Weekly Newsletter

Monday 13th September 2021

Got plans this Friday? If you can make it to central London, come and join the audience of our live final of BCG Pro's stand-up awards. It's going to be a great night! See below for more info.

Latest comedy news

Early Doors Live released for NHS charity

Early Doors Live released for NHS charity

A recording of the Early Doors Live stage show has been released for rental, in aid of Manchester-based NHS cancer treatment charity The Christie.

Joe Lycett & Josh Widdicombe film 'Who Do You Think You Are?'

Joe Lycett & Josh Widdicombe film 'Who Do You Think You Are?'

Joe Lycett and Josh Widdicombe will feature in the new series of genealogy show Who Do You Think You Are?, coming to BBC One this October.

Janey Godley dropped from Scottish government's coronavirus campaign

Janey Godley dropped from Scottish government's coronavirus campaign

Janey Godley has been dropped from the Scottish government's coronavirus awareness campaign amidst controversy over her offensive old tweets.

Detectorists' Mackenzie Crook & Toby Jones reunite in Worzel Gummidge

Detectorists' Mackenzie Crook & Toby Jones reunite in Worzel Gummidge

Detectorists duo Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones are reuniting in the second series of Worzel Gummidge.

Ladhood Series 3 confirmed

Ladhood Series 3 confirmed

BBC Three has confirmed a third series of Ladhood, the sitcom written by and starring Liam Williams.

Russell Tovey joins Mawaan Rizwan's BBC sitcom pilot Juice

Russell Tovey joins Mawaan Rizwan's BBC sitcom pilot Juice

Russell Tovey has joined the cast of Mawaan Rizwan's BBC Three pilot Juice, alongside the stand-up's real-life brother and mother, plus fellow comic Jeff Mirza.

Instagram sketch comic Soph Galustian pilots BBC sitcom Peck'Eds

Instagram sketch comic Soph Galustian pilots BBC sitcom Peck'Eds

BBC Three has ordered Peck'Eds, a series of comedy shorts about working-class,15-year-old women growing up in South Manchester from spoken word poet and online sketch comic Soph Galustian.

Kat Sadler pilots new BBC sitcom 'such brave girls'

Kat Sadler pilots new BBC sitcom 'such brave girls'

Stand-up Kat Sadler has written and stars alongside her sister Lizzie Davidson in such brave girls, a loosely autobiographical new BBC Three sitcom pilot.

New Peter Kay autobiography and audiobook

New Peter Kay autobiography and audiobook

Peter Kay has recorded an audiobook of his bestselling first autobiography, The Sound Of Laughter, for the very first time. Including two new chapters, it will be published later this month. The comic has also revealed he has begun work on a third volume, charting his TV career.

Stand-up Lynn Ruth Miller dies aged 87

Stand-up Lynn Ruth Miller dies aged 87

Lynn Ruth Miller, the oldest working comic in Britain or her native US, has died at the age of 87. She had been diagnosed with cancer in July.

Burnistoun set for film return

Burnistoun set for film return

Burnistoun is set to return, as a film focused on the characters Peter and Scott. Robert Florence and Iain Connell have confirmed to British Comedy Guide they've begun work on a feature-length spin-off of their cult sketch show.

Comedians film stand-up sets for Sky's The Deirdre O'Kane Show

Comedians film stand-up sets for Sky's The Deirdre O'Kane Show

Tom Allen, Ardal O'Hanlon and Reginald D Hunter are among the comedians appearing on Sky's new stand-up showcase, The Deirdre O'Kane Show.

Comedies in the running for Edinburgh TV Festival Awards 2021

Comedies in the running for Edinburgh TV Festival Awards 2021

Bloods, Brassic, Motherland, Starstruck, Trying and We Are Lady Parts are amongst the nominees for the Edinburgh TV Festival Awards 2021.

Max And Paddy to return?

Max And Paddy to return?

Paddy McGuinness has suggested that Max And Paddy's Road To Nowhere, the Channel 4 sitcom he starred in with Peter Kay, may return. Two Christmas specials have already been written.

