and silly, and possibly promotes unhelpful stereotypes. I'm in no position to comment on the latter (Khan is created and played by British Muslim Adil Ray), but in comedy terms, I love its old-school innocence.

Khan is every fumbling sitcom man-child since Terry Scott in Terry and June (which Citizen Khan resembles), a buffoon surrounded by sensible women. There is nothing sophisticated here, it's not Veep or Modern Family.

This is a very British comedy. Khan gets into scrapes because of his own stupidity, arrogance or overweening ego. He tries to get out of them, and digs himself deeper into the mud. It's a pantomime and its laughs are broad.

In the first of a new series, Khan tries to stop his wife's mother from going to live in a care home. But only because he thinks she's worth £25,000.

Alison Graham, Radio Times, 31st October 2014

A British comedian has won the praise of Nigel Farage for slamming TV comics as politically correct liberals. Ava Vidal, (who also took exception to his views on female and ethnic comedians) explains why right-wing jokers are no longer popular.

Written by Ava Vidal. The Daily Telegraph, 30th October 2014

It's a truth universally acknowledged that his detractors have always made perfect sense.

Written by Mark Steel. The Independent, 30th October 2014


Mackenzie Crook's sitcom has saved its sparkliest treasures for those who stick around to earn them.

Written by Ellen E. Jones. The Independent, 30th October 2014

Daniel Sloss and Tom Stade are to create a 'very offensive' online sitcom. M.U.F.F is set in the offices of a morally bankrupt, hugely successful company making 'some of the most generic, hack, borderline offensive, shit TV shows that are obviously lapped up by the adoring public'. The pair are seeking crowd funding via the Indiegogo website - but say they will make the six-part series even if they fall short of the £25,000 target.

Chortle, 30th October 2014

Micky Flanagan has opened up about his wild past before he hit the big time as one of Britain's most successful comedians. The 52-year-old stand-up star admitted he was a 'product of a generation' that embraced a care-free party lifestyle when he was a teenager growing up in London's East End.

Written by Steve Myall. The Daily Mirror, 30th October 2014

On the 2nd November 1954 on the BBC Home Service Tony Hancock made his debut in a radio show called Hancock's Half Hour, written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson it became a huge hit with audiences and is widely regarded as Britain's first sitcom. Six years earlier tom other well known writers Frank Muir and Denis Nordan had written a radio comedy series Take It From Here.

British Classic Comedy, 30th October 2014

Terry Mynott on Assassins Creed Unity celebrity co-op, David Attenborough and filling in for Dumbledor.

Written by Danny Walker. Daily Mirror, 30th October 2014

Still Game

Still Game will film an exclusive sketch for this year's BBC Children in Need Appeal.

Written by Rick Fulton. Daily Record, 30th October 2014


If you've liked Detectorists from the off, you'll realise you love it after this. Ruminative and picturesque throughout, the series has unravelled its treasures as it's progressed, minting warm laughs from its character quirks. And it's so attractively filmed, if it doesn't inspire you to walk in the country, nothing will.

Till now Lance (deliciously underplayed by Toby Jones) has given the impression he's not the full shilling; now, in one of several riveting, unhurried scenes, he shows what a sharp cookie he's been all along.

It's an episode of revelations and decisions. Bleeping brilliant.

Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 30th October 2014

Welcome To Our Village, Please Invade Carefully

I know a writer who recently told his dad it took him about four months to write a one-hour script. His dad's response: 'You should learn to touch-type.'

Written by Eddie Robson. BBC Writersroom Blog, 29th October 2014

Beloved veteran actor Leslie Phillips has returned home from hospital, after having made a remarkable recovery following a stroke. The 90-year-old collapsed on a crowded bus while on a shopping trip on London's Oxford Street nine weeks ago, causing nationwide concern over his health. However, the British icon has now left hospital and is now back at home with his wife Zara after successfully regaining his powers of speech.

Written by Lucy Mapstone. Mail Online, 29th October 2014

These days the term "Whitehall farce" suggests headlines of bungling bureaucracy or some government cock-up. It's largely forgotten that the term nods to the theatre at the other end of the famous thoroughfare. From 1950, the Whitehall Theatre housed five long-running comic plays and in so doing made its name synonymous with the sub-genre.

Written by Ben Venables. Londonist, 29th October 2014

I knew this day was coming. It is no secret that people are starting to kick off about that lack of diversity in comedy. In my job I am basically considered an alien. If you are not male, white, middle class, heterosexual or British you are quickly resigned to the 'other' section. Sound familiar? Now I am not going to say I have not reaped the benefits of a market saturated with hundreds very similar guys. Because I have. That is how 'supply and demand' works. The shorter the supply, the higher the demand. However, I will not be told that the only reason I am where I am today is because of 'surreal' diversity targets as the recent rant by Andrew Lawrence suggests.

Written by Dana Alexander. The Huffington Post, 29th October 2014

Katy Brand is a massively successful comedian and writer who has dipped her toes in virtually every water: she's worked as a stand up, appeared in films and countless television shows, had her own television series, written for newspapers and, most recently, written and published a novel. Here is a woman of obvious ability who is keen to push her own limits to achieve many exciting things and judging by her rich and varied career so far, we can only assume that there will be great things to come from this wonderful and talented comedy-machine.

Written by Becca Moody. Moody Comedy, 29th October 2014

Micky Flanagan has given an update about his plans to star in a sitcom. The stand-up comedian first announced his hopes to lead a new comedy series last year, and has now said that he wants to find the right script.

Written by Tom Eames. Digital Spy, 29th October 2014

Plans for an "Eric Morecambe Day" and a sculpture of him with comic partner Ernie Wise have been proposed after his statue in his home town was vandalised.

BBC News, 28th October 2014

The Missing Hancocks

On the 2 November 1954, a 30-year-old comedian named Tony Hancock embarked on his first starring vehicle for BBC radio, Hancock's Half Hour, scripted by two writers aged only in their twenties, Ray Galton and Alan Simpson.

Written by Andrew Roberts. The Independent, 28th October 2014

Andrew Lawrence, Frankie Boyle and Dara O Briain have traded insults on Twitter.

British Comedy Guide, 28th October 2014

Toast Of London

The Matt Berry lookalike and star of Channel 4's Toast of London takes us through the great actors who inspired him, from Omar Sharif to Nick Clegg.

The Guardian, 28th October 2014

Citizen Khan

While BBC comedy Citizen Khan is set in Birmingham, it has all been filmed in Salford and Greater Manchester for the new series starting on Friday.

Written by Dianne Bourne. The Manchester Evening News, 28th October 2014

Russell Brand has decided that he's "tedious with his heterosexuality" and wishes he were bisexual. Oh, and he's denying all those Mayor London rumours...

Written by Caroline Frost. The Huffington Post, 28th October 2014

Puppy Love

A new television sitcom is breaking the taboo of working with animals. Puppy Love, which begins on BBC Four on 13 November, is based around canine obedience classes. Writers and stars Joanna Scanlan and Vicki Pepperdine spoke to BBC Breakfast about why they wanted real dog owners and their untrained pets to appear in the programme.

BBC News, 28th October 2014

Toast Of London

Matt Berry really could keep you hooked by reading the telephone directory.

Written by Bruce Dessau. Beyond the Joke, 28th October 2014



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