Channel 4 announces 4Funnies pilots
Channel 4 has today officially announced 4Funnies, the series of pilots that is taking over from its Comedy Showcase strand.
The new strand, which comprises of four thirty minute transmittable pilots, is described as providing "an opportunity to talent who have already made a mark within the industry and have series potential."
The new pilots announced in this first run will star the Rubberbandits group, David Earl, Phil Burgers and Nick Helm, all of whom have previously taken part in Channel 4's Comedy Blaps, the online initiative run by the channel in which comedy talent is invited to make short online sketches.
Acting Head of Comedy Nerys Evans says: "We've supported these stars of tomorrow as early as possible in their careers and given a crucial platform to bring them to the wider attention of comedy."
The shows which will make up 4Funnies 2012 are...
The Rubberbandits, aka Bob McGlynn and Dave Chambers, are a hit musical comedy duo from Limerick.
In the guises of Blindboy Boat Club (Chambers) and Mr. Chrome (McGlynn), the Irish pair wear plastic bags on their heads. As a duo, they've registered over 25 million YouTube views to date, and have a growing reputation as both live performers and as emerging TV writers and performers. Their first ever appearance at the Edinburgh Fringe this summer was a sell out and the duo were voted the 'Most Original Act' in the process.
The network says: "Leave any sense or reason or logic outside the door and be prepared for laughs with beats and yurts as Channel 4 brings you one of most unique comedy talents around."
Guide to 'RubberBandits'
Below is their first Comedy Blaps episode, which features the hit song Black Man:
Phil Burgers brings his Dr Brown character to TV in an absurd sketch show. A classically trained clown and mime artist, Burgers won this year's Edinburgh Comedy Award as his alter ego.
Dr Brown sees Burgers working with writer and director Andrew Gaynord to mix mime, funny dialogue and real life characters out and about. Channel 4 says: "Dr Brown brings all his skills from his award-winning stage show into everyday (albeit utterly silly) scenarios."
Executive Producer Paul Jackson, who has previously worked on shows including The Two Ronnies, The Young Ones and Red Dwarf, says: "All through my career I've loved finding comic voices and am excited to find another one - albeit sometimes silent - in the form of Dr Brown."
Guide to 'Dr Brown'
Below is one of the Dr Brown Comedy Blaps episodes, featuring various sketches:
David Earl, who made a series called Cumbo for the Comedy Blaps strand earlier in the year and will soon be seen starring alongside Ricky Gervais as Kev in Derek, plays a taxi driver called Brian Gittins in this pilot. The character is based on the Brian Gittins persona he has performed at many live comedy nights.
Brian is described as a cab driver in a small town. He spends his nights trying to connect with the world through his passengers, his daughter Lucy at University, and through the radio mic on his dashboard where he can while away the hours chatting with the controller, Cheryl. One day he might even ask her out...
Ricky Gervais, who is acting as Executive Producer on the show, says: "I wanted to make this show because I think that David Earl is one of the most original character comedians around at the moment."
Guide to 'Brian Gittins'
Below is a video in which Brian Gittins chats to Angelos Epithemiou (Dan Skinner) about Shooting Stars:
Uncle, written and directed by Oliver Refson, stars stand-up Nick Helm (pictured) as an out-of work musician forced to look after his 11 year-old nephew on the day he was planning to kill himself.
Andy (Helm) gets a call from his chaotic sister Sam (Daisy Haggard) asking him to help her out, just this once. All he has to do is pick up Errol from school, take him to football and get him home before his dad calls. Somehow in Andy's hands this turns into a decadent adventure involving a faked injury, a car crash, a visit to a gay club, a lot of lying and some hard lessons in life.
Uncle will see Nick Helm make his acting debut. The stand-up comedian, poet and singer/songwriter has previously won a number of awards on the live comedy circuit and performed on TV shows including Live At The Electric.
Guide to 'Uncle'
Below is one of the musical Comedy Blaps that Nick Helm has previously made for Channel 4:
Broadcast dates for the 4Funnies pilots have yet to be announced.
Al Murray wishes to make a film featuring his pub landlord character. Plus, he will return to BBC Radio 5 Live with topical comedy show 7 Day Saturday.
