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'Charming, soulful, a proper comic': Sean Hughes tributes – and his funniest jokes

By his mid-20s he had scooped the Perrier award and landed his own TV show. But Sean Hughes never wanted to be a stadium standup. Mark Steel and Rhona Cameron pay tribute to a troubled talent – and we pick some of his best gags

Sean Hughes: comedian dies aged 51

Sparky comedy gadfly in a league of his own

I knew Sean from before he won the Perrier award in 1990. He was a Crystal Palace fan and we used to go to the football together. I remember going to a match with him in the early 90s, when he was on the telly quite a lot, and I took him down the pub with me. He was really warm with people and we ended up staying the evening. There was a genuine charm to him that was way beyond showbiz. He liked that world: being sat in the corner
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Farewell to Sean Hughes, sparky comedy gadfly in a league of his own

From the bumbling misadventures of Sean’s Show to the jaunty misanthropy of his later standup material, Hughes – who has died aged 51 – was a master of telling messy truths

Mark Steel and Rhona Cameron pay tribute to Sean Hughes

There were two distinct chapters to Sean Hughes’ career: the comedy prodigy and ubiquitous TV star, then – after a period of silence – the rumpled refusenik, a celebrity opt-out ploughing an ever grouchier (but just as funny) furrow along standup’s margins. Not many comics run away from commercial success, but at the turn of the century Hughes quit standup for several years. “I found myself playing 4,000-seater venues packed with 14-year-old girls screaming at me,” he said. “That wasn’t why I did comedy.”

Related: Sean Hughes: comedian dies aged 51

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See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Are these the silliest I'm a Celebrity spats ever? 10 jungle rumbles

Non-stop flatulence, a dead possum, and being too darn sexy. Are these the most ridiculous I'm a Celebrity fights in the history of the jungle?

After Croc campmates Melanie Sykes and Vicki Michelle bickered over a pencil in last night's show (November 26), we reminisce over some of the silliest spats over the years.

From Brian Harvey's continual wind to Darren Day being too darn sexy - here are 10 absurd jungle rumbles:

1. Darren Day's too sexy for the jungle?

Sizzling sexual chemistry or far too much flatulence? It was almost impossible to keep up with Darren Day and Tara Palmer-Tomkinson's love/hate relationship in the 2002 series.

Palmer-Tomkinson shocked the entire nation as she revealed the root of their tension was all down to Day's unbridled sexiness, shouting: "I'll tell you why I am very uptight. It's because I think you are so f**king sexy."

Most put it
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

I'm a Celeb: Who slid down a snake... and climbed the career ladder?

Going into I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! is a dangerous business.

We're not talking about the poisonous spiders, bitey snakes or what might be lurking in the dunny.

No. When the frightened famous faces leap out of the plane and parachute into the jungle, they are taking their careers in their hands.

And while being on I'm a Celeb can revitalise a flagging career, it can also ruin it if you come out unfavourably during a campside spat or six.

Ahead of the show launching tonight, Digital Spy present our very own Snakes and Ladders. Who had a slippery slide down the public's favour? And who climbed the career ladder when they got to the other side of the rope bridge?

The Ladders

1. Katie Price (and Peter Andre)

Although Jordan was a relatively well-known glamour model pre-2004, not many people knew who Katie Price was when she
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

I'm a Celeb: Who slid down a snake... and climbed the career ladder?

Going into I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! is a dangerous business.

We're not talking about the poisonous spiders, bitey snakes or what might be lurking in the dunny.

No. When the frightened famous faces leap out of the plane and parachute into the jungle, they are taking their careers in their hands.

And while being on I'm a Celeb can revitalise a flagging career, it can also ruin it if you come out unfavourably during a campside spat or six.

Ahead of the show launching tonight, Digital Spy present our very own Snakes and Ladders. Who had a slippery slide down the public's favour? And who climbed the career ladder when they got to the other side of the rope bridge?

The Ladders

1. Katie Price (and Peter Andre)

Although Jordan was a relatively well-known glamour model pre-2004, not many people knew who Katie Price was when she
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Pointless: World Cup, Eurovision stars for celebrity specials

The list of celebrities taking part in the latest Pointless specials has been announced.

Alexander Armstrong and Richard Osman will be joined by famous faces for six new primetime episodes of the hit game show, kicking off on Saturday, April 12.

The first special will have a 1970s theme, with Wizzard and Yes stars Roy Wood and Rick Wakeman facing actors Paul Henry and Madeleine Smith, and Sally Thomsett and Anna Karen, and children's television stars Ed Stewart and Sally James.

Elsewhere, Sir Geoff Hurst and George Cohen MBE will team up in the World Cup special, facing Peter Shilton and Steve Bull, Hope Powell and Casey Stoney, and Graeme Le Saux and commentator Jonathan Pearce.

The Eurovision Pointless special is a thing to behold, with Bucks Fizz's Cheryl Baker and Mike Nolan trying to prove their wits against Martin Lee and Sonia Evans, Dana and Johnny Logan, and Jemini's Chris Cromby and Gemma Abbey.
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Fartgate, snakes and Shakespeare: 8 classic I'm a Celebrity spats

Rebecca Adlington came over all teary following a confrontation with Matthew Wright over the cooking of a possum on I'm a Celebrity last night (November 25).

The Olympic swimmer had advised Wright to keep the the fire low to stop the food from burning at the suggestion of Kian Egan, before the broadcaster started frantically gesticulating, saying: "Stop telling me what to do. I know what he wants but I can't do it when every decision I make, you undermine." However, the pair speedily made amends.

