Weekly Newsletter

Monday 11th May 2020

Here's our latest mix of news and features to keep you entertained and informed about British comedy.

Latest comedy news

Laura Lexx gets two book deal

Laura Lexx gets two book deal

Following on from a viral Twitter thread, Laura Lexx has been signed by a publisher to write an imaginary diary of life married to football manager Jürgen Klopp. She'll also write a novel for 2022, about an amateur women's netball team.

Joe Wilkinson In Cars With Other People's Mums piloted

Joe Wilkinson In Cars With Other People's Mums piloted

Joe Wilkinson is piloting a travel show with other comedians' mums, for channel Dave.

Channel 5 orders Paul Merton's Comic Heroes documentary

Channel 5 orders Paul Merton's Comic Heroes documentary

Paul Merton will present a one-off documentary on Channel 5 in which he explores what motivates the best comedians.

CITV orders The Rubbish World Of Dave Spud Series 2

CITV orders The Rubbish World Of Dave Spud Series 2

Animated comedy The Rubbish World Of Dave Spud will return to CITV for a second series. The voice cast - which includes Johnny Vegas, Gina Yashere and Arthur Smith - will all return.

After Life gets third series on Netflix

After Life gets third series on Netflix

Ricky Gervais's comedy After Life has been green-lit for a third series by Netflix.

BBC One announces Michael McIntyre's Big Show highlights series

BBC One announces Michael McIntyre's Big Show highlights series

A new series of highlights from Michael McIntyre's Big Show will air on BBC One.

Asim Chaudhry creates comedy pilot Coming To England

Asim Chaudhry creates comedy pilot Coming To England

Asim Chaudhry has piloted a character comedy series for Channel 4. Coming To England follows the lives of three characters trying to make a new life in the UK.

Roy Hudd to be celebrated on new Music Hall and Variety Day

Roy Hudd to be celebrated on new Music Hall and Variety Day

The British Music Hall Society is to celebrate its former president Roy Hudd on 16th May, as they launch Music Hall and Variety Day.

Features

Who is Big Zuu?

Who is Big Zuu?

The rapper and chef talks about his Dave show Big Zuu's Big Eats, in which he cooks for comedians who are on tour.

Romesh Ranganathan interview

Romesh Ranganathan interview

Romesh Ranganathan is back for a second series of his BBC Two show, The Ranganathan. However, as you may have seen last night, due to the coronavirus lockdown things are slightly different this time.

Bravo Two Charlies diary: Recording on a farm

Bravo Two Charlies diary: Recording on a farm

Martin Trenaman, who co-writes and stars in Radio Wales's traffic cop comedy Bravo Two Charlies, provides this amusing account of recording the second series on location.

First Gig, Worst Gig: Sooz Kempner

First Gig, Worst Gig: Sooz Kempner

Be prepared for a bad-show tearjerker, as Sooz Kempner takes us back through the highs and lows.

British Comedy Quiz #100

British Comedy Quiz #100

Our 100th quiz, but it's business as usual in terms of it being a bunch of quite hard questions. As always, the aim is to get 10 out of 10!

The Big Question

The Big Question: The best comedy character?

It's the return of our poll. This time we're keen for you to help us predict who will come out top of the forthcoming Britain's Greatest Comedy Character programme.

BCG Pro

BCG Pro

Lockdown may be easing, but it's not over yet... so if you're at home with not much to do, why not get involved in one of our new online comedy courses? We've various writing-related courses to pick from.

Podcasts

Podcasts

Limmy is on Richard Herring's podcast; Sitcom Geeks chat to writer and producer Justin Sbresni; there's another Pappy's Flatshare Slamdown; and The Worst Writer In The World continues.

TV listings

Ricky And Ralf's Very Northern Road Trip

Ricky And Ralf's Very Northern Road Trip

Monday 8pm, Gold

Tonight sees the start of this new travel series, in which Royle Family stars Ricky Tomlinson and Ralf Little travel around the north of England in a camper van.

