The programme, New Heroes of Comedy follows how modern day comedians became famous. Tonight’s programme focussed on the highly successful double act of Matt Lucas and David Walliams. Although they are known for Little Britain (a version of which is now being made for US television), it has been a long journey to become successful as they initially had some trouble getting programmes made.
David Williams (his birth name) grew up in Surrey, where his sister used to dress him up like a doll! He got involved in acting at an early age and joined the National Youth Theatre. David met Matt Lucas in a Shakespeare production and they found that they both were fans of comedy.
David went to University and starred in theatre productions there. He was forced by Equity to change his name and became David Walliams.
Matt Lucas started to establish himself as the British eccentric and rather lewd man that was Sir Bernard Cholmondley.
By 1995, Matt and David decided that two comedy performers was better than one. Matt was becoming popular on “Shooting Stars” as the overgrown baby, George Dawes. He did not forget his friend in this as David appeared occasionally on the show , for example as “Soft Alan”. David was also carving out a career for himself as an actor appearing in The Sunday Show, Attachments and Casualty.
Although successful as solo artists, Matt and David were struggling as two attempts at sketch shows failed. Although “Sir Bernard” got his own series on the BBC, the programme also failed.
The duo did have some success on a cheap shown on UKplay called “Rock Profiles”. The programme obtained cult status for its portrayal of the likes of Barry Gibb (half Bee Gee and half lion); Elton John and “my partner David Furnish” and Howard and Gary from Take That.
In 2001, Matt and David came up with a Radio 4 show of Little Britain which propelled them to success.
By McGee Noble
Oh the world of Hollywoodland is in turmoil. Shows are dropping like flies after the writers strike (Las Vegas- the Baywatch of the desert, is dead to us now) and the major US networks are picking out their finest Hospital/Police investigation/reality TV shows for the new seasons.
My personal favourite is going to be the new Paris Hilton reality TV show. The idea is genius. The new show aims to find Paris a new BFF (best friend forever). Since Paris and Nicole can no longer work together due to, well, did we ever know why they fell out? Who knows, maybe it’s just that now Nicole is too busy making another generation of wealthy sproglets with rock stars to be a proper BFF.
”I’m really excited about this concept – I’m going to meet a lot of great girlfriends,” Paris, 27, told In Touch magazine. Ha. Ahahaha. Hhahahahahahahahaha. I can’t wait. This is the kind of addictive reality TV we pretend to disapprove of but friend, you and I both know that this is will be a hit, and that it is because we will be watching it. I love to hate Paris Hilton, she’s rich and stupid. I will never forget this exchange in the first season of Simple Life:
Normal person: You know Walmart right?
Paris: Um yeah? Where you buy walls?
Secretly we all want to either be her BFF or failing that see her fall into some sort of disaster that makes her look stupid and gives her the comeuppance for her blissfully ignorant, financially blessed life. However the truth is neither will happen, and somehow this is a girl who always lands on her feet, so we will have to be content to watch the self loathing bunch of hopefuls who will be sucking up to her for a new season of reality TV.
My real money for hopefully good telly will go to Miss/Guided. You might remember Judy Greer as the crazy secretary from the late, lamented Arrested Development. This girl is a comedic genius and this show about a high school guidance councillor could be great. It won’t be on our British telly for a while, but keep an ear to the ground.
If you thought you’d never learn anything from a farting cow, think again. Aardman Animations, famous for Wallace & Gromit and Chicken Run, have paired up with Animal Planet to create a series of short films promoting environmental awareness.
Dawn French is providing the narration for the clips which will air on Animal Planet (Sky 524 and Virgin 215) from March 1st. They’ll be broadcast to more than 200 million homes across Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa.
The ten clips feature a series of animated clay animals offering advice on how to lead a greener life. There’s a penguin who discovers the advantages of energy saving lightbulbs, a farting cow who finds out that his methane gas production is harming the environment, and a pug who learns to turn off electrical appliances before he goes to bed to save energy and get a better night’s sleep.
