ben elton

News: Ben Elton Defends Mainstream Sitcoms In TV Lecture

In a wide-ranging talk, given at the BBC as the inaugural Ronnie Barker Comedy Lecture, comedian Ben Elton has spoken out in defence of mainstream studio sitcoms such as Mrs Brown’s Boys and talked about his own career at the BBC from the Young Ones and Blackadder through to Upstart Crow via the less well-received The Wright Way.

Ben Elton To Give Inaugural The Ronnie Barker Talk BBC Comedy Lecture

Comedian and writer Ben Elton is to deliver the inaugural The Ronnie Barker Talk on BBC One. 

A passion project of Shane Allen, Controller, Comedy Commissioning at the BBC, the annual The Ronnie Barker Talk is a lecture on a comedy=related theme, named in honour of the late, legendary comedian, actor and writer Ronnie Barker OBE and has been developed with the approval of his family. 

News: Noel Fielding And Emma Thompson Join Upstart Crow Cast

As revealed earlier this week on Beyond The Joke Noel Fielding is one of the star guests in the second series of the Ben Elton sitcom Upstart Crow. It has also been announced that Emma Thompson will appear in the Christmas Special as Queen Elizabeth I.

TV Review: Upstart Crow, Episode 2, The Play's The Thing, BBC2

It’s great to report that the first episode of Upstart Crow was not a fluke. Writer Ben Elton repeats the trick again in the second episode. In fact if there is a problem here it isn't so much that this week’s episode is like Blackadder, it’s more a case that it is too much like last week’s episode.


TV Review: Upstart Crow, BBC2

Never mind Leicester winning the league, what odds would you have got on Ben Elton being funny again? But hold the front page Elton has got his mojo back. Well, everything is relative. After his appalling The Wright Way it looked like the acclaimed comic might never make us laugh again. But he has done it with Upstart Crow, which, let’s not mince words, is Blackadder Does The Bard.


News: David Mitchell To Star in TV Shakespeare

David Mitchell is to star as William Shakespeare in a pilot recording of a new situation comedy about the life of the nation's best-loved bard before he became famous. It is entitled Upstart Crow and according to a report on Chortle it is being written by Ben Elton.

Review: The Comedy Vaults: BBC Two’s Hidden Treasure

Now here’s one for the geeks. As part of BBC2’s 50th birthday celebrations the channel dusted off its archive to reveal some rarely seen – or in some cases never publicly seen at all – comedy gems. This has got to be good I thought. And in some cases it was. In a lot of cases though I thought I’d accidentally tuned in to an episode of Before They Were Famous that was never aired because it wasn’t interesting enough.

Opinion: Michael Gove v Blackadder

It has been interesting to see Michael Gove's attack on Blackadder for perpetuating the myth about World War 1 being a "misbegotten shambles". Judging by the Education Secretary's comments one might think that one of the greatest British sitcoms ever made was actually a commie plot to bring down the establishment. Gove even went as far as accusing Richard Curtis and Ben Elton's portrayal of idiotic officers as being "designed to belittle Britain and its leaders".

Opinion: The Wrong Show Must Go On...

I heard a story the other night about a critic who had gone to review immersive  multi-media circus/burlesque show Silencio at the London Wonderground and had not quite got what they bargained for. The show involves donning headphones when you enter so that you hear the commentary individually while you enjoy being bombarded by spoof adverts onscreen and real acts onstage.

Opinion: The Wright Way is axed. Did Twitter kill it?

So the good news is that The Wright Way will not be coming back. Shane Allen, the BBC's Comedy head honcho has confirmed that there will be no second series of Ben Elton's risible, dated Health & Safety so-called sitcom.


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