nick helm

Picture Report: Machynlleth Comedy Festival Part One.

“It’s all gone downhill. It’s not what it was.” The first comedian I bump into in Machynlleth’s high street is Stewart Lee who, typically, (ironically) mocks the rampant commercialism of the Machnylleth Comedy Festival, now in its fifth year. An estimated 4000 comedy fans visited the small Welsh town this weekend, compared to around 500 in the first year, but the increase in size, or the bulging programme of events, does not mean the festival has betrayed its boutique roots. Perfect weather, perfect fans, perfect comedy.

News: New BBC3 Comedies Announced

BBC Three has announced a raft of impressive new series and specials, despite the fact that the channel is likely to move online in 2015.

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Preview: The Week Ahead Feb 16 - 22

Nick Helm doesn't exactly like to make things easy for himself. Following the success of Uncle on BBC3 he is returning to the live arena with a vengeance. He has just announced that he is going to do eight "masterworks-in-progress" at the Machynlleth Comedy Festival in May.

News: Sky Arts Awards For Bridget Christie & Nick Helm

2013 Foster's Award Winner Bridget Christie and Nick Helm have been victorious today at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards.

News: Nick Helm & Others Getting Their TV Breaks Via The Web

From virals of the posh and dozy Gap Yah guy to The Fast Show shorts, online comedy has been a bubbling phenomenon in recent years. A cheap and cheerful way of screening new sketches and sitcoms, it also provides instant feedback for video uploaders who can track views and monitor comments.

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."

The Week Ahead: Nov 4 - Nov 10

Comedy residencies used to be three or four nights, maybe a week if you were a big attraction. This week, however, two major comedy shows kick off in London and will still be on for quite a bit longer when the Christmas decorations are taken down in January.

New Interview: Nick Helm

Update 3/1/14. As we say below, 2014 looks like being a good year for Nick Helm. His BBC3 series Uncle starts later this month and he has just been nominated for The Times South Bank Breakthrough Award? You can vote for him here.

Edinburgh Fringe Review: James Acaster

The Pleasance

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There are comedians who shoot out gags like machine gun fire and then there is James Acaster. The slow burn Kettering stand-up bagged a Foster's Comedy Award nomination for his show Prompt last year and he has returned, guns discreetly blazing, with a new mini-masterpiece, which refines his idiosyncratic technique and quirky stage persona.

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