Weekly Newsletter

Tuesday 1st June 2021

Summer appears to have arrived! In normal times that'd mean a quiet news period, but we've still got plenty to divulge.

Latest comedy news

Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie reunite for new film

Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie reunite for new film

Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie are reuniting on screen for the first time in more than a decade. Animated film The Canterville Ghost, based on the short story by Oscar Wilde, has been in development for 11 years but is only now in production.

Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction 2021 shortlist revealed

Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction 2021 shortlist revealed

The books by Dolly Alderton, Naji Bakhti, Diksha Basu, Guy Kennaway, Hilary Leichter and Lauren Oyler have been shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize 2021.

Comedy producer Charlie Hanson accused of sexual assaults

Comedy producer Charlie Hanson accused of sexual assaults

TV comedy producer Charlie Hanson has been accused of being a sexual predator. Eleven women have outlined allegations against him in a letter to BAFTA and Netflix. He denies all the claims.

Best Comedy Podcast nominees announced

Best Comedy Podcast nominees announced

Beef And Dairy Network, Dear Joan And Jericha, Hidden Ireland, Kurupt FM, Poppy Hillstead Has Entered The Chat and SeanceCast have been nominated for Best Comedy Podcast in the British Podcast Awards 2021.

Friday Night Dinner wins at Broadcast Awards 2021

Friday Night Dinner wins at Broadcast Awards 2021

Friday Night Dinner has won in the Comedy category at the Broadcast Awards 2021. The Ranganation won a prize for Best Lockdown Programme.

Bill Bailey hints at Black Books reunion

Bill Bailey hints at Black Books reunion

Black Books fans can start getting excited about a retrospective celebration of Dylan Moran's sitcom. Bill Bailey, who co-starred in the three series of the cult Channel 4 comedy, has revealed that there are plans to reunite the creative team behind it.

Comedians quit Yesterday, Today & The Day Before in Palestine protest

Comedians quit Yesterday, Today & The Day Before in Palestine protest

Comedy Central's irreverent news show Yesterday, Today & The Day Before was plunged into controversy after presenters Sophie Duker and Kemah Bob quit in protest over its decision not to air the former's take on the Israel-Palestine conflict - which Comedy Central say broke broadcast rules.

Katherine Ryan to return as host for All That Glitters Series 2

Katherine Ryan to return as host for All That Glitters Series 2

Katherine Ryan is to return to present a second series of BBC Two's All That Glitters: Britain's Next Jewellery Star.

The Skewer wins gold at Audio & Radio Industry Awards

The Skewer wins gold at Audio & Radio Industry Awards

Satirical comedy show The Skewer has won the gold award at the Audio & Radio Industry Awards 2021.

Channel 4 launches sketch series with a host of comedians

Channel 4 launches sketch series with a host of comedians

Nick Helm, Jen Brister, Hal Cruttenden, Felicity Ward and children's television presenter Dave Benson Phillips are among the wealth of comic talent to feature in a new Channel 4 sketch series.

Max & Ivan writing sport comedy for ITV2

Max & Ivan writing sport comedy for ITV2

Max & Ivan are making a sport-based comedy. The narrative sketch duo are writing six 30-minute episodes for ITV2.

Taskmaster treasure hunt book to be published in September

Taskmaster treasure hunt book to be published in September

A new Taskmaster book - Bring Me The Head Of The Taskmaster: 101 Next Level Tasks - is to be published in September 2021.

Alan Partridge live 2022 arena tour announced

Alan Partridge live 2022 arena tour announced

Steve Coogan will tour a new Alan Partridge live show around arenas in April and May 2022.

BBC Scotland unveils female-led comedies

BBC Scotland unveils female-led comedies

Janey Godley, Ashley Storrie and Karen Dunbar are among the stars of a raft of female-led comedies commissioned by BBC Scotland. Commissions include Dregs, Stevens & McCarthy, Who Runs The World? and Two For One.

On The Buses movies to be celebrated in new documentary film

On The Buses movies to be celebrated in new documentary film

A feature-length film documentary looking at the huge success of the On The Buses movies is in development. On The Buses At The Movies will focus on the three films made between 1971 and 1973.

Meera Syal and Jennifer Saunders star in Audible sitcom 'Raj!'

Meera Syal and Jennifer Saunders star in Audible sitcom 'Raj!'

Audible has launched Raj!, a seven-part audio sitcom set in 19th Century India. Meera Syal and Jennifer Saunders star.

