Comedian and entertainer Ronnie Corbett has died aged 85. His publicist said: “Ronnie Corbett CBE, one of the nation’s best-loved entertainers, passed away this morning, surrounded by his loving family. They have asked that their privacy is respected at this very sad time.”
Corbett will forever be remembered as part of The Two Ronnies with Ronnie Barker, who died in 2005. The series ran from 1971 to 1987, when Barker retired. However, Corbett continued working after this. Corbett had been suffering from ill-health for some time, having previously collapsed at a dinner in his honour in 2012 and being hospitalised in March 2014 with a gall bladder problem.
The diminutive comic, born in Edinburgh in 1930, worked on the stage, on TV, on radio and in film during his career. He was first spotted worked alongside Danny La Rue in the 1960s, and from this he got a role on The Frost Report where he first worked with Barker, where he appeared in the classic “Class Sketch” alongside John Cleese. While The Two Ronnies will probably be the show he will be remembered for, especially his comic monologues from his big chair, he also starred in the sitcom Sorry!, in the lead role of Timothy Lumsden, a 40-year-old librarian still dominated by his mother. Film roles include the 1973 farce No Sex Please, We’re British, while his most recent major role was the BBC Radio 4 sitcom When The Dog Dies, which ran from 2010 to 2014.
Here are some of his most famous moments:
BBC Four is to re-create missing episodes of classic sitcoms as part of a new series called The Lost Sitcoms.
It has been confirmed that lost episodes of Hancock’s Half Hour, Steptoe and Son and Till Death Us Do Part will be among those that will be remade, although it has not yet been announced which episodes will be re-create
It used to be BBC policy to re-use costly tapes in order to save costs, a policy that continued in some forms until the 1980s. As a result several classic shows have vanished from the BBC archives and there have been constant efforts to try and find any missing recordings. Other classic shows that have missing episodes include Doctor Who and Dad’s Army. Recently one episode of Dad’s Army where only the soundtrack survived, “A Stripe for Frazer”, was re-adapted as an animation.
It is not the first time that the BBC has re-created missing sitcom episodes. BBC Radio 4 broadcast two series of The Missing Hancocks, that re-created 10 missing episodes of the original radio version of Hancock’s Half Hour, starring Kevin McNally as Tony Hancock.
The Lost Sitcoms will be remade in front of a live audience and will be recorded in Glasgow. People can apply for tickets via the BBC website.
Michael Crawford and Michele Dotrice are returning as Frank Spencer and his wife Betty for a Sport Relief sketch alongside cyclist Sir Bradley Wiggins.
The sketch will see the walking human disaster area getting involved in his normal, accidental chaos, before arriving at the Lee Valley VeloPark where he has a chance meeting with the gold medal winning cyclist. It has also been said that other famous faces from sport and entertainment will appear in the sketch, but these names have yet to be announced.
In a BBC press release Crawford said: “I am thrilled and delighted to have been asked to bring Frank back for Sport Relief.”
Meanwhile Dotrice said: “It will be an absolute joy to be reunited again with Frank and fitting, for it is such a wonderful cause.”
Sir Bradley meanwhile has said: “I am a huge fan of Michael so it’s an absolute honour to be asked to be involved alongside such an icon of British television… and all for a great cause!”
Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em was one of the most popular sitcoms of the 1970s, running for 22 episodes, and most famous for its comic stunts which Crawford performed himself.
Sport Relief night starts at 19.00 on BBC One on Friday 18th March.
A decade after Robot Wars was sent tumbling into the Pit of Oblivion, the tech game challenge is to be rebooted for a new generation of individuals who derive pleasure from destroying someone else’s labour of love.
Dara O Briain and Angela Scanlon will be in the pits congratulating and commiserating with contestants, while the excitable Jonathan Pearce reprises his role behind the commentary mic.
A new purpose-built fighting arena has been built in Glasgow and state-of-the-art cameras – capable of capturing every crushing, sawing and scorching moment – will bring viewers closer then ever before to the action.
“I am thrilled to be presenting Robot Wars,” said Dara O Briain. “For too long, the schedules have cried out for a show in which dedicated amateurs, toiling day and night, handcraft sophisticated automatons built on the delicate interplay of hand-wired servo motors with custom-built circuit boards and fingertip motion control, just to see them get smashed to pieces by a dustbin carrying a massive hammer. It’s war, and how I love it so.”
The new six-part series will be produced by Mentorn Scotland, and will feature a new structure with more robots, more battles and more science than ever before. It also includes a raft of technological advances since the show first aired over a decade ago, and viewers can expect to see more innovative fighting machines as teams of amateur roboteers battle it out to win the coveted Robot Wars title.
Watch the show live!
Peter Kay’s Car Share has been named the Comedy.co.uk “Comedy of the Year 2015”.
In an online public vote the sitcom, which also co-stars and is co-written by Sian Gibson, who also co-write with Tim Reid and Paul Coleman, also won the award “Best New British TV Sitcom”.