Nish Kumar guests on hip hop album

Nish Kumar guests on hip hop album

Nish Kumar appears on the new album by US hip hop star L'Orange. The Late Night Mash host contributes vocals to three tracks on The World Is Still Chaos, But I Feel Better.

Molly Rainford to star in CBBC's Nova Jones

Molly Rainford to star in CBBC's Nova Jones

Singer Molly Rainford will star in Nova Jones, a CBBC comedy adventure series about an 18-year-old pop star undertaking a concert tour throughout the galaxy.

Actor Tony Selby dies aged 83

Actor Tony Selby dies aged 83

Actor and comedy star Tony Selby died on Sunday, it has been announced.

Advert

Union Jack Comedy Club

Union JACK Radio launches regular comedy gigs in Manchester, Bristol, Hull and Leicester - boasting line ups featuring Sunil Patel, Jack Gleadow and Sikisa! See the full line up, book tickets and find future performances: unionjack.co.uk/comedyclub

Features

Sophie Willan interview

Sophie Willan interview

Sophie Willan explains the genesis and sets the scene for her comedy, Alma's Not Normal, which starts a run on BBC Two from tonight.

Comedy Rewind: Bottom's Up - Looking Back at Bottom

Comedy Rewind: Bottom's Up - Looking Back at Bottom

Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson's scatological sitcom ran for three series from 1991 to 1995, winning legions of fans. We take a look back at the slapstick classic.

First Gig, Worst Gig: Nina Conti

First Gig, Worst Gig: Nina Conti

Drive-in highs and drive-in lows: Nina Conti takes us through her lockdowns, and new tour extravaganza The Dating Show.

British Comedy Quiz #170

British Comedy Quiz #170

Tony Hancock, Two Pints Of Lager and Just A Minute... as always, there's a wide range of topics to test you in this week's quiz. Watch out for another new run of questions on Wednesday.

Advert

London Wunderground

London Wonderground has a fantastic line-up of comedy shows until 26 September! Head to Earls Court to see Rhod Gilbert, Rich Hall, Jess Robinson, Eshaan Akbar, Janine Harouni, Lucy Porter and many more. All information and tickets at londonwonderground.co.uk

TV listings

Ghosts

Ghosts

Monday 8:30pm, BBC One

In the final episode in the series, the Captain and Kitty work together with the other ghosts to solve an important unfolding mystery. Fingers crossed for some Series 4 news soon!

The Complaints Department

The Complaints Department

Monday 9pm, Comedy Central

Jason Manford hosts this new panel show based around complaining. First up: Jimmy Carr, Russell Kane, Sara Barron, and Baroness Sayeeda Warsi.

Alma's Not Normal

Alma's Not Normal

Monday 10pm, BBC Two

Sophie Willian's sitcom returns for a full series run, with a repeat of the pilot you may have seen last year tonight.

British As Folk

British As Folk

Monday 10pm, Dave

Fern Brady, Darren Harriott and Ivo Graham travel around the UK interrogating stereotypes and traditions in this new series.

Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father

Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father

Tuesday, Netflix

Jack and Michael Whitehall return with the fifth (and final) series of their adventure show. This time they're touring the UK. From a dinner with Gordon Ramsay, piloting a spitfire and a search for the Loch Ness monster, they have lots to experience.

Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled

Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled

Tuesday 10pm, Dave

Alan invites Munya Chawawa, Nina Conti, Morgana Robinson and Bill Bailey to join him for an evening of swapping funny stories and sharing interesting anecdotes. Tonight's tales range from panthers to plastic surgery, practical jokes and impersonations.

The Holden Girls: Mandy & Myrtle

The Holden Girls: Mandy & Myrtle

Tuesday 10pm, E4

Two more episodes of the show in which Leigh Francis pretends to be Amanda Holden's gran. In search of romance, Myrtle has a disastrous experience in the First Dates restaurant.

Rhod Gilbert's Growing Pains

Rhod Gilbert's Growing Pains

Wednesday 9pm, Comedy Central

Richard Madeley, Daliso Chaponda and Rosie Jones share their embarrassing teenage lives with host Rhod Gilbert.

