2012 ➤ Gongs for newbies and oldies creating the UK’s new golden age of TV comedy

Hunderby, Sky Atlantic, Julia Davis, TV series, British Comedy Awards,

Hunderby, bowing in: “Daphne du Maurier on ketamine.” (Photo: Sky Atlantic)

➢ There was plenty to howl about at last night’s British comedy awards, and well-deserved gongs for The Thick of It and Hunderby – Bruce Dessau in The Guardian writes:

At the British Comedy Awards 57 judges, drawn from journalism, TV production and performers, shortlisted Olivia Colman against herself for best comedy actress in Rev and Twenty Twelve, only for her to go home empty-handed. She lost, however, to Rebecca Front, whose ministerial meltdown in The Thick of It was undeniably compelling television. It was a particularly good night for The Thick of It, with Peter Capaldi bagging best comedy actor for his portrayal of demented spinmeister Malcolm Tucker. The performances on The Thick of It were exemplary.

British Comedy Awards, TV series, Rebecca Front,Peter Capaldi , Thick of It

The Thick of It, bowing out with series 4 of the political satire: Best comedy actor awards for Peter Capaldi, left, and Rebecca Front, right (BBC)

A genuine shock was the double success of Hunderby. Julia Davis’s cold-hearted period piece, screened on Sky Atlantic, was a favourite to win best new comedy, but for it to win best sitcom too, beating Rev, The Thick of It and Twenty Twelve, was a vindication of Sky Comedy head Lucy Lumsden’s investment in original output. Not bad for a show that stretches the definition of sitcom to snapping point.

The real mystery though, was the absence of some shows that did not even pick up nominations. There has been frustration about Fresh Meat missing out, but it was no surprise that its posh boy Jack Whitehall won the Public Vote for king or queen of comedy… / Continued at Guardian online

➢ Why Hunderby is the best British period sitcom in 20 years – Matt Grundy writes: It’s set in the bleak 1830s somewhere in England after a shipwreck, where our Helena is brought back from the dead on the beach by a pastor. The two must have a baby within a year or they lose Hunderby. Strange, but it works. Hunderby is not only one the best British comedies of the last 20 years, it’s also the best period piece I’ve ever seen. Although I don’t watch many, to be honest… / Continued at Sabotage Times

➢ Guardian review of Hunderby and Davis’s “potty pen” Yes, sometimes it feels as if Davis is showing off, simply demonstrating that she dares to go to places no one else does (especially places “down there”).

Fresh Meat,British Comedy Awards ,TV series,Jack Whitehall

King of Comedy Award: Fresh Meat’s cast with Jack Whitehall, left. (Photo: Channel 4)

➢ Fresh Meat: behind the scenes of the new TV series Channel 4’s comedy drama about six students mismatched in a shared house was devised by Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong, the creators of the sitcom Peep Show… The comedian Jack Whitehall, who plays the incorrigibly posh JP, wanders around the set in a vest and boxer shorts. The sneaker-clad feet of Joe Thomas, who plays Kingsley (an everyman similar to his character, Simon, in The Inbetweeners), stick out of one of the bedrooms (he’s trying to sleep off a hangover). Kimberley Nixon, the Welsh dentistry student Josie, ferrets around in a spotted dressing gown; Charlotte Ritchie, who plays the English-lit student Oregon, is in a long printed charity-shop dress; while Greg McHugh, who plays the bearded and bespectacled outsider Howard, struggles under the lights in a thick woolly jumper. “We haven’t come here to play some cool, foam-party-loving students living it up and having a great time,” says Zawe Ashton, who plays the tough-as-nails Vod” … / Continued online at The Telegraph

➢ VIEW Fresh Meat, Season 2, Oct 2012:
It’s a new term and the gang have returned to uni

INTERVIEW WITH THE GODFATHER OF 21C SATIRE

The Thick of It, Armando Iannucci ,Bafta Award,

Writer Armando Iannucci: collecting a Bafta for The Thick of It in 2010

➢ Armando Iannucci interviewed as The List’s hottest star after a triumphant year when The Thick of It won two Comedy Awards, his new show Veep broke in the US and he won an OBE

Whether we will ever be allowed to return to the dank soul of spinmeister Malcolm Tucker is uncertain now that the final series of The Thick of It went out in a blaze of recriminations and desolation earlier this year. While Iannucci admits that having thought he had severed himself from Alan Partridge a decade ago (a feature film with North Norfolk Digital’s foremost DJ is due out this summer) he can’t say for certain that he will never bring back Tucker, Nicola Murray, Glen Cullen and Co.

It was actually quite sad when the last couple of episodes went out, but it was the right point to draw a line under it. I just felt that with the phrases in The Thick of It being used by politicians themselves [Ed Milliband’s use of ‘omnishambles’ immediately springs to mind], there was a danger that if you didn’t stop, it would become too neat and cosy. So I thought stop now rather than carry on for another five years and have guest appearances from David Milliband and Michael Gove and then have a Christmas show with Alex Salmond… / Continued online at The List

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