British Comedy Guide Newsletter
Weekly Newsletter Monday 12th March 2012
Spring has sprung early this year, so let's not waste time whilst the sun's shining. Here we go...
Latest Comedy News
News Picture Tim Brooke-Taylor to host new animal-based BBC comedy show

Tim Brooke-Taylor is to host a new family-friendly spoof news show called Everyone Loves Animals - his first major TV comedy project since The Goodies. Read
News Picture Swedes to produce QI adaptation

Swedish television is to produce its own adaptation of panel show QI, to be hosted by comedian Johan Wester. Read
News Picture BBC confirm Hebburn sitcom commission

The BBC has confirmed the commissioning of a second sitcom from its Salford Sitcom Showcase pilot season, from stand-up Jason Cook, co-starring Vic Reeves. Read
News Picture New pilot and Mrs. Brown's Boys cartoon in production

Mrs. Brown's Boys creator and star Brendan O'Carroll has revealed that he is working on a cartoon version of the hit sitcom, and a new pilot for the BBC. Read
Also of interest...
Here are some links you might be interested in...

- Peep Show's Sam Bain on writing for TV. Some great advice and anecdotes: The Guardian

- Steve Pemberton keeps three severed heads as surreal souvenirs: The Daily Star Sunday

- An article about how the BBC is making more regional sitcoms: The Observer

- David Walliams is reportedly going to portray Michael Barrymore in a new TV drama: The Sun

- Terry Jones says 'Douglas Adams loved ideas but hated writing': BBC News

- Frank Skinner talks about being a first-time father at 55: The Daily Mirror

- Alan Carr is leaving Radio 2: The Guardian

- Jason Manford is to make his stage debut in Sweeney Todd: The Guardian

- A big interview with Alexander Armstrong. "Thank God we don't do a sketch show any more": The Independent

- ...and Simon Amstell opens up in this interview. "Dysfunction is my career": The Guardian

More of this kind of thing every day via our Twitter account: @UKComedyNews
TV Highlights
Here is a guide to some of the things on TV this week...

Alexander Armstrong's Big Ask Alexander Armstrong's Big Ask
Monday, Dave, 9pm

Alexander Armstrong hosts the last episode (for now at least) of his panel show where the guests make up the questions. He's joined by Russell Kane, Andy Parsons and Steve Punt. Guide
Dirk Gently Dirk Gently
Monday, BBC Four, 9pm

Another adventure for Douglas Adams's characters. Dirk and MacDuff return to Cambridge, to the university that expelled Dirk for cheating 20 years ago. Guide
Watson & Oliver Watson & Oliver
Monday, BBC Two, 10pm

More from the sketch show. The Teenage Girls try to catch the bus home but are distracted by two boys. Meanwhile, Colin Firth is humble, and Julio Iglesias is reunited with his son Enrique for a chat and a song. Guide
Shameless Shameless
Tuesday, Channel 4, 10pm

The last episode until the autumn. The plot carries on from last week... the situation underground is perilous for the trapped five. Guide
10 O'Clock Live 10 O'Clock Live
Wednesday, Channel 4, 10pm

Jimmy Carr, David Mitchell, Charlie Brooker and Lauren Laverne are back once again to try and inject some jokes into the week without getting bashed on Twitter for doing so. Guide
Roger & Val Have Just Got In Roger & Val Have Just Got In
Wednesday, BBC Two, 10pm

It's the last episode of the low-key comedy. It's a big episode too. Something arrives that will change Roger and Val's lives forever. Guide
Kevin Bridges: What's The Story? Kevin Bridges: What's The Story?
Wednesday, BBC One, 10:45pm

Kevin Bridges uses the last episode in the series to tackle some big issues that have inspired his funniest stand-up. Jack Dee is the guest interviewee. Guide
Pramface Pramface
Thursday, BBC Three, 9pm

Jamie's and Laura's parents meet for lunch to discuss the future of their families. Naturally, it does not go well. Guide
White Van Man White Van Man
Thursday, BBC Three, 9:30pm

Ollie inadvertently arranges a date with an old flame, whilst Darren is left alone to work for a client with whom he shares a bitter past. Guide
Celebrity Juice Celebrity Juice
Thursday, ITV2, 10pm

This week's edition of the brightly coloured panel show sees Alexandra Burke and Hollyoaks star Jorgie Porter joining the teams. Guide
The Sarah Millican Television Programme The Sarah Millican Television Programme
Thursday, BBC Two, 10pm

Episode 2 of Sarah Millican's new show. This week she looks at TV costume dramas, and meets distinguished actor Simon Callow in the process. Guide
Benidorm Benidorm
Friday, ITV1, 9pm

The Garveys are alarmed by rumours of a gang kidnapping the unwary and stealing their organs, so when Michael sees a tall dark stranger bundling Madge into a car, they are convinced she is a victim. Guide
The Graham Norton Show The Graham Norton Show
Friday, BBC One, 10:35pm

