Weekly Newsletter

Monday 29th November 2021

With less than a month to go until Christmas, we have news of some TV specials coming up...

Latest comedy news

Jon Richardson and Lucy Beaumont to host Channel 4 sleepover

Jon Richardson and Lucy Beaumont to host Channel 4 sleepover

Channel 4 is to air Jon & Lucy's Christmas Sleepover, a one-off special in which the married couple are joined by Roisin Conaty, Romesh Ranganathan and Rob Beckett.

Morgana Robinson and Mat Horne star in a new family sitcom for Gold

Morgana Robinson and Mat Horne star in a new family sitcom for Gold

Gold has ordered a new sitcom set in Nottinghamshire. Newark, Newark is inspired by comedian Nathan Foad's upbringing in the town.

K´┐Żnt launches second bid for Christmas No. 1

Kunt launches second bid for Christmas No. 1

Controversial comedy singer Kunt has launched a new bid to top the Christmas music chart, with a track titled Boris Johnson Is Still A F****** C***.

Taskmaster Series 13 line-up revealed

Taskmaster Series 13 line-up revealed

Ardal O'Hanlon, Bridget Christie, Chris Ramsey, Judi Love and Sophie Duker will take part in Series 13 of Taskmaster, coming to Channel 4 in 2022.

Kate & Koji recast with Okorie Chukwu for Series 2

Kate & Koji recast with Okorie Chukwu for Series 2

Jimmy Akingbola has been replaced by Okorie Chukwu in the second series of ITV's latest sitcom, Kate & Koji.

Ashley Blaker to return to Radio 4 for Series 2 of 6.5 Children

Ashley Blaker to return to Radio 4 for Series 2 of 6.5 Children

Radio 4 has commissioned a second series of Ashley Blaker: 6.5 Children, the show in which the stand-up comedian records his home life.

Spitting Image Christmas special to air on ITV

Spitting Image Christmas special to air on ITV

ITV is to air a Christmas special of Spitting Image, with sketches set to include Phoebe Waller-Bridge writing the Queen's annual festive message.

Sara Pascoe's 'Guessable?' returning for Series 3

Sara Pascoe's 'Guessable?' returning for Series 3

Guessable?, the parlour-game show hosted by Sara Pascoe on Comedy Central, is returning for a third series in 2022. Alan Davies, Darren Harriott and John Kearns will also be back as team captains and co-host-cum-assistant, respectively.

Crowd-funding campaign to support DVD of first C4 comedy

Crowd-funding campaign to support DVD of first C4 comedy

Dialogue-free The Optimist, Channel 4's first ever half-hour comedy series, originally created for Rowan Atkinson, is the subject of a crowd-funding campaign to secure a DVD release.

Jason Donovan guest stars in Not Going Out Christmas special

Jason Donovan guest stars in Not Going Out Christmas special

Not Going Out returns to BBC One this Christmas, with the regular cast joined by guest star Jason Donovan.

Mrs Brown's Boys 2021 specials revealed

Mrs. Brown's Boys 2021 specials revealed

Mrs Brown's Boys is due to return to BBC One this festive period for two new specials: Mammy's Mechanical Merriment and Mammy's Micky.

Bill Bailey guest stars in Worzel Gummidge Christmas special

Bill Bailey guest stars in Worzel Gummidge Christmas special

Worzel Gummidge returns to BBC One this Christmas with Bill Bailey amongst the guest stars.

BBC Two to air recoloured lost episode of The Morecambe & Wise Show

BBC Two to air recoloured lost episode of The Morecambe & Wise Show

BBC Two has restored colour to a recently recovered 1970 episode of The Morecambe & Wise Show, and will air the programme in full this Christmas.

Comic Relief to stage Beauty And The Beast pantomime

Comic Relief to stage Beauty And The Beast pantomime

Beauty And The Beast: A Comic Relief Pantomime will air on BBC Two this Christmas.

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Morecambe And Wise at ITV

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without Morecambe & Wise

This fantastic 14-disc set contains all 48 editions of ATV's Two Of A Kind (plus a wealth of special features from that era) alongside all 26 editions and seven specials of Thames Television's The Morecambe And Wise Show. Find out more

Features

Charly Clive and Ellen Robertson introduce Britney

Charly Clive and Ellen Robertson introduce Britney

Charly Clive and Ellen Robertson introduce their comedy pilot, Britney, which is on BBC iPlayer tomorrow, and then BBC One from 11:35pm.

