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.

Stella

Just some of the different ways in which men are idiots seems to be the theme of this episode. First there's imploding lawyer Michael, who has yet to confess to the lovely Stella the full extent of his betrayal with Beyoncé. Then there's flashy car salesman and aspiring councillor Dai Davies, who believes he can woo the electorate with a free bar. Stella's eldest, Luke, thinks a spot of online gambling will fund his new house. And Luke's brother Ben is tongue-tied with infatuation for Lily. See? Idiots.

It's a vibrant romp centred on a historical pageant (Dai seems to turn into Gimli from Lord of the Rings), with another no-nonsense turn from rugby's Scott Quinnell softening the inevitable heartbreak. But often Stella's most memorable scenes are those pertaining to friendship. One taxi confessional between the series' two best characters, Big Alan (Steve Speirs) and Stella (Ruth Jones) is a beauty.

Mark Braxton, The Radio Times, 6th March 2015

The Graham Norton Show

Filming for Friday night's show took place around the time their trial separation started earlier this week - but he managed to continue laughing and joking.

The Daily Mirror, 5th March 2015

Celebrity Juice

The team captain coming back after being on maternity leave doesn't mean the end of the TV chef.

Written by Alistair McGeorge. Mirror Online, 5th March 2015

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The original film, based on a novel about an Indian retirement home for cash-strapped British pensioners, had such a heavy hourglass hanging over it that a sequel seemed like a joke. Yet instead of going for the obvious punchline with The Best Exotic Marigold Funeral Pyre, director John Madden has stripped away the socio-economic context from the first film and turned the sequel into some kind of thinly rationed romantic comedy.

Written by Joe Williams. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 5th March 2015

Cradle To Grave

It seems the rumours at the end of last year that he will be playing Danny Baker's dad in a sitcom based on the broadcaster's memoirs are true - as the Londoner and radio presenter was also spotted on set.

Written by Emma Flanagan. The Manchester Evening News, 5th March 2015

Pub Landlord Al Murray has signed a book deal to publish his political manifesto. Let's Re-Great Britain will be released on April Fool's Day - a month before he stands for election in Nigel Farage's constituency.

Chortle, 5th March 2015

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Beyond its blindingly colorful palate, the pleasures to be gleaned from the sequel to the 2012 hit The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel derive from watching its eminent, mostly British cast ham it up while trying to inflate dramatic molehills into mountains. To get away with pretending that less is more, strenuous overacting is required.

Written by Stephen Holden. The New York Times, 5th March 2015

In a light-hearted speech at a BBC comedy reception last night the controller of comedy commissioning Shane Allen added: "Unfortunately Jon Thoday and Jimmy Mulville cannot be here tonight - they are doing an aggressive takeover bid of Woolworths"

Written by Ben Dowell. The Radio Times, 5th March 2015

Comedian targets 'moneyocracy' by fighting Affinity Sutton's plans to replace 144 low-rent homes at William Sutton Estate with luxury apartments.

Written by Robert Booth. The Guardian, 5th March 2015

Phoenix Nights

On Sunday, he will sit down behind a BBC Radio Lancashire microphone two stone lighter and brimming full of determination to help others battling heart problems.

Written by Michael Morrison. The Lancahsire Telegraph, 5th March 2015

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a movie title that reviews itself. It's not The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. We've already had that. It's not The Even Better Exotic Marigold Hotel because the people who made it are too honest for that kind of hyperbole.

Written by Jeff Baker. Oregon Live, 5th March 2015

Satire has been largely overlooked as a powerful weapon in the West's arsenal against Islamic State. It's time to start to taking the mickey, argues Emma Barnett.

Written by Emma Barnett. The Daily Telegraph, 5th March 2015

American import The Big Bang Theory was the most popular comedy on multichannel in 2014, with Celebrity Juice the highest British show.

Broadcast, 5th March 2015

A successful comedy is a feather in the cap for any channel controller. But as the 2014 viewing figures reveal, a primetime hit remains an elusive beast.

Written by Stephen Price. Broadcast, 5th March 2015

Almost 10m viewers tuned in to see the Christmas Day episode of Mrs Brown's Boys.

Broadcast, 5th March 2015

With the power to send a single sketch viral overnight, the net is reshaping comedy formats.

