Category: Comedy

Comedians · Speakers · Celebrities · Entertainers

Freddie Starr: A star has gone out

Freddie Starr was a very talented comedian, impressionist, singer and actor with an extra ordinary self-destructive side which was often present in his performances but even more provolant in his personal life and on occasions dealing with professional staff and showbusiness executives. He was born Fredrick Leslie Fowell in Liverpool, a carpenter’s son. But first…
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The New Theatre Royal Lincoln: Comedy Nights

The New Theatre Royal Lincoln starts it highly popular comedy nights with some of the country’s leading stand-up comedians performing at the beautiful Grade 2 listed Victoria theatre built in 1893. Among some of the seasons stand out comics are Larry Dean and Scott Bennett back from their highly successful Edinburgh Shows and Larry’s performances…
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The show up and running

Jim Tavare: Deadpan to Bedpan (Touring & Speaking)

Jim Tavare returned to the UK in May 2019 to tour his award-winning Edinburgh show – ‘Deadpan to Bedpan’ show Arts Centres & venues Jim appeared at a number of arts centres  and venues including Swindon Arts Centre, Joker Comedy Club (Southend), The Junction (Cambridge), Royal Spa Centre (Leamington Spa), The Capitol (Horsham), Hazlitt Theatre (Maidstone), The Hawth (Crawley), Birmingham Midlands Arts Centre…
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Jeremy Hardy: Said it Straight and Funny

Jeremy Hardy was one of the UK’s foremost stand-up comedians. His live work included ‘Just 4 Laughs’, (Montreal Comedy Festival), the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where he won the prestigious Perrier Award in 1988. Arthur Smith described him as ‘a profoundly witty and honourable man.’ He came up through the 1980’s comedy club boom in the political…
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Ken Dodd

Ken Dodd: His writer of 30 years speaks out (part 2)

Barry Reeves was Ken Dodd’s comedy writer for over 30 years, here he continues talking of their working relationship and close friendship to the very end. You can read Part 1 here. His audience, shows & nerves A lot of people stated they were friends of Doddy. That’s because everybody he spoke to, he made…
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Ken Dodd tickling sticks

Ken Dodd: His writer of 30 years speaks out (part 1)

Barry Reeves was Ken Dodd’s comedy writer for over 30 years, keeping himself in the back ground, while serving up some of Doddy’s most favorite routines. Barry was never one for the personal limelight. Modest in attitude but talented with pen. Their working relationship turned to a close family friendship. Here in this two-part series,…
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Jasper & Alistair Web Banner

Jasper Carrott & Alistair McGowan: On Tour

Jasper Carrott & Alistair McGowan, the bacon and eggs pairing, are a surprising mixture of comedy talent touring the country together with their different but complementary styles of stand up. McGowan’s well observed impressions drive his act forward, one after the other, some nicely catching the ear, especially those where other impressionists haven’t yet trodden…
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10 Top Tips for a successful presentation: Learning from stand-up comedians

Learning From Stand Up Comedy

10 Top Tips for a Successful Presentation Some of the facets of stand up comedy can be used in a business presentation context. Learning from stand ups can help structure and prepare executives for an important business presentation. Speakers often forget basic principles when addressing an audience. Thinking it through and preparing are key to…
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Bob Monkhouse

Bob Monkhouse: The King of Corporate Events

6 Tips for speaking at a corporate event Bob Monkhouse (1928-2003), was often referred to as the king of the corporate event. He was one of Britain’s top comedians for over five decades, continually on our TV screens, swapping channels from time to time, delivering his wisecrack humour, often when hosting a popular gameshow such…
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Jim Tavare: ‘From Deadpan to Bedpan’

Jim Tavare: ‘From Deadpan to Bedpan’

What does one do when you’ve had the most horrific car crash, come close to death three times in the operating theatre and told by the doctors to contact your children to say goodbye? Well, you write jokes. Jim Tavare sat back on his bed facing a year of convalescing, an uncertain future with major…
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Fringe

Edinburgh Fringe festival 2018: A week of show reviews

Sunday ‘Terry Alderton: The Musical’ is an extremely fast paced stand up performance. His impact is immediate, providing all the physicality associated with this over bearing but talented performer, with highly timed sound inserts, supported by Terry’s strong ability for voices and for the visually absorbed.  His legs in the air, Terry’s feet begin a…
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Carol Cleveland Monty Python Reunion Announcement

