British Comedy Guide Newsletter
Weekly Newsletter Monday 21st May 2012
Here's our weekly update of what is going on in the world of British comedy...
Latest Comedy News
News Picture Count Arthur Strong gets a BBC Two sitcom series

BBC Two has ordered a sitcom starring Count Arthur Strong, the popular Radio 4 character created by Steve Delaney. The IT Crowd's Graham Linehan is co-writing it. Read
News Picture New Alan Partridge shows announced by Sky Atlantic

Sky Atlantic has ordered a number of new commissions featuring Steve Coogan, including two new specials featuring his Alan Partridge character. Read
News Picture Tim Vine quits Not Going Out

Tim Vine has announced he is quitting Lee Mack's hit BBC One sitcom Not Going Out so he can concentrate on new projects. Read
News Picture Keith Lemon to star in his own 'reality show'

ITV2 is working on a new spoof reality show format, to star Leigh Francis in character as Keith Lemon. It's called Lemon La Vida Loca. Read
News Picture Rufus Hound confirms Celebrity Juice exit

Rufus Hound has confirmed that he will no longer appear on ITV2 panel show Celebrity Juice amid speculation that he has fallen out with the show's producers. Read
News Picture Mark Steel and Nicholas Parsons win at Sony Awards

Mark Steel's In Town won the Gold award for comedy at the Sony Radio Academy Awards. Just A Minute presenter Nicholas Parsons picked up a special prize. Read
Also of interest...
Here are some links you might be interested in...

- An interview with Kathy Burke, who has a new show starting soon: The Observer

- Jimmy Tarbuck, talking on this Friday's Piers Morgan's Life Stories, says John Lennon once spiked his drink with speed: The Sun on Sunday

- Keith Lemon flashes his bottom at photo shoot to promote his new film: The Daily Mail

- A rare interview with Sacha Baron Cohen as himself: BBC News

- Dawn French is joining Jason Donovan and Andrew Lloyd Webber as a judge on new ITV talent search Jesus Christ Superstar: The Daily Telegraph

- The American Only Fools and Horses remake has failed to be picked up as a series, but ABC are going to have a second go: Digital Spy

- Two of the actors on the new series of E4 comedy drama Misfits have been revealed: ScreenTerrier

Like these links? You can get about 10 like this every day by following us on Twitter: @UKComedyNews
Feature Picture The Dictator competition

One of our biggest competitions yet. To celebrate the release of Sacha Baron Cohen's new movie The Dictator, we have teamed up with Paramount Pictures to offer you the chance to dictate your own luxury 5 star weekend for two. Read
Feature Picture Podcasts

The latest podcasts we've published include this month's No Pressure To Be Funny, the latest Mat Ricardo's London Varieties (with guest Jenny Eclair) and Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast (guests include Jonathan Ross). Listen
TV Highlights
Here is a guide to some of the things on TV this week...

Dara O Briain: School Of Hard Sums Dara O Briain: School Of Hard Sums
Monday, Dave, 8pm

Dara O'Briain examines how maths saves lives in this week's episode of his lightly comic show for Dave TV. He has comedian Alex Horne on hand to help him. Guide
Morgan Spurlock's New Britannia Morgan Spurlock's New Britannia
Monday, Sky Atlantic, 10:10pm

Morgan Spurlock is having a chuckle at our funny side in this episode. He's joined in the studio by comedians Doug Benson and Jon Richardson and radio presenter Sara Cox. Guide
Cardinal Burns Cardinal Burns
Tuesday, E4, 10:30pm

The sketch show continues. There's a comic take on American indie films; Charlie and New Guy get flirty at the company board meeting; and the most terrifying magic stunt ever performed. Guide
The Matt Lucas Awards The Matt Lucas Awards
Tuesday, BBC One, 10:35pm

Highlights special. Matt Lucas presents all his favourite bits from his very own awards ceremony, the show that recognises the achievements other formats overlook. Guide
The Ricky Gervais Show The Ricky Gervais Show
Tuesday, E4, 11:30pm

More animated adventures. This week's episode uses previously unreleased audio and includes a story about Karl failing to report an armed robbery. Guide
The Unforgettable... The Unforgettable Dudley Moore
Wednesday, ITV1, 7:30pm

A tribute to Dudley Moore, who is best known for being part of a double act with Peter Cook and as an unlikely Hollywood star. Guide
Russell Howard's Good News Russell Howard's Good News
Thursday, BBC Three, 10pm

Russell Howard once again offers his distinctive take on what has happened in the world this week. Note: this week's show is an hour later than normal because of the Eurovision semi-finals. Guide
Grandma's House Grandma's House
Thursday, BBC Two, 10pm

It's the last episode in what has been a great series. It's Tanya and Clive's wedding day again, but Simon has other concerns as he is given a lesson in tough love. Guide
Horrible Histories Horrible Histories
Friday, CBBC Channel, 5:30pm

Dr Culpeper invites us all to his highly unhealthy health spa, a Crusader knight competes on Historical Masterchef, King John worries about all the internet haters, and crooner William Shakespeare serenades us with his big band. Guide
Would I Lie To You? Would I Lie To You?
Friday, BBC One, 8:30pm

Rob Brydon, Lee Mack and David Mitchell are joined by Sarah Millican, Bradley Walsh, Josie Lawrence and Huw Edwards. Surely a newsreader would never lie to us? Guide
Have I Got News For You Have I Got News For You
Friday, BBC One, 9pm

