3 items from 2015
For some reason, Hollywood fell in love with British actors again in the 1990s. Sparked by Alan Rickman's turn as Hans Gruber in Die Hard at the back end of the 1980s, many movie villains were either Brits, or in the case of Cliffhanger, John Lithgow taking on the mannerisms of a British antagonist.
Yet in particular, Hollywood went recruiting British comedy talent, with faces then mainly - but not exclusively - known for their small screen work getting roles of various sizes in Hollywood productions. Here are some who racked up the air miles - starting with the man who arguably became one of the most successful...
Hugh Laurie - 101 Dalmatians
Laurie is a man of many talents, who ultimately cracked America with »
You probably don’t know Dean Wilkinson, but you certainly know his work. Having written for names as esteemed as John Cleese, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, Ant & Dec and Mel Smith & Griff Rhys Jones, Dean Wilkinson is an unsung legend of British comedy, and kindly took time out from his busy schedule as...
- Christian Cawley
I used to laugh at darts. But not any more. This weekend’s Pdc world championship final promises all the thrills of a penalty shoot-out – and blessed relief from the vainglories of other sports
When the comedian Mel Smith died in 2013, most of the tributes on TV included his famous “darts sketch”, from the 1980s TV satire show Not the Nine O’Clock News. In the sketch Griff Rhys Jones is Dai “Fat Belly” Gutbucket, competing against Smith, as Tommy “Even Fatter Belly” Belcher. Puffing away on cigs, they stand by a table groaning with bottles of booze, the joke being that instead of throwing doubles, they’re downing doubles; brandy, vodka, and so on.
Oh how we laughed, the young, savvy, Guardian-reading – there, I’ve said it – audience for that show. But in recent years, darts has become much more than a reliable source of cheap laughs for the chattering classes. »
- Martin Kelner
3 items from 2015
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