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Friday 4th June 2021

Summer has finally arrived at BCG Towers in the last week (still no sign of Spring though), putting us in the mood for some good, bright, hearty laughs. New releases to share with you today include John Cleese and Graham Chapman's film Rentadick, now restored in HD; an autobiography from Gyles Brandreth; and a classic Radio 4 sitcom starring Ian Carmichael.

But before you read on, don't miss on our competition to win a DVD copy of documentary feature Boycie In Belgrade, in which Only Fools And Horses star John Challis visits Serbia to investigate the sitcom classic's iconic status in the unlikely European country.

Coming soon

Dr Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb

Dr Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb

Pre-order. 4K Blu-ray/Blu-ray

The lauded, satirical cinematic landmark is now available in UHD (4K) for the very first time.

Nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture (1964), Stanley Kubrick's black comedy about a group of paranoia-inspired, war-happy generals who manage to initiate an "accidental" nuclear apocalypse, is horribly frightening, delightfully funny and surprisingly relevant to this day. This is the saga of two psychotic generals: Joint Chief of Staff "Buck" Turgidson (George C. Scott) and Air Force Strategic Commander Jack Ripper (Sterling Hayden), who orders a bomber squadron to attack the USSR, triggering a Soviet secret weapon, the "Doomsday Machine", a diabolical retaliatory missile system. Peter Sellers portrays a trio of men who attempt to avert this catastrophe.

This new release comes absolutely jam-packed with extras over its two discs.

Rentadick

Rentadick

Pre-order. Blu-ray, DVD

Originally scripted by comedy legends John Cleese and Graham Chapman, this "hilarious" farce was the first of only two main features from cult director (and Oscar-winning editor) Jim Clark. Starring James Booth, Richard Briers and Richard Beckinsale as three hapless private investigators, Rentadick is featured here as a brand new high definition remaster from original film elements in its original theatrical aspect ratio.

Armitage, a rich scientist, has problems. Not only is his luscious wife being pursued (and caught) by all and sundry, but his laboratory is under threat of industrial espionage. He engages private detectives to protect both his business and his wife, but the service he receives is certainly not what he expected!

Micky Flanagan: Peeping Behind The Curtain

Micky Flanagan: Peeping Behind The Curtain

Pre-order. Blu-ray, DVD

Sky's feature-length documentary following comedian Micky Flanagan is now available to order on Blu-ray and DVD, offering "an extraordinary backstage pass" to his An' Another Fing tour, the sell-out O2 Arena run that became one of the world's biggest comedy tours.

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 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!

David J Cohen - Stand Up, Barry Goldman

David J Cohen - Stand Up, Barry Goldman

Pre-order. eBook

Stand Up, Barry Goldman - like Elena Ferrante, but with jokes - is the debut novel of David J Cohen, stand-up comedian, Sitcom Geeks podcast host and writer best known as the creator of dozens of songs for multi-BAFTA winning hit TV show Horrible Histories, and less well known as lead singer in the world's first Jewish heavy metal band, Guns'n'Moses.

"All I'd wanted for as long as I could remember was a woman to love, a soulmate to live with in contentment for the rest of my days: friend, lover, companion, mother to our children. Time was running out: I was getting old. Next year I would be eighteen."

Barry Goldman is a sensitive boy. He's being primed to run the family business but has discovered a talent for making audiences laugh at his silly poems. At last, he has found something that might make him attractive to girls - in particular, Harriet Fink - but there's not much call for delicate, earnest poets in the 1970s comedy world of hot-panted dolly birds and battle-axe mothers-in-law. Then one night he sees Kris Dean on stage and understands that the world of comedy is about to change forever.

Paddy McGuinness - My Lifey

Paddy McGuinness - My Lifey

Pre-order. Hardback, eBook, Audiobook

Paddy McGuinness is a much-loved presence on British TV. His stand-up tours sell out across the country. His comic acting roles are much-loved, from Phoenix Nights and Max And Paddy to The Keith & Paddy Picture Show. How did it all start?