Comedy Rewind: The New Statesman

Comedy Rewind: The New Statesman

1987. Margaret Thatcher had just won her third General Election and two writers by the names of Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran were about to team up with the pan-global phenomenon that was Rik Mayall, in order to create one of the most outrageous satires Britain had ever seen...

First Gig, Worst Gig: Pojj

First Gig, Worst Gig: Pojj

Cigs, burgers and Orange-Gina - the Adventures in Pojjland stars talk us through their big gig moments.

British Comedy Quiz #179

British Comedy Quiz #179

There was no quiz in last week's newsletter and a number of you emailed back to ask about it. It's nice to know how popular it is! Here's the latest edition, which we trust will exercise the grey matter sufficiently!

The origins of The Optimist

The origins of The Optimist

Channel 4's first ever half-hour comedy series, The Optimist is being prepared for a crowd-funded DVD release. We find out about the show's origins from creator Richard Sparks.

TV listings

The Outlaws

The Outlaws

Monday 9pm, BBC One

The final episode of the first series. Even with redemption seemingly in reach, the outlaws find their time running out and the net closing in on them. They face a stark choice - die apart or survive together?

Frankie Boyle's New World Order

Frankie Boyle's New World Order

Monday 10pm, BBC Two

Tonight Frankie Boyle is joined by Kiri Pritchard-McLean, Sophie Duker, Miles Jupp and Rob Delaney.

Along For The Ride With David O'Doherty

Along For The Ride With David O'Doherty

Monday 10pm, Channel 4

In Episode 2, David O'Doherty is joined by artist and former mountain bike racer Grayson Perry, as they take to the Brecon Beacons.

Britney

Britney

Tuesday, BBC Three

A pilot based on the true story of an extraordinary friendship amidst the reality of living with a brain tumour diagnosis. It's already been a hit on the stage, and now the semi-autobiographical characters come to television.

Question Team

Question Team

Tuesday 10pm, Dave

Sara Pascoe, Darren Harriott, Jessica Knappett and special guest Isy Suttie take part in Episode 8.

Stath Lets Flats

Stath Lets Flats

Tuesday 10pm, Channel 4

In the final episode of the series, Stath sees his dad's wedding as the perfect opportunity to win back the love of his life.

Live From Aberystwyth Pier

Live From Aberystwyth Pier

Tuesday 10:35pm, BBC One Wales

Chloe Petts, Esyllt Sears, Carys Eleri and Tudur Owen appear on this new stand-up showcase. Every episode is available on iPlayer if you don't have access to BBC Wales, or don't want to wait. Vandullz continues afterwards.

Comedians Giving Lectures

Comedians Giving Lectures

Wednesday 9pm, Dave

Sara Pascoe is joined by comedians Erika Ehler, Joe Thomas and Henning Wehn who compete to deliver the best lecture.

Rhod Gilbert's Growing Pains

Rhod Gilbert's Growing Pains

Wednesday 9pm, Comedy Central

Jo Brand, Jordan Banjo and Nabil Abdulrashid reflect on their teenage years, with revelations about the theft of underwear and body-popping skills.

Live At The Apollo

Live At The Apollo

Wednesday 10pm, BBC Two

Larry Dean introduces comedians Harriet Kemsley and Slim to the stage as the stand-up show continues its new run.

Spitting Image

Spitting Image

Thursday, BritBox

The first festive television special of the year... on BritBox, but coming to ITV at a later date. We're promised Rishi Sunak being visited by terrifying visions including of The Ghost of Tory Glory Past.

The Russell Howard Hour

The Russell Howard Hour

Thursday 10pm, Sky Max

Russell Howard's format continues. What topic will he be looking at when he opens the show this week? We suspect the new covid variant might be up there.

Mock The Week

Mock The Week

Thursday 10pm, BBC Two

Angela Barnes, Ed Byrne, Laura Lexx, Jonny Pelham and Ahir Shah are set to joke about the news this week.

