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5 items from 2012

Edinburgh is over. But comedy keeps the laughs coming

29 August 2012 2:06 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

The festival holds its own against the Olympics, offensiveness proves costly for P&O ferries, and all-new Flight of the Conchords

Best of this week's news

It's all over for another year on the Edinburgh fringe, but we mustn't leave without reporting that the terrific Rubberbandits won the Malcolm Hardee award for Comic Originality in a ceremony on Friday night. The awards, named after the maverick alternative comedy promoter who died in 2005, celebrate the "true anarchic spirit of the Edinburgh fringe". The Cunning Stunt award for best publicity stunt was given to standup Stuart Goldsmith, for his YouTube videos protesting the censorship of his show title (Prick), and challenging critics not to make phallic puns when reviewing it. Meanwhile, despite anecdotal evidence that fringe attendances were drastically down in 2012, figures now reveal a mere 1% drop in ticket sales on last year. And given there was a 6% increase in the number of shows, »

- Brian Logan

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Harry Hill's Channel 4 reunion show interests just 820,000

24 August 2012 3:58 PM, PDT | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Harry Hill's Channel 4 reunion was attended by under a million viewers on Thursday night, overnight data suggests. Whatever Happened To Harry Hill?, a mockumentary reliving the comic's cult Channel 4 sketch show with Al Murray and Burt Kwouk, attracted just 817k (3.9%) in the 9pm hour. Fellow performer Peter Kay delivered 3.6m in the same slot last week, almost five times Hill's audience. Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer's new spoof quiz show, Vic & Bob's Lucky Sexy Winners, followed with 574k (3.1%) at 10pm - the Funny Fortnight season lineup denting the broadcaster's share for the night. Liverpool's trip to Hearts in the Europa League gave ITV4 an impressive average audience of 1.38m (6.6%) between 7pm and 10pm, helping the sports channel trump Channel 4. For some of the 9pm hour, ITV4 was even (more) »

- By Paul Millar

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TV review: Whatever Happened to Harry Hill? Vic & Bob's Lucky Sexy Winners; Just Around the Corner

24 August 2012 1:39 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

It was mainly a clips job, but the insane happiness of Harry Hill is as addictive as sild

Much like Kenneth Tynan and Look Back in Anger – but without the intellect, insatiable cultural curiosity and immeasurable breadth of knowledge and living in hopelessly degraded rather than fearlessly innovative times – I could not love anyone who did not love Harry Hill. He is happiness made baldy flesh.

The spoof documentary Whatever Happened to Harry Hill? was part of the Funny Fortnight celebrating Channel 4's 30th birthday. This is the channel, of course, on which Hill first appeared, back in 1997. The aptly-named Harry Hill Show was a gallimaufry of inspired idiocy that introduced us to the ever-elusive badgers' parade, a blue rubber cat called Stouffer, the sight of Bert Kwouk (formerly Cato in the Inspector Clouseau films) as Harry's lacklustre chicken catcher, Mai Sung – Harry's wife and stealer of his Abbey National book and … well, »

- Lucy Mangan

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TV highlights 23/08/2012

22 August 2012 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

BBC Proms 2012 | Waterloo Road | Whatever Happened To Harry Hill? | Super Freaks Of Nature | Vic & Bob's Lucky Sexy Winners | Wilfred

BBC Proms 2012

7.30pm, BBC4

Here's a Prom that looks like it may be rather jolly, if only because it features Edgard Varèse's Tuning Up, a parody piece based on the sounds heard from the orchestra before the conductor arrives on stage. Setting a rather different mood, Vasily Petrenko also conducts the National Youth Orchestra in a performance of Messiaen's Turangalîla Symphony, a celebration of love. The programme is rounded out by the London premiere of Nico Muhly's Gait, a piece inspired by the motion of horses, and HandsFree by Anna Meredith, which makes use of body percussion. Presented by Charles Hazlewood. Jonathan Wright

Waterloo Road

8pm, BBC1

Series eight of Waterloo Road has relocated, radically, to Greenock in Scotland, with the audience expected to accept this leap of location »

- Jonathan Wright, Ben Arnold, Gwilym Mumford, Hannah Verdier, Julia Raeside

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Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer return to TV with Lucky Sexy Winners

17 August 2012 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Shooting Stars may have been axed, but Vic & Bob are back on Channel 4 with an even stranger quiz show. We need them more than ever, argues Harriet Gibsone

As I walk on to the set of Vic and Bob's new show Lucky Sexy Winners, a runner is practising lunges across the stage while sporting a cutout of Simon Cowell's repugnantly muscular torso. In the background, an illustration of Miranda Hart's face glows on a big screen above a desk where four bronze legs dangle from a cluster of cogs. The show's producer is explaining to a cameraman that "he slays Xena with a sword, then she crawls away," next to another woman who's furiously unwrapping table tennis bats. A stubbled hunk focuses his attentions on one of the show's sexy dancers, who turns out to be Dan Skinner, the man behind gurnsome plastic bag-carrier Angelos Epithemiou (he »

- Harriet Gibsone

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