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 Graham Norton Show

By my count, Miranda Hart has been on Graham Norton's show five times before, so if she has any self-deprecating anecdotes about awkward slapstick moments that she hasn't already shared, she will roll them out tonight. She shares the sofa with Timothy Spall, whose latest performance is as painter JMW Turner in Mike Leigh's biopic. Maroon 5 provide the music.

David Butcher, Radio Times, 24th October 2014


Sue Perkins appears to be taking this edition incredibly seriously, frowning as she unpicks the brainteasers and listening intently to Stephen Fry's elucidations as if she was the classroom swot thirsty for every drop of knowledge. That is until he poses the question how did Chicago get screwed up, to which she flippantly replies: "They put Catherine Zeta-Jones in it."

The lavatorial round may send you running towards the smallest room because the explanation is so nauseating even the panellists shriek in horror. But stick around for the quantum levitation demonstration. It's childishly and joyously brilliant. Josh Widdicombe's right when he says: "That would be the best Christmas present in the world!"

Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 24th October 2014

Not Going Out

Lee is the kind of man who, when he's in a hole, doesn't stop digging, he just goes on to plough another hole, and then another one, and then another one...

He's almost buried alive in tonight's comedy of errors as he unwittingly manages to get himself and Lucy (Sally Bretton) invited to a christening party by the baby's very reluctant parents.

TV dad par excellence Hugh Outnumbered Dennis is the baby's father, a picture of quiet exasperation as Lee (Lee Mack) and Lucy's doomed attempts to buy a suitable present for his son spiral into madness.

It's all tremendously silly and contrived, of course, to an almost palm-sweating level, but Mack, Bretton and Katy Wix as dim Daisy keep it bobbing along.

Alison Graham, Radio Times, 24th October 2014

Would I Lie To You?

Occasionally you have to wonder at WILTY?'s booking process. I mean, if you were searching for a quick-witted guest with a sharp sense of humour, would you immediately come up with the name of bushcraft expert Ray Mears? In fact he acquits himself very well, especially considering he's sitting alongside fiercely comic guests such as Jo Brand. She comes up with a ridiculous story about hitch-hiking down to the coast on Christmas Day that could be the basis of a Tarantino film as well as one about squeezing through an ex-boyfriend's dog flap. Both will make you cry with laughter.

Once again the best exchanges are between the peerless Lee Mack and David Mitchell. Carried away with his tale about a fox (illustrated beautifully by Rob Brydon doing an impersonation of Basil Brush), Lee says something that David pounces on with almost Poirot-like powers of deduction. It's very impressive.

Make the most of tonight's edition as WILTY? is taking a break for a few weeks.

Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 24th October 2014

The Feeling Nuts Comedy Night

Jack Whitehall hosts a night of comedy and variety to raise awareness of testicular cancer. It's a nice mix of old and new faces, with the first Men Behaving Badly reunion in 16 years and the return of Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse. Other appearances to look out for include ridiculously good ventriloquist Nina Conti, the weirdly wonderful sketch duo Cardinal Burns, Angelos Epithemiou's excellent study in idiocy and The Mimic's brilliant Terry Mynott. Not a bad lineup.

Julia Raeside, The Guardian, 24th October 2014


I am, what I call, distraught. Miranda Hart's announcement is such the opposite of fun, says Ellie Walker-Arnott.

Written by Ellie Walker-Arnott. The Radio Times, 23rd October 2014

Now I'm not going to dissect the joke here and suggest that his first remark was punching up while his second was punching down. Nor am I going to discuss the timing of the gag, only a day after the sentencing of Pistorius. What I'm interested in is the question of whether the audience was really as offended by the gag as some reports suggest?

Written by Bruce Dessau. Beyond the Joke, 23rd October 2014

TV presenters Paul and Barry Elliott have unveiled their charity single To Me To You featuring the grime star.

Written by Kasia Delgado. The Radio Times, 23rd October 2014

Russell Howard's Good News

What makes that "nice" Russell Howard so hilarious? Is it Lee Evans - or his mum?

Written by Stephen Armstrong. The Radio Times, 23rd October 2014


The writer and star of E4's Drifters talks "inherently sexist" panel shows, token women and overcoming expectations.

Written by Ellie Walker-Arnott. The Radio Times, 23rd October 2014

The comedian's quip about blaming Reeva Steenkamp for her death was less than well received at the music magazine's awards show in London.

Written by Sarah Deen. Metro, 23rd October 2014


A bizarre decision by BBC4 to consign this gently beguiling sitcom to a 10pm grave. Anyone would think the channel was trying to bury it. But Mackenzie Crook's show deserves to stand the test of time, with its sly, nerdy humour and touching interactions.

This week Danebury Metal Detecting Club is looking for a new president, a wedge is driven between friends Andy and Lance, and heartache is in the air. There are nuggets of drama amid the well-staged gags (writer/star Mackenzie Crook is also doing a terrific directing job - look at the opening gag for just one example) and we're desperate to know how the series will pan out. The nervy dynamics of the pub quiz will be familiar to anyone who does them: "Round three: the Balearic Islands"!

Mark Braxton, Radio Times, 23rd October 2014


As Miranda Hart publishes a collection of her favourite Miranda scripts, we select the 10 most memorable moments from the award-winning sitcom.

