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.


Britain's metal-detecting diggers come under the spotlight in a new TV comedy series, but are they happy?

Written by Christopher Middleton. The Telegraph, 19th September 2014

Big School

Ofsted inspection tomorrow: an announcement that scares the teaching staff at Greybridge School more than most. And with good reason - the most positive comment in the entire report is that the school has an adequate number of bins.

You can see exactly where this episode is going even before chemistry teacher Mr Church dresses up as a hydrogen atom (but looks more like a sperm) and Miss Postern makes a lame attempt at playing Le Bingo (she forgot to tell the class the numbers were in French). But Frances de la Tour is as wonderful as ever, especially after she samples the drugs she has confiscated from a pupil.

Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 19th September 2014


People who have reached their 60s are like teenagers, apparently. No kids to look after, no job to get up for and no responsibilities - they can do whatever they like, enjoy themselves... go mad. For Joyce and the gang that means a weekend at a ghastly holiday camp where the Searchers are playing and everyone turns in by ten o'clock. Not exactly a drug-fuelled rave. But at least Carol is having fun because she has bumped into an old friend (played by George Layton).

Boomers has had a mixed reception, with some older viewers identifying with the gentle humour while others are insulted by what they perceive as ageist stereotyping and creaky gags.

Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 19th September 2014

Would I Lie To You?

When Would I Lie to You? takes off, there's nothing like it. You get to a point where everyone in the studio is having such a high old time ribbing each other, they've almost forgotten they're on a panel show - and there are a few of those in this cracker of a show.

Bruno Tonioli is trying to convince us (and David Mitchell) that he once caused a fire while making pasta for Bananarama, whereupon Rob Brydon runs with it and does an impression of Bruno choreographing Bananarama that stops the show for a while. Then when Bruno tries to mock Mitchell's long-winded style, the comeback is pure joy.

Elsewhere, Adam Buxton maintains he has arguments with his partner via Skype and Kirsty Wark recalls a tiff with Jeremy Paxman over his Snoopy mug.

David Butcher, Radio Times, 19th September 2014

Big School

A team of Ofsted inspectors arrives at Greybridge secondary, and that means the teaching staff need to temporarily go about their everyday educational duty with an added sheen of competence. With Mr Church explaining the concept of hydrogen using a gossamer-thin bodysuit and Miss Postern mistaking Ofsted for a charity, the odds are stacked against a positive outcome. Luckily, headmistress Baron is on hand to deliver an air of professionalism. Well, just as soon as she's wafted the whiff of Acapulco gold out of her office.

Mark Jones, The Guardian, 19th September 2014


The Boomers are off to a 60s weekender in the final episode. Disaster inevitably strikes: first when a double booking forces them to share rooms, and then when Carol (Paula Wilcox) bumps into an old flame at the bar. Joyce (Alison Steadman) steals the show with plenty of one-liners, including one about a man who nailed his penis to a block of "two-be-four", but generally the ensemble cast's attempts to prove they're not really that old raise a load of wry smiles.

Hannah Verdier, The Guardian, 19th September 2014

Scotland In A Day

You've heard the British nations compared to a divorcing couple, but you haven't this pop cultural twist: "The wife's sister's smashed us in the face with a handbag and when that happens, I tell you, it's time to get out of the lift."

Written by Ellen E Jones. The Independent, 18th September 2014


Misfits will likely not receive a movie spinoff, according to cast member Antonia Thomas.

Written by Justin Harp. Digital Spy, 18th September 2014

Rory Bremner laments the death of satire, saying television viewers are "distracted" by the "bread and circus" of The Great British Bake Off and Tumble.

Written by Hannah Furness. The Daily Telegraph, 18th September 2014

Goodness Gracious Me and The Kumars writer and actress joins David Tennant, Olivia Colman and the cast of the much-awaited new series of the ITV drama.

Written by Ben Dowell. The Radio Times, 18th September 2014

Can't Tell Nathan Caton Nothing

Families can be the toughest critics. As Can't Tell... returns for a third series, Grandma Caton is still waiting for award-winning comedian Nathan to get a proper job. This stand-up/sitcom is an odd beast. A hybrid of Seinfeld and Simon Amstell's Grandma's House, it cuts between the West Indian comic's stand-up routines and the domestic squabbles that inspire them.

It's more "endearing" than "laugh-out-loud funny", but Can't Tell... remains a refreshing counterpoint to the rest of Radio 4's comedy output: Caton wryly describes his presence on the station as "a bit like 50 Cent making an appearance on Midsomer Murders."

Tristram Fane Saunders, Radio Times, 18th September 2014

Scotland In A Day

While BBC One (10.35pm) and ITV (10.40pm) devote themselves to the serious business of the referendum results, Channel 4 has something more playful under its kilt, a somewhat scrappy mockumentary following Yes voters and Unionists flocking towards the booths with "the tools of democracy: a pencil and a wee bit of string". Mark (John Hannah) can't make up his mind: David Bowie thinks we're better together, he notes. "But can you trust Bowie? He did Space Oddity, but he also did that other shite with glass spiders as well..."

Ali Catterall, The Guardian, 18th September 2014

The Inbetweeners

Young says a 'Yes' vote in referendum will create thriving film and TV industry for Scotland.

Written by Paul English. The Daily Record, 17th September 2014


Metal detectors have accused the BBC of portraying them as "anoraks" in a new sitcom that shines a light on those enthusiasts whose lives are dedicated to uncovering a treasure hoard.