Code 404

Code 404

Wednesday 10pm, Sky Comedy

Major has a rival. Introducing BRIAN (Brain Representation In Artificial Networks): he's cute, fun, gives great pilates classes, sounds an awful lot like Richard Ayoade and is programmed to maximise arrests in the Greater London area.

Joe Lycett's Got Your Back

Joe Lycett's Got Your Back

Thursday 8pm, Channel 4

Sarah Millican joins Joe as he takes on Virgin Media's Ts and Cs, and with the help of a beloved boyband registers a national day in the name of "rubbish" broadband.

A League Of Their Own

A League Of Their Own

Thursday 9pm, Sky Max

Romesh, Jamie and Freddie are joined by comedian Chris Ramsey, multi-disciplined parasport athlete Kadeena Cox, national treasure Sue Perkins and football legend Teddy Sheringham.

QI

QI

Thursday 10pm, BBC Two

In the second episode of the new series, Sandi uncovers a stash of secrets with Alan Davies, Daliso Chaponda, Cariad Lloyd and James Acaster.

The Russell Howard Hour

The Russell Howard Hour

Thursday 10pm, Sky Max

Russell is back with his take on another week, a top interview guest, and a guest stand-up spot.

The Scotts

The Scotts

Thursday 10pm, BBC Scotland

The sitcom continues. Colette is in need of funds to finance her latest lifetime dream to become an international singing sensation.

Late Night Mash

Late Night Mash

Thursday 10pm, Dave

More topical comedy from Nish Kumar and the Mash team. Hopefully some more of the regulars will be in attendance this time.

Sex Education

Sex Education

Friday, Netflix

Otis, Eric, Maeve and their other friends - and frenemies - at Moordale Secondary return for the much-anticipated third series of the hit comedy drama.

The Cleaner

The Cleaner

Friday 9:30pm, BBC One

Pompous author Terence Redford (David Mitchell) is trying to write his latest masterpiece but is finding it difficult to concentrate - partly because of writer's block and partly because his grandmother has recently burnt to death in his living room.

Bill Bailey: Larks In Transit

Bill Bailey: Larks In Transit

Friday 10:35pm, BBC One

A recording of Bill Bailey performing his recent stand-up show at the prestigious Royal Opera House.

Spitting Image

Spitting Image

Saturday, BritBox

The iconic satire's second revived series continues. It may feel quite a different beast from its 1980s heyday, but it still packs a punch. Expect more from Harry, Meghan and the Santa Barbarians.

Paul O'Grady's Saturday Night Line-Up

Paul O'Grady's Saturday Night Line-Up

Saturday 9:35pm, ITV

The host puts questions, scenarios and dilemmas to Amanda Holden, David Haye, Johnny Vegas and Aston Merrygold, who must arrange themselves from best to worst correctly to match the order the British public have put them in.

Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing

Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing

Sunday 8pm, BBC Two

It is the start of the coarse fishing season and to celebrate Bob and Paul head to the Norfolk Broads to fish in some of East Anglia's most historic and celebrated waterways.

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

Promotion

Felicity Ward

Our stand-up competition final is this Friday (17th September) at the Museum Of Comedy in London. The show starts 7pm. Felicity Ward hosts, as six rising stars (Brandon Burke, Suchandrika Chakrabarti, Liz Guterbock, Benjamin Lovell, Stuart Mitchell and Luke Rollason) perform their best sets - plus a special set from Bennet Kavanagh. Say hello to us if you come along! Info & Tickets

Shop

Motherland - Series 3

Motherland - Series 3

Pre-order. DVD

The nation's favourite gang of Mums (and Dad) return to navigate the pitfalls of middle-class parenting and the clash of cliques formed at the school gates.

Set for release in just one month's time, this is the acclaimed BBC Two sitcom's most recent series, and is expected to include the 2020 Christmas special.

Jimmy Carr - Before & Laughter

Jimmy Carr - Before & Laughter

Pre-order. eBook, Audiobook, Paperback, Hardback

Jimmy Carr. At the top of his game, he is an award-winning comedian who consistently performs to sell-out arenas around the world. He's also, by his own admission, a happy guy. Yet it wasn't always like that.

