In the New Year (January 15th to be exact) Channel 4 start showing Utopia, a conspiracy theory drama written by Dennis Kelly. I'm in two episodes playing 'Headmaster'. I won't tell you what job my character has.
Tickets are now available for a new radio pilot I'm recording on Friday June 1st.
This is a magazine show set in a future in which Personal Time Machines have become the must have gadget. Of all the periods open to the Personal Time Machine user an often over-looked and fascinating destination is early years of the 21st Century. After all, these were simpler times when it was common for people to actually laugh at adverts in the cinema. Simpler, more disturbing times.
Using a team of travel experts, historians and Time Envoys (sponsored by Barclays Bank & Reclaimed Meat Silo), A Time Traveller's Guide To The 21st Century will teach you all you need to survive on the mean streets of such fabled ancient cities as London, Manchester or Glasgow. Now better known as Underwater Rubble Wasteland, The Forbidden Zone and New New Edinburgh.
This new series which stars Simon Day and David Soul starts on Radio 4 on December 15th at 11pm. Over six episodes it tells the apocalyptic tales of six different parallel worlds and how a man called Ian brought about their ends. Written by Sean Grey, it also features Rosie Cavaliero, Alex McQueen and me.
There's an article about the US launch of The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret here. A US/UK co-production it airs in the States on IFC and will start on Channel 4 in October. I appear in episode 3 as a paramedic.
I'm in the first two episodes of new BBC One drama, Five Daughters - the story of the five young women murdered in Ipswich in the winter of 2006, dramatised from the testimony of many of those closest to them.
Richard Herring's As it Occurs To Me is returning. Here's the information from Richard's newsletter:
A second season of AIOTM (AIOTM) will be starting up in May.
The first six will be at the Leicester Square Theatre from May 17th- June 24th BOOK NOW
These will be two half shows this year and whatever I do in the first half will not be available on line.
And then the final two will be at the Bloomsbury theatre on 28th June and 5th July. At these gigs as well as getting to see the podcast I will also be doing a preview of my 2010 Edinburgh show (which is likely to be a reworking of the 2001 show "Christ on a Bike") You can already book tickets for those and bear in mind that the end of series show seems to be the most popular one to see.
As always the shows (though not Christ on a Bike obviously) will be available to download for free on iTunes or at the British Comedy Guide, but audience it's a whole lot more fun if you can make the live gigs and you'll also be helping to fund the show.
This new series from Ian Hislop & Nick Newman and starring Jack Dee and Peter Capaldi starts on Christmas Eve at 6.15pm, Radio 4. Then at the same time on Christmas Day with the other 5 episodes running Monday 28th - Friday 1st Jan. What better way to take you into the new year?
I'll be popping up as a Naval Officer in Monday 23rd November's episode of Miranda (8.30pm on BBC2).
Not that you'll be able to tell what I am from my costume - I thought my blazer made me look like Alan Partridge. Still, it's a funny episode as long as you're not one of those people who get angry about naval officers not wearing the correct tie.
T-shirts with my catchphrase 'Are you sure you want to be in the Navy?' will be available from all branches of Our Price.
This new series from the minds and pens of Ian Hislop& Nick Newman starts on Radio 4 on Christmas Eve (though I'm not in that episode). It stars Jack Dee and Peter Capaldi with Chris Addison, Lewis Macleod, Lucy Montgomery, Vicki Pepperdine, Alex Macqueen and myself doing the other bits.
There's something about on the BBC Comedy blog here.
This is what Herring has to say for himself about the matter...
As It Occurs To Me is a revolutionary new ten-part weekly stand-up
and sketch show written and performed by RICHARD HERRING which will
only be available via internet download from iTunes and the British
Comedy Guide (http://www.comedy.org.uk/) as an audio podcast. All the
material for each show will be brand new and written on the week of
broadcast, based on things that have occurred to him, either events
from his life or things he's been thinking about.
