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.
BBC Two has announced Insert Name Here, a new panel show. Sue Perkins will host, with Richard Osman and Josh Widdicombe acting as team captains.
John Cleese is to oversee the first official Fawlty Towers stage adaptation. Fawlty Towers - Live on Stage will launch in Australia in August 2016.
Sky Arts is making 12 scripted comedy shorts for Christmas featuring up-and-coming comedians. Stars include Nish Kumar, Limmy and Twisted Loaf.
Japanese stand-up Yuriko Kotani has won the 2015 BBC Radio New Comedy Award, after a public vote.
Hit ITV comedy drama Cold Feet is to return for a brand new sixth series, it has been confirmed. James Nesbitt, Robert Bathurst, Hermione Norris, John Thomson, and Fay Ripley will reprise their roles.
Car Share, Catastrophe, Detectorists, Inside No. 9, The Keith Lemon Sketch Show and People Just Do Nothing are amongst the nominees for the Broadcast Awards 2016.
Stewart Lee is to publish a new book. Content Provider will feature a selection of his newspaper columns. Read
We have three copies of Mrs. Brown's Boys latest live stage show to give away on Blu-ray. Get involved. Enter
Russell Kane talks to BCG about growing up, being mistaken for other people, and his future comedy ambitions. Read
The programme for Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival - which runs from 3rd to 21st February 2016 - is out: Read
We've three copies of Keith Lemon's Back T'Future Tribute to give away, in limited edition 1985-style packaging. Enter
Double act Max Olesker and Ivan Gonzalez introduce their live show via a copy of a map of where their creations live. Read
Bring The Noise regular panellist Katherine Ryan talks about some of her favourite music in this interview. Read
We talk to Daniel O'Reilly, best known for his controversial comedy persona Dapper Laughs. It's an interesting chat. Read
In this video interview, Noel Fielding talks about his live show, whether The Mighty Boosh will reunite, and more. Watch
How stressed was Hal Cruttenden about his latest Live At The Apollo appearance? Pretty stressed. He explains: Read
Fancy being a judge at the 2016 Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival in February? Here's details on how to apply: Read
An interview with comedy writer Aaron Gillies, better known as popular Twitter user @TechnicallyRon. Read
The Fast Show At 21: An Evening With Paul Whitehouse And Charlie Higson will be available through BBC Store. Read
Josh Widdicombe talks about his new BBC Three sitcom. How close is he to his character in the show? Read
David Mitchell, Robert Webb, Olivia Colman, Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong talk about the final series. Read
Sarah Franken talks about her stand-up show, the UK versus USA, and discusses being transgender too. Read
As BBC Store launches, we highlight some archive goodies we'd like to see added to its comedy catalogue. Read
Georgy Jamieson pays tribute to female comic Marti Caine, who died 20 years ago, aged just 50. Read
Alan Davies talks about the return of his comedy chat show As Yet Untitled, and various other topics too. Read
Read an extract from the autobiography by Only Fools And Horses character Del Boy. He talks about deals. Read
Why was Dara O Briain kidnapped by a SWAT team? What annoys Ed Byrne about panel shows? All that and more: Read
A chat about Game Of Thrones, smutty characters and other filth with the down-to-earth Gemma Whelan. Read
A look ahead to the Nottingham Comedy Festival, including a chat with Patrick Monahan about his Disco Years. Read
Robert Lindsay, Maureen Lipman and Matt Lucas discuss their roles in Bull, the new sitcom on TV channel Gold. Read
We spoke to Russell Howard ahead of Good News Series 10. Where does he get his t-shirts from, and more here: Read
Lenny Henry is due to take part in a special question and answers session in London. Get a ticket discount: Details
John Thomson, Debra Stephenson, Claire Skinner and Tyger Drew-Honey CBBC comedy series Scream Street. Read
Keith Lemon has made a Back To The Future tribute show for ITV2. He explains more in this interview here: Read
An interview with top writer Andy Hamilton. He's about to set off on a tour of the country with a live show. Read
SuperBob director Jon Drever explains how his movie was made. It had a long development, but a short shoot. Read
We spoke to actor and stand-up comic Brett Goldstein about his new superhero based feature film, SuperBob. Read
Michael McIntyre has been presented with ceremonial keys to London's O2 Arena for a milestone of 21 performances. Read
The politically correct stand-up Bernard Righton talks to BCG about his new highlights show for channel Gold. Read
An interview with political comedian Matt Forde. He has the weirdest career in comedy. Time for Forde to focus? Read
Artists are being invited to produce a piece of art inspired by the new novel by Dawn French. The prize includes £1500. Read