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Katy Brand interview: 'Standup is like wearing an uncomfortable coat all day'

The comedian and writer talks about religion, women on panel shows and avoiding Beyoncé at weddings

Born in High Wycombe and educated at Oxford, Brand worked on BBC Radio 4 comedy show Mouth Trap, before writing and starring in her own sketch shows: ITV2's Katy Brand's Big Ass Show, for which she won best female newcomer in the 2008 British Comedy awards, and Channel 4's Comedy Lab Slap. Her debut novel, Brenda Monk is Funny, is based on her own experiences as a standup comedian and is published next month.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Watch: Ricky Gervais Is A David Bowie Impersonator In 1999 Comedy Pilot 'Golden Years'

It’s always fascinating to see a famous performer in their more formative years. For Ricky Gervais, his formative years were rather brief, as he had his mainstream television debut in 1999. That’s two years before “The Office” first aired on the BBC, when his career subsequently exploded. Nevertheless, it’s very interesting to see where the comedian got his start. Gervais got his first big break in a one-off for Channel 4’s “Comedy Lab,” which is a program that showcases comedy pilots. Gervais’ show, co-written with Stephen Merchant, was called “Golden Years” and, thankfully for us, the entire episode is available online.Dangerous Minds recently unearthed the little-seen pilot whose style is not that far off from what Merchant/Gervais would later do with “The Office.” Gervais’ character is Clive Meadows, an owner of a video rental chain that’s obsessed with David Bowie and wants to impersonate
See full article at The Playlist »

Lena Dunham lashes out against porn

The Girls creator hits back at a porn parody of her comedy show, Doug Stanhope wades into the Oklahoma God debate, and Dutch TV is slammed for satirising the Woolwich murder

This week's comedy news

In a week when Jerry Lewis told the world that female comedy "bothers [him]", two tales of fightback – of a sort. Girls creator Lena Dunham has criticised news of a pornographic parody movie of her hit HBO comedy. "Most TV shows have been turned into gross and weird porn parodies," the Splitsider website tells us, but Dunham isn't prepared to shrug this one off. "Girls is, at its core, a feminist action while [the XXX film's producer] Hustler is a company that markets and monetises a male's idea of female sexuality," wrote Dunham. And also, "a big reason I engage in (simulated) on-screen sex [in Girls] is to counteract a skewed idea of that act created by the proliferation of porn."

Meanwhile,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Lena Dunham lashes out against porn

The Girls creator hits back at a porn parody of her comedy show, Doug Stanhope wades into the Oklahoma God debate, and Dutch TV is slammed for satirising the Woolwich murder

This week's comedy news

In a week when Jerry Lewis told the world that female comedy "bothers [him]", two tales of fightback – of a sort. Girls creator Lena Dunham has criticised news of a pornographic parody movie of her hit HBO comedy. "Most TV shows have been turned into gross and weird porn parodies," the Splitsider website tells us, but Dunham isn't prepared to shrug this one off. "Girls is, at its core, a feminist action while [the XXX film's producer] Hustler is a company that markets and monetises a male's idea of female sexuality," wrote Dunham. And also, "a big reason I engage in (simulated) on-screen sex [in Girls] is to counteract a skewed idea of that act created by the proliferation of porn."

Meanwhile,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

TV highlights 06/03/2013

  • The Guardian - TV News
America's Poor Kids | Michael Grade And The World's Oldest Joke | Show Dogs: The Road To Crufts | Russell Brand's Give It Up For Comic Relief | Parks And Recreation | First Among Equals: The Laurie Cunningham Story | Anna & Katy

America's Poor Kids

9pm, BBC2

This documentary opens with a statistic that feels scandalous, recession or no recession: 16 million American children live within the technical definition of poverty. Jezza Neumann's affecting but unsentimental film is a companion to a study he made of poor British children in 2011. He meets young Americans doomed, through no fault of their own, to lives of struggle. In no case is the American dream entirely extinguished, but it's horrible to listen to children being so grimly pragmatic about their prospects. Andrew Mueller

Michael Grade And The World's Oldest Joke

9pm, BBC4

The former chief exec of Channel 4 goes in search of the origins of the
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Anna & Katy interview: 'We gave up all hope of getting a series'

She's Anna, she's Katy, and together they are Anna and Katy!