This week's episode is a must-watch. It'll either be brilliant or a car crash. The reason? Star Trek icon William Shatner is in the host's chair. Andy Hamilton and Charlie Brooker are the top guests. Guide
A League Of Their Own A League Of Their Own
Friday, Sky1, 9pm

This week's line-up on the sports show includes snooker legend Ronnie O'Sullivan, funnyman Jimmy Carr and telly favourite Christine Bleakley. Guide
8 Out Of 10 Cats 8 Out Of 10 Cats
Friday, Channel 4, 9pm

What have the nation been talking about this week? Jimmy Carr once again asks Jon Richardson, Sean Lock and guests to guess. Guide
Very Important People Very Important People
Friday, Channel 4, 9:30pm

We're really enjoying some of these impressions - although the show's targets may not be quite so happy. As many of the sketches are recorded close to transmission we're not yet sure what will feature this week. Guide
Alan Carr: Chatty Man Alan Carr: Chatty Man
Friday, Channel 4, 10pm

Alan Carr is joined by guests including John Bishop, and US movie star Cuba Gooding Jr who tells Alan all about his latest movie. Music is from Plan B who performs a track from his new album. Guide
Episodes Episodes
Friday, BBC Two, 10pm

The sitcom continues - it's not really caught the viewing public's imagination yet. Will things pick up this week? When network head Merc Lapidus's father dies, Sean and Beverly get a lesson in grief, Hollywood-style. Guide
The Graham Norton Show The Graham Norton Show
Friday, BBC One, 10:35pm

Among the guests on Graham's sofa this week are Hollywood star Cameron Diaz, national treasure David Attenborough, and actress turned director Kathy Burke. The music is from The Scissor Sisters. Guide
Stand Up For The Week Stand Up For The Week
Friday, Channel 4, 11:05pm

Stand Up For The Week is back again. Comics like Paul Chowdhry got a big profile boost on Channel 4's Comedy Gala at the weekend - will it help the ratings? Guide
Starlings Starlings
Sunday, Sky1, 8pm

Sky's gentle comedy drama continues. Jan takes a brief reprieve from the chaos of domesticity to embrace her inner author for a short story competition in Derbyshire Life. Guide

Above is just some of the new comedy that can be found on the TV this week. For a complete list of shows, plus radio comedy, see our full schedule.
New DVDs
Grandma's House - Series 2 Grandma's House - Series 2

People have been saying very nice things about the second series of Grandma's House, Simon Amstell's sitcom. If you missed the show, or want to see it again, get the DVD: Pre-Order
Mixed Blessings - The Complete Second Series Mixed Blessings - The Complete Second Series

Series 2 of this 1970s sitcom finds the ever-obliging newlyweds continuing to be torn between two sets of in-laws. It's out on DVD at the end of the month. Pre-Order
Horrible Histories - Series Three Horrible Histories - Series Three

Whilst we wouldn't necessarily advocate bunking off school, kids will certainly learn more from the twelve episodes that made up the last series of this award-winning sketch show than they would sitting in class. It's guaranteed laughs too. Pre-Order
Not Going Out - Series Five Not Going Out - Series Five

Following the devastating news that Tim Vine has quit Lee Mack's sitcom, this is your last chance to enjoy the duo as a double act. The DVD is out in shops today. Order

For more, see our full list of new releases and DVDs coming soon.
Comedy Videos
Video Picture Pat Cahill - Chick N' Mix

Pat Cahill has a problem: his local chicken shop offers 365 different types of chicken, but he just wants some of the common or garden variety. Watch
Video Picture Two Episodes Of Mash - Crash Test Dummies

Mr Crash Test Dummy is relaxing in the kitchen when Mrs Crash Test Dummy arrives home stressed out from an awful day at work. Watch
Message Board Posts...
Here are some quotes from our message board...

"Well, with Tim gone, here's the chance for his cousin David Mitchell to show up!" Wout Thielemans on Not Going Out

"I got the Series 5 DVD through in the post this morning and the outtakes were hysterical. You can just tell how well they all get on." Lindyloop on Not Going Out

"The first two episodes have been much more 'sitcommy' this series, I thought. Enjoyed it much more than last series already." swerytd on Episodes

"This week's was very good, and the apple was at its core, but its wider appeal is, I think, down to a cast and format that simply gels." Badge on Would I Lie To You?

"Just saw this, I have to say it is well worth a watch. The reviews I saw before would generally claim it to be better than Bruno but not quite as good as Borat. I'd have to say it is better than both." Gawd on The Dictator
Guide Spotlight
Guide Spotlight Plaza Patrol

Those of you who read last week's newsletter will have noted our spotlight on Caroline Aherne's upcoming comedy drama The Security Men, starring Bobby Ball as a shopping centre night security guard. Sound familiar? It should. Back in 1991, Ball and long-term comedy partner Tommy Cannon played - yes, you guessed it - a shopping centre's night-time security guards in Yorkshire-produced ITV sitcom Plaza Patrol. If you don't remember it, well, there's probably a good reason for that - but it wasn't all bad, and with the approximate laugh count of a good modern comedy drama, the earlier sitcom'll make for an interesting comparison... Guide
Thanks for Reading
Have a good week,

The British Comedy Guide