Monty Python’s Forgotten Member

‘Monty Pythons flying Circus’ (BBC 1969 -1974) was a surreal TV programme which changed the face of comedy not only in Britain but the world. Its popularity stretched across Europe and The United States. Many of it famous sketches, which often mocked the establishment, are still re-run on television today alongside DVD’s, Albums, several books…
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Robbie & Dad on stage

Pete Conway & Robbie Williams: Like Father Like Son

Robbie Williams is recognised as one of the best selling music artists of all time, having sold 75 million records worldwide. Six of his albums are in the top 100 biggest selling records in the UK; four of which are in the top 60. But some of that magic may well have come from his dad.…
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Private Charter Cruise Events

Comicus is associated as pioneers in the cruise world, being the first to integrate modern new comedians onto traditional cruise ships, an artistic comedy development our Director first implemented in holiday resorts, then moving the concept to the oceans of the world for several multinational cruise companies. Such careful booking with a studied team of…
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Doddy Finally Leaves The Stage

Ken Dodd was undoubtedly a comedian’s comedian. A true master of his art. A life dedicated to making people laugh. What a legacy of comedy he has left us. At his best few comics could live with him on stage. Dodd used all forms of humour to get his laughs, visual, one liners, musical routines…
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Larry Dean Fandan

Larry Dean: Fandan

Larry Dean is currently touring the country in his show ‘Fandan’ containing all the comic talent now associated with this growing Scottish performer. He walks to the stage without pretension, no bottled beer in hand (like others), immediately displaying his down to earth credentials in a Glaswegian accent, with rapid fire delivery only stopping half…
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Alan Ayckbourn: ‘How the other half Loves’

‘How the other half Loves’ explores the different social attitudes to supposed infidelity. This, six hander play (three couples), set in the 1960’s, contains all the hallmarks of strong comic plotting with moments of extreme farce. Originally written by Alan Ayckbourn in 1970, being his second work, much waited for after the success of his…
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Ken Dodd: Comedy Masterclass

On November 8th Ken Dodd turned 90 years old. This master of stand-up comedy has transcended generations of comedians, including cultural changes in entertainment from variety theatre (where he started), to the social & cabaret club’s scene and the now comedy club circuit. Yet he still applies his art today in often packed out theatres…
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Real life: Professional Comedy plots

It was 4:00am, only six people left in the bar at the Metropole Hilton, after a great ‘Hire a Hero’ event. Time to collect my coat from the bands changing room and home. Entering the area upstairs, it had been completely cleared and cleaned. My Anorak was nowhere to be seen. Assuming the cleaners had…
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Backstage: Jim Tavare All-Star Comedy Benefit Night

Over 500 people packed into the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury avenue, to enjoy a comedy show that only comes around once in a lifetime. There seemed more stars than the night sky. All giving their time free to support their colleague Jim Tavare who had been through an horrendous car accident and now faced with medical…
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Jim Tavare

Jim Tavare: All-Star Comedy Benefit show

We are pleased to announce a Comedy Benefit night for Jim Tavare at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London on Monday 12th June 2017. The support from his colleagues has been amazing and the bill of comics performing that evening reads like a who’s who of modern stand up. Dara O Briain, Jo Brand, Harry…
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Make an impression

How to make an impression

Nowadays, a comedy impressionist is a rare sight on stage. This artform has been left behind with flared trousers and the eighties word processor. Comedians are now more observational, chatty, satirical and find no room for impressionism within their acts. A vocal jamboree of celebrity characters is seen as ‘old hat’ and been overtaken by…
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Best of British Farce

Out of Order: Best of British Farce

Farce is never an easy form of theatre to succeed in. Yet Ray Cooney has made it his lifetimes ambition and work to create some of our best loved and well written farces. ‘Out of Order’ is not one of Cooney’s best (even though it won an Laurence Oliver award for Best Comedy 1991) but…
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‘The Play That Goes Wrong’

Following it’s humble beginning at the Old Red Lion, Islington (2012) ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ is drawing strong audiences in its West End run. It further gained attention after appearing on the Royal Variety Show and has since gone from strength to strength. This is the play that turns slapstick comedy into an intelligent,…
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A German company, a Frenchman and 50 Scots

At the end of a conference it is refreshing for delegates to look forward to the evening dinner and entertainment. At this event a German company, with a subsidiary in Britain organised a French comedian to entertain it’s 90% male UK workforce containing an abundance of Scotsmen, Irish and a some English, all in relaxed…
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The nation’s favourite Grandma says ‘Goodbye’.