Let Paddy take you back to a two-up, two-down terrace in 1970s Bolton, where his lifey began. He grew up alone with his beloved mum, neighbourhood matriarch Pat, who worked two jobs, as a barmaid and a cleaner, always keeping food on the table at home and almost always keeping her tearaway teen out of trouble. The road from kipping in abandoned cars with his mates in Bolton to racing supercars on Top Gear has been eventful, with multiple turning points, including formative hard graft as a labourer, running a Viagra racket at a health centre, a showbiz intervention by school friend Peter Kay and eye-popping adventures in the world of teledom.

While he may have swapped cobbles in Bolton for red carpets in London, Paddy has always stayed true to his Lancashire roots, and here he tells his story for the first time, in "his own unmistakable style. He lived it. He's written in. It's his lifey - fast-paced, funny and full of character, just like him".

Dad's Army - The Movie

Dad's Army - The Movie

Pre-order. Blu-ray

Newly remastered in high definition and available on Blu-ray for the very first time comes David Croft and Jimmy Perry's hit original Dad's Army feature film. Marking its 50th anniversary this year, this special edition release includes a variety of extras, including original wartime newsreels about the real Home Guard; a new 32-page booklet about the making of the film; a reversible sleeve; and the movie's theatrical trailer.

All of that, plus Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier, Clive Dunn, Ian Lavender and the rest of the beloved sitcom's cast - what's not to love?

Made In Italy

Made In Italy

Pre-order. DVD

Made In Italy is a very enjoyable new British-Italian comedy feature, released quietly amidst lockdown, set in glorious Tuscany, and starring real-life father-and-son Liam Neeson and Micheál Richardson.

A successful and ambitious art gallery manager, Jack faces the possibility of losing all that he has built as his wife Ruth plans to leave him, taking his beloved gallery with her. His only hope is to make a quick sale of an old family villa in Tuscany, but if he is to do so, he must reconnect with his estranged father, Robert - a task easier said than done. Eventually Robert and Jack travel to Italy; a place they once called home, but now an empty shell that for Jack brings only faded memories of a broken childhood, but find the property more decrepit than they had ever imagined. As initial restoration attempts falter and optimism wanes, the two quickly realise they need to truly find each other again if either man is to prosper.

London Town

London Town

Pre-order. DVD

Jerry Sandford (Sid 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 (Petula 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. Starring comedy legend Sid Field, it's a fine nostalgic look at 1940s music hall entertainment. The superb supporting cast also includes Kay Kendall and Greta Gynt.

The Pursuit Of Love

The Pursuit Of Love

Pre-order. Blu-ray, DVD

1920s, Oxfordshire. On the brink of adulthood, Linda Radlett (Lily James) and her beloved cousin Fanny Logan (Emily Beecham) are stuck in the countryside, impatiently waiting for life to begin so they can escape the confines of Alconleigh. Linda, who has lived her life under the terrifying regime of her father, narrator Fanny's "Uncle Matthew" (Dominic West), dreams of excitement and adventure. But Fanny, abandoned by her mother The Bolter (Emily Mortimer) and raised by their Aunt Emily (Annabel Mullion), is more concerned with comfort and stability. When their glamorous neighbour Lord Merlin (Andrew Scott) brings Tony Kroesig (Freddie Fox) to their coming out ball, Linda falls hopelessly in love with him. However, sensing Fanny's disapproval of the match, it's not long before Linda pushes Fanny away and leaves her beloved cousin feeling left behind.

Adapted from Nancy Mitford's original novel by actor, writer and director Emily Mortimer, the three-part BBC period comedy drama is now available to own.

Young Wives' Tale

Young Wives' Tale

Pre-order. Blu-ray, DVD

Joan Greenwood reprises her hit stage performance as a frustrated housewife in this film adaptation of a popular West End farce. Co-starring Nigel Patrick and Derek Farr - and showcasing a memorable early performance from Audrey Hepburn - Young Wives' Tale is featured here as a brand new high definition remaster from original film elements.

Compelled to live together due to the post-war housing shortage, the Pennants and the Bannings just about get along... but add in a brace of babies, a succession of nannies and a shy-but-pretty lodger, and the situation very soon starts to unravel!