Sophie Willan wins BAFTA comedy writing award

Sophie Willan wins BAFTA comedy writing award

Sophie Willan has won the comedy writing prize at the BAFTA Craft Awards 2021, for her Alma's Not Normal pilot script. Check out the video of her celebrating the win... it's really good.

Sadia Azmat to publish Sex Bomb memoir

Sadia Azmat to publish Sex Bomb memoir

Comedian Sadia Azmat is to publish Sex Bomb, a "conversation-starting memoir" that "offers a whole new look at the experiences of a Muslim woman".

Advert

Hannah Gadsby

Hannah Gadsby, world class, award winning funny person, has a brand new live show - Body of Work - and it's arriving in the UK in March 2022! Tickets for these highly anticipated shows on the 15th and 17th March at the London Palladium are now on sale via www.myticket.co.uk

Features

Comedy Chronicles: The life and times of Frankie Howerd's toupée

Comedy Chronicles: The life and times of Frankie Howerd's toupée

What a strange job it was, being Frankie Howerd's wig. It had to rest there on top of his head, doing its best to seem subtle and discreet, whilst its owner regularly blew its cover by scratching it, flipping it and skewing it...

Musical Comedy Awards finalists ready for Saturday 12th June live stream

Musical Comedy Awards finalists ready for Saturday 12th June live stream

The Musical Comedy Awards 2020 final is due to take place on Saturday 12th June. Here's a rundown of the acts due to take part, and details of how to watch the live stream.

Tom Rosenthal and Simon Bird on Friday Night Dinner

Tom Rosenthal and Simon Bird on Friday Night Dinner

Ahead of last week's broadcast of the Friday Night Dinner documentary, Tom Rosenthal and Simon Bird talked about some of their best bits from the hit sitcom.

Win Boycie In Belgrade on DVD

Win Boycie In Belgrade on DVD

We have copies of Boycie In Belgrade, the new DVD in which Only Fools And Horses star John Challis heads to Serbia to learn why the sitcom is so popular there, to hand out.

British Comedy Quiz #155

British Comedy Quiz #155

You'll need to be aware of the career of comic actor Janine Duvitski to stand a chance of getting full marks in this edition of our quiz.

Podcasts

Podcasts

A new Worst Writer In The World story started this week. Meanwhile, Felicity Ward was on RHLSTP With Richard Herring.

TV listings

Guessable?

Guessable?

Tuesday 9pm, Comedy Central

Sara Pascoe, alongside team captains Alan Davies and Darren Harriott, welcome Susie Dent, Nick Helm, Russell Kane and Desiree Burch into the loft to play an array of guessing games.

Bloods

Bloods

Wednesday 10pm, Sky One

Jo gets lucky with a male nurse and tries to use it to make Lawrence jealous, while Kareshma resorts to desperate measures to get rid of Gary.

There's Something About Movies

There's Something About Movies

Thursday 9pm, Sky One

Postponed a week by the Friends Reunion programme, Alan, Jennifer and Tom are joined by guest captain Rafe Spall, plus Mark Strong, Claudia Winkleman and Romesh Ranganathan.

Yesterday, Today & The Day Before

Yesterday, Today & The Day Before

Thursday 9pm, Comedy Central

Week 3 of the topical comedy show offering a female take on world events. There's no word as yet on who the guests or presenters will be.

Mock The Week

Mock The Week

Thursday 10pm, BBC Two

Maisie Adam, Angela Barnes, Ed Byrne, Milton Jones and Kae Kurd are set to appear on the topical comedy show this Thursday.

CelebAbility

CelebAbility

Thursday 10pm, ITV2

A fifth series of the comedy entertainment format in which Iain Stirling aims to uncover unique skills and abilities possessed by celebrities. Scarlett Moffatt is back as a regular, with Sonny Jay, Katherine Ryan, Melvin Odoom and Megan Barton-Hanson as this week's players. But who will win: the public or the stars?

We Are Lady Parts

We Are Lady Parts

Thursday 10pm, Channel 4

The wonderful new comedy continues. Amina enjoys spending time with Ahsan at Noor's party and once more there's a spark between them.

Breeders

Breeders

Thursday 10pm, Sky One

Luke's anxiety is becoming a problem at home and school. Would a medical diagnosis make his life easier or harder? Ally faces further tension after her mother Leah is robbed.

