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Morecambe and Wise - Andre Previn (The full sketch)

Celebrating the best of British at the closing ceremony, from the 1971 Christmas Show, this is possibly the most popular Morecambe and Wise sketch of all. It features the notable conductor André Privet. PREVIEW! 

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Eric's funny but Ernie's got to go: BBC told Morecambe to dump Wise if he wanted to make it in television

Eric's funny but Ernie's got to go: BBC told Morecambe to dump Wise if he wanted to make it in television | comedy writing | Scoop.it
The damning appraisal, delivered just two years before the duo finally found fame on commercial television, was discovered in the BBC’s own archives.
Paul David Wimsett's insight:

Morecambe without Wise is unthinkable, but this is what the BBC thought. Their variety act was interpreted as "being stuck in a rut", they had no good writers for the show "Running Wild", the future of the duo was in the balance. It was the commercial channel (AKA ATV, not BBC) and "Two of a Kind" that they found fame.

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No Noel Fielding or Watson & Oliver nominations at the British Comedy Awards

No Noel Fielding or Watson & Oliver nominations at the British Comedy Awards | comedy writing | Scoop.it

In the category of sketch show it's same old same old. Horrible Histories (again!), the below par Facejacker and Very Important People as well as the little known Cardinal Burns. Sadly the very surreal (okay, a lot of people don't find it very funny) Noel Fielding show or a show which seems to get the popular vote Watson & Oliver show are not nominated.

A bit more variety surely?

The rest of the awards have that comedy actress Olivia "Colly" Colman have two nominations on the comedy actress category. Surely she'll will that-probably with Twenty Twelve, but she's got some competition from Jessica Hynes...

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Who are the cast of Full English?

Who are the cast of Full English? | comedy writing | Scoop.it

Who are the people behind the voices of the UK rival to the Simpsons? 

 

Richard Ayoade, a curly haired and, er, black, actor who was most famously was in IT Crowd. He was also in Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy and Garth Merenghi's Darkplace.

 

Rosie Cavaliero has most recently played Paula in Spy. She played the psychotic first wife Grace Poole in the film Jane Eyre. She played various characters in radio series People Like Us and the TV version Bellamy's People. She was also in the radio series Nebulous. She was also Kate Bales in Jam and Jerusalem.

 

Kayvan Noyvak is known as the Phonejacker and the Facejacker. He played various characters in Pirates with an Adventure with Scientists.

 

Daisy Haggard was in Man Stroke Woman and Green Wing. Most recently she played an American executive in Episodes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Desert Island Comedy Books

A number of Desert Island castaways chose comedy books for their chosen reading matter.

 

Douglas Adams: Both Sanjeev Bhaskar and cricket writer Frances Edmunds chose Hitchhikers Guide to Galaxy; Matt Lucas chose The Deeper Meaning of Liff

 

Woody Allen: Michael MacIntyre chose The Complete Prose of Woody Allen. Colin Firth chose his stories.

 

Alan Bennett: Geneticist Dame Kay Davies and Ronnie Corbett chose Untold Stories.

 

Andy Capp: Chosen by Doris Stokes 

 

Anthology: George Chisholm chose an anthology of humour.

 

Beachcomber (J B Morton): Puppeteer Harry Corbett chose the Best of Beachcomber, Raymond Briggs chose The Complete Beachcomber both times he was on the show.

 

Gerald Durrell: Stephen Poliakoff and Joan Powell (actress) chose My Family and Other Aliens. 

 

Jerome K Jerome: Vic Reeves, Robert McCrum, Jeremy Lloyd, Percy Press (puppeteer), Edward Woodward and Dora Bryan chose Three Men in a Boat.

 

Lupino Lane: Roy Hudd chose How to Be a Comedian.

 

George Mikes: Violinist Gyogy Pauk chose How to be an Alien.

 

Anthony Powell: Joanna Lumley chose A Dance to the Music of Time

 

Tom Sharpe: Both Wendy Richard and Steve Davis chose Wilt, but Steve chose The Throwback as well.

 

Peter Ustinov: Petula Clark chose a Title by him.

 

Evelyn Waugh: Comedian David Mitchell and playwright Ronald Harwood chose Decline and Fall.