It is Do-It-Yourself comedy without the support or interference
of a broadcaster or sponsor. It's untested and uncensored and
completely unedited. It’s warts and all. HERRING says, "I was
frustrated by the time and effort it took to get a radio and TV bosses
to commit to an idea and then the censorship, interference and
restrictions that were imposed upon you once you’d jumped through all
those hoops. I realised that it is now possible to make your own show
and have complete autonomy over content and not have to edit it down to
fit a time slot. If I have 55 minutes worth of good ideas one week then
the audience can hear them all, in their entirety. Or bad ones, of
For the last eighteen months HERRING has been producing a weekly
improvised podcast with his colleague ANDREW COLLINS (The Collings and
Herrin Podcast) which had proven popular with listeners and critics
searching out puerile comedy which treats them like grown-ups. "Post
Sachsgate, I think most normal people have felt patronised by the
dilution and weakening of comedy. They can find comedy with balls in
live comedy clubs and on the internet. Downloaded shows give people the
freedom to choose. If you don't like it you don't have to listen to it,
but also the broadcaster is not employed by anyone and so can not be
'sacked'. It makes for a much more fertile ground for creating comedy
without having to second guess possible 'moral outrage'."
HERRING is hopeful that the costs of the show will be funded by
the live audience who will pay £10 each to watch the recording. "If I
can sell 400 tickets a week I will actually make about the same amount
of money as I would by doing a radio show for the BBC. If I can sell
100 tickets then I should at least break even. It’s really not about
the money though, which is probably lucky, it’s about creating
something funny that I can be proud of. And taking the risk. There's
every chance with such a fast turnaround that it might be shit."
HERRING will be joined by comedy actors DAN TETSELL and EMMA
KENNEDY for all ten shows which will be recorded at the Leicester
Square Theatre. The success or failure of this audacious project
depends entirely on the patronage of comedy fans.
"My ultimate goal is to create an internet empire putting out
sketch shows, stand up, sitcoms and films which will destroy television
and radio as broadcast media. But for the moment it would just be nice
if a few people turned up to watch on a Monday night."
As It Occurs To Me is at the Leicester Square Theatre every
Monday from 12th October to 14th December 2009 Box Office: 0844 847
2475 or www.leicestersquaretheatre.com
So, you heard it here first. "It might be shit", what better recommendation could there be?Do come along.
If you bought/were given/stole a DVD of Lab Rats, you may have noticed the lack of extras. Well, Chris Addison, Carl Cooper and Simon Nicholls (tall writer/actor, shorter writer and mid-size producer respectively) have teamed up to do commentaries on all the episodes.
They're available to download here or they should be up on iTunes soon.
I'm script editing on Newsjack, Radio 7's new open door topical sketch show. It's records on Wednesday nights and goes out on Thursdays at 11pm (with a repeat on Sunday night). It's also available as a podcast.
If you're interested in sending in material, here's the Writers Brief.
After three and a half years, Radio 4's expert on all things passive aggressive, Professor Joy Klamp (Dawn French) returns to the airwaves. Written by Christopher Douglas and Nick Newman, the show also features Sally Grace, Katy Brand and Chris Douglas.
It's on Radio 4 at 11pm from Tuesday 24th February.
I'm fulfilling the general vocal dogsbody role alongside Milton, Tom Goodman Hill and Ingrid Oliver in the first two episodes of the new series where, as usual, Milton bestrides the globe as an expert in his field, with no ability whatsoever. It starts on Monday 17th November at 6.30pm on Radio 4, with a repeat on Sundays at 12pm.
The BBC website says it's Ben Willbond. It isn't, it's me. Unless they re-recorded them behind my back. That would be humiliating.
I've got a few radio things coming up in the near future.
I appear in episode 6 of the current run of Ed Reardon's Weekon Radio 4 (Monday 10th November, 11.30am) and in the first episode of Gus Murdoch's Sacred Cowsby Steven Carlin on BBC7 (Sunday 2nd November, 11pm).
Another show for BBC7, Miriam Elia's A Series of Psychotic Episodes, starts in the next couple of months and will be accompanied by an online cartoon of me as a hamster. There's also a second series of Mastering The Universe with Dawn French recording in early December.
I shall be appearing in a couple of episodes of the new series of Another Case of Milton Jones, made for Radio 4 by those good people at Pozzitive and written by Milton and Think The Unthinkable's James Cary.
It's recording at the Drill Hall on Sunday April 20th.
Saturday sees (or hears) the return of the sitcom about hacks in space, Space Hacks. Written by Ian Simons and Stuart Sumner it stars Dan Mersh, Tim Key and Prunella Scales. I appear as Korg, their psychopathic alien editor and a variety of odd-sounding robots, aliens and loonies.
