Book Review: Only When I Laugh by Paul Merton

The trouble with autobiographies of stand-up comedians is that if you are a big enough fan to shell out for them you are probably going to be familiar with many of the stories in them. This is the case with Paul Merton's eagerly anticipated story. I’ve interviewed him a few times and felt a keen sense of deja vu while reading his book. Followers of his work and career may well feel the sme.


News: Alexei Sayle To Appear At Rik Mayall Tribute

Alexei Sayle will be appearing at a night in memory of Rik Mayall. The event will be at the Berkhamsted Rex on October 26 and will be hosted by Robin Ince. Profits will go to the brain injury charity Headway.

Sayle will be talking to Ince onstage about alternative comedy and the influence of Rik Mayall. There will also be a screening of the film Mr Jolly Lives Next Door starring Mayall. 

Opinion: John Kearns – The Early Years

Jack De'Ath, of comedy promoters Laugh Out London, was one of the people who identified the oddball talents of Foster's Award winner John Kearns before he received much wider public acclaim at the Edinburgh Festival and beyond. In this piece, first published on the Laugh Out London website, De'Ath remembers the early anarchic, chaotic gigs.


Opinion: When The Audience Doesn't Get The Joke

It’s been a funny week when it comes to getting the joke. On Wednesday night I went to the first night of the Greenwich Comedy Festival. The perfect-looking National Maritime Museum, by the way, must be one of the most beautiful, most symmetrical places that a comedy tent has ever been pitched.

News: Newsjack Returns

The eleventh series of Newsjack, the BBC’s open-door sketch show, starts tonight. This is the only topical comedy show that anyone can write for by submitting sketches and one-liners. It is on Radio 4 Extra at 10.30pm and then continues every Thursday night for 5 weeks.

News: Jon Ronson Appears At Invisible Dot

Jon Ronson will be appearing at the Invisible Dot comedy club in London in October. The writer/broadcaster/filmmaker has announced two dates there. A matinee on October 19 and an evening show on November 7. His new non-fiction book So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, his follow-up to The Psychopath Test, will be published in the Spring of 2015. Accordng to Ronson's tumblr account, "this event is Jon’s attempt to work out how to talk about it to an audience.


News: UK Tour for Jason Cook

Comedian Jason Cook has announced an autumn tour of the UK for his latest show, entitled Broken. The winner of the ‘Best Drama’ at the Royal Television Awards for his BBC2 series ‘Hebburn’ starts his tour on October 3 at the Gala Theatre in Durham and finishing on November 11 at the Edinburgh Stand.   

News: Jayde Adams Wins Funny Women Awards Final

Jayde Adams has won this year's Funny Women Awards Final at the Leicester Square Theatre. Second place went to Aine Gallagher and third place went to Lauren Pattison. The winner for Best Comedy Writing went to Sophie Fletcher and Megan Heffernan for In These Shoes and the winner of Best Short went to Sally Camcello for Time Again!


New Interview: Angela Barnes

Just before the Edinburgh Festival I wrote that Angela Barnes is the best mainstream female comedian I’ve seen since Sarah Millican. She had a great Edinburgh and I was surprised that she didn't figure in the Foster's Awards shortlists. It doesn't really matter though, she is clearly going to make it big. She has gradually been building up an impressive following wind since winning the BBC New Comedy Award in 2011.


TV Review: Jon Richardson Grows Up: Episode 2 – Money

After last week’s show on relationships, the second part of Jon Richardson’s trilogy discovering how to be a happy adult looks into the subject of money. Does wealth make you happy? he asks. It’s a well-worn question but the episode is a corker, mainly because Richardson has clearly given the matter a lot of thought: “I would rather save a pound than earn a tenner,” he muses in one of his Seinfeldian comic interludes.


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