A couple of years after their well-received Comedy Lab, Anna Crilly and Katy Wix have finally got their own full-length sketch show, which starts this Wednesday on Channel 4.

As big fans of sketch, Digital Spy were very excited to sit down with the duo to quiz them about comedy, controversy, and sharing an award nomination with Rylan Clark. Here's what they had to say.

When did you decide to start doing sketch together?

Anna: "We met doing stand-up in 2003 and we weren't very good at it! Either of us. We both thought each other were funny."

Katy: "Dreadful... I hadn't really seen any comedy, that was my problem."

Anna: "I certainly wasn't ready to do an hour of stand-up at Edinburgh the following year. So I said to old Wixy, 'Let's get together and do some sketches'. And the rest is herstory.
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Charles Dance, Johnny Vegas to star in new Sky Atlantic comedy

Charles Dance, Johnny Vegas to star in new Sky Atlantic comedy
Charles Dance, Johnny Vegas, Katy Brand and Jessica Hynes have all joined Sky Atlantic's new comedy Common People. The ten-part series is comprised of 10 short films, all set in South London and linked by characters and locations. Sunshine will star Downton Abbey's Brendan Coyle as a cop in pursuit of two crooks (Tom Davis and Sean Pertwee), while second instalment Bad Grandad will see Game of Thrones actor Charles Dance play a retired tour manager who struggles to move on from his wild past. Episode three is titled The Choir - written by and starring Eri Jackson (Life's Too Short) and Danny Morgan (Comedy Lab) - while Tatt is scripted by Johnny Vegas and will star the Ideal comic as a tattooist who finds himself drawn to his father's girlfriend (Josie Lawrence). (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Watson & Oliver: let's give them a chance

Comedy is thriving on the live circuit, but making fans fall about in the flesh is no guarantee of television success

The path from comedy circuit favourite to television fame does not always run smoothly. Take Lorna Watson and Ingrid Oliver. In the noughties they regularly appeared on the Edinburgh Fringe where their shows were enjoyable, energetic affairs in tiny venues, defined by a heady mix of good writing and committed performances. Any flaws or fluffs were handled with a knowing, cheeky grin, as if to say: "You only paid a tenner, we're in a shoebox, what did you expect?"

Fast forward to BBC2 and their self-titled debut TV series. You don't need high definition to see that over the series the twosome – who stick to a classic, broad template with the occasional twist – could be stretched. There were some strong skits in the second episode – I liked their wannabe
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

TV highlights 09/09/2011: The Horrible Histories Big Prom Party | Digging For Britain | Would I Lie To You?; Qi | Big Brother: Live Launch | Bestival 2011 | Comedy Lab: Totally Tom

The Horrible Histories Big Prom Party | Digging For Britain | Would I Lie To You?; Qi | Big Brother: Live Launch | Bestival 2011 | Comedy Lab: Totally Tom

The Horrible Histories Big Prom Party

5.45pm, Cbbc

This year's free family Prom featured the team behind Horrible Histories, the Cbbc programme which has capitalised brilliantly on the underexploited fact that real history is far funnier and more gripping than any kids' cartoon. The Guardian's original review of this concert characterised it as "pitched somewhere between pantomime, a Footlights revue and an old-school variety show", only just about qualifying for Proms status by shoehorning classical snippets between sketches. There is something indubitably heartwarming about an Albert Hall full of children enjoying the life of Charles II being rapped in the style of Eminem. Andrew Mueller

Digging For Britain

9pm, BBC2

"Everywhere you stand, there are worlds beneath your feet," enthuses Dr Alice Roberts in
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

TV highlights 02/09/2011

  • The Guardian - TV News
Outnumbered | Wogan On Wodehouse | When Rock Goes Acoustic | Treme | Comedy Showcase: Chickens | Comedy Lab: Anna & Katy