Written by Rupert Hawksley. The Telegraph, 23rd October 2014

ABC have snapped up Mr Nick Frost to lead their new comedy, the wonderfully ridiculous-sounding The Finger...

Written by Rob Leane. Den of Geek, 23rd October 2014


Initially dubbed the "female Inbetweeners", the girls who starred alongside Will and co in their first big-screen spinoff came into their own last year in this charming, witty sitcom. Now they're back with more twentysomething trials. This week Meg (Jessica Knappett) uses her family dramas to cosy up to neighbour Scott, Bunny (Lydia Rose Bewley) becomes fixated on her boyfriend's musical career, and an accident forces Laura (Lauren O'Rourke) to assume the role of reluctant caregiver.

Hannah J. Davies, The Guardian, 23rd October 2014


Mackenzie Crook's series about metal-detecting buddies Lance (Toby Jones) and Andy (Crook) might reach unbearable levels of cosiness if it didn't also manage to be rather depressing, too. That's partly down to Crook's performance being so low on energy (it's actually draining to watch) and partly because, despite situational comedy thriving in little worlds, this one's just frighteningly insular and routine. This episode begins with metal-detecting club president Terry handing his mantle to an always unenthusiastic Andy.

Rachel Aroesti, The Guardian, 23rd October 2014

House Of Fools

Warning: Contains spoilers - As soon as Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer step in to their mocked-up living room, on the strangely tiny set of House of Fools, their chemistry is palpable.

Written by Andrew Dipper. Giggle Beats, 22nd October 2014

A little happy, Instagrammed escapism never did anyone any harm, says Ellie Walker-Arnott.

Written by Ellie Walker-Arnott. The Radio Times, 22nd October 2014

Love, Rosie

Love, Rosie plays out a little like a cross between a Richard Curtis film and One Day without ever managing to find its own groove. This is an enjoyable if weightless piece that will please romantic comedy fans, but struggle to speak to the unconverted.

Written by Simon Reynolds. Digital Spy, 22nd October 2014

Celebrity comics are taking over children's literature. Hmm, says comedian and children's author Catie Wilkins.

Written by Catie Wilkins. Standard Issue, 22nd October 2014

Witty banalities aside, the comedian has an authentic voice.

Written by Steve Richards. The Independent, 22nd October 2014

Bad Education

All good things come to an end, so they say, and the finale came with a heavy slab of emotion, so a box of tissues was a must.

Written by James Brinsford. Metro, 22nd October 2014

Russell Brand was forced into an old-fashioned political retreat when he cancelled a debate to launch his new book after guests including the leading human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell expressed concerns about the make-up of the panel.

Written by Jonathan Brown. The Independent, 22nd October 2014

Eight months after original lead Phillip Seymour Hoffman passed away, Showtime has announced plans to move forward with comedy Happyish. The premium cable network has ordered a new pilot, which will see Steve Coogan (Alan Partridge) succeeding Hoffman as the lead, TVWise has learned.

Written by Patrick Munn. TV Wise, 22nd October 2014


Going in search of weird and wonderful facts can take you to Hawaii or the Himalayas - but you're just as likely to find geek gold in Wigan, writes QI elf James Harkin.

Written by James Harkin. The Daily Telegraph, 22nd October 2014

Shooting Stars

Shooting Stars is without doubt the greatest panel show ever made, with it lasting for a healthy six series and spanning from 1993 to 2011. It remains a source of frustration for me that the programme was cancelled in 2011 as it definitely hadn't exhausted itself in any way. The best justification for this may very well be that the comedic style of Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer was a tad too strange for a new and evolving audience, though there is still a gap in my life ever since its cancellation. I have very fond memories of being only nine or ten years old and absolutely crying with laughter at the madness that is Shooting Stars, from its Dove From Above round to Vic's pub singing.

Written by Becca Moody. MoodyComedy, 22nd October 2014

Almost Married

Market Bosworth moviemaker Ben Cookson has achieved the dream of every up and coming director - to be able to call himself "award-winning". His first full-length film Almost Married, which he wrote and directed, has scooped the Best Feature Film award at the Marbella Film Festival.

Written by Tom Mack. Leicester Mercury, 22nd October 2014

Russell Howard's Good News

For most people in showbiz, cracking America is the ultimate dream. But what happens if you pursue that dream and in a nightmare turn of events, the States says no? That's exactly what's happened to comedian Russell Howard, whose BBC Three show, Russell Howard's Good News, is moving to BBC Two in the UK. "I have tried so hard, but they do not want me," he said. "We've tried to get it to like BBC America, but they're not having it."

BBC Newsbeat, 22nd October 2014


Jessica Knappett doesn't feel the need to defend E4's Drifters from its critics ("The ratings speak for themselves"), but the young actress/writer/producer is keen to hit back at accusations that the sitcom - returning for a second series this week - is unrealistic.

Written by Morgan Jeffery. Digital Spy, 22nd October 2014

David Walliams notched up his fourth consecutive week atop the Official UK Top 50. Awful Auntie shifted 37,903 print units.

Written by Tom Tivnan. The Bookseller, 21st October 2014



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