Back when he was 25, Jimmy was in a white-collar job he hated. He was bored, felt unfulfilled and was generally pretty miserable. How did he achieve this level of success he is now enjoying, in both his professional and personal life? How did he manage to thrive as a comedian but also as a human being? The answers are in this book, which contains "valuable and mind-opening advice that everyone will benefit from, at whatever point in their lives", because Jimmy knows all about the pursuit of happiness, having obsessed about and researched the subject ever since he chose to make huge changes in his life.

From prioritising the future over the present to understanding the benefits of laughter, and from working on your disposition to finding your edge, Jimmy takes us through some key pillars to help us free ourselves from punishing patterns of behaviour and negative internal voices, so that we can pursue our dreams. He delves into specific moments and incidents in his own life that shows how he managed to make it work for him. And because we're talking Jimmy Carr here, there are jokes, jokes and more jokes throughout. This is "self-analysis through the power of laughter at its most rewarding".

Bless This House

Bless This House

Out now. Blu-ray, DVD

Comedy legend Sid James reprises his role as the perpetually bewildered head of a dysfunctional family in the hit film adaptation of the legendary '70s sitcom of the same name. Co-starring Diana Coupland, Sally Geeson and Confessions star Robin Askwith alongside Terry Scott and June Whitfield, Bless This House is produced and directed by Carry On maestros Peter Rogers and Gerald Thomas and is featured here as a brand new high definition remaster from original film elements in its original theatrical aspect ratio.

Sid's idyllic dream of long lie-ins and fraternal wine-making with his pal Trevor is shattered when Ronald Baines and his family move in next door. Things go from bad to worse due to some accidental property destruction on Sid's part - and daughter Sally's over-enthusiastic attempt to put out a bonfire!

Extras comprise of the original theatrical trailer for the film, and an image gallery. The first ever HD restoration, this Blu-ray world premiere is available now.

Katherine Ryan - The Audacity

Katherine Ryan - The Audacity

Pre-order. Hardback, Audiobook, eBook

The star of The Duchess and the host of Telling Everybody Everything, this is the debut book from superstar comedian Katherine Ryan.

"While I've been very blessed to have worked in comedy for over a decade, The Audacity gives me the opportunity to connect with people more fully and honestly than a panel show allows. I've learned to be a sharp-shooter on stage, but there are so many stories that I'm eager to tell in more sincere, longer form. I hope it gives people a laugh, an insight, and hopefully some encouragement on how to live their most fulfilled, authentic lives."

Detailing her journey from ex-Hooters waitress fresh off the boat from Canada to comedy megastar, chapters cover How to Potty Train Your Baby at 10 Months, How to Cut Off Your Racist Aunties, How to Marry Your High School Boyfriend and How to Co-Parent when you're a Single Mum. The Audacity combines Katherine's "unerring ear for the perfect line with the warmth, compassion and hard-won wisdom" that makes up a life on and off stage.

Code 404 - Series 2

Code 404 - Series 2

Pre-order. DVD

Sky One's hit comedy returns. DI John Major and DI Roy Carver were the top crime fighting duo in the Unit but when an undercover sting went horribly wrong, Major was gunned down on the job and killed. As an 'asset' considered too valuable to lose, his body was fast-tracked into an experimental Artificial Intelligence project to bring him back from the dead. The only problem is, Major 2.0 may look like and sound like the original, but something was lost in translation - quite a lot actually. Oh, and if that wasn't enough, thinking her husband is dead, Major's wife has fallen in love with Carver. Somehow, Major's error-strewn hunches and Carver's scrambling to make good allows them to just about scrape by - but for how long?

A box set with Series 1 is also available to order.

Rob Auton - I Strongly Believe In Incredible Things

Rob Auton - I Strongly Believe In Incredible Things

Pre-order. Audiobook, eBook, Paperback, Hardback

A book of poetic prose, musings, short stories and biro drawings detailing a selection of the Earth's incredible things by award-winning writer, comedian, artist and podcaster Rob Auton.