All Star Happy Hour With Mo Gilligan

All Star Happy Hour With Mo Gilligan

Monday 10pm, Channel 4

Mo Gilligan is joined by Rio Ferdinand, Maya Jama, Jason Manford and UB40 for his entertainment show.

Rob And Romesh Vs

Rob And Romesh Vs

Tuesday 9pm, Sky One

This week Rob and Romesh are on a mission to learn all about one of America's favourite sports - basketball.

I'll Get This

I'll Get This

Tuesday 10pm, BBC Two

Johnny Vegas, Sue Perkins, Mike Tindall, John Barnes and Fleur East play a series of games, with the overall loser picking up the bill for the whole group.

Code 404

Code 404

Wednesday 10pm, Sky One

Major and Carver have a new assignment this week, but Major would rather stake out Kelly's work.

Charlie Brooker's Antiviral Wipe

Charlie Brooker's Antiviral Wipe

Thursday 9pm, BBC Two

It's been a while, but now he's back! Charlie Brooker addresses coronavirus and lockdown in his own unique style in this one-off special.

Celebrity Juice

Celebrity Juice

Thursday 10pm, ITV2

With the last appearance of Holly as a team captain, this is the last in the present series of Celebrity Juice, and is expected to be a compilation of highlights from across her time in the show.

Brassic

Brassic

Thursday 10pm, Sky One

Vinnie is tasked with collecting a guy called Tony Tillerton. It seems like a simple task. Meanwhile, a booze cruise to France is under way.

Billy And Us

Billy And Us

Thursday 10pm, BBC Scotland

Billy Connolly looks back at his life and comedy career in this new programme on BBC Scotland.

May Contain Nuts

May Contain Nuts

Thursday 11pm, BBC Scotland

A second TV series of the comic show in which Stuart Condy, Russell Miller, Chris Miller and Craig-James Moncur discuss subjects picked from their "Washing Ma-Theme"..

Joe Lycett's Got Your Back

Joe Lycett's Got Your Back

Friday 8pm, Channel 4

Labour MP Jess Phillips is this week's special Got Your Back team member, helping out as Joe looks into budget flights and tracks down Air BnB scammers; while Lucy Beaumont investigates how we can all be reducing our carbon footprint.

Have I Got News For You

Have I Got News For You

Friday 9pm, BBC One

Jo Brand is set to host this week. The guests meanwhile will be columnist Katy Balls and stand-up Ivo Graham.

The Last Leg

The Last Leg

Friday 10pm, Channel 4

The boys return with the second locked-down episode of the topical comedy format, broadcasting across hemispheres with Adam in Melbourne, Josh in London and Alex in Huddersfield.

Redknapp's Home Fixture

Redknapp's Home Fixture

Friday 10pm, Sky One

Tom and the Redknapps are back with more celebrity guests to discuss sport.

Big Zuu's Big Eats

Big Zuu's Big Eats

Friday 10pm, Dave

The start of the new comedy cooking show in which grime artist Big Zuu cooks for touring comedians. First up: Jimmy Carr.

The Graham Norton Show

The Graham Norton Show

Friday 10:45pm, BBC One

Will Ferrell, starring in new comedy film Eurovision, will be one of the guests this Friday. Also Mark Ruffalo, Normal People stars Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones, and a music performance by Pose star Billy Porter.

Reasons To Be Cheerful With Matt Lucas

Reasons To Be Cheerful With Matt Lucas

Sunday 7:30pm, Channel 4

Matt Lucas returns with more silly clips, celebrity skits and feel-good charm.

The Ranganation

The Ranganation

Sunday 9:15pm, BBC Two

One of the most successful of the rejigged formats for lockdown, Romesh will be back with his wonderfully cast panel on Sunday evening for a new episode discussing various subjects.

New series starting on the radio this week include cop comedy Bravo Two Charlies (Monday, 6:30pm), Michael Frayn's Magic Mobile (Wednesday, 11:30am), documentary What's Funny About... (Wednesday, 10:30pm), taxi comedy Where To, Mate? (Wednesday, 11pm), and a new Down The Line special (Thursday, 11pm).