The humour in the 20 to 40 second clips means that the message never feels like a lecture. Plus, the entertainment value will make sure children pay attention – an important demographic to involve in the fight against climate change.
Dawn French has learned a lot while working on the clips. She confesses that she hasn’t always been green-savvy:
“I know I don’t do enough to save the planet and I know I should to try a bit harder.”
However, working for Animal Planet has inspired her to make changes:
“I’ve learnt greenhouse gases come off things that are on standby. I didn’t know that! I might have to address that in my own home. And we definitely recycle all plastic bags. I don’t throw them into the sea to harm the jellyfish. All cans go in one place and bottles in another place, and we have a compost in our garden.”
Sounds like she’s got it sussed. She even has some tips of her own:
“Don’t put meat in the compost. I used to think that anything that would decompose could go in the compost, but in fact what I was providing was a rat café at the bottom of my garden.”
Look out for the clips on Animal Planet from March 1st.
It is a turbulent week for the Kennedy-Kinski household in Ramsay Street this week. As Susan struggles to accept her MS diagnosis, Ramsay Street rallies round to welcome her home from hospital. Susan’s family are relieved when her sight shows signs of returning, but Libby is distracted by an answer phone message from Darren. The message prompts her to turn on Karl and challenge him about his past indiscretions. Karl refuses to take his daughter’s vitriol, but Libby is then forced to tell her dad that Darren cheated on her, and admits that she has been lashing out at Karl because of Darren’s infidelity. The family tries to keep the truth from Susan, but when she finds out, she banishes Darren from the house.
Elle feels guilty that her article did so much damage to the farmer who owned the sick horses. She tries to make it up to him by writing an article about rural problems, but is dismayed when the editor of the Erinsborough News refuses to publish it. A determined Elle decides to fight for her fledgling career in journalism by taking the story to a rival paper. Is she putting her career at risk?
Elsewhere, Declan tries to apologise to Bridget for his behaviour and impulsively kisses her, only to be devastated when she says she already has a boyfriend. Janae resents Kirsten’s presence and is shocked when she admits she still has feelings for Ned. Struggling to cope with her mounting debt, Valda inadvertently commits fraud. And Carmella and Marco finally confront the growing attraction between them.
Tension is rife this week in Hollyoaks and the Osbornes are nervous as Jake prepares himself for Charlie’s custody battle. Nancy is also feeling the strain, but her anxieties can’t be appeased by Hannah or Justin. She decides to reveal Jake’s terrible secrets to everyone in The Dog and the Osbornes are left reeling from her rape allegations. Steph is consumed with guilt after her confession to Jack about Jake attempting to rape Nancy. Dejected and hopeless, Nancy is certain that she’s lost Charlie for good, but will an unexpected visitor change everything? She starts to feel hopeful that she might win the custody battle, but her joy is short-lived when Newt and Jack arrive to announce that Jake and Charlie are missing.
John Paul and Kieron are weighed down with guilt as Kris and Hannah demand to know who John Paul’s secret lover is. John Paul finds it hard to hide his jealousy as Mercedes flirts shamelessly with Kieron. Darren is frustrated by Mercedes’ lack of work ethic as he tries to assert his management skills in The Dog and fires her. What will she do?
Elsewhere, as Lauren ploughs on with her plans to lose her virginity, Newt is desperately trying to put on the brakes. Max lives up to his promise to concentrate more on Steph when he informs her that he’ll be cooking a special meal for her. Elliot has worked up the courage to invite Sarah out on a date and is daunted by the prospect of lunch with a model. Will Sarah stand Elliot up?
Phil shows his good side this week in Albert Square. He is shocked when he finds Shirley and takes her to hospital where she finds the courage to talk to the doctor. Heather and Shirley make up but she still hasn’t told anyone what is on her mind.