Among the guests on Graham's sofa for the last episode of the series are Jo Brand, Hugh Grant and David Guetta. Guide
Harry Hill's TV Burp Harry Hill's TV Burp
Saturday, ITV1, 7:30pm

Episode 7 - nearly the end now. As always though, Harry Hill casts his comic eye over the week's TV, from reality shows to soaps, and dramas to documentaries. Guide

Above is just some of the new comedy that can be found on the TV this week. For a complete list, plus radio too, see our TV & radio schedule.
New DVDs
The Impressions Show With Culshaw & Stephenson - Series 2 The Impressions Show - Series 2

BBC One's The Impressions Show seems unnervingly popular with many; there's little doubt that Culshaw and Stephenson are accomplished performers, but we find they stretch their talents far too thinly in this series - and the writing is sadly little better. Pre-Order
Beadle's About - The Complete Second Series Beadle's About - The Complete Second Series

The late master of practical jokes, Jeremy Beadle, had this long-running hidden camera show delighting ITV audiences for a full decade from 1986, spanning 10 series and some hundred episodes. Thanks to Network, the fun - still rather hilarious more than a quarter of a century on - of Series 2 will shortly be available to enjoy once more on DVD. Pre-Order
Benidorm - The Complete Series Five Benidorm - The Complete Series Five

It's received a bit of criticism for the opening episode of the series, but Benidorm is back, and co-star Steve Pemberton has picked up the pen for a handful of fun episodes. If you've missed any of the show so far, catch up with this series set on 16th April. Pre-Order
Sirens - Series 1 Sirens - Series 1

This mid-2011 Channel 4 comedy-drama didn't do too well in the ratings so won't be returning. Plenty of people did enjoy it though, and they can now take the opportunity to pick it up on DVD. The adventures of a group of ambulance staffers, Sirens stars Kayvan Novak (Facejacker), Rhys Thomas (Star Stories) and Richard Madden (Game of Thrones). Order
Stella - Series 1 Stella - Series 1

Sky's hit comedy-drama created, part-written by and starring Ruth Jones concluded on Friday, and a second series has already been ordered for broadcast in early 2013. If we're honest it was just an entertaining story with an array of quirky characters rather than anything particularly dramatic or comedic, but that's not to do down its charm. Order

For more, see our full list of new releases and DVDs coming soon.
Comedy Videos
Video Picture On The Ropes Trailer

The trailer for the mockumentary comedy film On The Ropes. It's out on DVD at the end of April. Watch
Video Picture Sarah Millican - Projecting Your Voice

Acting legend Simon Callow teaches Sarah Millican how to project her voice, in this clip from Thursday's show. Watch
Video Picture Foster's Fast Show - Episode 10

Johnny Nice Painter listens to the radio, Ron Manager offers some advice to Manchester City, and chatty Janine is on Twitter. Watch
Video Picture Watson & Oliver - Mrs Busy Lady

Mrs Busy Lady attempts to record a message on an answerphone, in this clip from tonight's show. Watch
Video Picture Edgar Wright on making Shaun Of The Dead

The director of Shaun Of The Dead, Edgar Wright, talks about the experience of making the film. Watch
Video Picture Dirk Gently - Missing Robot

A clip from tonight's episode. Investigating a missing robot, Dirk questions a smart professor. Watch
Message Board Posts...
Here are some quotes from our message board...

"I've gone off this, unfortunately. There are too many repeated sketches and with the new ones the punchlines are apparent about 2 minutes before they end." Harridan on Watson & Oliver

"Impressed with Steve Pemberton's episode. Hoping for more of the same in future." MrBucktrout on Benidorm

"I agree. Her sections don't work as well as the rest, but maybe that's because an audience needs to trust someone as a comedian/personality to be able to laugh in that context." AJGO on Lauren Laverne on 10 O'Clock Live

"Didn't think much of the special but really enjoyed this. Plus as has been mentioned, it's always a pleasure to see Derek Griffiths." happychef on The Bleak Old Shop Of Stuff

"Newsjack is really good nowadays. Every time they cover the same topics as The Now Show, it is usually NJ that has the better gags." Snafu on Radio comedy
Guide Spotlight
Guide Spotlight Partners

Some sitcoms are rather reflective of the time they were produced, and this is one. Yes, the early 1980s gave us Partners, a BBC 1 sitcom about a divorcing husband and wife bickering over the ownership of his business and a collection of profitable shares the high-powered financier gave her on their wedding night! There's a very interesting investment available, but he needs the money in those shares and she's refusing to play ball; whoever said romance was dead?! Guide
Thanks for Reading
That's all for now. Have a fantastic week!

The British Comedy Guide

P.S. 2-for-1 tickets, plus a free drink at highlight clubs.

P.P.S. An episode of Pappy's Flatshare Slamdown is being recorded on Wednesday. Come along.