8 items from 2014
We asked Den Of Geek’s writers to recommend brilliant comedy shows that deserve to have more of a fuss made about them. Here they are...
Banging a drum about stuff we love is more or less our remit on Den Of Geek - hence what many readers have started referring to as the ‘inexplicably regular' appearance of Statham, squirrels and Harold Bishop from Neighbours on these pages.
To that end then, we asked our writers which comedy shows (past and present, UK or otherwise, on TV, radio, or online…) deserved more praise, and here are the ones they chose. You might already like them too, or you might discover something new to dig out and enjoy. That’s the fun of it.
Please note that this list isn’t ranked in any order, nor is it exhaustive. It’s compiled from the opinions of a group of different people, »
You know Cleo Rocos the actress who used to be Kenny Everett's sidekick and muse, and who once went on Celebrity Big Brother? Well, guess where she lives. Somewhere nice in west London, you think? Hmm, close. No, actually she lives in a dangerous hillside slum with open sewers and a reputation for gun crime. In Rio de Janeiro.
How do I know? Well, she keeps saying so during her strange semi-comedy commentary in this documentary Welcome to Rio (BBC2). "What We lack in law and order We make up for with close-knit communities and a lot of freedom"; "We've already survived our fair share of upheaval and uncertainty"; "We'll face the future with the same optimism and determination we've always had since we first built our shacks on the hill "
Continue reading. »
- Sam Wollaston
Billy Connolly presents the final part of his moving, yet still hilarious, ITV documentary series Big Send Off tonight (May 14).
The Big Yin is best known for his prolific stand-up comedy career over the past six decades, but he has often shown off many different strings to his bow, taking in the world of TV, film, music and charity work.
To mark Connolly's latest excellent project, Digital Spy takes a look at just some of his best moments outside his stand-up work.
1. The Humblebums
Before Billy started his stand-up career, he sang with the late Gerry Rafferty of 'Baker Street' fame in the folk group The Humblebums, along with Tam Harvey. Largely forgotten outside the folk world, they did produce some genuinely brilliant tracks, both moving and funny. Their gigs often featured Connolly chatting to the audience between songs, eventually leading to him giving the comedy thing a go full-time. »
Does it sometimes seem to you that television bosses are working their way through a list "TV comedians, 1950-85" when they commission their biopics? How far down the list are they prepared to go? We've had Kenneth Williams and Frankie Howerd; will we get Kenneth Connor and Peter Butterworth? We've had Tony Hancock; will we get Charlie Drake? This Monday, ITV treats us to the untold story of Tommy Cooper.
The tabloids were mildly perturbed by the news that Simon Nye's drama "reveals" the fez-clad clown as a behind-the-scenes alcoholic and wife-beater.
Continue reading »
- Brian Logan
Feature Alex Westthorp 16 Apr 2014 - 07:00
In March 1981, as he made his Doctor Who debut, Peter Davison was already one the best known faces on British television. Not only was he the star of both a BBC and an ITV sitcom - Sink Or Swim and Holding The Fort - but as the young and slightly reckless Tristan Farnon in All Creatures Great And Small, about the often humorous cases of Yorkshire vet James Herriot and his colleagues, he had cemented his stardom. The part led, indirectly, to his casting as the venerable Time Lord.
As the undisputed king of American gothic, Vincent Price holds a unique position regarding his association with British horror. From the mid sixties, nearly all his films were made in the UK, and while not as distinguished as The House of Usher (1960), Tales of Terror (1962) and The Raven (1963), they are not without interest. As an actor perfectly suited to English gothic, Price’s output includes two career-defining performances. In a nutshell, he had the best of both worlds.
Masque of the Red Death (1964)
The British phase of his career began with a bang. After directing all of Price’s Poe chillers for American International Pictures, Roger Corman wanted to give the formula a fresh approach by making his next film in England. Aip’s Samuel Z Arkoff and James H Nicholson had already produced several European films, so the next step was to establish a London base with Louis M Heyward in charge. »
Rugby League: Warrington Wolves v Wigan Warriors | Ade At Sea | Davina: Beyond Breaking Point | Turks & Caicos | Arena: Whatever Happened To Spitting Image? | The Good Wife | Rake | Some Football Managers With Jokes
Rugby League: Warrington Wolves v Wigan Warriors
7.30pm, Sky Sports 1
This is a rerun of last year's grand final, but so far this season neither side has shown the form that got them there. Wigan are missing Nrl convert Sam Tomkins and seem to be suffering a hangover from their defeat in the World Club Challenge. Warrington, meanwhile, have been made to look vulnerable in defeats against St Helens and Leeds, with their defence being breached far too easily. It's early days, but a win would be very welcome for both teams. Lanre Bakare
Ade At Sea
Episode one of six in a neat look at Britain's maritime past, fronted by comedian turned seasoned documentary type Ade Edmondson. »
- Lanre Bakare, Hannah J Davies, Rachel Aroesti, Julia Raeside, Ali Catterall, Bim Adewunmi, Mark Jones
Aides to Iain Duncan Smith, the secretary of state for work and pensions, glossed his welfare policies as being "a crusade to rescue Benefits Street Britain". This reference to the most-talked-about TV show of the moment will immediately have been understood by MPs, voters and newspapers on the Tory right as a pledge to take on Britons who – like some of the residents of Birmingham's James Turner Street on Channel 4's Benefits Street (Mondays, 9pm) – derive their entire income from state handouts.
Ids's spinners are continuing an increasingly popular political tactic in both the Us and UK of using telly references to connect with the electorate. Before Benefits Street, the most likely reference point was Downton Abbey. »
- Mark Lawson
8 items from 2014
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