Written by Adam Sherwin. The Independent, 17th September 2014

Bad Education

Bad Education is welcome, light-hearted, puerile, peculiarly British relief. Abbey Grove has a new deputy who, worse luck for Jack Whitehall's character Alfie, turns out to be his dad (Harry Enfield). Or, put another way - headteacher Fraser's way - there's a new banterlope at the watering hole. Fraser (Mathew Horne), incidentally, has started a new clothing range, Dolce and GoBanter.

Someone needs to go, to save money. There are interviews. Not Fraser, says Fraser. He is a "succeedophile ... a massive unrepentant succeedophile and you better put me on the goddam register sister, cos I will reoffend ... at succeeding."

Not Alfie either, says Alfie, who insists he's not feckless: "I've got loads of feck, I'm a fecking motherfecker so why don't you three just back the feck off ..." I know, very much the same kind of idea as the succeedaphile one. And very silly. But still funny.

Sam Wollaston, The Guardian, 17th September 2014

Jeremy Hardy Speaks To The Nation

I cannot offer an insight into the content of this returning series because it is recorded just two days before broadcast, but I have no qualms in recommending it to anyone who enjoys a fearless deconstruction of what lies behind social mores and accepted views on politics. Jeremy Hardy has yet to have his fighting spirit dampened.

Jane Anderson, Radio Times, 17th September 2014

Bad Education

Bad Education is so-so comedy, a puerile teenage rampage written by adults who should know better.

Written by Jasper Rees. The Daily Telegraph, 16th September 2014

Bad Education

Jack Whitehall's secondary school-set sitcom Bad Education is back on BBC Three tonight for its third - and potentially final - series. We sat down with the 26-year-old comedy star before the show returns to our telly screens to find out where he stands on...

Written by Ellie Walker-Arnott. The Radio Times, 16th September 2014

Bad Education

As the veteran comic returns to the BBC Three series he explains that taking on the role of the Dad to Jack Whitehall's Alfie Wickers is the worst thing he could do to his own children... and that was rather the point.

Written by Ben Dowell. The Radio Times, 16th September 2014

Bad Education

Here's 5 reasons why you should get involved with Bad Education.

Written by Sarah Deen. Metro, 16th September 2014


If you're looking for the hot acting talent of the next few years, then you don't have to look any further than Pride.

Written by Abigail Chandler. Metro, 16th September 2014


British comedy drama Pride looks set to be turned into a musical.

Written by Simon Thompson. The Evening Standard, 16th September 2014

In the 13 years since he died, Douglas Adams' fictional universe has lost none of its appeal. His biographer Jem Roberts explains how he came to tell his story - and the treasures he found.

Written by Jem Roberts. The Independent, 16th September 2014

Lewis Macleod Is Not Himself

Impressionist Lewis Macleod, the latest recruit to Dead Ringers, now gets his own show. Duncan Wisbey and Julian Dutton have contrived some fairly wacky situations to exploit their mate's best voices.

Morgan Freeman plays Fletcher in Porridge; Gregg Wallace sings a filthy love song to Mary Berry (Kate O'Sullivan); and a running gag has Benedict Cumberbatch turning up inopportunely to spout purple prose in the manner of Sherlock Holmes.

The show claims that Macleod has been hired to impersonate movie stars who refuse to re-record their inaudible lines. We want more details.

David McGillivray, Radio Times, 16th September 2014

Bad Education

Back for a new term at school, the third series of the super-childish Bad Education has some new faces in the classroom... and one of them is Harry Enfield.

The comedy legend has made occasional appearances as the dad of Jack Whitehall's idiotic and needy teacher Alfie Wickers but is now the headmaster. And as well as making puerile jokes about his son's sexuality, budget cuts mean that he has to sack a member of staff, with Alfie the most obvious candidate.

This is a comedy that requires a bit of patience. It is idiotic, perhaps even offensive at times, and Whitehall's character does not seem enormously different from the posh buffoon he plays in Channel 4's Fresh Meat. But there's something engaging about this ensemble, it's skilfully directed and sometimes the gags do hit home. Will we ever look at Whitehall again without thinking of him as "a Topshop Peter Sutcliffe"? I think not, Sir.

Ben Dowell, Radio Times, 16th September 2014

Bad Education

As Bad Education, the sitcom both written by and starring the 'comedy king', returns to BBC Three for its third series, here's why we think Jack Whitehall has become such a popular performer.

Written by Rachel MacGregor. Metro, 16th September 2014

Bad Education

The third series of Jack Whitehall's sharp secondary school comedy kicks off with some big surprises for his incompetent educator Alfie Wickers. Abbey Grove's new deputy head is none other than his dad Martin (Harry Enfield), and money worries at the school mean that Alfie's job is on the line. As usual, the pupils are on fine form: as the teachers begin a strike, Stephen's (Layton Williams) ignorance sparks a hatchet job from a local journalist, while Joe (Ethan Lawrence) struggles to adapt to his newfound veganism.

Hannah J. Davies, The Guardian, 16th September 2014

A letter from one half of legendary comedy duo Laurel and Hardy that was sent to a family friend goes under the hammer today in Newcastle.

ITV News, 16th September 2014

Dad's Army

"A total of 80 episodes of Dad's Army were made by the corporation - and which one does it choose to show on the Saturday ahead of the vote?" a Yes campaigner [for Scottish Independence] wails. "The one in which Frazer - played by John Laurie - tells Mainwaring that he can run the platoon better than him, is put in charge and then makes a total mess of things. Thank you very much, Auntie Beeb."

Written by Tim Walker. The Telegraph, 16th September 2014

Still Open All Hours

Sir David Jason and Johnny Vegas larked around on set as they began filming a new series of Still Open All Hours, the sequel to the much-loved BBC sitcom Open All Hours.

The Daily Mail, 16th September 2014



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