Life In London

Life In London

Pre-order. Audiobook

Pierce Egan's renowned 19th-Century comic novel, adapted by Dan Tetsell, is a tour of the sprawling post-Regency Metropolis in the years before the Victorians turned up and made everything boring. The comedy drama - billed as showing the 'fast life' of Regency London - stars Mark Gatiss, Greg Wise and James Bachman, with Geoffrey McGivern as garrulous author Pierce Egan.

Anna Cale - The Real Diana Dors

Anna Cale - The Real Diana Dors

Pre-order. Hardback

The story of Swindon-born film star and comic actor Diana Dors is one of fame, glamour and intrigue. From the moment she came into the world, her life was full of drama. Her acting career began in the shadow of the Second World War, entering the film world as a vulnerable young teenager and negotiating the difficult British studio system of the 1940s and 50s. Yet she battled against the odds to become one of the most iconic British actors of the 20th Century.

This book follows her remarkable story, from childhood in suburban Swindon, to acting success as a teenager and finding fame as the 'the English Marilyn Monroe'. Many remember her as an outspoken and sometimes controversial figure, grabbing headlines for her personal life as often as her film roles. For Diana, image seemed to be everything, but there was more to her than the 'blonde bombshell' reputation suggested. A talented actor, she worked on numerous film and television projects, building a fascinating career that spanned decades.

Set against the backdrop of the changing social landscape of twentieth century Britain, this book charts the ups and downs of her diverse acting career and her tumultuous private life, to build a fascinating picture of a truly unique British screen icon.

The Small Intricate Life Of Gerald C. Potter

The Small Intricate Life Of Gerald C. Potter

Pre-order. Audio Download

Gerald C Potter is the proud author of Death in the Arboretum, described by the Bournemouth Echo as 'well-written'. He works hard on his books, and worries about every comma, adjective and unfortunate typo: but somehow, he never seems to get very much done. However, his wife and fellow novelist, Diana (aka Magnolia Badminton), is positively prolific - much to his chagrin.

These four series recount his daily activities and struggles for inspiration, as he tries to solve the mystery of his missing briefcase; goes up against his wife as they compete to publicise their new books; takes a holiday abroad that's far from relaxing and receives a double-edged surprise on United Potter Day. Written by celebrated humourist Basil Boothroyd, this witty, quick, clever sitcom ran for five years on Radio 4 between 1976 and 1981 and stars Ian Carmichael.

Gyles Brandreth - Odd Boy Out

Gyles Brandreth - Odd Boy Out

Pre-order. Hardback, eBook, Audiobook, Paperback

In Odd Boy Out Gyles Brandreth provides an extraordinarily revealing account of growing up and coming of age in an apparently well-to-do but always strapped-for-cash middle-class English family. It is a story about the ordinary things - family life, happiness, ambition, and love, but it is also about adventures - meeting princes and presidents, visiting Death Row in America, exploring the sex clubs of Copenhagen.

It is a story of a boy blessed with wit and what he got up to and the people he met growing up in the most wonderful city in all the world in those extraordinary years after the Second World War. For Odd Boy Out is about more than Gyles and his exploits: it is also a kaleidoscopic portrait of Britain from the 1950s onwards, featuring a cast drawn from politics, the media, swinging London, stage and screen, from Laurence Olivier to Twiggy.

"By turns hilarious and moving, and chock full of unforgettable stories, Odd Boy Out is the unexpected and candid autobiography of one of the country's most unlikely personalities. Yet at root it is a powerful and passionate exploration of childhood - how our heritage, our parents and our upbringing make us who we are."

Gilbert Without Sullivan

Gilbert Without Sullivan

Pre-order. Audio Download

Ten comic dramatisations based on the stories and plays of WS Gilbert.

Sir William Schwenck Gilbert is best known for his operatic collaborations with Sir Arthur Sullivan, which captivated 19th-Century audiences and continue to delight today. But he also created numerous solo works, among them these 10 pieces, dramatised for radio by Stephen Wyatt and featuring Jonathan Coy as Gilbert.

Jimmy Carr - Before & Laughter

Jimmy Carr - Before & Laughter

Pre-order. eBook, 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".

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

Out now

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!

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. This is strictly limited to just 1,500 copies!