Shaun The Sheep

Shaun The Sheep

Friday, Netflix

A new animated festive special. Shaun's seasonal excitement turns to dismay when a farmhouse raid to get bigger stockings for the Flock inadvertently leads to Timmy going missing. It'll be on the BBC nearer Christmas itself.

Have I Got News For You

Have I Got News For You

Friday 9:30pm, BBC One

Clive Myrie takes up the reins as guest host, with journalist Camilla Long and actor Miles Jupp joining team captains Paul Merton and Ian Hislop to poke fun at the week's headlines.

The Last Leg

The Last Leg

Friday 10pm, Channel 4

Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker are joined by comedians London Hughes and Chris McCausland for a comic review of the significant moments of the past seven days.

The Graham Norton Show

The Graham Norton Show

Friday 10:35pm, BBC One

With Hollywood stars Tom Holland and Zendaya starring together in Spider-Man: No Way Home; meanwhile Superman Henry Cavill is talking about The Witcher. Also Gugu Mbatha-Raw (The Girl Before) and Little Mix.

The Big Narstie Show

The Big Narstie Show

Friday 11:05pm, Channel 4

This edition sees the hosts joined by guests Natalie Cassidy, Judi Love, Shaun Ryder, Michael 'Venom' Page and ArrDee.

Age Of Outrage

Age Of Outrage

Friday 11:25pm, BBC One Wales

The sketch comedy series asking the big questions - like are Smart Speakers listening in to our private conversations?

Blankety Blank

Blankety Blank

Saturday 9pm, BBC One

Playing for the prizes this weekend are Fay Ripley, Louis Smith, Sara Pascoe, Jo Brand, Janette Manrara and Martin Kemp.

The Jonathan Ross Show

The Jonathan Ross Show

Saturday 10:20pm, ITV

Elton John joins Jonathan from his home to talk about his latest album The Lockdown Sessions. Back in the studio, the host welcomes Rob Brydon and Judi Love, and there is a musical performance by Craig David and MNEK.

For a complete list of TV and radio broadcasts, including repeats, see our full schedule.

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Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators - Series Four

Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators - Series Four

Monday 21st March 2022. Blu-ray

The fourth series of the hit BBC show. Starring Jo Joyner & Mark Benton and combining corpses, comedy and cracking mysteries, this quirky crime drama has won the hearts of over 200 countries.

Now that Lu has passed her private investigator exams and Frank's tidied himself up a bit, there's no stopping them. But murder, kidnap, blackmail and infidelity still abound in the pretty tourist town of Stratford-upon-Avon. Welcome to the birthplace of the Bard, where low-life criminals get caught up in deliciously high drama.

Girl Stroke Boy

Girl Stroke Boy

Monday 17th January 2022. Blu-ray

Based on David Percival's acclaimed play Girlfriend, Girl Stroke Boy is a one-of-a-kind comedy that tells of two everyday, middle-class parents who are confounded when their son brings home his new partner: an elegant, confusingly androgynous West Indian (actor and pop star Peter Straker in a pioneering performance).

Directed with an affectionate, light touch by Bob Kellet (Up Pompeii) and featuring a superb cast, including Joan Greenwood (Kind Hearts & Coronets), Michael Hordern (The Missionary), Patricia Routledge (Keeping Up Appearances), and Clive Francis (A Clockwork Orange), Girl Stroke Boy still packs a punch today thanks to Straker's flamboyant performance (British cinema's first gay leading role to be played by a black actor) and the prescient subject matter.

Long out of circulation, this new, restored edition marks the film's worldwide Blu-ray premiere and comes from a new 4K scan of rare surviving film elements.

Guilt - Series Two

Guilt - Series Two

Out now. DVD

The twisting and twisted, cool and compelling Scottish thriller is back, drenched in black humour and intrigue.

Guilt has been absolved by punishment. Now revenge takes over. Max steps out of prison on licence. His fate is in the shaky hands of an undercover police officer. She offers him freedom, at a very high price: informing on his dangerous enemy, Roy Lynch. But can Max really trust her?

The dark wit, duplicity and dynamism of the first series made Guilt a genuine word-of-mouth smash, with record catching-up figures and a clutch of awards. This time things are even more dangerous. And even less predictable. Starring Mark Bonnar, Jamie Sives and Emun Elliot.

