Weekly Newsletter

Monday 26th April 2021

It's been a very tough last thirteen months for comedians and venues who rely on the live circuit for income, so do see the #SaveLiveComedy story below for how you can help.

Latest comedy news

Katherine Ryan hosts ITV2 dating game show Ready To Mingle

Katherine Ryan hosts ITV2 dating game show Ready To Mingle

Katherine Ryan is to host Ready To Mingle, a dating game show coming to ITV2 this autumn.

Sandylands Series 2 in production

Sandylands Series 2 in production

Production has started on the second series of Sandylands. The regular cast are joined by Tracy-Ann Oberman for three new episodes.

Comedy stars join time-travel film The Unreason

Comedy stars join time-travel film The Unreason

Forthcoming time-travel comedy film The Unreason has added Felicity Montagu, Johnny Vegas and Brian Bovell to its cast list.

Andi Osho is writing a novel about a stand-up comedian

Andi Osho is writing a novel about a stand-up comedian

Andi Osho is returning to stand-up... kind of. Her loosely autobiographical second novel, Tough Crowd, will focus on an aspiring comedian.

Steve Coogan movie The Lost King begins filming

Steve Coogan movie The Lost King begins filming

Production has started on The Lost King, a film starring Sally Hawkins and Steve Coogan. It focuses on the true story of how the bones of Richard III were found beneath a Leicester car park.

Bradley Walsh to return with more Blankety Blank

Bradley Walsh to return with more Blankety Blank

Bradley Walsh is to host Blankety Blank again. Producers are preparing to film the iconic game show this summer.

BBC Wales reveals new TV comedy pilots

BBC Wales reveals new TV comedy pilots

BBC Wales is piloting a series of comedy shorts. They include a television adaptation of the BBC Radio Wales police sitcom Bravo Two Charlies, Beena And Amrit starring Meera Syal, and Mammoth from stand-up Mike Bubbins.

BBC pilots PE teacher sitcom from Mike Bubbins

BBC pilots PE teacher sitcom from Mike Bubbins

More details on Mammoth, a BBC sitcom about a swaggeringly macho 1970s PE teacher who is brought back from the dead to teach in 2021.

Maddy Anholt becomes Women's Aid ambassador

Maddy Anholt becomes Women's Aid ambassador

Comedian Maddy Anholt is the new Women's Aid ambassador for Love Respect, a website to support teenage girls at risk of relationship abuse and to challenge myths surrounding coercive control and abuse.

Comedies nominated in Audio & Radio Industry Awards

Comedies nominated in Audio & Radio Industry Awards

The nominees for the Audio & Radio Industry Awards 2021 (ARIAS) include The Musical Life Of..., Sketchtopia, The Skewer, Jason Manford and the podcasts Alan Partridge: From The Oasthouse and Kim Noble: Futile Attempts (At Surviving Tomorrow).

Unseen Victoria Wood scripts to be published

Unseen Victoria Wood scripts to be published

A book featuring previously unseen Victoria Wood scripts is to be published by her official biographer Jasper Rees.

#SaveLiveComedy Fund launched as impact of covid revealed

#SaveLiveComedy Fund launched as impact of covid revealed

A survey has revealed that the situation for most people working in live comedy has continued to deteriorate. A hardship fund has been created to try and help those most in need.

Features

Alan Partridge quiz

Alan Partridge quiz

The hosts of Monkey Tennis (The Alan Partridge Fan Podcast) have created this quiz to link in with the return of This Time With Alan Partridge... how much do you know about Alan Gordon Partridge?

Dreaming Whilst Black preview

Dreaming Whilst Black preview

A look at new BBC Three comedy pilot Dreaming Whilst Black ahead of its TV broadcast tonight. It's been getting rave reviews so far.

Comedy Rewind: It Sticks Out Half A Mile: Discover the Dad's Army spin-off

Comedy Rewind: It Sticks Out Half A Mile: Discover the Dad's Army spin-off

Most comedy fans believe Dad's Army ended with its ninth series in 1977, but a radio sequel and further television adaptation extended the iconic comedy series' influence for a full decade further.