Speaking of spats in the jungle, we dig out 8 of I'm a Celeb's classic campfire fights - from Darren Day's fartgate to Janice Dickinson threatening to fry Lynne Franks' breasts - below:

1. Out, sparko!

'Dark Destroyer' Nigel Benn criticised Scottish comedian Rhona Cameron for her "constant moaning" on I'm a Celebrity back on the first series in 2002, while she in turn accused him of being homophobic.
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

Comedy gold – Jo Brand's Barely Live

Behind the man-baiting facade, you get the feeling that all this brilliantly funny comic wants is for everyone to get along

Title: Barely Live

Year: 2003

The set-up: She called herself "the Sea Monster" to begin with, as if she were a novelty act – the mythic harridan of all those mother-in-law jokes made flesh, here to get revenge. This was in the late 1980s, when British standup had got itself a reputation as more or less the entertainment wing of the disgruntled left. The arrival on the scene of a large, ferocious and unashamedly unfeminine feminist made sense. Never mind whether that's what Brand actually was.

Until that point, Britain had never really seen a proper female standup hit the big time. Victoria Wood had been a great success with comic songs, as had Joyce Grenfell and others with monologues as well. But there was nobody over here to compare with
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Comics never die on TV | Susan Calman

Do you want smooth standup with reliable jokes? Or would you rather watch one person with a microphone try to control a riot?

Recently I filmed a television programme. As we were rehearsing the show I saw one of the cameras move. The logical part of me knew that it was simply changing position, but in my head I was replaying the scene from Tootsie where the producer says, "I'd like to make her look a little more attractive, how far can you pull back?" and the cameraman replies, "How do you feel about Cleveland?"

Why is this outpouring of personal paranoia regarding my face (which often resembles a potato) relevant you ask? Well, while launching a new ITV programme, Show Me the Funny, Alan Davies voiced his opinion that the current slew of standup shows on television are so well edited that all the rough edges are removed. The
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Lip Service is groundbreaking – whatever its star says | Claudia Cahalane

BBC3's new drama, Lip Service, at last shows that lesbians can be just as cool, sexy, funny – and normal – as straight women

After watching the first episode of the hot new lesbian drama Lip Service last night, I think the star of the show, Ruta Gedmintas, has underestimated what a programme like this means for gay and bisexual women.

The actor, who plays bad girl Frankie, said in Saturday's Guardian that the programme is not groundbreaking.

Queer As Folk had a groundbreaking status because there hadn't been a show like that before. But we're not trying to do anything that hasn't been done before. We're just making a relationship drama," said Gedmintas.

But the fact that it's "just a relationship drama" is exactly the point – our lives being normalised and turned into one of these twenty/thirtysomething dramas is hugely significant.

Lesbians make up a significant proportion of the
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Where are all the lesbians? | Jane Czyzselska

Many people are still befuddled by lesbians, and that's not helped by our portrayal on television

It must be a record of sorts. Out of 39 hours of some of the most popular BBC1 shows, just 29 seconds featured lesbians, a study commissioned by the gay charity Stonewall has found. Here's a blow-by-blow account of this quantum of airtime: a homophobic exchange between Eastenders' Roxy, Pat and Bianca; and a "playful" introduction of Jeremy Clarkson by Jonathan Ross in which Ross describes the provocative petrolhead as a man not loved by lesbians. (He got that right. Clarkson repeatedly decries "big, weird dungaree-wearing lesbian parents" or "black lesbian Muslims", while lusting after "the proper ones in stockings that you find on the internet".)

The study explored the portrayal of homosexuality on television. It monitored the 20 programmes most popular with young viewers for 16 weeks – 126 hours of programming in all – to see how gay men and lesbians were portrayed.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Great LezBritain: Celebrating our favorite lesbian and bisexual British ladies

"Great LezBritian" is a fortnightly stroll through the very best of British lesbo-centric entertainment and culture. Plus there will be some jolly good interviews with the top ladies who are waving the flag for gay UK.

A couple of columns ago we wrote about the British women we wish were gay, which gave rise to much debate and informed us that our readers lust after and loathe Cheryl Cole in equal amounts. We decided that in this column we’d like to celebrate the British ladies we’re glad actually are gay or bisexual, which has been an unexpectedly tricky task.

Once again we sent out a Tweet asking you to suggest your favourite Britbians, and as the land that proffered Skins, Tipping the Velvet and Bad Girls, we were certain that Britain would have so many options that we’d be tossing second tier choices out of the list
See full article at AfterEllen.com »

Britain’s Got Talent 2010: 94 year old Stan Saxon tries out

94-year-old singer Stan Saxon has tried out for this year’s Britain’s Got Talent.

The show returns to our screens next Saturday and Shropshire pensioner Stan hopes that his performance of Frank Sinatra’s ‘My Way’ will be featured.

Stan regularly performs at karaoke nights in Telford pubs and auditioned for Bgt in Birmingham in February and told the Shropshire Star.

“This is my jewel in the crown, I’ve told everyone about it.”

The great-granddad has previously released a CD of his music and won a Pontin’s holiday camp karaoke contest.

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Great LezBritain: Bent Double

"Great LezBritian" is a fortnightly stroll through the very best of British lesbo-centric entertainment and culture. Plus there will be some jolly good interviews with the top ladies who are waving the flag for gay UK.

Parading yourself around a comedy stage for all and sundry to judge is not considered the most stable of career paths. But chucking a well timed punch line right in the face of stability, are some rather hilarious lesbian comedians.

Zoe Lyons, Susan Calman and Jen Brister have all been making a name for themselves on the British comedy circuit over the last couple of years and Great LezBritain has pissed many a pair of pants in the front row of their gigs.

We caught up with all three to find out how Zoe felt to be named as one of 2009’s influential British gays, why a group of lesbians once tried to ban
See full article at AfterEllen.com »

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