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.
Bill Kerr, who played Tony Hancock's dim-witted Australian sidekick in Hancock's Half Hour, has died at the age of 92.
Frankie Boyle has blasted TV commissioners for not taking risks, and criticised Mock The Week for no longer talking about important topics.
The results of the prestigious Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2014 have been announced. John Kearns, Alex Edelman and Phil Ellis are the winners.
BBC One has ordered a comedy drama series based on Emma Kennedy's best-selling book, The Tent, The Bucket and Me.
BBC One has ordered Mountain Goats, a sitcom about a mountain rescue team. The comedy was piloted earlier this year under the title Miller's Mountain.
Plot details have been released about the second series of James Corden and Mathew Baynton's The Wrong Mans, which is now filming.
Thom Tuck talks Munnery, Bambi, expensive dross at the Fringe, piles of rubbish on BBC3, and more. Read
BBC Radio Comedy will be running comedy writing information sessions in London and Manchester. Read
David Walliams, Catherine Tate, Philip Glenister and Frances de la Tour talk about Big School Series 2. Read
Lord Alan B'Stard, First Marquess of Haltemprice, has died at the age of 58, it has been confirmed. Read
Lucy Beaumont talks about how she got started in comedy, and what she misses about leaving Hull. Read
Musical comedian Aidan Strangeman has won the 2014 So You Think You're Funny? new act competition. Read
A photo gallery providing an intimate insight into the pre-gig routines and notes of some of comedians. Read
The shortlists for the prestigious Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2014 is here: Read
Stand-up Romesh Ranganathan talk schools, comedy writing advice and more in this interview. Read
An interview with stand-up comedian and podcast host Stuart Goldsmith. What is his own masterplan? Read
Gary Lucy, Andrew Dunn and Louis Emerick are amongst the stars for The Full Monty live UK tour. Read
Tim Vine has won the award for the funniest joke at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe festival. Top 10 gag
Holly Walsh's Edinburgh Fringe marketing design has won at the first ever Comedy Poster Awards. View
Stand-up comic Tom Craine talks about the cultural panic that exists around being single nowadays. Read
A bunch of comedians offer their suggested cures for that inevitable festival-based hangover. Watch
Lee Evans has launched 5 Minutes Mr. Evans!, a game for the iPhone/iPad. Get him to his gig on time. Read
Stand-up Celia Pacquola has been named the winner of the Amused Moose Laughter Award 2014. Read
Watch Tim Key tell a five minute tale about ghosts at the Edinburgh Fringe. It's chilling stuff. Watch
An interview with Peter Morey, who is documenting gigs by creating a unique real-time illustration. Read
Luke McQueen tricked people into thinking they had Frankie Boyle tickets. They weren't happy. Read
Magical comedy duo Morgan & West present their favourite magical animated GIFs. Funny, clever. Watch
A look at why the comedy video websites Comedybox, MySpace and Funny Or Die all closed. Read
Emma Taylor, the producer behind long-running sketch show NewsRevue, talks about the show here: Read
A behind-the-scenes guide to the forthcoming second series of The Job Lot. Includes a video. Read
The cast of new sitcom Boomers talk about growing old, and why their new sitcom is set to appeal. Read
We chat to Catherine King, who provides sign language interpretation at various stand-up gigs. Read
The winning writers in the BAFTA Rocliffe New Comedy Showcase contest have been revealed. Read
An interview with Georgie and Poppy, the minor aristocrats characters from E4's new show Almost Royal. Read
Charlotte Ritchie and Tom Stourton talk about taking on the lead roles in new BBC Three sitcom Siblings. Read
Three comedy shows are to be transmitted from the Edinburgh Fringe to Odeon cinemas nationwide. Read
We encountered a group of puppets on the streets of Edinburgh who were planning an improv Fringe show. View
Steve Hall explains why he's resisted the urge to go to Edinburgh. Instead he's performing in London. Read
Jarred Christmas introduces the show he is putting on at the Phoenix Fringe with beat boxer Hobbit. Read
A bike race, a fire alarm and a pig have been amongst the things that have disrupted Fringe shows. Read
Stand-up comic Rhys James has published a five-part sitcom to promote his Edinburgh show. Watch