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.

Jason Manford has warned anyone selling their house "don't mess with me", after the price of a luxury home fell by £500,000 when he joked it would be the perfect pad for comic book hero Iron Man.

Written by Steve White. The Mirror, 23rd July 2014

Blackadder star Tony Robinson is throwing his weight behind a scheme bringing new life to Uttoxeter Canal.

Uttoxeter Post and Times, 23rd July 2014

The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

The Astrosaurs author explains how Douglas Adams' novels and Doctor Who scripts taught him the meaning of science fiction comedy.

Written by Steve Cole. The Guardian, 23rd July 2014

The Mimic

The first series of The Mimic ended with our copycat hero Martin (Terry Mynott) hiding in the toilet, paralysed by stage fright and unable to face the television cameras that could have propelled him to stardom.

Series two of Channel 4's sweet, gentle and understated comedy finds him back on the bottom rung of showbusiness, busking in the local shopping precinct, facing competition from a violinist and a human statue.

Anyone expecting to guffaw will be disappointed, but The Mimic's combination of the consistently amusing and irresistibly engaging should put a large smile on most faces.

And then, of course, there are Martin's uncanny impersonations. Episode one treated us to Walter and Jesse from Breaking Bad, two variations of Harry Potter's headteacher Dumbledore, Morgan Freeman as the Hobbit and the Imp from Game of Thrones, who, it was pointed out, sounds a bit like Victor Meldrew. An observation I sincerely hope I can forget before the fantasy drama's next series, or it will never be the same.

Harry Venning, The Stage, 23rd July 2014

People Just Do Nothing

Just when you think the whole comedy documentary format has had every last laugh wrung out of it, along comes BBC3's People Just Do Nothing with a take that is fresh, original and very funny.

The four-part series centres upon Kurupt FM, "the biggest and baddest pirate station in the land", operating out of a high-rise council flat in Brentford, west London, and broadcasting all the way to Shepherd's Bush, west London, where it dissolves into white noise.

The station's leader is garage "legend" MC Grindah (Allan Mustafa), a man whose self-importance is in inverse proportion to his self-awareness. Like all the best comedy monsters, Grindah is a combination of the desperately pitiful and the truly appalling, a strutting motormouth forever spewing cliches, bombast and delusion to anybody stupid enough to listen. This is largely limited to his mate and co-presenter DJ Beats (Hugo Chegwin), cronies Decoy and Steves (Dan Sylvester Woolford and Steve Stamp), local entrepreneur Chabuddy G (Asim Chaudhry) and, further fanning the flames of Grindah's rampant ego, an off-screen BBC documentary team earnestly trying to capture the authentic voice of the streets.

We also get to meet Grindah's girlfriend Miche (Lily Brazier), whose epically inane ramblings include the dismissal of her boyfriend's criminal convictions as "silly little things, like GBH and hate crime".

Episode one saw Kurupt FM trying to soundproof their walls with egg boxes following threats from a neighbour to report them to the council. Grindah is alert to the danger such an eventuality poses to both the station's secret location and their very existence as musical outlaws. "The government works for the council," he explains to his equally dim cohorts.

The set-up is original, the execution clever, the characters rich and the acting superb. From many wonderful moments, my favourite has to be Chabuddy G proudly showing off his latest money-making scheme: bags of peanut dust, everybody's favourite when all the peanuts have gone.

Harry Venning, The Stage, 23rd July 2014

She was an idealistic MP in The Thick Of It. Here, Rebecca Front talks about the 'catwalk Cabinet' and her own inner demons.

Written by Peter Stanford. The Telegraph, 23rd July 2014

Absolutely Fabulous

Jennifer Saunders, the Absolutely Fabulous writer, wants everyone who has ever appeared in the BBC series to have a role in the film version.

Written by Tim Walker. The Telegraph, 23rd July 2014

The Mimic

Sending the characters in your downbeat sitcom to rock bottom carries the risk that the whole show will become suffocatingly sad. We're dipping into that rut a couple of times tonight as jobless, hopeless impressionist Martin (Terry Mynott) says goodbye to his grief-stricken son and quarrels with his equally lacklustre soulmate Jean (Jo Hartley). Martin's even doing the same old Wogan and Attenborough routines over and over.

The show just about veers back from the edge. As usual Neil Maskell does the heavy lifting as Neil the paranoid newsagent, who this week fears that oestrogen in soya milk is giving him moobs. When Neil and Martin go double-dating and Martin meets a woman who enjoys celebrity voices, writer Matt Morgan indulges in a comic set piece he must have had up his sleeve from the start. It was worth waiting for.

Jack Seale, The Radio Times, 23rd July 2014

Monty Python Live (Mostly)

While it has been 45 years since they first appeared on the BBC with Monty Python's Flying Circus, the group's 40th anniversary of their U.S. television premiere on KERA (PBS/Dallas) is coming up this October.

Written by Bill Young. Tellyspotting, 23rd July 2014

Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy

As his surreal comedy series returns to E4, Noel Fielding tells James Rampton why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for The Boosh.

Written by James Rampton. The Independent, 23rd July 2014

The Mimic

Life's looking bleak for Martin, with no job, ants living in his broadband router and his son Steven heading off travelling. Still, there's always a trip to the Build-A-Ted workshop with newly-dumped Neil to cheer him up. When Jean sets him up with Harriet from her soulsercise class, Martin's on to a winner even though Neil insists on coming with him on the double date. His Kermit the frog impression is a hit with his new love interest, and there's a nicely freaky bedroom scene to cement their strange night of lust.