First Gig, Worst Gig: Katy Wix

First Gig, Worst Gig: Katy Wix

With an upbringing-themed podcast and a new memoir on the shelves, Katy Wix takes a trip through her on-screen highs and lows.

Ciarán Dowd on bringing Don Rodolfo to television

Ciarán Dowd on bringing Don Rodolfo to television

Ciarán Dowd talks about how his drama school audition came about drunkenly and by chance, creating his character Don Rodolfo, and showcasing him in the short BBC TV pilot you can now find on iPlayer.

Win Roald & Beatrix on DVD or Blu-ray

Win Roald & Beatrix on DVD or Blu-ray

Roald & Beatrix: The Tail of the Curious Mouse - the comedy drama starring Dawn French - is out today on DVD and Blu-ray. We have three copies to give away.

British Comedy Quiz #150

British Comedy Quiz #150

Wow, we've written 150 of these quizzes now! It's business as usual though... some very hard questions stopping you getting ten out of ten!

Alan Partridge interview

Alan Partridge interview

Ahead of This Time With Alan Partridge returning to BBC One, Alan Partridge talks about his daily routine, keeping it loose on air, and what his working relationship is like with co-presenter Jennie Gresham.

Random 8: Priya Hall

Random 8: Priya Hall

Speed nan, sour cream cat and a cheesy danger castle: Priya Hall takes the eight-question challenge.

TV listings

Starstruck

Starstruck

Monday 10:45pm, BBC One

This romantic sitcom starring Rose Matafeo as a woman who has an on-off relationship with a movie star was published on iPlayer yesterday to lots of positive feedback. If you prefer watching on 'normal telly', it starts a run on BBC One tonight. Fans who have already binge watched all six episodes will be pleased to learn a second series is coming.

Dreaming Whilst Black

Dreaming Whilst Black

Monday 11:10pm, BBC One

This BBC Three sitcom pilot is also coming to BBC One tonight. Adjani Salmon plays a man who is finding his dull job getting in the way with his aspirations of becoming a filmmaker. If you read our preview above, you'll know it's a promising show and worth a look.

Guessable?

Guessable?

Tuesday 9pm, Comedy Central

The gang welcome TV presenter Alex Jones, comedians Kerry Godliman and Lou Sanders, and football pundit royalty Chris Kamara into the loft.

A League Of Their Own

A League Of Their Own

Thursday 9pm, Sky One

Jamie Redknapp, Freddie Flintoff, Jack Whitehall and special guest Shaun Williamson reach London in style via the Thames. Once there, they're joined by former Man City and Villa right back Micah Richards to compete in the fastest sport with two feet always on the ground - race walking.

Taskmaster

Taskmaster

Thursday 9pm, Channel 4

Have you recovered from what occurred to Mike Wozniak last week? There are fires and alarms in this episode, though not at the same time... and Little Alex Horne is forced into supping cold soup.

Celebrity Juice

Celebrity Juice

Thursday 10pm, ITV2

Keith Lemon hosts as team captains Emily Atack and Laura Whitmore are joined by Howard Donald, HRVY, Rebekah Vardy and Maya Jama for more games, fun and anarchy.

Scot Squad

Scot Squad

Thursday 10pm, BBC Scotland

A one-off special in which Chief Commissioner Cameron Miekelson (Jack Docherty) interviews real-life politicians ahead of the Scottish Parliament election next week.

Meet The Richardsons

Meet The Richardsons

Thursday 10pm, Dave

Jon manages to wreck the family home while Lucy starts a new project with Rob Beckett. Sally Phillips tries to help the Richardsons inject some passion into their sex lives.

Frank Of Ireland

Frank Of Ireland

Thursday 10pm, Channel 4

Episode 3 of the new sitcom. Frank and Doofus set out to expose Peter-Brian as the 'yoked-up party boy' Frank's sure he is.

Redknapp's Big Night Out

Redknapp's Big Night Out

Thursday 10pm, Sky One

The new comedy entertainment show hosted by Jamie Redknapp, his father Harry and Tom Davis, continues. The trio are joined by more showbusiness and sports star guests.