Minty and Heather do their best in the Lurve competition but it soon turns to panic when Marni thinks they have been cheating. Ian is pushed to the limit with Lucy’s behaviour. He is at his wits’ end with Lucy when she rips up the invitations to the palace.
Elsewhere, Sean’s paranoia about Tanya and Max grows and scheming Clare returns. Max finally seems to be getting what he wants.
There will be no episode of EastEnders on Friday due to Sport Relief.
Matthew reminds Jimmy that he still hasn’t collected the rent arrears on Butlers. Jimmy visits an awkward Jo and suggests they discuss a payment plan. However, Jo insists that she now has the money and just needs to pay a visit to the bank and will drop it off later. Matthew fails to be placated by this news and insists that Jimmy should have accompanied her. Will Jo be able to come up with the cash? As the Kings and De Souzas wait for the verdict of the refuse contract, they continue to chide each other. When the council’s decision is announced, Matthew is horrified to hear that an unknown company KD Refuse is declared the shock victor. Demanding to know who they are, he’s shocked when Carl stands up and stuns them with the revelation that he’s KD Refuse.
Elsewhere, when his son reveals that he’s ready to propose to Louise, Bob is somewhat shocked. Whilst Jamie talks to Rodney about antique rings Louise heads to the pub. When she refuses a glass of wine, Diane jokingly asks whether she’s pregnant. Louise confides that she’s been putting off doing a test and is worried what Jamie’s reaction will be. Jamie makes grand preparations to propose while, unbeknown to him, Louise finally takes a pregnancy test. He heads to Louise’s room and finds the pregnancy test packaging shoved under the pillow just as Louise emerges. Louise refuses to divulge the result and asks him to leave as she needs to be on her own. Will Jamie change his mind about the proposal?
Meanwhile, Lily has had enough of Edna holding things over her and reveals to Betty and Pearl her marijuana secret, leaving them stunned. Nicola leaves David flabbergasted by talking of her latest plan to murder Donald – electrocution by train set. Will David finally succumb to her evil ways? An increasingly worried Viv tries desperately to contact Freddie.
David’s suspicions are aroused this week on the Street, as Gail and Tina are clearly up to something. On the day of the abortion Tina confesses to Gail that she feels terrible about keeping David in the dark. As she leaves the clinic later that day she’s both physically and emotionally exhausted and texts a gutted David to tell him she won’t be able to make their date as she’s ill. David’s furious and convinces himself that she’s trying to fob him off and tells her they’re over. David overhears a row between Jason and Gail and she is forced to tell him the truth about Tina’s abortion. David’s furious when he realises she and Tina have plotted behind his back to abort his child and he tries to leave the house. Gail blocks his path telling him he mustn’t go out in this state and he ends up pushing his mother down the stairs in a fit of rage. Has David killed his mum?
Claire’s worry about Chesney reaches a peak when she goes round to No.5 with some home made food and sees for herself the squalor he and Kirk are living in. Kirk declines Claire’s offer of help and promises to sort everything out. Later, as Chesney’s in the house alone, a social worker arrives to inspect the house and to get to the bottom of who is actually taking care of him. Chesney’s horrified to discover that he’s being taken into care for his own safety and reluctantly leaves the street in a police car as Schmiekel is taken by the RSPCA. Claire is wrought with guilt about the outcome of her actions and comes clean to a stunned Ashley that she reported them to Social Services. Will she confess to Kirk?
Elsewhere, Tony stuns Liam when he presents him with the documentation for buying the factory that he’s had drawn up. Liam tells Tony he wasn’t being serious but Tony’s undeterred and says he’ll give Liam some time to think. Paul is shocked when Leanne reveals she’s thinking of selling the restaurant and Kelly is stunned when Carla sacks her.
A.O. Scott in The New York Times today said “The wonderful thing about the Academy Awards is that they are fundamentally trivial”. He has a point, at least intellectually if not financially, given that the winners involved can roll around in money screaming ‘they love me, they love me’. Anyway, his comment did remind me of some of the greater injustices of Oscar winners. My all time favourite example is 1997.