Hannah Verdier, The Guardian, 23rd July 2014

Dead Ringers

The impressions show will return to Radio 4 with the new Doctor and Sherlock up for ridicule alongside the residents of Downton Abbey.

Written by Ben Dowell. The Radio Times, 22nd July 2014

The IT Crowd

Joel McHale, the star of Community and The Soup explains how his cancelled version of The IT Crowd could have heralded an age of intergalactic peace.

Written by Jonathan Holmes. The Radio Times, 22nd July 2014

The irony was not lost on Tommy Mundon when he was forced to retire after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. After a five-year battle with this most cruel of illnesses, the king of Black Country comedy has died, four months after celebrating his 80th birthday.

Express and Star, 22nd July 2014

The Alternative Comedy Experience

Analysing comedy, according to the cliché, is like dissecting a frog: no one laughs and the frog dies. One thing that distinguishes comedians from television critics is that they are above using clichés. Another is that they can talk about the craft with authority, and make it funny, too.

This episode of the excellent stand-up showcase gets into the nitty-gritty of how comedy works: compering, writing new jokes, getting over "the fear" and trying to make strangers laugh. From Susan Calman's sparkly enthusiasm to Josie Long's awsh-gosh awkwardness to Kevin Eldon's utter mania, each has their own technique. The material is brilliant, but so too are Stewart Lee's backstage interviews. Keep watching through the credits for the answer to whether you should drink before stepping on stage.

Jonathan Holmes, Radio Times, 22nd July 2014

Kevin Bridges Live At...

This stage show, Kevin Bridges Live at the Commonwealth (BBC One), announces from curtain up that it'll be a fusion of comedy and Commonwealth even though, as he points out, Glasgow hasn't done so well with the wealth part recently, but we're still great at being common.

Written by Julie McDowall. The Herald, 22nd July 2014

Russell Brand has shelved plans for a third installment of his best-selling My Booky Wook autobiography series after getting serious with girlfriend Jemima Khan.

Written by Hannah Hope. The Mirror, 21st July 2014

People Just Do Nothing

The fact that none of us had ever acted or written before never felt like a problem.

Written by Steve Stamp. BBC Writersroom, 21st July 2014

Monty Python Live (Mostly)

Monty Python Live (Mostly) was always going to be a mild disappointment, because everyone's favourite memories of the troupe are from 30-40 years ago, but as a celebration of the Python name it worked very well. It felt good to see them all together, one final time, having fun, giving the fans what they came to see. It could have been a lot better with more thought and fresh material, and had the slight whiff of a cash-grab because it felt a bit lazy at times... but, during the inevitable "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" climactic sing-along, after which the Pythons linked hands and bowed to the 15,000-strong audience (plus the millions of others watching around the world), I was suddenly moved.

Written by Dan Owen. Dan's Media Digest, 21st July 2014

Monty Python Live (Mostly)

Monty Python's final live show scored record ratings for Gold on Sunday (July 20), according to overnight data. The show at London's O2 Arena brought in an average audience of 597,000 viewers (2.9%) from 7.30pm.

Digital Spy, 21st July 2014

Virtually Famous

The host of Channel 4's new panel show Virtually Famous is ditching his musical theatre roots for Britain's dry sense of humour...

Written by Susanna Lazarus. The Radio Times, 21st July 2014

A production company, part-owned by David Walliams and Miranda Hart, has signed a deal with BBC Worldwide to send its shows round the globe.

BBC News, 21st July 2014

I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue

Innuendo has a long, illustrious history in British comedy - as Jack Dee's critics should know.

Written by Shazia Mirza. The Guardian, 20th July 2014

Monty Python Live (Mostly)

Watching the livestream of Monty Python's last ever performance on GOLD, it was impossible not to experience a tingle of sadness.

Written by Ed Power. The Telegraph, 20th July 2014

'Allo 'Allo!

Playing the role of Yvette was, as Gordon Kaye, my late co-star said, my pension. We weren't paid that well for the actual filming - around £220 per episode with only 10 per cent increases on fee year-on-year until we all stuck together and said we wanted to be paid more. Now I get money from the repeats but it is very variable.

Written by Roz Lewis. The Telegraph, 20th July 2014

Dad's Army

Did you watch Dad's Army and if so how much can you remember from the timeless classic?

The Mirror, 19th July 2014

Vodka Diaries

The words 'too much information' are lost on Rachel Hirons, the brilliantly funny writer of The Vodka Diaries, a new BBC sitcom that's not for the faint hearted.

Written by Lydia Slater. The Telegraph, 19th July 2014

The Alternative Comedy Experience

The comedian on positive discrimination, causing offense, and who he currently rates on the stand-up circuit.

Written by Charlotte Philby. The Independent, 19th July 2014

In Deep

I've made it no secret on here that I'm a big fan of Ashley Walters (Top Boy) and Adam Deacon (Kidulthood, Adulthood, Anuvahood, Babylon) so when I saw that the two of them were in a comedy together, I couldn't wait to see it. And luckily, when I did. it didn't disappoint. In Deep is easily my favourite out of all the pilots, and what I love is that before you're able to jump to the conclusion that In Deep sounds a bit like the title of a porn film, they do that for you in the opening scene - "Mate, it sounds like a porno. Cut the bullshit. This is about us. Two bored constables going nowhere. And it started in a Hyundai..."

Written by Elliot Gonzalez. I Talk Telly, 19th July 2014

Ruth Jones receives MBE at Windsor Castle but doubts Queen has seen Gavin & Stacey.

The Mirror, 18th July 2014

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