Trip Hazard: My Great British Adventure

Trip Hazard: My Great British Adventure

Friday 8:30pm, Channel 4

For the final episode, Rosie Jones is joined by fellow comedian Jenny Eclair for an outdoorsy adventure on the beautiful island of Anglesey in Wales.

Have I Got News For You

Have I Got News For You

Friday 9pm, BBC One

Alexander Armstrong takes to the guest host's chair for the 36th time: he's appeared more than any other guest host. Meanwhile Joe Lycett makes his debut on the programme, and Newsnight presenter Kirsty Wark appears too.

This Time With Alan Partridge

This Time With Alan Partridge

Friday 9:30pm, BBC One

The hotly-anticipated second series. Now the main man on BBC magazine show This Time, Alan is relishing his career Indian summer. However, with rumours of changes behind the scenes, he begins to wonder if his position might already be in jeopardy.

The Jonathan Ross Show

The Jonathan Ross Show

Saturday 9:35pm, ITV

The host welcomes the stars of Line Of Duty, ahead of Sunday's concluding episode. Ellie Simmonds, Ashley Banjo and Paul Weller will be chatting too.

There's lots new on the radio this week, including Rich Hall's (US) Breakdown (Thursday, 6:30pm), Geoff Norcott: It's OK To Change Your Mind (Thursday, 11pm) and Alfie Moore: It's A Fair Cop (Friday, 11:30am). For a complete list of TV and radio broadcasts, including repeats, see our full schedule.

Shop

Micky Flanagan: Peeping Behind The Curtain

Micky Flanagan: Peeping Behind The Curtain

Pre-order. Blu-ray, DVD

Broadcast by Sky at Christmas, this feature length documentary offers an extraordinary backstage pass to Micky Flanagan's An' Another Fing tour, the sell-out O2 Arena run that became the world's biggest comedy tour.

Unlike anything else you've ever seen him in, this is an intimate and honest feature length documentary that reveals how Micky went from performing in East End pubs to creating an O2 Arena tour that saw him performing to more people than Beyoncé and Take That. From early raw material to the O2 Arena, this film reveals the man behind the laughter and invites the audience in to the rarely seen world of a master comic at work.

The Pot Carriers

The Pot Carriers

Out now. Blu-ray, DVD

Ronald Fraser reprises his role as a petty career criminal in this big-screen remake of a hit 1960 Play Of The Week comedy drama of the same name.

An authentic and original look at life behind bars, The Pot Carriers also stars Paul Massie as a first-time prisoner, Carole Lesley as the girl he left outside and Dennis Price in a memorable turn as the charming-but-unprincipled Smooth-Tongue Bertie. It is featured here as a brand new high definition transfer from original film elements in its original theatrical aspect ratio.

James Rainbow is sentenced to twelve months for GBH. Assigned to prison kitchen duties he is taken under the wing of several old lags led by Redband and becomes involved in some of their fiddles. Redband, however, is due to be released soon and wants to pull one really big fiddle before he goes!

The Indian Doctor - Series 1, 2, 3

The Indian Doctor - Series 1, 2, 3

Pre-order. DVD

The complete Series 1, 2 & 3 of the hit BBC comic drama.

Starring Sanjeev Bhaskar, Ayesha Dharker and Mark Williams, the series tells the story of Dr Prem Sharma, a high-flying Delhi graduate who arrives in the UK in 1963 as part of the "first wave" of Indian doctors wooed by the then health minister, Enoch Powell. Prem and his wife, Kamini, want to build a new life for themselves following a family tragedy but, rather than finding a glamorous job as a consultant in London, they find themselves in the sleepy Welsh coal mining village of Trefelin. The local doctor has died and Prem is his replacement. Prem isn't quite the new doctor that the locals expected to get and they're not the only ones who are shocked: Prem's regal wife isn't too happy with the situation either!

I'm Not In Love

I'm Not In Love

Out now. Download

An independently produced British comedy feature, now available to stream.