For a complete list of broadcasts, including repeats, see our full schedule.

Shop

Marriage Lines - The Complete Series 1 & 2

Marriage Lines - The Complete Series 1 & 2

Pre-order. Audio Download

Adapted for radio from the hit TV series, all 26 episodes of the 1960s sitcom starring Prunella Scales and Richard Briers and newlyweds Kate and George Starling will be released next week.

In these two series, they experience the downsides and delights of domesticity: from getting locked out of their new flat, sparring over nights out and coping with the next-door neighbours, to planning a holiday together and looking forward to a new arrival. Parenthood brings further challenges - including organising baby Helen's christening and finding a family home - but a job abroad could offer new opportunities for the Starlings....

Military Wives

Military Wives

Pre-order. DVD, Download, Blu-ray

Inspired by real events, Kristin Scott Thomas and Sharon Horgan star in this comedy drama about a group of military wives who come together to form a choir.

With their husbands deployed in Afghanistan, their wives left behind at their English military base form a choir, led by officers' wives Kate (Scott Thomas) and Lisa (Horgan), to cope with their husbands' absence and take their minds off the conflict. What begins with some performances in the local village culminates in a televised concert performance at the Festival of Remembrance in London's Royal Albert Hall.

Lady Godiva Rides Again

Lady Godiva Rides Again

Out now. Blu-ray, DVD

Dennis Price and Stanley Holloway star in this classic early-1950s comedy from legendary film-makers Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat.

A cautionary tale of fame and fortune, Lady Godiva Rides Again also stars Kay Kendall, Diana Dors and George Cole and is featured here as a brand-new high definition transfer from original film elements in its as-exhibited theatrical aspect ratio.

A starstruck provincial waitress wins the local beauty contest to ride as Lady Godiva in the town pageant. She goes on to win first prize in the Fascination Soap Beauty Contest and immediately finds herself plunged into a strange new world of privilege, glamour... and not a little danger!

Britannia Hospital

Britannia Hospital

Pre-order. Blu-ray

The concluding instalment in Lindsay Anderson's Mick Travis trilogy, following If.... and O Lucky Man!, Britannia Hospital finds the filmmaker casting a sourly satirical eye over Thatcher's Britain. With a phenomenal cast at his disposal - including Alan Bates, Joan Plowright, Robin Askwith, Leonard Rossiter, Mark Hamill, Graham Crowden, and Malcolm McDowell reprising the role of Travis - Anderson trains his sights on royalty, trade unions, the media, the health service, and scientific research in typically uncompromising fashion.

This is the film's world premiere Blu-ray release, and is newly restored in high definition alongside a delicious selection of extras.

The Big Booth - The BBC Radio Comedy Collection

The Big Booth - The BBC Radio Comedy Collection

Pre-order. Audio Download

Award-winning stand-up Boothby Graffoe presents his individual brand of comedy in BBC radio's The Big Booth and Boothby Graffoe In No Particular Order.

The only British comedian named after a Lincolnshire market town, Boothby Graffoe has won a cult following for his surreal stand-up routines and cerebral comic songs. This collection contains his two critically acclaimed BBC Radio 4 comedy series, crammed with great gags, marvellous monologues, straw polls, sketches and ditties.

For more, see our full list of new releases and items coming soon.

Comedy videos

Victorian Babestation

Victorian Babestation

The winner of our first BCG Pro Video Contest. This sketch by Martin Collins and Alex Finch sees some Victorian ladies ready to indulge all of your, er, interests... right up to the ankle!

Watch the best of Crooners Against Corona

Watch the best of Crooners Against Corona

Watch the best 10 musical comedy videos about lockdown, via these results from The Musical Comedy Awards Crooners Against Corona competition.

Quick-Fire Film Comedy Festival

Quick-Fire Film Comedy Festival

The first online Quick-Fire Film Comedy Festival was held over the weekend, with teams of up to six people working completely remotely and without breaking social distancing rules to produce 30 short films. Here're the results.