Four decades on from its original BBC TV broadcast, Fawlty Towers continues to shine as a masterclass in comedy writing and performance. Now the original four BBC vinyl albums - 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 a box set 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. A four-page booklet details the development of Fawlty Towers, plus a history of the original LP releases.

Click through for an exclusive unboxing video of this deluxe LP box set.

Hear My Song

Hear My Song

Out now. DVD, DVD

Singer Josef Locke (Ned Beatty) fled to Ireland 25 years ago to escape the clutches of the tax man and police Chief Jim Abbott (David McCallum). What he also left behind was the love of his life Cathleen Doyle (Shirley Anne Field). Now, Micky O'Neill (Adrian Dunbar) is desperate to save both his ailing Liverpool nightclub 'Heartly's' and his failing relationship with the beautiful Nancy (Tara Fitzgerald), Cathleen's daughter.

The solution? Book the infamous Josef Locke! Mr. X. (is he or isn't he the real Josef Locke?), is booked to play the club. Disaster strikes when he is revealed as an imposter, Micky loses the club and his girlfriend in one night. Next solution? This time book the real Josef Locke!

What follows can only be described as magical mayhem as Micky travels to Ireland in search of the elusive man.

Jules Verne's Rocket To The Moon

Jules Verne's Rocket To The Moon

Out now. Blu-ray, DVD

A brand new restoration of Jules Verne's Rocket To The Moon, based on an original work by the great pre-science-fiction author Jules Verne: a British comedy directed by Don Sharp and starring Oscar winner Burl Ives, Troy Donahue and Gert Frobe, plus Dennis Price, Terry-Thomas and many more.

Contestants from all over the world compete in a competition to be the first scientist to construct and launch a rocket to the moon. Phineas T. Barnum, the great American showman, comes to England to escape his creditors. Always on the lookout for an opportunity to make money, he enters the competition in an ambitious attempt to launch a rocket to the moon with the aid of a powerful, new explosive. Money troubles, spies and saboteurs ensure that the plan is doomed before it even starts.

The Playboy Of The Western World

The Playboy Of The Western World

Out now. Blu-ray, DVD

Brian Desmond Hurst adapts and directs JM Synge's comedy in what was to be the final film of a highly successful career stretching back to the mid-1930s.

The Playboy Of The Western World stars Siobhán McKenna and Gary Raymond alongside a host of players from Dublin's Abbey Theatre. It is featured here as a brand new high definition transfer from original film elements in its original theatrical aspect ratio.

Weary and dishevelled, Christy Mahon stumbles into a remote inn on the Irish coast and tells anyone who'll listen how he's murdered his tyrannous father with a spade. As he enthrals the locals and charms the girls, his tale growing in its telling... until the day Christy's father turns up and he's not as dead as expected!

Beyond Our Ken - The Collected Series 1-4

Beyond Our Ken - The Collected Series 1-4

Out now. Audio Download

All 60 surviving episodes from the first four series of the forerunner to Round The Horne - plus bonus programme Forty Laughing Years. An irresistible mix of sketches, songs, puns and double entendres, Beyond Our Ken kept the nation laughing over seven series and 123 episodes between 1958 and 1964.

A second volume, comprising Series 5 to 7 (all episodes of which survive) is available separately.

Blithe Spirit

Blithe Spirit

Out now. Blu-ray, DVD

A thoroughly enjoyable new adaptation of Noël Coward's acclaimed play.

Best-selling crime novelist Charles (Dan Stevens) is struggling with catastrophic writer's block and a stressful deadline for his first screenplay, whilst his picture perfect second wife Ruth (Isla Fisher) is doing her best to keep him focussed in the hope of fulfilling her dream of heading to Hollywood. Charles's desperate search for inspiration leads him to invite Madame Arcati (Judi Dench), a medium recently exposed as a fraud, to perform a séance in their home. They all get more than they bargained for when Arcati accidentally summons the spirit of his deceased first wife: the fiery and jealous Elvira (Leslie Mann), who embarks on a mission to kill Charles so she can spend eternity with him - leading to an increasingly comical and deadly love triangle!

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

Thanks for reading

You can find our full comedy shop on our website at any time, and some of the best new release news, competitions and bargains on Twitter: @BritComedyShop.

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