 

H G Wells: Benny Green chose A Quartet of Comedies.

 

P G Wodehouse: Henry "Blowers" Blofeld chose A Pelican at Blandings.

 

..and so on

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David Jason's Early Career

David Jason's Early Career | comedy writing | Scoop.it

Now that David Jason is to pen his autobiography, how did he spend his career before Only Fools? Well, we remember his time with Ronnie Barker, firstly in the series Hark at Barker, as well as the more famous Blanco in Porridge and Granville in Open All Hours.

However his first TV role was on the ITV soap Crossroads (he would have got the role of Corporal Jones in Dad's Army but somehow Clive Dunn got the role after David was cast). He then moved to Do Not Adjust Your Set, which also feature Denise Coffrey, Michael Palin and Terry Jones. He also supported on the Dick Emery Show and played in several radio shows-the Captain of the B-Ark in Hitchhikers and in the satire show Weekending.

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Jasper Fforde's Favourite Comedy Writing

Jasper Fforde's Favourite Comedy Writing | comedy writing | Scoop.it

Jasper Fforde revealed his comedy writing choices in "newbooks" magazine. 

 

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson.

 

Amazon give this 4 1/2 stars. A guide to innocence in middle America during the 1950s.

 

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome.

 

Amazon gives this 4 1/3 stars. A journey up the Thames with pineapple chunks and Montmerency the dog.

 

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

 

Amazon gives this 4 1/3 stars. A bombardier named Yossarian is annoyed by the number of missions his men are sent on. He realises they are caught in Catch 22...

 

The History Man by Malcolm Bradbury

 

Amazon gives this 3 1/2 stars. Student Howard Kirk throws a party-which has repercussions for the neglected Henry Beamish and Howard's sexy wife Barbara.

 

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

 

Amazon give this 4 1/2 stars. What happens after the Vogons destroy our planet to build a bypass and what Arthur Dent discovers on Magrathea...

 

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New Tricks - A War Between Writers and Actors

New Tricks - A War Between Writers and Actors | comedy writing | Scoop.it

It seems like its nearing the end for the BBC comedy drama New Tricks. The actors are feeling disillusioned by the scripts, and the writers are being too big for their boots. The writers don't realise they are just cobblers of material, if the actors feel unhappy with a show they can go elsewhere. Actors, unlike most professions, feel like they can move on from bad experiences. The years of success mean nothing, it is what the writing is like now that matters.

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RIP Sid Waddell, The Master of the One Liner

RIP Sid Waddell, The Master of the One Liner | comedy writing | Scoop.it

A great creator of one liners and worth mentioning.

Sid Waddell was considered the voice of darts on both BBC and Sky TV. He was born in Northumberland, the son of a miner. He trained as a clerk, but started presenting a show called the Indoor League about different indoor games.

He commented on his first match in 1977 and never looked back. Such phrases as "There's only one word for that-magic darts" and "It's the greatest comeback since Lazarus." and "By the time Alexander of Macedon was 33 he wept that he no more worlds to conquer. Eric Bristow is only 27.

He also wrote the show Jossie's Giants. He is survived by his wife, Irene and four children. 

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Sacha Baron Cohen writing James Bond-style spoof film

Sacha Baron Cohen writing James Bond-style spoof film | comedy writing | Scoop.it

The performer behind Ali G, Borat, Brüno, and Admiral General Aladeen is writing a new film where he is a football hooligan who becomes a spy. He will play the part due to the likeness to James Bond. The Dictator, his last film, made 160 million dollars.

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News – Ben Elton writing new BBC sitcom

News – Ben Elton writing new BBC sitcom | comedy writing | Scoop.it

No word yet on when this sitcom might be coming to our screens, but Ben Elton is a veteran of British comedy and anything with his name on it is worthy of a look. This sitcom is called Slings & Arrows. 

Apparently his last sitcom of note was the Thin Blue Line which featured David Haig, who stars in this new sitcom.

 

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Good News for Modern Man-but not yet...

Good News for Modern Man-but not yet... | comedy writing | Scoop.it

It seems that Rev will return, but not until 2014, and then only on BBC2.

This is due to the popularity of actors Tom Hollander (who was the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean and in more films) and Olivia Colman (who was in Iron Lady playing Carol Thatcher, as well as Twenty Twelve, Peep Show etc.)