Sliced

Sliced

Thursday 10pm, Dave

Series 2 of the sitcom set around a pizza delivery shop. After the humiliation of being caught dressed as a dog at a council flat, Joshua is trying to patch things up with Naomi. Unfortunately for him, it may be too late. Meanwhile, Ricky gets mugged.

Feel Good

Feel Good

Friday, Netflix

Now on Netflix instead of Channel 4, Mae & George's complicated love story continues in Series 2. Mae struggles to come to terms with the ghosts from her past and George tries to reinvent her present.

Have I Got News For You

Have I Got News For You

Friday 9pm, BBC One

In the final episode of this series, Aisling Bea takes to the host's chair for her programme debut. Roisin Conaty and new Mastermind host Clive Myrie will be the guests.

This Time With Alan Partridge

This Time With Alan Partridge

Friday 9:30pm, BBC One

Series 2 ends with a special regal edition that sees a member of the Royal family welcomed to the studio. But can Alan maintain his dignity in the face of a career-defining setback?

The Last Leg

The Last Leg

Friday 10pm, Channel 4

Series 22 of the topical comedy show. Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker are joined by celebrity guests Rob Beckett and Maya Jama for this opener.

Scot Squad

Scot Squad Euros Special

Sunday 10pm, BBC Scotland

It's all kicking off for the Euros! The squad get their game face on to see some action in the field, on the road, online and on the beat.

Things to listen out for on the radio include Twayna Mayne: Black Women (Wednesday, 11pm), The Skewer (Wednesday, 11:15pm) and The Last Of England (Saturday, 3pm). For a complete list of TV and radio broadcasts, including repeats, see our full schedule.

Shop

London Town

London Town

Pre-order. DVD

Starring comedy legend Sid Field, London Town is a fine nostalgic look at 1940s music hall entertainment, with a superb supporting cast including Kay Kendall, Petula Clark and Greta Gynt. Although not in HD, the film is presented in this release from a new digital remaster.

Jerry Sandford (Field) has been playing the provincial theatres most of his life. But, when he is offered a chance to make it in the big time, Jerry grabs it with both hands and heads off to London town! When he arrives in the West End, however, he realises that the streets of London are not all paved with gold and he has to settle for life as an understudy to the headline act. Undaunted, his daughter Peggy (Clark) decides to take matters into her own hands to give Jerry his big break, with hilarious consequences!

London Town was Britain's first major Technicolor musical and is part of British film legend. Financed by the Rank Organisation at a time of rationing and shortages for materials in 1946, it was filmed at 'Sound City Shepperton'.

Fawlty Towers: For The Record

Fawlty Towers: For The Record

Out now. Vinyl

For the first time ever, a complete vinyl LP collection of the audio versions of all twelve Fawlty Towers TV episodes - with an exclusive frameable print signed by the legendary John Cleese and strictly limited to just 1,500 copies! Click through, or see our Shop Twitter account, for an exclusive unboxing video of this gorgeous, deluxe, box set.

Four original BBC vinyl albums from the early 1980s - Fawlty Towers, Second Sitting, At Your Service and A La Carte - are joined by two newly created collections, Plat du Jour and Enjoy Your Stay, to form this collection of all 12 TV episodes. Much of the special linking narration - supplied by hapless waiter Manuel (Andrew Sachs) - is unique to the vinyl versions and hasn't been available since their original pressings.

Each of the six 140g white vinyl LPs is presented in an all-new artwork cover, inside which is a facsimile of the original BBC Records & Cassettes cover (plus 'faux' period covers for Plat du Jour and Enjoy Your Stay). A four-page booklet details the development of Fawlty Towers, plus a history of the original LP releases.

This Time With Alan Partridge - Series 2

This Time With Alan Partridge - Series 2

Pre-order. DVD

The iconic Alan Partridge returns to the big time with a second series of weeknight magazine show This Time. Alan's run as a primetime co-presenter at the BBC has been going surprisingly well - but all good things must come to an end.

Alan is gripped by fears that his relevance is dwindling, his relationship with his co-host, Jenny, is increasingly fraught, and a behind-the-scenes upheaval is putting his position in jeopardy. Presented 'as live', This Time sees Alan straining to juggle a frenzied variety of topics while battling paranoia, unruly guests and very dry skin.

A box set of both series is also available to order.