In 1997 the modern film noir L.A Confidential was nominated against some films that are still classics: the endearing As Good as it Gets, the unexpectedly moving, beautifully tempered Good Will Hunting as well as one of my all time favourite British comedies The Full Monty. Who can guess which film won best film that year? Go on have a guess. It was TITANICally bad. Yes. Against these four wonderful films, the film which won was Titanic. If ever we needed evidence that the Academy Awards was a trivial celebration of the commercial then 1997 certainly would be the year to hold up and show to our friends saying ‘see? see? Is there any justice?’ This piece of Hollywood fluff saw some of our best actors turn in their most absurd performances and also gave us one of the most cringe worthy acceptance speeches of all time (James Cameron’s misinformed decision to hold his Oscar aloft and say ‘I’m the King of the world!’. Tumbleweed drifted). In 1976 Rocky won both best picture and best director against Martin Scorcese’s Taxi Driver. In 1980 Ordinary People won against Raging Bull (again best picture and best director). You may notice a theme here: generally the Oscars do not reward innovation in film. They reward the fairy tales, the heart warming, fantasy affirming stories that Hollywood produces so well. I love Rocky. I love it, I love the young Sly, I love that he wrote the movie and demanded to star in it even though the execs thought he was a terrible actor. But courageous, world examining film making Rocky is not. It is a classic Oscar winner.
Yet last night, something kind of weird happened. Not only was there an array of wonderful, challenging movies up for nomination, there was not a single commercial heavyweight among them. It was hard to pick which ones I wanted to win, because they all deserved to. Yet I wonder what this means for Hollywood when the films being lauded are universally outside the Hollywood model. I honestly like the Hollywood model, I liked Rocky, I thought Forrest Gump was charming, Jaws was scary and The English Patient was romantic and sad. Where are those films that once Hollywood did so well? The commercial, grand and heart warming? The divide between good cinema and Hollywood cinema grows greater every year and this year’s Oscars are a landmark in which even the Hollywood elite cannot find something to reward themselves for. A sad day for the fundamentally trivial, fairy tales of yore that once had the whole world in Hollywood’s palm.
The Academy Awards will be broadcast tonight at 9pm on Network2. Set an alert here.
To see the full list of the winners go to:
Alan Carr’s Celebrity Ding Dong features a team of five celebrities pitting their wits against a team of five civilians (or non-celebrities) in a game show. The celebrities consisted of Paul O’Grady (team captain), David Gest, Myleene Klass, Peter Andre and Patrick McGuinness . The programme is hosted by camp comedian Alan Carr with a celebrity handing out the points (this week it was Leslie “Ding Dong” Phillips). The winning team would go to New York and the losing team would have a trolley dash.
There are a number of rounds :
How the other half lives – one of the questions was regarding an independent insurer’s assessment of the value of Katie Price’s breasts against the life of one of the civilians. This was an interesting question for Peter Andre!
Crypts - his round featured Derek Acorah and involved Alan going inside a spooky crypt. Derek went into one of his famous trances and gave a few clues about a dead person – “wet shorts” and the words “stroke my snake, it will not bite”. The latter prompted much hilarity and double entendre. With a further clue of “wrestling”, the correct answer was Steve Irwin.
Life swap – the theme was parties and the contestants were asked to select the person from their team who had the best party piece – Myleene from the celebrities (showing off her double-jointed elbows and the ability to play the piano backwards) and Andy from the civilians (who could twist his hand around). The audience were asked to vote on the best and not surprisingly chose Myleene.
Kiss and Tell – a woman called Natalie gave hints about the man that she had an affair with – describing where they met (they worked together) and Tara Palmer Tompkinson was a former girlfriend. The answer was James Blunt.
The final ding dong – this was a buzzer round.
Alan Carr’s Celebrity Ding Dong is a brand new game show with much input from likeable Alan.