Press clippings

Danny La Rue's life set for big screen

The life of variety show entertainer Danny La Rue is to be dramatised in a new film.

The BFI-funded screenplay has been written by Martyn Hesford, who created the BBC Four biopic Fantabulosa, about Carry On actor Kenneth Williams.

BBC News, 10th July 2012

Monarchs of the entertainment world rather than royalty are the subject of this engaging three-parter celebrating some of showbusiness's most flamboyant performers. It does promise some serious intent, reflecting on how the likes of Paul O'Grady, Graham Norton and Elton John have changed attitudes to homosexuality. But it's the performances from the archives that really glitter.

This opener looks back to the Dark Ages in 1952, and features such shining stars as Danny La Rue and Liberace. Contributors include Cilla Black, Julian Clary, Ronnie Corbett, Boy George and Arlene Phillips.

Geoff Ellis, Radio Times, 31st May 2012

Taking an alternative spin on the queen theme, we travel back to 1952 for the first in a tongue-in-cheek three-part documentary homage to the men who dared to inject a flamboyant flourish into the stuffy world of black-and-white TV entertainment.
A mixed bag of camp followers, including Julian Clary and Boy George, share their appreciation of trailblazers such as cross-dressing Danny La Rue and piano tickler Liberace.

Metro, 31st May 2012

There's more than one queen in this town: just because there's a jubilee looming, it doesn't mean we should ignore all those who aren't 'Er Maj. So here's an enlightening documentary on how gay entertainers have fared in showbusiness during her reign. It kicks off in 1952, at a time when its subjects would have been termed "flamboyant", and follows how perceptions of homosexuality have changed over the years. Classic purveyors of camp comedy such as Kenneth Williams, Larry "Ooh, shut that door" Grayson and Danny La Rue are represented, so expect secrets and titters aplenty.

Hannah Verdier, The Guardian, 30th May 2012

Charming and entertaining documentary Being Ronnie Corbett pays homage to the nation's favourite vertically challenged comedian.

Ronnie celebrated his 80th birthday at the start of this month, and he is in sparkling form here as he looks back on his career spanning half a century.

It goes from his early days feeling up Danny La Rue's boobs during West End cabaret shows, to his snorting cocaine off a toilet seat in Extras, via his famous chair where he delivered his signature shaggy dog stories.

Fellow comedians including the likes of Rob Brydon, Matt Lucas, David Walliams and Catherine Tate queue up to give him a not insubstantial verbal pat on the back.

Jane Simon, The Mirror, 23rd December 2010

Miranda is apparently created in a 1970s retro sitcom factory in which leftover bits of Penelope Keith and Felicity Kendal had been mixed up with some Cath Kidston wallpaper to create a kind of comedy mache, if you will - which was in turn left to dry inside a set made of balsa wood and tissues (though sadly not in front of a live studio audience) before viewers are invited to see whether their laughter makes it fall over or merely wobble a bit before righting itself...

Comedically speaking, Miranda Hart's size is apparently everything, so I fear she can never be considered funny outside of the context of her height, and nobody ever says that about Stephen Merchant.

Hart presumably came to terms with the innately sexist Tall = Funny equation (she's 6ft 1in) some years ago, so gags focusing on the idea of a thirtysomething woman who is clearly slightly surprised to be 6ft 1in are bound to feel a bit weird, as if Hart had only just swallowed the contents of the "Drink me" bottle and woken up all oooooh-errr!

But if you can accept the idea that a large lady tripping over cardboard boxes a lot, and being styled like Danny La Rue ("Oh Miranda, why are you dressed like a transvestite?!"), and having an unrequited crush on a handsome chef, not to mention Patricia Hodge as her elegantly trim mother, are intrinsically amusing, then Miranda is very amusing.

For everybody else, though, it's merely a cheap-looking sitcom starring a big girl who keeps being mistaken for a man ("Did he just call me Sir?"), despite not looking remotely like one. Kind of camp, sort of silly and a little bit sweet, but not, I think, quite enough of any of those to matter, Miranda feels like a throwback to an ancient, lost comedy era that is, if not quite pre-Cambrian, then certainly mid-20th century, pre-Cowell.

Kathryn Flett, The Observer, 15th November 2009

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