It is made by Big Talk Productions.

 

Olivia Colman was voted 9th on the list of Broadcast Magazine's "up and comers", probably because she's in everything, how can she be an up and comer?

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Father Ted writer pens a BBC sitcom about...the BBC

Father Ted writer pens a BBC sitcom about...the BBC | comedy writing | Scoop.it

The great Arthur Matthews is to pen a sitcom about the early days of the BBC, the days of Lord Reith. It will star Robert Bathurst and Vicki McGuire (pictured). It involves rather overfriendly bandleaders and emotional newsreaders. 

Of course Arthur Matthews wrote Father Ted and for the sketch show Big Train.

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BBC - Archive - Hollywood Voices - Bob Hope

BBC - Archive - Hollywood Voices - Bob Hope | comedy writing | Scoop.it
Title: Bob Hope. Subject: Hollywood. Source: BBC Archive.
Paul David Wimsett's insight:
"Mother, I've got four shows running on Broadway." "Is it legal?" Bob Hope remembers the Ziegfeld Follies and Fanny Brice. (Other Hollywood interviews are on BBC Archives.)
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The End of the Dandy - but who was in it?

The End of the Dandy - but who was in it? | comedy writing | Scoop.it

Today is the last paper printing of the Dandy. Here is a list of characters who graced their pages.

 

Desperate Dan: Probably their most famous creation. He lives with his Aunt Aggie in the very unamerican Cactusville where he lives on cowpies.

 

Bananaman: Eric eats a banana and becomes (unsurprisingly enough) Bananaman... His villians included the Doctor Gloom, Skunk-Woman and General Blight. Made famous for the cartoon series featuring the Goodies.

 

Korky the Cat: Perhaps an English take off of Felix, often appeared on the front cover.

 

Corporal Clott: A daft officer, perhaps a take off of Bilko. His boss was a Colonel Grumbly,

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A Tour of London through comedy blue plaques

A Tour of London through comedy blue plaques | comedy writing | Scoop.it

The unscientific search of blue plaques through Google produce Graham Chapman's one up first, found at the Angel Inn in Highgate.

 

Top names who were comedy writers (a lot of writers come up) include John Lennon at 34 Maryleborne Square; Benny Hill at Queen's Gate, SW7; P G Wodehouse, 17 Dunraven St, Westminster; and John Sullivan at Teddington Studios.

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Miranda to become a movie?

Miranda to become a movie? | comedy writing | Scoop.it

It seems that Miranda will only have three series, but that a film is being planned, following the surge in this apparently new idea by The Inbetweeners and Keith Lemon. The film will have Miranda Hart play the same character as in her TV programme. It is will be one of the few radio programmes (Miranda Hart's Joke Shop)  to be turned into a film-the only three I can think of is: Navy Lark, Hitchhikers andLeague of Gentleman.

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Rob Brydon to write and star in HBO comedy pilot

Rob Brydon to write and star in HBO comedy pilot | comedy writing | Scoop.it

Rob Brydon's HBO sitcom pilot doesn't that all promising with the "fish out of water" context". The series is called The Valleys. There will according to Rob, "an essence of Wales". It will be directed by Julian Farino who directed Rome & Sex and the City. As always, only time will tell if he can make the transition.

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Goodhead Best James Bond name - what a shock!

Goodhead Best James Bond name - what a shock! | comedy writing | Scoop.it

Lois Chiles' Dr Holly Goodhead from Moonraker has won the battle of the Bond girl names, according to Yahoo.co.uk. Runners up include Lana Wood's Plenty O'Toole from Diamonds are Forever and Jill St John's Tiffany Case from Diamonds are Forever. Honor Blackman's Pussy Galore seemed to come twelfth.

 

The Bond girls somewhat comic names are spoofed in return. Carry on Spying had Barbara Windsor as Daphne Honeybutt (codenamed Brown Cow); Austen Powers had Felicity Shagwell and Alotta Fagina.

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David Walliams win million pound sitcom contract.

David Walliams win million pound sitcom contract. | comedy writing | Scoop.it

Although more famous for his sketch work, his charity work and his children's books, David Wailliams is adding another string to his bow by creating a sitcom set in a staff room. 