Boris Johnson clarifies his Covid-19 announcement

Boris Johnson clarifies his Covid-19 announcement

Boris De-Peffel Johnson (looking a bit different to normal) says: "In case anyone was unclear about my latest lockdown announcement, I am here to give you some much-needed clarity."

Nothing Of Value

Nothing Of Value

A short film in which two rogue idiots are on the hunt for a sense of purpose at a charity food drive.

The Dangers of Finger Clicking

The Dangers of Finger Clicking

A demonstration of the dangers of clicking can be seen in this short sketch.

Don't Mention It - Episode One

Don't Mention It

William Andrew has made this fast-paced show in his house with some talented guests.

Nabil Abdulrashid on Britain's Got Talent

Nabil Abdulrashid on Britain's Got Talent

Stand-up Nabil Abdulrashid impressed so much on Britain's Got Talent at the weekend that the Golden Buzzer was pressed.

Sins Of Solitude - Gluttony

Sins Of Solitude

A new web series in which a woman ends up calling the seven deadly sins, who are in disguise. This week it's Gluttony.

How Is Lockdown Affecting Your Pets?

How Is Lockdown Affecting Your Pets?

The tell-all exposé of the real life of animals in a pandemic.

After Life - Series 2 outtakes

After Life - Series 2 outtakes

Watch the full 19 minutes of outtakes from the second series of After Life, starring, written and directed by Ricky Gervais.

Isolation Song Contest - Isolation Song Contest 2020

Isolation Song Contest

The alternative to the Eurovision Song Contest... it's the very first Isolation Song Contest! Various comedians (including Kevin Eldon, Tim Vine and Mel Giedroyc) have filmed themed music videos. It's all to raise money for charity.

Quaranteam - Episode One

Quaranteam

Taking on the fight to bring financial security to the self-employed, an unlikely group of people - who happen to look identical to each other - start planning the biggest heist in British history.

Working From Home - Episode One

Working From Home - Episode One

It's the first day of lockdown, and the staff of on-demand gardening app 'Weed' are in turmoil. Someone's for the chop and while top brass figure out who, the rest of the team deal with a snake in the grass.

Roundheads and Cavaliers

Roundheads and Cavaliers

A new short film. Alice is invited along to try historical reenactment for the first time, but finds herself caught between a Roundhead and a Cavalier in a battle for her affections.

Dun Breedin' - Episode One

Dun Breedin'

Set in Brighton, Dun Breedin' is a new comedy exploring a group of women in lockdown. The cast list features many recognisable faces, including Julie Graham, Angela Griffin, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Tamzin Outhwaite and Denise Welch.

Housebound - Episode Five

Housebound - Episode Five

This latest episode of the great lockdown comedy sees the regulars joined by new characters:, including regional journalist Ian Mellon, and Gavin Burns, the only man in the country with a grudge against Captain Tom.

Robbie Williams joins The Horne Section to sing Angels

Robbie Williams joins The Horne Section to sing Angels

Robbie Williams joins Alex Horne and The Horne Section to sing a new version of Angels. It's a mood boost for anyone struggling with lockdown.

This Is English

This Is English

A great short film about a group of violent pedants attempting to put a stop to poor spelling and grammar. A full stop.

Spotlight

Coupling

Coupling

Been feeling old recently? No? Well you will now: tomorrow marks a staggering twenty years since the debut of Stephen Moffat's brilliant Coupling. The sitcom - often described (and often dismissively) as a British version of Friends - follows a group of 30-somethings living in London and brought together through a mixture of friendships and relationships - with the latter definitely their weakest point. Running for four very popular series, the award-winning sitcom stars Jack Davenport, Gina Bellman, Kate Isitt, Ben Miles, Sarah Alexander, Richard Coyle and Richard Mylan. The complete laugh-out-loud collection is available now on DVD and could be just what we all need to cheer up with amidst lockdown strains.

Thanks for reading

David Elliott has won the latest BCG Pro Gag-a-Week competition on the topic of "Boris Johnson":

Lockdown shouldn't be lifted until Boris Johnson's reproductive rate drops below 6.

Stay safe, stay, er, alert is it, and stay funny!

British Comedy Guide
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