Written by Paul Whitelaw. Broadcast, 5th March 2015

A pariah or a prophet? Either way, he's brilliant.

Written by Fiona Sturges. The Independent, 5th March 2015

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The sequel to the surprise comedy smash is exactly what it needs to be: more of the same.

Written by William Bibbiani. Crave Online, 4th March 2015

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

There's nothing groundbreaking here and really there shouldn't be. Checking in to The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is like visiting likeable family members who you don't get to see together too often. Call me sentimental, but I even enjoyed the cheesy Bollywood musical number and dance featuring the cast.

Written by Joe Friar. Victoria Advocate, 4th March 2015

Nurse

Whitehouse has notched up enough laugh credits in his time to allow him to make something more serious. There aren't any catchphrases here that kids will be quoting in the playground, but there is plenty here that will stick in the memory.

Written by Bruce Dessau. Beyond the Joke, 4th March 2015

The comedian Steve Coogan, and his independent TV production company Baby Cow, have backed Jimmy Mulville and Jon Thoday's bid to buy BBC Three.

Written by Neil Midgley. The Guardian, 4th March 2015

Hannah Gadsby: Arts Clown

As a useful adjunct to BBC One's The Big Painting Challenge, try Hannah Gadsby's new series in which the Tasmanian comedian/art historian analyses four works of art. She also sketches in her own life as a gay art student, while a sardonic talking robot, who sounds to me like comedy producer John Lloyd, plays Richard Osman to Gadsby's Alexander Armstrong.

Amateur artists should draw inspiration from the fact that all four masterpieces were dissed by contemporary critics. The pieces scrutinised are Manet's Olympia (1865); Van Eyck's Arnolfini Portrait (1434); Michelangelo's David (1504); and Picasso's Les demoiselles d'Avignon (1907). The robot impersonates Sister Wendy, which is much appreciated. As with Paul Sinha's similar comic reinterpretations of history, newcomer Gadsby elicits fascinating facts (Manet's nude was an artist in her own right).

David McGillivray, The Radio Times, 4th March 2015

Boswell's Lives

Comedy writer Jon Canter's last radio hit was the engagingly barmy Believe It!, which invented a fantasy life for Richard Wilson of all people. In Canter's new series Dr Johnson's biographer Boswell (Miles Jupp) interviews historical figures (Sigmund Freud last week, Maria Callas today, Harold Pinter coming up).

It's reminiscent of the Sky Arts 1 series Psychobitches in which Rebecca Front did the same sort of thing. I preferred it because its sketch format didn't outstay its welcome. Here the material is stretched thinly over half an hour. But radio editor Jane Anderson thinks it's "a work of genius". You decide.

David McGillivray, The Radio Times, 4th March 2015

English comedian Noel Fielding has revealed he has no plans to do another season of his cult series Luxury Comedy. Fielding admitted he doesn't know what's next for his career, teasing there could always be the possibility of something Mighty Boosh-related or, jokingly, politics.

The Music, 4th March 2015

Britain's Got Talent judge David is reported to be 'devastated' by the breakup from Calvin Klein model Lara Stone with whom he has a son.

The Daily Mirror, 4th March 2015

Mr. Bean

"Everyone loves Mr Bean and we were all delighted to watch the master at work whilst hopefully encouraging more people to join in and donate on Red Nose Day," said Ben Miller of the classic comedy revival.

Written by James Gill. Radio Times, 3rd March 2015

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The whole thing is lighter than candy floss, just as colourful and while it may not linger long in the memory, for its duration, this ticks over nicely and sustains the interest. Check (it) out.

Written by Roger Crow. The Huffington Post, 3rd March 2015

The Alternative Comedy Experience

North West comedy promoters Deadcat Comedy were contacted by a producer on Comedy Central's The Alternative Comedy Experience about their new comedy night, MACE. It was suggested that MACE, which stands for Manchester's Alternative Comedy Experience, was trading off their name - something organisers say they never intended.

Written by Andrew Dipper. Giggle Beats, 3rd March 2015

The Office

The Office creator and star delves into the motivations behind his chilled out entertainer.

Written by Emma Daly. The Radio Times, 3rd March 2015

Nurse

The team behind new comedy Nurse tell James Rampton why mental health care is no joke.

Written by James Rampton. The Independent, 3rd March 2015

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