Rob, in his late thirties, needs to decide if he wants to have a baby with his girlfriend Marta, but he's worried that he's fallen out of love with her. He asks his seemingly unhappily married friends for advice. They all tell him that he won't be able to do better so he might as well marry her; over the course of two weeks his friend Chris tries to set him up on a date, he meets up with the woman he thought was the great love of his life, he tries to get to grips with the idea of 'settling', and attempts to resolve his issues. But when Rob eventually does propose to Marta, things don't go exactly to plan.

Blue Juice

Blue Juice

Pre-order. DVD

JC (Sean Pertwee) is a dedicated surfer who was king of the surfing waves, when he was younger. Now approaching thirty, his girlfriend Chloe (Catherine Zeta Jones) wants him to stop playing around on the waves and make a commitment. But when his wild friends turn up he has to make the big decision: his girlfriend or his surfboard.

This mid-90s comedy is one of a range of Film4 comedies being reissued on DVD.

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

Comedy videos

The Sticky Peanut Butter In The Woods

The Sticky Peanut Butter In The Woods

A nice story about a hedgehog and some peanut butter. The Noise Next Door's first foray into stop motion animation...

The Room Next Door - Boris Johnson and Bunny Hugging

The Room Next Door - Boris Johnson and Bunny Hugging

Boris Johnson is talking about climate change...

The Pursuit Of Love - The Pursuit Of Love

The Pursuit Of Love - Trailer

This new romantic comedy drama about love and friendship is coming soon to the BBC. An adaptation of Nancy Mitford's celebrated novel and set in Europe between the two World Wars, the story follows the adventures and misadventures of the charismatic and fearless Linda Radlett.

How Did Body Hair Get So Political?

How Did Body Hair Get So Political?

How did body hair get so political? Why has it become such a big issue to shave or not to shave? Is it really "unladylike" to keep your body hair as nature intended?

Drunk History - Black Stories - Thanyia Moore on Mary Seacole

Drunk History - Black Stories - Thanyia Moore on Mary Seacole

Thanyia Moore talks about Mary Seacole, one of the pioneers of modern nursing and all-round healing in this new online spin-off from the Comedy Central series.

Inside No. 9 - David Sowerbutts reacts to Inside No. 9 trailer

David Sowerbutts reacts to Inside No. 9 trailer

The sixth series of Inside No. 9 starts in May. You can see the trailer online now. And/or you can watch the character David Sowerbutts doing an "eraction viddeoe" to that trailer.

Deepfake Greta Thunberg

Deepfake Greta Thunberg

To mark Earth Day, Channel 4 released this TikTok parody purporting to star Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg. In reality, it was impressionist Katia Kvinge. 'Deepfake' technology continues to improve...

The Beast of Romney Marsh

The Beast of Romney Marsh

Ace reporter Paton Patel investigates the strange case of The Beast of Romney Marsh, a gruesome creature terrorising residents in the isolated seaside community in Kent. Paton retraces the beast's trail of fear and comes across some very odd witnesses.

What it'll be like at Edinburgh Fringe 2021

What it'll be like at Edinburgh Fringe 2021

Every comedian is absolutely buzzing about the Edinburgh Festival Fringe going ahead this year and in absolutely no way worried or nervous about putting on a show.

Inside the BBC Complaints Department

Inside the BBC Complaints Department

They get complaints about everything...

Bring Back The Good Old Days

Bring Back The Good Old Days

Did you know oranges used to be called crogs? Jazz Emu has just found that fact out.

Spotlight

Blithe Spirit

Blithe Spirit

Adapted from Noël Coward's much-loved play, this new film version of Blithe Spirit was delayed from cinemas last year amidst covid and released through Sky in January - but comes to DVD and Blu-ray today, for all to enjoy. Starring Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey), Isla Fisher (Grimsby), Hollywood's Leslie Mann and screen icon Dame Judi Dench as the brilliantly mysterious Madame Arcati - plus support from the likes of Emilia Fox and Julian Rhind-Tutt - it's a riotous, laughter-packed period comedy that tells the tale of a novelist struggling for inspiration and a seance gone horribly, horribly wrong.

Thanks for reading

Marc Pinto has won the classical music themed BCG Pro Gag-a-Week competition:

"I write all my concertos in braille so don't blame me if you can't feel the music".

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