George Lewis - DON'T PANIC! All The Stuff The Expectant Dad Needs To Know

George Lewis - DON'T PANIC! All The Stuff The Expectant Dad Needs To Know

Thursday 3rd February 2022. Paperback and eBook

Are you ready for fatherhood?

DON'T PANIC - dad and comedian George Lewis is here with all the seriously useful practical and emotional advice that you need to keep you (and your partner) sane! From birth to pre-school, EVERYTHING you need to know is here. And even better, it's packed with useful tips, inside knowledge and hilarious real-life stories from dads and medical professionals who know exactly what it's like to take your first steps as a new father.

With contributions from fellow comedians Adam Kay, Romesh Ranganathan and many others, this book will get you totally prepared for the biggest thing to even happen in your life!

The Penny Dreadfuls - The Brothers Faversham

The Penny Dreadfuls - The Brothers Faversham

Out now. Audio Download

Eight swashbuckling tales about the eccentric members of Victorian Britain's greatest aristocratic family.

Based on their critically acclaimed Edinburgh Festival Fringe shows Aeneas Faversham, Aeneas Faversham Returns and Aeneas Faversham Forever, these action-packed romps chronicle the lives of the Brothers Faversham, nine men who straddled the Victorian era 'like a mighty change-Titan'.

Beginning in 1834, as deadly adventuress and super-spy Lady Alexandra gives birth to her eldest son, we hear of the rise and fall of these prodigious siblings. Series 1 introduces us to the first four: decorated soldier Horatius; eminent detective Theseus; reckless explorer Leonidas and magician-turned-megalomaniac Augustus.

For more, see our full list of new releases and items coming soon.

Comedy videos

Zoom Barber

Zoom Barber - BCG Pro Video Contest winner

When you need a trim but you don't like masks... who you gonna call? This sketch by The Awkward Silence (Ralph Jones and Vyvyan Almond) was the November winner of BCG Pro's video competition.

Be Uncertain

Be Uncertain

A dark short film starring Stephen Wight and Aisling Bea. Stuck in a stagnant routine, JD finally does the unexpected, only to wish he hadn't.

Nick Cave's new song

Nick Cave's new song

Joz Norris says: "I wrote some parody Nick Cave lyrics for a comedy gig, and I think they genuinely pass muster as a real Nick Cave song, so here they are."

Silent Lee in The Mugger

Silent Lee in The Mugger

Another dialogue-free short from Lee Brace. 'The boy's got some bottle...'

'Yes And...'

'Yes And...'

This man is struggling with an improv game.

Trendy teacher

Trendy teacher

A very cool teacher, right? A sketch by Will Hislop.

How to Open a Door for Someone in a Wheelchair

How to Open a Door for Someone in a Wheelchair

A tutorial showing you the best way to open a door for someone in a wheelchair, in just three easy steps.

Tramples The Murder Horse

Tramples The Murder Horse

An animated pilot. When your local dictatorship is run by a mentally unhinged horse (yes, a horse), the entire world has to unite in order to slow his quest for domination.

Sheist

Sheist

A short film. Three warring sisters carry out an audacious, if unlikely, heist - to steal their dead mother's ashes from their estranged ex-gangsta father ... at the wake.

Russell Howard: Lubricant - Teaser

Russell Howard: Lubricant - Teaser

In his latest comedy special - coming to Netflix on 14th December - Russell Howard tries to make sense of a world that is spinning out of control.

Spotlight

Scot Squad

Scot Squad

With its 40th episode set to air over the Christmas period, this achingly funny mock-doc following a fictionalised version of the Scottish police force has been running since 2012 and has gifted us some iconic comedy characters - in particular Chief Commissioner Cameron Miekelson, played by comedy legend Jack Docherty (pictured), who's been spun-off into a range of semi-serious documentaries on his own, including looks at the Euro football tournament earlier in the summer, and interviews with all the Scottish political party leaders ahead of the 2019 election. Six episodes are currently available on iPlayer and are well worth your time. "Officer Karen, officer Karen...!"

Thanks for reading

Matthew Smith has won the latest BCG Pro Gag-a-Week competition on the topic of "storms":

I was once stuck in a twister inside a monsoon. It's not my favourite party game but at least I could browse the knitwear afterwards.

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