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.


Critics have called her programmes 'suburban' and 'middle class'. As she joins the cast of new BBC sitcom Boomers, actress June Whitfield asks, what's wrong with that?

Written by Ben Lawrence. The Daily Telegraph, 22nd August 2014


Richard Pinto's sixtysomething sitcom continues, with the gang heading to a gastropub for Carol and Trevor's 40th wedding anniversary. Naturally, things don't go smoothly, as Carol considers a big life change. A comedy with some good lines (hangdog Alan reflects on meeting up with the same bunch of people yet again: "These people are friends, we shouldn't have to see them") but which somehow lacks warmth. Worth persevering with, even if this episode doesn't, as Ab Fab did so splendidly, make enough of June Whitfield's comic timing.

Jonathan Wright, The Guardian, 22nd August 2014


It's always a great feeling to discover a new sitcom on a popular television channel that surprises you with its innovation and originality. Siblings is one of those programmes for me.

Written by Becca Moody. Moody Comedy, 21st August 2014


The BBC3 sitcom replaced Andy Samberg with Taylor Lautner, but as Two and a Half Men and Midsomer Murders have proven, TV shows rarely survive a serious personnel change.

Written by Stuart Heritage. The Guardian, 21st August 2014


The gruesome twosome take a trip down memory lane when Hannah is invited back to her old school for careers day. Inevitably, her inspirational speech doesn't go entirely to plan and she succeeds in gravely insulting teacher and pupils alike. More likely to make 20-somethings cringe with recognition is the drudgery endured by an earnest sixth-former desperate for work experience.

Meanwhile, her brother Tom has finally found like-minded individuals who laugh at his jokes and swallow his macho boasts: nerdy first years.

Claire Webb, The Radio Times, 21st August 2014

Black Mirror

Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror to return for a Christmas special on Channel 4 The one-off special, called Yuletide, is billed as "the most mind-bending Black Mirror yet".

Channel 4 press, 21st August 2014

The brash, boorish Pub Landlord, Al Murray's most enduring comic creation, would probably have a thing or two to say about the Al Murray we see blinking back tears in Secrets from the Asylum. Those words might include "man up", "wuss", and "not what made Britain great", because the ITV documentary shows Murray's moving reaction to a discovery he makes about his family.

Written by Benji Wilson. The Radio Times, 20th August 2014

Rudy's Rare Records

After two acclaimed dramatic roles, Lenny Henry returns to the stage in a comedy about three generations of one family running a record shop together. Along with the funny lines, Rudy's Rare Records is giving him reason to think hard about his own father.

Written by Nick Curtis. Evening Standard, 20th August 2014

Simon Pegg confirms a new trilogy planned for the next decade, with further collaborations planned in the years beyond.

The Guardian, 20th August 2014

Pamela Stephenson, 64, said she had noticed her husband Billy Connolly's hand shaking for many years but assumed that he had spent too long playing the banjo.

Scotland Now, 20th August 2014

New research shows that comedians have a remarkable amount in common with people who have schizophrenia or manic depression - and that this could be what makes them funny.

Written by David Cox. The Guardian, 20th August 2014

The Mimic

Terry Mynott's master of celebrity voices Martin has been a real grower this series, and he's going out with a bang in the last episode. It's nearly time for Martin and Harriet's wedding, but as the groom didn't go through with the circumcision demanded by her family, he must foot the bill. Will true love conquer all? Of course it won't, especially as Jean in the role of Martin's concerned best friend is finding it hard to keep her feelings to herself.

Hannah Verdier, The Guardian, 20th August 2014

Shaun Of The Dead

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are to reprise their Shaun of the Dead characters for a Phineas and Ferb special.

Digital Spy, 19th August 2014

The Inbetweeners 2

The new Inbetweeners film has continued to dominate the UK and Ireland box office, leaving the latest Expendables sequel floundering in its wake.

BBC News, 19th August 2014

The Wrong Mans

Bertie Carvel and Dawn French will guest star in James Corden and Matthew Baynton's comedy thriller, back for two one-hour specials.

