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5 items from 2015

Russell Howard's American fans get very excited to see him: "Oh my god, it's the British guy with the weird eyes!"

22 October 2015 3:47 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

Russell Howard has spoken of his surprise of seeing how passionate and geeky his American fans are.

The British comic's BBC series Good News has proved popular around the world thanks to its YouTube presence, while he recently completed a successful Us tour which peaked with a performance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Russell told Digital Spy: "I did a tour of America in the summer, and I was amazed by it, as they knew specific clips. I was in Washington in a tiny room with 400 people. And people were going 'tell us about the meerkat lady', which was from, like, series three [of Good News]. They were really brilliantly nerdy and committed.

"They're just so happy! That's the oddest thing. You do gigs there and they cheer and whoop. After a while, you just miss British cynicism. In the UK, they go 'go on then, make me laugh, dickhead!'. »

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10 TV shows you must watch this week: Big Bang Theory, American Horror Story, X Factor's Judges' Houses

18 October 2015 4:19 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

Autumn may have hit us with its reliable double-header of persistent drizzle and pitch-black commutes, but its better-looking sibling, Autumn TV, has our backs, insisting we hole in our warm sofa sanctuaries for fear of missing any brilliant telly.

Digital Spy has whittled down the next seven days' broadcasting mother lode to a must-watch list of 10, including the much-anticipated return of The Big Bang Theory, Sky1's Never Mind the Buzzcocks wannabe and the opulently decorated tears of Judges' Houses on The X Factor.

1. The Big Bang Theory - Thursday, 8.30pm on E4

The biggest TV show in the world right now returns for its ninth series, after its greatest cliffhanger yet saw Amy dump Sheldon who intended to propose. 'Bazingas' might be in short supply.

With Penny and Leonard also eloping for a Las Vegas wedding, the geeky chums are in for an uncharacteristically dramatic season opener. Sheldon might »

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You need to see The Last Leg's Adam Hills shave his head for Stand Up To Cancer

9 October 2015 1:40 PM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

Wow! The Last Leg presenter Adam Hills got into the spirit of Channel 4's Stand Up To Cancer telethon by shaving his head.

Viewers were asked to vote on how they would like the show to finish, either with diehard Arsenal fan Alex Brooker wearing a Spurs football shirt, Greg Davies weightlifting Josh Widdicombe or Hills shaving his head.

Looking good @adamhillscomedy! #su2c #standuptocancer

The Last Leg (@TheLastLeg) October 9, 2015

The poll was announced at the end of the show as 11% for the Spurs shirt, 23% for Greg's weightlifting and an overwhelming 66% voted in favour of Hills going bald.

Quick to pick up the clippers were Brooker and guest Russell Howard, who didn't take long to shear Hills of his thick head of hair.

The impact seemed to dawn on the comedian, who shrieked: "What have I done? What have I done?!"

Thanks for watching »

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Mock the Week to celebrate 10th birthday with 14th series

28 May 2015 5:51 AM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - TV news news »

Mock the Week will celebrate its 10th birthday when it returns next month.

The BBC Two topical series will come back for six weeks in June and July for its 14th series, before returning again in September and October.

Dara O'Briain will serve once again as host, along with regular panellists Hugh Dennis and Andy Parsons.

Other comics that are set to appear include Ed Byrne, Milton Jones, Zoe Lyons, Katherine Ryan, Josh Widdicombe, Rob Beckett, Sara Pascoe, Romesh Ranganathan, James Acaster, Matt Forde and Ellie Taylor.

Topics will include the election aftermath, the royal baby, American presidential candidates and a summer of sport.

Mock the Week first debuted on BBC Two on June 5, 2005. Other regular panellists over the years have included Frankie Boyle, Rory Bremner, Russell Howard and Chris Addison.

Fellow BBC Two comedy panel show Never Mind the Buzzcocks was recently axed after 18 years. »

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Stewart Lee, Russell Howard and TV's 'alternative' comedy experiences

31 March 2015 5:31 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Comedy Central has axed Lee’s programme and will broadcast a new one by Howard – leading critics and comedians to debate standup’s future on the telly

The state of standup on the telly is under the microscope this week, with the announcement that Stewart Lee’s Alternative Comedy Experience has been axed by Comedy Central, while a new Russell Howard-helmed standup show is to be broadcast on the same channel. Coincidence? The arts critic Bruce Dessau certainly didn’t think so, blogging on the subject under the headline Russell Howard 1, Stewart Lee 0. (Lee has mocked Howard, tongue-in-cheek or otherwise, in his live act.) Howard’s new show, writes Dessau, “sounds ominously like a cross between Live at the Electric and Live at the Apollo”, and diminishes the variety (and quality?) of standup on the small screen.

Related: Stewart Lee review – tricksy gags about liberals, rightwingers and ‘the Islams »

- Brian Logan

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