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Opinion: When our heroes go bad

21 Nov 2014

'Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?'

In the past year, my 12-year-old daughter has immersed herself in the back catalogue of Michael Jackson. It certainly marks a welcome relief from her fixations with X-Factor and hilarious YouTube ‘comedians’, but she can’t seem to see that ‘Billie Jean…

What We Do in the Shadows

17 Nov 20144 stars

Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi helm a killer comedy about a vampire flat-share

'When you get three vampires in a flat obviously there’s going to be a lot of tension,' dryly observes 862-year-old Vladislav (Jemaine Clement), who shares a house with 18th Century dandy Viago (Taika Waititi) and self-proclaimed bad boy Deacon…

Interview: Hardeep Singh Kohli – First and last

13 Nov 2014

The Scottish foodie and raconteur reveals his embarrassing wardrobe, Westlife and his ‘wee mum'

First record you ever bought I'd like to say it was Motörhead's ‘Ace of Spades’ or some Ibiza dance remix of A Guy Called Gerald. But it was Bucks Fizz and ‘Land of Make Believe’. I know, I know … Last extravagant purchase you made Dinner last…

Five things you might not know about … John Bishop

12 Nov 2014

Comedian is heat Magazine's no. 9 weird crush of 2014 and a late comer to the circuit

1 Born on a council estate in Liverpool, John Bishop only got into comedy in his mid-30s while working in middle management in a pharmaceuticals company and going through divorce proceedings. He has subsequently admitted that his comedy career saved…

The best comedy programmes on Radio 4

12 Nov 2014

Including Hal, The Elephant Man, James Acaster's Findings and Start / Stop

The ‘Radio 4 comedy voice’ has been mercilessly mimicked and mocked by both Simon Munnery and Stewart Lee, and it’s cranked up to 11 in a variety of shows currently on the station. They would routinely hate Hal (Radio 4, Sun 16 Nov, 7.15pm ●●●), the…

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White Reindeer

12 Nov 20143 stars

An interesting alternative to generic Christmas movies starring Anna Margaret Hollyman

A quirky low budget indie drama, Suzanne Barrington's (Anna Margaret Hollyman) December gets off to a particularly traumatic start. This tragedy sets off a series of unusual encounters as this seemingly prim and proper real estate agent veers out of…

Christmas 2014: Top five live comedy DVDs

7 Nov 2014

Featuring releases from Lee Evans, Simon Evans, Russell Howard, Miranda Hart and Jason Manford

In a recent interview, Adrian Edmondson bemoaned pretty much the entire concept of stand-up comedy. Gigs, he reckoned, are just way too long: 20 minutes is about all he can take before eyeing a hasty exit. What on earth, then, would he make of Lee…

Miranda Sings brings bad singing to Glasgow

7 Nov 2014

One woman show from Colleen Ballinger's 'YouTube sensation' alter-ego

The term ‘YouTube sensation’ might now be almost as redundant and meaningless as ‘genius’ or ‘hilarious’ with everything and everyone being dubbed that. But with 2.5m subscribers to her channel and her videos having received over 250m views, Miranda…

Scott Ian: Swearing Words in Glasgow

7 Nov 20143 stars

Anthrax metal man's spoken word tour proves he is 'a decent storyteller with some wicked tales'

As the only constant member of thrash titans Anthrax, Scott Ian is one of the most recognisable faces in metal and also boasts perhaps the best goatee in the business. Not only guitarist in a multimillion selling band, he's a regular talking head in…

Interview: TV comic Stewart Lee discusses the evolution of his Comedy Vehicle

6 Nov 2014

'When I look at the first series, it feels like a different person; the character has changed'

Whenever you read below-the-line comments on an internet article which discusses Stewart Lee, one thing is guaranteed. Someone somewhere will describe him as smug and self-satisfied. Yet, at almost every step of the way on Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle…

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Q&A: Eric and Little Ern actors Jonty Stephens and Ian Ashpitel

6 Nov 2014

Duo discuss the personal influence of Morecambe and Wise and the responsibility of portraying them

As Jonty Stephens and Ian Ashpitel prepare to bring us some sunshine in Eric and Little Ern, the pair recollect watching Morecambe and Wise on the box and speculate on what might have happened had Ernie died first What is your first memory of seeing…

My Comedy Hero: Vikki Stone on Bette Midler

6 Nov 2014

Comedian talks about old-school humour, trifles and why Ms Midler would be proud of her new show

Bette Midler is my comedy hero. It’s not a ‘cool’ choice in the comedy world today, where it’s cooler to like acts that deconstruct the form, rather than are just old-school funny. The same thing happened in food. Chefs were all about the…