Eddie Braben, one of Britain's top comedy writers, who wrote for many famous comedians, most notably Morecambe & Wise, has died aged 82.
American television channel USA Network has commissioned a full series adaptation of Channel 4's 2011 comedy drama, Sirens.
Actor Paul Shane, best remembered for his lead role in sitcom Hi-De-Hi!, has died at the age of 72.
Ben Miller, David Tennant and Billy Connolly are amongst the cast set to star in new film What We Did On Our Holiday, from the writers of Outnumbered.
Channel 4 has commissioned No Offence, a Victorian police comedy from Shameless creator Paul Abbott. It will also stage further Stand Up To Cancer events.
The trailer for the new movie written by Richard Curtis. It's a romantic comedy featuring some time travel. Watch
A look at the impresive Spring & Summer 2013 comedy titles from The British Film DVD collection. Read
Mock The Week will be back in June - and will now be filmed in HD. Here's details on what to expect. Read
Did you used to read the Mr Men books? If so, do you remember the adventures of bad Mr Nazi? Watch
A BBC Comedy sketch. Ever been on a bad date? Ever dated a dog? This committed Christian has... Watch
A video featuring every utterance of the word 'drink' in Father Ted. Try and keep count - it's hard! Watch
Celebrated writing duo Ray Galton and Alan Simpson are to be honoured with a blue plaque unveiling in June. Read
A video of the cast of The Look Of Love, including star Steve Coogan, talking about the new Soho-set film. Watch
A second series of BBC Three sitcom Some Girls is now being filmed. Find out what is in store here: Read
Unique performance comedian Jessie Cave provides a guide to how to host a book club. Well, sort of. Read
Lee Evans has announced Monsters, a 51 date arena tour which will kick off in August 2014. More info here: Read
More information on the 3rd series of Channel 4's uni comedy Fresh Meat, which begins filming in June. Read
Watson & Oliver have a last minute song entry for the Eurovision song contest. Here's the video: Watch
Craig Campbell's new stand-up show is being released on iTunes. Find out more and see a preview clip. Read
An interview with Eric Chappell. He talks about creating Rising Damp, and the new stage adaptation. Read
A fast-paced animated online sketch show series featuring surreal elements and a host of characters. Watch
Filming has started on the third series of Sky1 comedy drama Stella. Patrick Baladi is joining the cast. Read
The trailer for The World's End, the much anticipated new film starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Watch
On his 100th birthday, biographer Robert Ross reflects on the legacy of comedy legend Sid James. Read
Interviews with Josh Weinstein, Emma Kennedy and Doc Brown, from CBBC comedy Strange Hill High. Read
A Richard Herring podcast special recorded at the Machynlleth Comedy Festival. With guests Pappy's. Listen
Paul Kerensa's book is about stand-up and religion. Here he imagines God in the audience of a gig: Read
Paul Merton is writing his memoirs. The currently un-titled autobiography will be in shops in September. Read
Check out The Chaos, a new online sitcom about a prog-rock band involved in a murder. Watch
Marcel Lucont - the 'French' stand-up comedian - tells us a few home truths about our country. Interview
An interview with US comedian Eddie Pepitone, who is performing a three week run in London. Read
Interviews with Nick Grimshaw, Rickie & Melvin and Rochelle Humes from BBC3's Sweat The Small Stuff. Read
A look at some classic characters and how they dealt with the issue of long-term unemployment. Read
A detailed guide to new ITV sitcom The Job Lot, including interviews with the principle cast members. Read
Interviews with the cast of new ITV sitcom Vicious, including Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Derek Jacobi. Read
A topical podcast written by up-and-coming writers and recorded in front of a live audience. It's sharp. Listen
Latitude Festival, which takes place in Suffolk in July, has announced a huge line-up of 60+ comedians. Read
David Mitchell, Lauren Laverne and Jimmy Carr talk about presenting the topical show 10 O'Clock Live. Read
A clip from Simon Munnery's unique Fylm Makker DVD. He doesn't appear on stage, but uses a camera. Watch
Al Murray talks in-depth about his early career in this Mat Ricardo's London Varieties podcast from April. Listen