 

As most writers know, sitcoms are very difficult to get right, but we know that David Wailliams is a good writer, with the possible exception of Come Fly With Me. So let's hope he can produce a hit.

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Josephine Tewson on life after Hyacinth - and Ronnie

Josephine Tewson on life after Hyacinth - and Ronnie | comedy writing | Scoop.it

She played with the Two Ronnies and two sitcoms with Ronnie Barker (Futtock's End and Clarence). And she played the long enduring neighbour of a Hyacinth "Bouquet" Bucket. She has however appeared in such long forgotten shows as The Charlie Drake Show and Z-Cars. Now Josephine Tewson is sharing her memories in a one woman show. She tells about life in repertory as she had to circle the minefields of Agatha Christie as older members of the cast fell asleep. I couldn't find any pictures of her in the Two Ronnies, though she was in hundreds of sketches (what about when she played the bridesmaid who went off with Barker, who was the vicar?)

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Wife Number 4 for John Cleese and at last an Englishwoman.

Wife Number 4 for John Cleese and at last an Englishwoman. | comedy writing | Scoop.it

John Clees has married Jennifer Wade, 41 in the Caribbean villa. Famously his first wife was his writing partner Connie Booth, which they wrote more than a certain hotelier. His next two marriages had expensive divorces-especially his last marriage which led to the 'Acrimony Tour'. Terry Gilliam gave it his wholehearted raspberry. 

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Kenneth Williams - Acid Dropper

Kenneth Williams - Acid Dropper | comedy writing | Scoop.it

Kenneth Williams is famous for being a Carry On actor as well as being in Just a Minute and Round the Horne. Some people may remember him on H...H...H...Hancock's Half Hour.

 

His Acid Drops has been in and out of print for years and in fact included cartoons by the aforementioned Graeme Garden. An acid drop by the way is just another name for a pear drop, quite a sour sweet (pictured). It consists an A-Z of various insults given by the rich and famous.

 

Yellow design, KW eating an acid drop, 1980

 

There's one showing KW's head (blue background) from 1981

 

There is one showing him eating an acid drop in 1988.

 

The Complete Acid Drops with KW in a star design was published in 1999. It has an introduction by Gyles Brandreth.

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Barry Cryer on being back on the Fringe.

Barry Cryer on being back on the Fringe. | comedy writing | Scoop.it

"Being a stand-up at 77 is great," says Barry Cryer, "I tell jokes and stories, the young comedians don't."

Back at the Fringe with singer/songwriter Ronnie Golden Barry Cryer is most famous for writing for Morecambe & Wise and Kenny Everett, as well as appearing on the radio panel show I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. 

One of his first gigs was the infamous Windmill Club with its famous catch, "We Never Closed" (sometimes said as "We Never Clothed") "The audience didn't come and see us, they came to see the strippers, who bizarrely never moved."

"In 1957 at the Windmill I met a guy called Bruce Forsyth. "I wonder what happened to him?" (there was something about a tobacconist, wasn't there Barry?) "The year after (saying) that he was compere on the London Palladium."

He apparently tried writing with John Cleese but failed, prefering Graham Chapman. He did write a sketch for John Cleese, he and Nicky Henderson (if you know anything about Nicky Henderson please add it below) were park keepers and Ronnie Corbett danced and skipped but didn't walk on the grass.

Like I said he is well known for I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. Someone in the audience of the new show heckled, "It's not as good as it was with Humphrey Lyttleton." Silence. Jack Dee replied, "Poor Humph. Wonder where he is now? How I envy him..."

 

 

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Smithy and Nessa - or their Creators Return for Gavin & Stacey

Smithy and Nessa - or their Creators Return for Gavin & Stacey | comedy writing | Scoop.it

Thanks to a online petition, James Corden is reuniting with Ruth Jones to write further episodes of the hit sitcom Gavin & Stacey. Corden was encouraged to write the series by Alan Bennett, during the performance of The History Boys.

In the series Smithy (who has portrayed his role in various Comic Reliefs) is in an on-off relationship with Vanessa/Nessa Jenkins who apparently is a ex-lover of John Prescott and various others, including Eddie Stobart and Richard Madeley. 

But will how their relationship develop?

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