Liz Smith was one of those actresses you immediately recognise, then struggle to think what she has been in. ‘Oh she was in .. that .. er ? It is because she appeared in so many parts in TV & Film in the last forty years we don’t always necessarily identify her with just one…
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Milton Jones

Keeping up with the Joneses

Milton Jones ticks all the boxes to be a great comedian. He is quiet, introverted, unassuming plus when off stage he never does material. He’s not a gossip or seldom speaks unless spoken to, but you know something deep is going on in that head. What comedically comes out of his mind is just as…
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John Lloyd

John Lloyd: In conversation

Those of you who remember ‘Not the Nine O’clock News’ (BBC 1979 -83), ‘Spitting Image’ (ITV 1984 -96) and the ‘The Blackadder’ sitcom series (BBC 1983-89) may not realise what these shows had in common. Well, all of them were originally produced by John Lloyd who went on to make some of the most important…
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French Beaujolais meets English Humour

The first bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau were gently mixed with some comedy, light music and Camembert cheese at the county ground on Thursday 17th November. This being the first day of the season for such a celebrated French wine, much loved around the world, particularly in its home country where corks were pulled in great…
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Ian Moore

Ian Moore, more, more, more!

‘Doing the actual job of being a comedian isn’t the problem’ an experienced comic once told me. ‘It’s all the bloody travelling which gets in the way’ he said. Well, have a look at this travel itinerary; Started from Loire Valley (France) at 6:30am, forty-minute drive from Vierzon, an hour half train to Paris, an…
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Jimmy Perry: Calls Halt on Army of Comedy Scripts

  Jimmy Perry was best known as an influential TV comedy writer of the 60’, 70’s and 80’s. His writing partnership with David Croft (1922-2011) formed the backbone of so much of BBC sitcom in that period. The two wrote together Dad’s Army (1968–1977), It Ain’t Half Hot Mum (1974–1981), Hi-De-Hi (1980–1988) and You Rang…
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Sunday Night at the London Palladium Pt.2

  The ‘Beat the clock’ section of the show was a product of American television. Manager of the Palladium Jack Parnell saw it, liked the idea of audience participation that it involved, and clinched a deal to sandwich ‘Beat the clock’ between the show’s two commercial breaks. The concept was simple but very effective with…
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Sunday Night at the London Palladium Pt.1

Sunday Night at the London Palladium began at 8:00pm on September 23 1955 with Gracie Fields and Guy Mitchell sharing top billing. The TV audience was estimated at around 350,000 a figure that today would not excite producers of a small cable channel, but then ITV was just three years old and available only in…
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The mecca for entertainers: The London Palladium

The London Palladium is one of the most well-known theatres in the world. It is situated in London’s West End, Argyll street, just off Oxford Circus. its proud columns pay tribute to the kings of comedy and entertainment who have worked this now famous grade two listed building which was first built in 1910 by…
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Scottish comics win Edinburgh comedy award 2016

Richard Gadd’s show ‘Monkey See Monkey Do’ won the coveted 2016 Edinburgh comedy award, past winners include Frank Skinner, Jeremy Hardy and Al Murray. This time however there was a darker side to the comedy as Gadd’s show was centred around his own personal difficulties getting over a sexual assault he experienced four years ago.…
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Gene Wilder: Wild about Gene

Anyone who wants to perform comedy would dream of having facial features like Gene Wilder, wonderfully expressive with eyes that communicated great emotion often combined with a classical acting technique approach to his in work. Comedian Jim Carrey describing Wilder as ‘one of the funniest and sweetest energies ever to take a human form’. Indeed,…
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Martin Beaumont

‘Chitty, Chitty, Cruise, Cruise’ Martin Beaumont: Interview

To see Martin’s profile and to book him for your event click here. Having been pushed to the back as a child actor during the filming of ‘Chitty Chitty, Bang, Bang’ as he looked to healthy for a starving child in the famous cave scene. Martin Beaumont went on to star on Saturday night TV in…
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Quiz Show: Contestant Bloomers Pt2

LINCS FM PHONE-IN Presenter: Which is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world? Contestant: Barcelona. Presenter: I was really after the name of a country. Contestant: I’m sorry, I don’t know the names of any countries in Spain … NATIONAL LOTTERY (BBC1) Question: What is the world’s largest continent? Contestant: The Pacific. ROCK FM (…
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Quiz show: Contestant bloomers !

UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE (BBC2) Jeremy Paxman: What is another name for ‘cherrypickers’ and ‘cheesemongers’? Contestant: Homosexuals ?. Jeremy Paxman: No. They’re regiments in the British Army who will be very upset with you. BEG, BORROW OR STEAL (BBC2) Jamie Theakston: Where do you think Cambridge University is? Contestant: Geography isn’t my strong point. Jamie Theakston: There’s…
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Arthur Smith

Arthur Smith: My name is Daphne Fairfax

Having over five hundred autobiographies on my office shelf of various sports stars, showbusiness personalities in particular comedians and the odd politician, there is always some book I come across which for some reason has passed me by. One such publication was Arthur Smith’s entitled ‘My name is Daphne Fairfax’ (2009) in reference to a…
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10 things your sense of humour says about you

10 Things Your Sense Of Humour Says About You

I laugh, therefore I am. We all like to think our own sense of humour is the right one. Anything outside this personal radar of myth is not worth our interest. When we find someone who shares our sense of humour we often bind with that person, becoming friends, their view of the world matches…
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shakespeare

5 ways to enjoy comedy by Shakespeare and his mates

Richard Inverne visits Straford-upon-Avon in search of some Shakespearean Comedy. 1) The First Way The FIRST way to enjoy a Shakespeare comedy… is the play has to be put on! What might seem obvious simply wasn’t the case on Tuesday 19 July when arriving in Stratford-upon-Avon for a handful of plays, including three comedies and…
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Caroline Aherne: Royally Bows Out

Caroline Aherne was a character actress and comedian who made some wonderful original TV shows in the nineties. ‘Royal Family’ and ‘Mrs Merton’ were probably her most noted but she also starred in the cast of ‘The Fast show’ from 1994-1997, becoming known for the catchphrase ‘Scorchio’ delivered by her foreign weather girl character. Comedian…
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office-humour

Humour at Work (Part 5): Comedy Case Study

Southwest Airlines president & CEO, Herbert D. Kelleher was dubbed by Fortune Magazine as the ‘High Priest of Ha Ha’. His beliefs and attitude has spread right through the company; showing how humour can enhance staff-management relations, customer service and profits. This highly effective airline operates from Dallas, in an industry which is plagued by:…
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office-humour

Humour at Work (Part 4): The Practitioners

US company Ben & Jerry ice cream manufacturer, have pushed fun in the office to extremes. with employees looking forward to Barry Manilow or Elvis days; on which everyone is encouraged to dress as Barry or Elvis and their music is blasted through the building. There are chocolate days giving them the chance to dip…
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office-humour

Humour at Work (Part 3): Clowning, Teasing & Satire

Ackroyd & Thompson believed the struggle for identity, is often played out through misbehaviour and joking in the work place. They identified three types of humour in work, labelling them as Clowning, Teasing and Satire. Clowning Clowning is a form of humour in which people make fools of themselves (become the butt of their own…
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office-humour

Humour at Work (Part 2): The Research

We have seen how satire from our favourite comedians, in a newspaper, or topical TV & radio shows such as: ‘That was the week that was’, ‘Spitting Image’, ‘Now Show’ and ‘Weekending’; has a way of making us laugh, because we see an element of truth in the joke. The same happens in the workplace,…
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office-humour

Humour at Work (Part 1): 8 Benefits of Comedy

Comedy at Work The most wasted of all days is the one which you did not laugh. In many offices, pinned on noticeboards or over people’s desks, you can often read… ‘You don’t have to be mad to work here, but it helps’. It became a rather irritating cliché, put on display in several work…
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Five Creative Tips: Parody in Advertising