Flying The Flag - The Complete Series 1-4

Flying The Flag - The Complete Series 1-4

Pre-order. Audiobook

All four series of the Eastern bloc embassy sitcom starring Dinsdale Landen, first broadcast between 1987 and 1992, and written by Alex Shearer.

Set in a British embassy somewhere in Russia as the Cold War draws to a close, this sitcom follows Her Majesty's Ambassador Mr Mackenzie as he navigates the idiosyncrasies of life behind the Iron Curtain.

Rosie Wilby - The Breakup Monologues: The Unexpected Joy of Heartbreak

Rosie Wilby - The Breakup Monologues: The Unexpected Joy of Heartbreak

Out now. Hardback, eBook

In 2011, comedian Rosie Wilby was dumped by email. Obsessing about breakups ever since, she embarked on a personal quest to investigate, understand and conquer the psychology of heartbreak. Part memoir, part investigation, The Breakup Monologues takes on the big questions about our life-changing separations in the modern age of ghosting, breadcrumbing and conscious uncoupling.

In Rosie's trademark immersive, investigative form, the self-styled 'lesbian Louis Theroux' puts her own relationship under the microscope in a 'sex lab' and explores how a split parallels the effects of withdrawing from a drug, why friendship breakups can feel like the worst endings of all, how polyamory changes the conversation about commitment, how breakups can sometimes be empowering and lead to exciting new life journeys... and how ultimately they can even help us to stay together.

The book features anecdotes and insights from Richard Herring, Dolly Alderton, Sofie Hagen and Ayesha Hazarika amongst others.

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

Comedy videos

Blade Runner but Mr Blobby is there

Blade Runner but Mr Blobby is there

Alasdair Beckett-King re-imagines the film Blade Runner with Mr Blobby included.

MSN Messenger song

MSN Messenger song

Jazz Emu sings about love in 2005. If you're of a certain age, this'll bring back teenage memories of MSN Messenger.

Mr Bell, the Magical Gammon

Mr Bell, the Magical Gammon

A classic episode from forgotten 1970s children's show Mr Bell, featuring an exciting adventure with some Zulus!

YouTuber Eats 300 Meals A Day

YouTuber Eats 300 Meals A Day

Meet Beth, the YouTuber who easts 300 micro meals a day. "I still eat the same amount as any other person... just in tiny portions."

The Duke - Trailer

The Duke - Trailer

A trailer for the forthcoming film starring Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren. Set in 1961 and based on a true story, The Duke follows the story of Kempton Bunton, the 60-year old taxi driver who stole a portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery.

The Green & Pleasant Guide - Rambling

The Green & Pleasant Guide - Rambling

A new animated web series. "We don our boots to roam a rural expanse rich with doggers, mentally scarred artists, and You Are Here signs that are out to get you."

Are You Drinking Enough Water?

Are You Drinking Enough Water?

Have your apps got out of control? Are they running your life?

Ali Official, Sukh Ojla and Eshaan Akbar back Hepatitis C campaign

Ali Official, Sukh Ojla and Eshaan Akbar back Hepatitis C campaign

Stand-ups Ali Official, Sukh Ojla and Eshaan Akbar are backing an unconventional health campaign named Hep C, Ki?. The comedians have come together to help tackle stigma around hepatitis C and raise awareness of its risk factors in South Asian communities in England.

Misery Hates Company - Work

Misery Hates Company - Work

Simon finds himself having to reassure a health and safety-obsessed colleague, and soon wishes he hadn't bothered.

Motherland impressions

Motherland impressions

Chi With A C performs some Motherland impressions.

Lockdown Lady: An introduction to society

Lockdown Lady: An introduction to society

As restrictions ease, Quirks & Foibles takes an inform and educate approach - helping you to re-emerge into the wilderness that is society.

Spotlight

Aaagh! It's The Mr Hell Show

Aaagh! It's The Mr Hell Show

On what would have been Bob Monkhouse's 93rd birthday, remind yourself of this offbeat, animated BBC sketch show from 2001-2 in which he starred. A co-production between the UK and Canada, just thirteen weird and wonderful episodes were produced - and have all been released on DVD.

Thanks for reading

Nicky Roberts has won the latest BCG Pro Gag-a-Week competition, which was themed around the topic of motorways:

"By the time I came off the M4 I'd been sharpened, highlighted and hole-punched. The traffic was stationery."

If you're interested in writing, performing and/or producing comedy, do keep an eye on BCG Pro - our website that aims to help people get started, and to further the careers of those already working in the industry.

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