4 items from 2014
Alan Davies has a new Dave show... but it doesn't have a title. As Yet Untitled - which begins tonight - sees the Qi star sitting down with a bunch of comedians for a bit of a natter - and the only 'format' is that they come up with a title for the episode at the end. Mainly, it's just funny, sometimes sad conversations with a bunch of interesting people... which seems novel. We caught up with Alan to find out more...
1. The guests are surrounded by audience members - but kind of forget about them.
"We're looking right at one another, so you just talk to each other really. You get the sense that the audience are very engaged with it - I think just the way it's set up, you don't get a very fidgety, restless sort of a crowd. We didn't know how it would go, but »
Alan Davies has hit out at the BBC's decision to announce the fact that the corporation had banned all-male talent shows.
The Qi star's new Dave show As Yet Untitled begins on Monday and will feature a woman in every episode.
"I think it's important," he said. "I feel like I've been asked it a lot in recent years. The idea that there aren't any funny women around is so outdated, if it wasn't ten years ago.
"When they're queueing up to come on here - we've had Katherine Ryan and Isy Suttie and we still havent had Sara Pascoe or Claudia O'Doherty. There's lines and lines and lines of people coming. So there will always be a woman here, maybe two, maybe three. That's the intention."
However, he criticised the BBC's move to make the all-male panel show ban public, suggesting that it puts unreasonable pressure on female guests. »
Created by comedian Stewart Lee, the stand-up show goes both in front of and behind the curtain and features performances from some of the best cult comedy acts.
Lee said of the show: "I am delighted that Comedy Central have had the vision to bring back the connoisseurs' stand-up comedy show of choice."
There will also be a host of new names appearing on the show, some of which are making their first ever appearance on a TV stand-up series.
Filmed at Edinburgh's iconic The Stand Comedy Club in front of a live audience, the programme sees short clips of each act stripped across the series.
Lee chats »
The gender imbalance is a problem – but the smugness, scripted improv and stale formats are beyond satire
Enchanting comments below the line on my review of Sarah Millican the other day. "Not funny. Ugly to look at," writes one reader. That's the context, like it or not, in which we have to consider Danny Cohen's decision to ban all-male lineups on TV panel shows. Comedy can sometimes be ridiculously male – and so can the conversations that swirl around it. The idea that women might be funny in as wide a variety of ways as men simply refuses to sink in for some people. Another commenter, on Cohen's proposal, said: "Just how thinly can you spread Sandy [sic] Toksvig, Jo Brand and Sara [sic] Millican?"
Cohen's pledge is clearly a good thing, and a long time coming. I've lost count of the female standups I've interviewed who operate an informal boycott of panel shows. »
- Brian Logan
4 items from 2014
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