In what I think may be a first (or at least a second) for Radio 4, the adaptation of my Edinburgh show recorded in front of a live audience will be going out this Friday, 1st February at 9pm as The Friday Play.
It's a longer version of the stage show (with no pictures obviously) and with added acting in the shape of Rachel Atkins, Alex Lowe and Ben Graves.
It will be available to on Listen Again for a week afterwards.
My good friend Danny Robins has organised a monthly comedy / music gig. I shall be doing a bit at the first one. Here's the blurb...
It's called Pubstock and the idea is it's a Glastonbury style festival in a pub, complete with main stage, dance stage, circus tent, healing field and even some mud.
We'll be featuring some of the best up and coming comedians, bands and singers, circus and cabaret performers. January’s line up includes rapper Doc Brown, comedian and accordionist Martin White, Dan Tetsell, and the band Argonaut. It’s undoubtedly the most fun you can have on a Tuesday night in January.
Really hope to see you down there. Come and relive the summer festival vibe on a cold winter's night in a nice warm pub.
February 1st - Sins of the Grandfathers goes out on Radio 4 as the Friday Play. Unless they move the date again.
February 20th - Studio recording of Hey Hey We're The Monks, a TV sitcom pilot written by Danny Robins and myself and starring Gavin & Stacey's James Corden. When tickets become available, I'll put the link up.
February 26th - Rudy's Rare Records, a sitcom starring Lenny Henry starts on Radio 4.
March 1st - The second series of Space Hacks starts on BBC7.
The new Chris Addison / Carl Cooper sitcom Lab Rats hopefully will air sometime around April. There'll also be another series of The Omid Djalili Show and series 3 of After You've Gone.
If you watch the episode of After You've Gone broadcast at 8.30pm BBC One, Friday 12th October you may see me briefly appearing as Angry Fairground Barker. It's rather like Colonel Kurtz at the end of Apocalypse Now or Norman's mother in Psycho.
"I've told you before - that ride is for the under tens", that's my catchphrase.
History is, once again, repeating itself. We are recording a third series of TWTTIN, the Radio 2 history-based sketch show starring Richard Herring at the Bush Hall in Shepherd's Bush on October 22, November 12 and December 3 - two shows per night. Free tickets will be available from Lost In TV. Although it's a radio show.
The new sitcom from Chris Addison and Carl Cooper (writers of The Ape That Got Lucky and Civilization) starts recording on Friday September 7th and then every Friday until October 12th.
Set in the research laboratory of a fictional university, Lab Rats is a big, daft audience sitcom. With a giant snail and maybe some robots and a slutty pigeon. It stars Chris Addison, Jo Enright, Geoff McGivern, Sedlina Cadell and myself.
Recordings are at BBC Television Centre and tickets can be ordered through the BBC website. For some reason I'm credited as Dan Tetsell (Extras) which is pushing it a bit.
The second series of Hyperdrive by Kevin Cecil and Andy Reily and produced by WAH/MOE powerhouse Alex Walsh-Taylor starts on Thursday 12th July on BBC2. The episode where I appear as the leader of the Red Shiny Robots of Vortex with a big latex balloon for a head is on Thursday 2nd August.
The second series of school-based quiz School's Out with Danny Wallace that I wrote for starts on Saturday 30th June on BBC One at 5.40pm. This week's pupils are Rory Bremner, Shaun Williamson and Patrick Kielty. The show runs for eight weeks.
Continuing my career path of appearing in radio shows with very tall comedians*, I will be popping up in Will Smith'snew Radio 4 show The Tao of Bergerac as Will's Flatmate. My parts have been pre-recorded, but you can see the rest of the show being recorded on June 12th and 26th at the newly-refurbished Radio Theatre, Broadcasting House. Tickets are here.
*I'd say Will's the tallest, then Chris Addison, then Marcus Brigstocke. Even Danny Robins is taller than me. Richard Herring, however, is a good couple of inches shorter. See, this is the stuff you never see on Wikipedia.
After doing a small pilot earlier this year CGI:UK has been picked up for a full run. Here's what Chortle has to say on the matter...
