Bruce Dessau

News: Let's Go Crackers

In a bid to keep Britain cheery and share the love of laughter this Christmas, UKTV channel Gold has launched a national competition to find the perfect Christmas cracker joke. Gold is offering a £5000 prize  and a chance for the winner to feel like a member of the royal family and have their very own personalised Christmas crackers made. 

Opinion: A Star Rating Is Born

"Three stars but it read like a Five." Well, that's it. I'm joining the star brigade. When the Edinburgh Fringe kicks off I'll be reviewing as many shows as I can while retaining my sanity and will be giving each of them a star-rating out of five as all major comedy coverage now does.

TV Review: Badults, BBC3

There is a lot riding on Pappy's new BBC3 sitcom Badults. The much-loved sketch combo has already had two tries at transferring their lunatic stage sensibility, doing a pair of C4 Comedy Lab pilots, so is Badults third time lucky? It certainly comes when their confidence is riding high. Last year's Edinburgh Comedy Award-nominated Fringe show, Last Show Ever, was their best live show to date.

Opinion: Is Frankie Boyle Cleaning Up His Act?

Were my ears deceiving me? On Tuesday night I turned Radio 4 on at 6.30pm and heard a familiar Scottish accent being unfamiliarly reasonable. Frankie Boyle was one of the guests on the first edition of a new series of It's Not What You Know, chaired by Miles Jupp.

Opinion: Can Reviewers Keep Secrets?

I'd had a hectic time this week so decided not to review Derren Brown's new show, Infamous, at The Palace Theatre. Looking at the reviews that have now appeared I'm torn. Part of me wishes I'd reviewed it. Part of me is glad I didn't.

Opinion: Is Mrs Brown Really Pants?

Do you find Mrs Brown's Boys funny? If you do I'm afraid I cannot help you. All I can say is that you are not alone. The hit sitcom is currently packing them in at the O2 Arena as part of its sell-out national tour, yet is hated with a fervour on a par with African tyrants. Its crime? Being old-fashioned.

Review: Jake Hurwitz & Amir Blumenfeld with Streeter Seidell, Soho Theatre

Dude where's your set? How do you review a show that is barely a show? That's the problem with Jake and Amir's first visit to the Soho Theatre.

Book Review: I Laughed, I Cried by Viv Groskop

Viv Groskop had a good job in journalism, nice friends, a lovely family. So why did she decide to go and spoil it all and get into stand-up comedy? This is one of the key questions she asks herself in I Laughed, I Cried, a kind of Fever Pitch for the World of Funny. And after dithering about on the stand-up fringes for a while Groskop didn't just dip her sparkly trainer-clad toes into stand-up, she decided to do 100 gigs in 100 days, putting a strain on her marriage and her health.

Opinion: Carr Trouble

When I interviewed Josie Long (picture by Idil Sukan at Draw HQ) in the run-up to her Arts Emergency fundraiser at the Hackney Empire last week she told me off-the-record that they were hoping to land Jimmy Carr as a surprise guest.

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