"Unique, enchanting and utterly life affirming, this is a collection of pages that come together to create the opposite of the news, becoming the tonic for the complicated gin that is the world we find ourselves in today: a humorous and heartfelt book that is the yin to the yang that is politics; a book of breathing space that gives oxygen to rediscovering the beauty of living on earth with the aim of fuelling people to return to the coal-face of everyday life with optimism and wonder in their pockets. Inhaling all we have in common, exhaling all we don't."

From bubble wrap to Killer Whales; frog spawn to empathy, hand-dryers to parents, I Strongly Believe In Incredible Things wants to take you on a journey back to the incredible planet we live on.

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

Comedy videos

The Phantom Of The Open - Trailer

The Phantom Of The Open - Trailer

The trailer for Simon Farnaby's film telling the remarkable true story of Maurice Flitcroft, a crane operator and optimistic dreamer from Barrow-in-Furness who managed to gain entry to the 1976 British Open qualifying, despite never playing a round of golf before.

Spitting Image - ABBA are back

Spitting Image - ABBA are back

A sketch from this weekend's episode of the puppet show. The pop group ABBA are back...

Mission: Accessible - Manchester

Mission: Accessible - Manchester

The last episode in the series of Rosie Jones's laugh-out-loud disability-focused travel show (catch up via our site if you missed any). Rosie and Mike Wozniak head to Manchester to try out accessible skiing, a rage room and a guided tour of the city.

The Windiest Night of Vic Reeves life

The Windiest Night of Vic Reeves's life

An animated version of a story by Vic Reeves.

Flaps - Subscribe To 'Murder Most Podcastable' Today

Flaps - Subscribe To 'Murder Most Podcastable' Today

Are you even alive if you don't love true crime? In this case, apparently not.

Gammon and Proud

Gammon and Proud

"Bohemian Rhapsody for pigs" is the description for Dominic Frisby's latest musical video.

Unhelpful Auditioning Advice from Rowena Hollywood

Unhelpful Auditioning Advice from Rowena Hollywood

Rowena Hollywood (agent extraordinaire) gives advice on auditioning for actors.

A Song For Emily

A Song For Emily

A short sketch from Yiannis Vassilakis, featuring a musician who has a song for Emily.

Oops

Oops

A warning to those who swipe and wipe.

Virtually Everything - Shaparak Khorsandi Reveals Royal Obsession

Virtually Everything - Shaparak Khorsandi

In the latest Comic Relief video, discover how Shaparak Khorsandi might have instead become Dr Khorsandi the vet, and her childhood obsession with The Queen.

Taskmaster - Series 12 official trailer

Taskmaster - Series 12 official trailer

Series 12 of Taskmaster - featuring Alan Davies, Desiree Burch, Guz Khan, Victoria Coren Mitchell and Morgana Robinson - starts on Channel 4 on Thursday 23rd September.

Spotlight

Ali G Indahouse

Ali G Indahouse

Sacha Baron Cohen may well be primarily thought of as Borat these days, but the character was just one of many that the London comic created for The 11 O'Clock Show and its spin-offs with his first breakout hit character, Ali G. Fronting a popular entertainment show on Channel 4 in the guise of the clueless Staines loser, Cohen's first feature film followed early in 2002, and - with co-stars like Martin Freeman, Charles Dance and Michael Gambon - it remains riotously funny almost 20 years later. Seeing Ali G duped into running for Parliament and securing an unlikely win before being caught up in a plot to overthrow the Prime Minister, it would be followed by the likes of The Dictator, Bruno, and of course the two hit Borat feature films - with the Kazakh journalist himself also making an appearance.

Thanks for reading

Mike Sheldon has won the latest BCG Pro Gag-a-Week competition on the topic of "royalty":

The monarchy never goes on strike, but they do work to rule.

Three bits of BCG-related admin to end this newsletter on:

1. We've mentioned it already, but if you live near London we'd love to see you at our stand-up final this Friday. Do say hello at the bar afterwards!

2. If you're not already doing so, don't forget to follow us on social media (links below) for updates and content. For example, this morning we shared first-look pictures from Stephen Merchant's The Outlaws.

3. To keep publishing content, we need your support. Have you considered making a donation and joining our cause as a BCG Supporter?

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