A Spitting Image for the digital age
ITV1's new animated satire
ITV is planning a modern version of Spitting Image - but using computer animation rather than puppets.
The broadcaster will use modern 3D imaging software to caricature politicians and celebrities in the show, provisionally titled CGI UK.
Comedian Henry Naylor – who was head writer on Spitting Image - has been signed up to work on scripts.
Eight half-hour episodes are in the works, and are expected to air in January, trade magazine Broadcast reports.
Executive producer Saurabh Kakkar told the paper: ‘The technology now is of such quality that we aren't restricted - we can go anywhere and tackle most people and subjects.’
The programme promises running sketches as well as a fast turnaround time to allow gags to be written close to transmission.
ITV aired another animated satire, 2D-TV, from 2001 and 2004, and had been keen to bring Spitting Image back.
However, the network angered Roger Law, who owns the rights to Spitting Image, when it created new puppets of Ant and Dec for a nostalgic special last year against his wishes – and the plan was scuppered.
Radio 4 have commissioned a series of Rudy's Rare Records, a sitcom created by and starring Lenny Henry and written by Danny Robins and myself. More details about recording dates, cast and so forth, as I get them.
My episode of After You've Goneairs on BBC1 this Friday 23rd at 8.30pm (with a repeat at 5.10pm on Sunday 25th). As well as the usual cast, it also stars Alexander Armstrong as the suave Dr Howard Banks - loveable Jimmy's nemesis.
If you're waiting for Lillies to start, why not tune in?
The Radio Times has said nice things about Space Hacks.
"At last, a sci-fi comedy that will fill the void left by Red Dwarf and Hitchhiker's. If that sounds a bit much, then at least it has grabbed your attention, because you should not miss this opening episode. Stuart Sumner and Ian Simons have made something that is smart, clever and yet not too big for its own space boots. Charlie (Dan Mersh) and Moog (Tim Key) are two humans who live in a spaceship disguised as a hedge on Clapham Common, with Prunella Scales as a baking-preoccupied computer they call Mother - how Freudian is that? They are in hiding because they are supposed to be reporters scouring the universe for news stories to send back to the Intergalactic News Federation - except that Charlie is lazy and just makes stuff up. Moog on the other hand wants to get out there and find the news. Invariably, though, the news seems to come to them. I predict great things"
There's also an article from the Bucks Free Press here, if you wanted to see a strange photo of Space Hacks hacks Stuart and Ian.
Space Hacks, a new sci-fi comedy series by Ian Sumner and Stuart Simons starts on BBC7 this Saturday at 6.30pm (with a repeat at half midnight).
The show's about two reluctant intergalactic reporters, played by Tim Key and Dan Mersh, and their onboard computer, played by Prunella Scales. I'm their evil alien editor, as well as a variety of pirates, robots and other space trash.
After You've Gone - the new sitcom starring Nicholas Lyndhurst and Celia Imrie - starts tonight on BBC One at 8.30pm. If you're not watching someone get killed on Coronation Street, why not tune in? Alternatively, there is a Sunday teatime repeat.
My episode will be on Friday 23rd February.
The BBC Online page for After You've Gone is here. Brilliantly, there's a link to Relate if you've experienced some of the issues raised by this family sitcom.
AFTER YOU'VE GONE, the new sitcom starring Nicholas Lyndhurst and Celia Imrie starts on BBC One on Friday 12th January 2007 at 8.30pm. The episode with my name on it 'Out Of Africa' will go out on 23rd February (with a guest star appearance from Alexander Armstong).
A new series of SCHOOL'S OUT with Danny Wallace - and for which I will be scribbling down sarcastic jokes about minor soap stars and sportsmen - starts filming in February. Transmission dates as I get them, but it'll be Saturday nights on BBC One.
Not one, not three, but two chances to catch me in something science-fictiony over the next couple of months. I'm the sweaty body and muffled voice inside the Leader of the Shiny Red Robots of Vortis in the second series of HYPERDRIVE by Kevin Cecil and Andy Reily. That's on BBC2 quite soon. Also quite soon, but on digital radio station BBC7, is a series of SPACE HACKS by Ian Simons and Stuart Sumner. I'm the digitally-altered voice of Korg, editor of Intergalactic News, as well as a variety of space pirates, space postmen and space robots. More transmission details etc etc