greg davies

TV Preview: Man Down, C4

OK, I confess. I wasn’t convinced by the first series of Man Down. It had its moments, but given that they were mostly in the violent interplay between Greg Davies and his TV dad Rik Mayall I had a bad feeling about the second series which – for sad but obvious reasons – doesn’t feature Mayall. Yet would you believe it, it looks like they’ve turned it round.

News: Greg Davies Becomes Taskmaster Host

Greg Davies is to host a TV version of Taskmaster, the live show devised by Alex Horne in which comedians compete against each other in a series of unlikely challenges. The show will be broadcast by Dave. Horne will appear as right-hand man and also has a credit as producer.

The idea is to demonstrate how creative and seriously competitive comedians are.  Rivalry will be encouraged, dodgy tactics rewarded and bribes will be accepted in what is set to be the most the most dogged, hard-fought and ridiculous comedy show on TV.

Edinburgh Fringe Preview: Ed Gamble

Nothing can make you feel old as effectively as seeing a talented comedian who is hideously young. Ed Gamble is that kind of comedian. I saw him supporting Greg Davies last year and it is not easy entertaining a crowd who has paid to see someone else and has to sit through you for twenty minutes. But rather than hurtle to the bar the audience stayed for Gamble’s boyish tales of embarrassment such as buying a belt with an oddly-shaped metal buckle and feeling as if you are being stabbed in the belly every time you take a step.

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Review: GQ Extravaganza, Hammersmith Apollo

GQ has a long-standing reputation for being a stylish fashion magazine, but it is also building up a reputation for stylish comedy. Thanks to the contacts book and charm of its comedy editor, stand-up James Mullinger, it has put together a number of striking special editions featuring the world's greatest clowns and comedy actors from Jerry Seinfeld to Paul Rudd and Ricky Gervais. This year they went one stage further with a formidable comedy gig, which worked absolutely brilliantly. Until the headline act came on…

TV Review: Uncle, BBC3

It's not surprising that there is a strong whiff of deja vu watching Uncle, the first episode of the new sitcom starring Nick Helm written by newcomer Oliver Refson. A one-off pilot went out on C4 in 2012 and the first episode of this BBC3 series is basically the same scene-setting plot, tarted up and with Helm sporting a slightly tidier haircut. 

Opinion: How To Please Everyone All The Time

I was tickled to read comedian Davey Johns' comments on Facebook recently about the phenomenon of homing in on the audience member who isn't laughing. Johns nailed the situation perfectly: "There's a couple just stoney faced. Nothing from them at all. All around laughter but they are oblivious to it and in your head you're just thinking 'what the fuck is wrong with them?' Everyone is having a great laugh, but your head is just focused on why the fuck aren't they laughing."

Preview: The Week Ahead Dec 15 - 21

Christmas might be hurtling towards us but the comedy circuit is showing little sign of slowing down. This week there are two major runs in London as well as two massive one-offs. On Monday night The Boy With Tape On His Face presents Cornucopia - a huge variety bill at the Palace Theatre. But how can the silent star introduce his guests when he doesn't speak?

News: British Comedy Awards Xmas Singalong

In case you have missed them so far, here are the results of last night's British Comedy Awards.

Opinion: British Comedy Awards Predictions

Earlier this week I was accused of plagiarising a live review that had appeared on another comedy website. I hadn't, of course. It is just that Steve Bennett of Chortle and I have impeccable judgement. I saw on the Chortle homepage that they have predicted their British Comedy Award winners so I thought I'd better predict mine before I read theirs in too much detail.

TV Review: Man Down, C4

Hold the proverbial front page. Stop the so-called presses. Man Down is not yet another school-based sitcom. When I heard that Greg Davies would be playing a teacher in his self-penned sitcom debut I assumed this would pick up similar themes to Big School and Bad Education. Particularly as Davies has carved out a bit of a blackboard-based niche for himself playing Mr Gilbert in The Inbetweeners. 

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