Outnumbered

9pm, BBC1

The show that's given family sitcoms a good name returns for a fourth series. Tonight's plot centres on a family funeral and Pete losing his teaching job after resigning on a point of principle. Not that any ongoing story is necessarily what keeps you watching here. No, it's the details that make you squirm in recognition, as when Pete's mother ("I lack the warmth thing") suddenly remembers one of her klutzy son's childhood nicknames: "Cack hands!"Jonathan Wright

Wogan On Wodehouse

9pm, BBC2

Sir Terry chose the complete works of PG Wodehouse as his reading material on Desert Island Discs, so now gets his own show exploring the life and work of the great man. Many others, including Stephen Fry and sundry famous fans, talk about their adoration for the Jeeves & Wooster creator,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

C4 Comedy Lab plans kabaddi comedy

Channel 4's Comedy Lab will air a pilot based on the Indian sport Kabaddi later this year. The Objective Productions programme, which has been commissioned by Nerys Evans, will focus on friends Bobby and Vin as they attempt to put together a multi-racial kabaddi team. Currently titled Kabadasses, the show is expected to air in the autumn, reports Broadcast. The show is written by Nikesh Shulka, while Phil Clarke and (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

The Morgana Show: why we need more female comedians

Channel 4's new Morgana Robinson-fronted sketch show is funny and cutting – qualities many male-led comedies struggle to achieve

In general I find women funnier than men. Given a video bargain bin choice between The Fast Show or Smack the Pony I'd chose the latter every time; I prefer the layered ennui of the female-dominated Getting On to the bullying of The Thick of It; I believe Linda Smith should be mourned as loudly as Bill Hicks; my favourite character in The It Crowd by a mile is Jen; and I'd much rather be sworn at by Jenny Eclair than Frankie Boyle. And now I can add Morgana Robinson – the star of The Morgana Show which starts tonight on Channel 4 – to my list of favourite impressionists. Although admittedly, it is a very short list.

Like deep sea fishing, snooker and model train building, professional comedy is a male-dominated pursuit.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

The Pillars of the Earth | Take That: Look Back, Don't Stare | Garrow's Law | Chekhov Comedy Shorts and more | The weekend's TV highlights

  • The Guardian - TV News
The Pillars of the Earth | Take That: Look Back, Don't Stare | Garrow's Law | Chekhov Comedy Shorts and more

Saturday 13 November

The Pillars Of The Earth

9pm, Channel 4

Aliena and Richard are skint again now her wool's gone up in smoke and the market licence has been revoked. And the cathedral builders down tools for a mead break while they wait for a new master builder to be appointed. King Stephen thinks God is actually talking to him now, while William's still going on about his immortal soul. Meanwhile, Aliena must choose between her lilo-lipped lover boy and marriage to money. And Regan takes steps to rid herself of an irksome priest. But hark, is that the sound of dodgy roof joists?

Al Murray: The Pub Landlord

9pm, Dave

Forget the thoroughly ill-advised sitcom and the still-less advised sketch show, and disregard even the pretty decent Happy Hour – tonight's
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Oil City Confidential | The Ricky Gervais Show | True Blood | Comedy Lab | Watch this

Oil City Confidential | The Ricky Gervais Show | True Blood | Comedy Lab

Oil City Confidential: The Doctor Feelgood Story

9pm, BBC4

Director Julien Temple has rightly earned a reputation as punk's documentarian – both his Sex Pistols and Joe Strummer films were idiosyncratic portraits of the bands and their time. Oil City Confidential sees him successfully tackling Dr Feelgood, whose story is less well known, and that niggling point is the subtext to this enjoyable film. In the mid-70s, the band's rough-hewn rhythm and blues mythologised their neighbourhoods, inspired the coming punks, and – for a few brief months – made them one of the biggest bands in Britain.

The Ricky Gervais Show

10.30pm, C4

Such is Ricky Gervais's cultural currency in the Us that they're even hungry for his podcasts. The Ricky Gervais Show is the audio from Gervais's popular chats with fellow writer/director Stephen Merchant and their oddball former co-worker Karl Pilkington,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

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