27 Oct 20145 stars

This 30th anniversary reissue of Ivan Reitman's 1984 classic is most welcome

For many of us, the fact that Ghostbusters is in a position to have a 30th anniversary re-release is one of those chilling little reminders of how shockingly old we seem to have inadvertently become. For others, it may be a chance to experience in…

Highlights of the BFI's Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder film and TV festival

24 Oct 2014

Inculding events at Bletchely Park, the Eden Project, Caerphilly Castle and Dungannon Film Club

The BFI’s new film and television festival Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder is taking place across the length and breadth of the UK at 124 locations, from the Isle of Skye to Falmouth. Until December, 576 screenings and events are set to take place…

Interview: Sara Pascoe discusses life after the Fringe ahead of 2014 UK tour

22 Oct 2014

Comic has extended her critically acclaimed show exploring sexual anthropology and falling in love

Sara Pascoe topped off a critically acclaimed August at the Fringe with an Edinburgh Comedy Award nomination. On the cusp of taking her show Sara Pascoe vs History on tour, the comedian reflects on the attention: 'It's like when you watch those American…

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Five things you might not know about . . . Lee Mack

22 Oct 2014

Some lesser known facts about the TV funnyman ahead of his 2014 UK tour Hit The Road Mack

1 His real name is Lee McKillop, and school nickname was Curly, due to him apparently looking a lot like Corrie’s Curly Watts. 2 Among his jobs prior to comedy were picking apricots, mucking out Red Rum’s stable and being a Pontins Bluecoat. His…

The best film releases and events – Oct / Nov 2014

22 Oct 2014

Including Fury, Mr Turner, Love is Strange, Ghostbusters and Frankenstein

Sci-Fi: Days of Fear and Wonder This autumn’s BFI screenings celebrate sci-fi on screen all over the UK. From October to December, its Scottish programme includes classics like Alien and The Thing, with screenings spanning the length and breadth of the…

My Comedy Hero: James Acaster on The Rock

22 Oct 2014

'It's nice to have a big muscly guy being funny and stupid'

The Rock was one of my favourite comedy characters growing up, and I still think he is. Mainly because he took himself so seriously by being ridiculous and a buffoon all the time but always took the high status. I liked all his little catchphrases and…

Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary Screenings

21 Oct 2014

Celebrate Hallowe'en with this classic 80s comedy starring Bill Murray and Sigourney Weaver

In 1984, the story of four disgraced parapsychologists who set themselves up as freelance ghostbusters burst its way onto the big screen and found itself embedded in popular culture forever. In celebration of its 30th birthday, the movie is returning to…

Love, Rosie

20 Oct 20142 stars

Manic, barrel-scraping rom-com from Christian Ditter starring Lily Collins and Sam Claflin

Based on the novel Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern, Love, Rosie pitches, nay flings itself at the less discerning end of the romantic comedy crowd. German director Christian Ditter (French for Beginners) proves an unsteady hand at the helm of a…

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The best comedy gigs – Oct / Nov 2014

20 Oct 2014

Including Frankie Boyle, Billy Connolly, Paul Foot, Dylan Moran and Lee Mack

Frankie Boyle More work-in-progress doings as Frank prepares to unleash some merry hell. The Stand, Glasgow, Thu 16 Oct. Billy Connolly Still hoppping around the country on his sold-out High Horse, so he is. Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Thu 16…

Just for Laughs

15 Oct 20144 stars

New collection of standup footage including comedy greats Bill Hicks, Mitch Hedberg and Louis CK

Comedy buffs who heard that Just for Laughs was releasing footage of stand-ups entertaining the people of Montreal down the years might have got excited about the prospect of witnessing an especially notorious moment in the career of Jerry Sadowitz. Of…

Northern Soul

13 Oct 20143 stars

Elaine Constantine's directorial debut takes a look at the titular youth scene

For the uninitiated, northern soul was a youth movement that gripped the North of England during the 60s and 70s, fuelled by high octane funk and soul records from the States. DJs were on a permanent quest for ever more elusive tracks, unearthing gems…

David O'Doherty Has Checked Everything

13 Oct 2014

Irish jester embarks on a hunt for genuine happiness

The story of those who win the Edinburgh Comedy Award doesn’t always play out exactly the same way each and every time. For every Al Murray, Frank Skinner and Steve Coogan who go on to become comedy monoliths and household names, there are a whole bunch…

Brighton Comedy Festival highlights include Bridget Christie, Jo Brand and Simon Amstell

9 Oct 2014

Rich Hall, Jon Richardson, Dave Gorman and Sara Pascoe also set to perform

Brighton will be transformed into the UK’s comedy hub this month for the 14th annual Brighton Comedy Festival. From 10–25 Oct over 70 performances will take place at various venues, including the Brighton Dome and the Krater Comedy Club at Komedia, as…