Written by James Gill. Radio Times, 19th August 2014

The Thick Of It

Capaldi's debut series will end with a The Thick of It reunion. Meanwhile, Addison is the bookies' favourite to take over as a full-time companion should Jenna Coleman leave the show.

Written by Stephen Kelly. The Radio Times, 19th August 2014

The Alternative Comedy Experience

As the title promises, these sessions from Edinburgh's Stand Comedy Club are the opposite of ordinary television comedy: rough around the edges, whimsical, occasionally controversial. This instalment is especially refreshing because it boasts an all-female line-up. Familiar faces Bridget Christie and Josie Long are joined by Maeve Higgins who has novel ideas about exercise, Helen Keen on modern relationships and self-professed "geek songstress" Helen Arney performing a surreal ode to the sun. Christie fans should tune in purely for her energetic tirade about Stirling Moss.

Claire Webbb, The Radio Times, 19th August 2014

Comedian and actor Lenny Henry is working on a play with the National Theatre about the life of legendary American stand-up comedian Richard Pryor. Talking to Robert Elms on BBC London today Henry revealed that this is one of the various projects he is currently working on.

Written by Bruce Dessau. Beyond the Joke, 18th August 2014

Monty Python Live (Mostly)

Ofcom is investigating Monty Python's final show after complaints over a lack of swearing.

Written by Katy Finbow. Digital Spy, 18th August 2014

Something about the idea feels so right. Miranda on The Generation Game? Here are some reasons why we think this would be... such fun!

Written by Chris Hallam. Metro, 18th August 2014


Sacha Baron Cohen locks lips with Rebel Wilson on the set of new football hooligan comedy Grimsby.

The Daily Mail, 18th August 2014


Review of new BBC One sitcom.

Written by Gabriel Tate. The Times, 18th August 2014


The effort that has gone into Boomers is obvious, and yet a trendy single-camera set-up and a soundtrack of (probably expensively licensed) rock and Motown can't make the script's age-based stereotypes feel any fresher.

Written by Ellen E Jones. The Independent, 17th August 2014

"I love telly at this time of year. You see, I love watching old television".

Written by Alexander Armstrong. The Radio Times, 17th August 2014

The creator of the BBC show Mrs Brown's Boys finally nailed the identity of the real-life killer after sifting through documents dating back to the Irish War of Independence.

Written by Nicola Methven. The Daily Mirror, 17th August 2014

Frightened of appearing 'unbalanced', the corporation would be too sanitised a place for one of comedy's brightest stars.

Written by Peter Preston. The Observer, 17th August 2014

Absolutely Anything

Monty Python's Terry Jones tells how the comedy perfectionist Robin Williams finally nailed the part of a talking dog in Jones's new film.

Written by Terry Jones. The Observer, 17th August 2014

Still Game

The Still Game on preparing for their live shows.

Written by Barry Didcock. Herald Scotland, 17th August 2014

Billy Connolly's wife, Pamela Stephenson Connolly, has told how the comic's battle with Parkinson's disease caused his distinctive voice to begin to fail and led him to consider quitting the stand-up shows he loves.

Written by Jason Allardyce. The Sunday Times, 17th August 2014

Fighting Talk

It's never wise to announce that the new presenter of a programme is "comedian so-and-so". You're more likely to decide for yourself when someone is funny rather than take somebody else's word for it. Being told somebody is a stand-up usually makes you determined not to find them funny. Nonetheless, in line with the Corporation's present policy of ensuring that most radio shows are fronted by either television actors or comedians, the new presenter of Fighting Talk is Josh Widdicombe, who'll share his position with former Sky Sports anchor Georgie Thompson.

There's nothing on British radio quite as divisive as this comedy chat format, which solicits opinions on the sporting stories of the week, handing out "points for punditry". In a good week, they'll have guests such as Bob Mills, Martin Kelner and Eleanor Oldroyd, people who know how to tiptoe up to the precipice of scandal and then retreat before they end up in trouble. This has resulted in some fairly hair-raising moments in the past, even when the presenters were experienced self-op radio hands such as Colin Murray or Johnny Vaughan. There's a world of difference between a presenter who can be funny and a funny person who can present. It should be interesting to see how Widdicombe handles the job.

David Hepworth, The Guardian, 16th August 2014



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