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.
Jonathan Ross is to present a food-themed comedy panel show pilot. The format is described as a "mouth watering, light-hearted celebration of food in all its forms".
John Bishop will present a new eight-part comedy and entertainment variety show on BBC One on Saturday nights from later this spring.
Channel 5 is to start broadcasting British comedy again. A deal with Comedy Central will see it broadcast series such as Impractical Jokers.
Funz And Gamez, Fishbowl and Barbara Nice are amongst the comedy that will be showcased across BBC events in Salford on the 12th and 13th May.
BBC Two boss Kim Shillinglaw has announced that Jim Howick will star in Stag, a comedy-thriller from The Wrong Mans director Jim Field Smith.
BBC Two has commissioned Mum, a new sitcom from the writer and producers of hit BBC Three sitcom Him & Her.
His latest Edinburgh show involved ladders from Wickes, his first one was supposed to feature a bloke from Hot Chip. Read
The organisers of London Sketchfest ponder why there's hardly any sketch shows on TV nowadays. Read
Top comedy writers Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin introduce their new political sitcom, Ballot Monkeys. Read
Robert Ross celebrates the memories of Frankie Howerd and Benny Hill, who died on Easter weekend 1992. Read
We talk to one of the writers of Lynda Bellingham sitcoms Second Thoughts & Faith In The Future, now on DVD. Read
Now on a nationwide tour, we talked to Lee Nelson about his plans for the future, politics, and his new look. Read
Short Com is open for comedy film submissions for its 2015/2016 touring schedule of screenings. Read
We have three copies of Masterclass: Writing Comedy, the new tutorial book by Lesley Bown, to hand out. Enter
We've got some copies of Logan Murray's great tutorial book Get Started In Stand-Up to hand out to comedians. Enter
A sequel to Alan Partridge's smash hit autobiography, I, Partridge, will be published in 2016. Read
Kevin McHale talks about how he nearly said no to hosting Virtually Famous, and panel shows in the USA. Read
Monty Python star Terry Jones has received Bath Comedy Festival's first ever 'Bath Plug Award'. Pictures
Comedy double-act Max & Ivan attempt to introduce their Radio 4 series to us in this funny article written by them. Read
Bethan Roberts has been named the winner of Bath Comedy Festival's 2015 New Act Of The Year contest. Read
Seven members of the cast of UKTV Gold sitcom You, Me & Them talk about the second series of their show. Read
The 39 Steps is one of the West End's longest-running and funniest plays. We take a look at the show here. Read
A quick chat with Seann Walsh about his stand-up tour, and his role as a team captain on Virtually Famous. Read
The Barbican has invited eight stars from the world of comedy to select their favourite classic comedy films. Read
Ray Peacock explains why he has decided to open up about his suicide attempt in his latest stand-up show. Read
A speech by TV executive Huw Wheldon revealed that the BBC nearly didn't make the Dad's Army series. Read
Graham Fellows will celebrate his 30th year as John Shuttleworth with a big gig - but could it be his last hurrah? Read
Laura Aikman talks about joining the cast of Bluestone 42, and how she was 'liquid sweat' filming the show. Read
Stand-up comedian Nathan Caton talks to us about various topics, including his ideal comedians football squad. Read
Check out some striking pictures from photographer Matt Crockett's book of comedian portraits, 50 Comics. View
Milton Jones talks about big hair, bad shirts, Mock The Week, his mammoth 2015 tour and other topics too: Read
Sisters Caitlin Moran and Caroline Moran talk about creating Raised By Wolves, their Channel 4 sitcom. Interview
A group of established comedians have set up a new theatre company and school - one devoted entirely to improv. Read
We take a look back at what the Phoenix Nights cast have been doing since the sitcom ended in 2002. Read
A brand new third episode of Richard Herring's latest podcast series, Lord of the Dance Settee. Listen
An interview with Paul Whitehouse and David Cummings, writers of new sitcom Nurse. Read
Sara Pascoe will write "funny, feminist exploration of the female body", Animal: How a Woman is Made. Read
Matt Lucas talks about filming Pompidou, the visual comedy series for the BBC in which he plays an aristocrat. Read
Do you write a funny blog, curate an amusing website or joke a lot on Twitter? If so, here's a competition: Read
Rare images of iconic 1980s British comedy stars are to be displayed at the Museum Of Comedy. Read
Stand-up comedian Tom Little has won the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2015 competition. Read