paul merton

TV Review: Have I Got News For You – Election Special, BBC1

I haven’t reviewed Have I Got News For You before but I particularly wanted to review this post-Election edition. Much has been written recently about how TV satire has to compete with the rapidfire responses of Twitter. This week’s edition was recorded this morning instead of the night before to be more topical. So did the satirical stalwart manage to have an original take on a subject that already feels like it has been trawled to death? 


Preview: The Comedy Week Ahead – Oct 27 - Nov 2

Improvisation is the flared trousers of comedy. It goes in and out of fashion but never completely goes away. The Comedy Store Players was not the first impro group in the world, but it was the first on in the UK, starting off 30 years ago this week. Early members included Dave Cohen, who currently writes for Not Going Out and someone called Mike Myers. Don’t know what happened to him.

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.


Opinion: Impro v Scripted - No Contest?

I caught Paul Merton on The One Show the other night promoting his new tour. He was not able to say too much about it, of course, because it is with Paul Merton's Impro Chums so it will be different every night.

Opinion: The Impro Revival – Whatever Next?

Improvised comedy is, by its very nature, full of surprises. And perhaps the biggest surprise is that over two decades after the format became popular on television with Whose Line Is It Anyway? (the American version is, amazingly, back on the air over there) it is thriving on the UK live circuit. 

Classic Interview: Paul Merton

It sometimes feels as if Paul Merton has been around for ever. But in a good way. This interview, which took place in September 2011 was my fourth encounter with the genial absurdist. The first time I interviewed him in the early 1990s was in his agent's office in Regent Street. While other "alternative comedians" had gone with cutting edge new wave management companies, Merton was handled by a company with a lengthy showbiz pedigree.



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