Parody is a well tried and tested form of humour used in many comedy sketch shows, films and indeed advertising. It is an artistic form within its self, sometimes called a spoof and has elements similar to pastiche. Parody is ‘A literary or artistic work that imitates the characteristic style of an author or a…
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Carla Lane: Last Slice of Bread

Carla Lane, the award-winning writer of television comedy dramas including the ‘Liver Birds’ (co-creator, 1969–78), ‘Butterflies’ (1978–82) and ‘Bread’ (1986–91), has died at the age of 87. Chris Sussman Head of BBC Comedy Production said of her ‘ A different voice in comedy, like all the best writers. Much loved by so many.’ She was…
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BFI preserves comedy training videos

Corporate training videos featuring comedians are to be preserved by the British Film Institute. Anyone who recalls being a delegate at a corporate conference in the late seventies or sitting in a bland training room in the eighties, will probably remember being exposed to at least one of John Cleese’s Video Arts training films. Such…
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Galton & Simpson: Honoured by BAFTA – Finally!

In May 8th 2016 comedy writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson were honoured with a BAFTA fellowship. The two were writing pioneers in the format of sit-com creating classics such as ‘Hancock’s Half Hour’ and ‘Steptoe and Son’. The BAFTA tribute was introduced and led by Paul Merton who said ‘Writers of all shapes and…
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Victoria Wood: Remembered

Victoria Wood was an excellent comedy performer and an even better writer. She showed in a man’s comedy world, true talent can rise to the top and entertain us all. Sarah Millican describing her as ‘A true comic icon’. Her death at the age of 62, says the Times, stunned her family and a “nation…
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Micheal McIntrye Big show

It’s good to see Michael McIntyre getting back to what he does best – stand up. In his new prime Saturday night BBC TV show, his opening monologue showed what a master he is at taking a comic idea and running with it, building through comparisons and observations from one very small idea. This time,…
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Blackadder destroyed my life

The sit-com ‘Blackadder’ was one of the most loved and respected comedy series in the UK. But not for the former BBC’s chief medical officer whose life was made a complete misery – thanks to Blackadder. What was not known at the time by creators Rowan Atkinson and Richard Curtis but their ‘I have a…
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Ronnie Corbett: Comics Remember

  Ronnie Corbett dies just weeks before he was to be knighted in the Queens’s 90th Birthday Honours list. He was given a CBE in 2012, Sir Bruce Forsyth said “It’s a very sad day, we’re all going to miss him” The much loved Actor, Comedian and broadcaster was best known for his work with…
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Gary Shandling: Innovation Remembered

Gary Shandling was a comedy pioneer pushing sit-com a little further in a golden period in the early nineties. He was best remembered for ‘It’s Garry Shandling’s Show’ and ‘The Larry Sanders Show’ – both of which innovated the tone and direction that sitcoms might take. Ricky Gervais said of Shandling ‘one of the most…
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Angry, John Cleese may sue

John Cleese says he may sue an Australian theatre company for its “shameless rip-off” of Fawlty Towers. The Australian company has been running their unofficial show at the Edinburgh Fringe for the last nine years, and currently has a residency at a London hotel, where tickets cost up to £59. Another version is to open…
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Top 10 Films About Comedy & Show Business

The below movies represent a personal choice of work (in no particular order) who have successfully communicated a realism about the comedy and show business profession. Having watched several films and stage plays on this industry. Few do the business justice. Each of films in the list displays a different aspect of the stand- up…
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Comedy Playhouse

Where have all the new sit-coms gone? With the BBC recently announcing remakes of classic TV comedy shows such as ‘Steptoe and Son’ and ‘Till Death Us Do Part’, ‘Are You Being Served?’, ‘Porridge’, ‘Up Pompeii’, ‘The Good Life’ and ‘Keeping Up Appearances including the re-development of the lost ‘Hancock Half Hour’ tapes, you wander…
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‘Keeping Up Appearances’ BBC’s most successful ..

It was lunchtime at the BBC Acton rehearsal rooms (no longer functioning as such). Time for myself a writer and production team from ‘Flip’ (1991) to make our way up to the cafeteria for subsistence, reflection and showbiz storytelling in this tall building where nearly all BBC drama, sit-coms, variety and such like were rehearsed…
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