Other TV shows that won awards included the final series of Peep Show, which won “Best Returning British TV Sitcom”, children’s show Horrible Histories for “Best British TV Sketch Show”, Would I Lie to You? for “Best British TV Panel Show”, The Graham Norton Show for “Best British TV Entertainment Show”, and Inside No. 9 for “Best British TV Comedy Drama”. The special “Editors’ Award”, given to the show that did was not vote for any of the major categories but felt deserve recognition by the websites editors (for whom the editor of On The Box happens to be one) went to political sitcom Ballot Monkeys.
An online vote was also held for the worst comedies of the year. Most of the worst comedies where those hosted by Keith Lemon. The Keith Lemon Sketch Show was the worst sketch show, Celebrity Juice the worst panel show, and Keith Lemon’s Back T’Future Tribute the worst entertainment show. However, the worst sitcom, the show voted the worst comedy of the year, was Mrs. Brown’s Boys.
The awards, which are decided by a public vote via readers of the British Comedy Guide and which nominate all comedy shows across the year to be name the best and worst in their category, are now in their 10th year. The awards cover both TV and radio comedy.
Below is a full list of winners of the best awards:
- Best New British TV Sitcom: Peter Kay’s Car Share
- Best Returning British TV Sticom: Peep Show
- Best British Radio Sitcom: John Finnemore’s Double Acts
- Best British TV Sketch Show: Horrible Histories
- Best British Radio Sketch Show: Dead Ringers
- Best British TV Panel Show: Would I Lie to You?
- Best British Radio Panel Show: I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue
- Best British TV Entertainment Show: The Graham Norton Show
- Best British Radio Entertainment Show: Mark Steel’s in Town
- Best British TV Comedy Drama: Inside No. 9
- Comedy of the Year: Peter Kay’s Car Share
- British Comedy Guide Editors’ Award: Ballot Monkeys
It seems comedy shows are to be the main feature of BBC Three’s launch online on Tuesday 16th February.
Among the programmes launched on the night of the switchover will include the third series of Greg Davies’s sitcom Cuckoo. The series originally focused on father Ken (Davies), whose daughter married an America hippie named Cuckoo while on her gap year. The character of Cuckoo, played by Andy Samberg, was killed off after the end of the first series and was replaced with his long-lost son Dale (Taylor Lautner).
Also featuring on the launch night is a new stand-up series, Live From the BBC, showcasing stand-up performances from comics including James Acaster, Dane Baptiste, and Danish comedian Sofie Hagen, the most recent winner of the Edinburgh Newcomer Comedy Award.
So far the only other programme confirmed for the launch day is a new film in BBC Three’s documentary series Life and Death Row. One of the station’s new online shows is a selection of short stand-alone films from Life and Death Row entitled Love Triangle.
BBC Three is using comedy to promote the switchover, with a trailer featuring People Just Do Nothing’s Chabuddy G (Asim Chaudhry) currently online. People Just Do Nothing, a sitcom about a pirate radio station, began as an online pilot before moving to TV on BBC Three, and now moving back online with a new series shifting with the channel as part of the switchover.
By now almost everyone has heard the news that the BBC has fired Jeremy Clarkson as a host of the highly rated show, Top Gear. For those that don’t know the show, it is about the three hosts traveling around the world, testing out cars and experimenting with extreme stunts and challenges in said cars. It’s every thrill seeker’s dream show.
However, things have gone off course as BBC kicked Clarkson off the show after allegedly reporting a producer of the show. This is apparently not his first account of being violent towards other staff members.
What’s interesting about this move is that the affects seem to be worse off for the BBC than for Clarkson. Some fans have vowed to stop watching the show, while others have criticised BBC for firing the most right-winged host of the three. It looks like their motto for a balanced network is tipping more left than ever.
This prompts the question, will Top Gear survive without Clarkson?
Netflix has done it again with a new original series filled with humour, wit and some unforgettable characters. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt premiered on March 6th and is written and produced by the hilarious Tina Fey.
Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) finally emerges from an underground bunker where she’s been living for the past 15 years thanks to a doomsday cult that kidnapped her. For the first time in her whole life, she’s on her own and trying to survive New York City. Viewers watch as Kimmy tackles subjects such as dating, getting her GED and learning how to use the internet with her roommate Tituss (Titus Andromedon) and employer Jacqueline Voorhees (Jane Krakowski).
This show is brings the laughs, an original story idea and most importantly, some diversity to the television business. With a woman as the main character and minorities in supporting roles, it shows how Netflix is behind the times and changing the face of television.
ITV has commissioned thirteen-part drama Beowulf, an epic re-imagining of one of literature’s greatest and most enduring heroes.
Created by James Dormer, Tim Haines and Katie Newman, this action-packed series is set in the mythical Shieldlands, a place of spectacle and danger populated by both humans and fantastical creatures.
Essentially, a western set in the Dark Ages of Britain’s mythic past, the story unfolds on a huge canvas, filmed amongst the breathtaking beauty of England’s North East.
The first episode sees Beowulf who, after spending many years wandering as a mercenary warrior, returns to Herot to pay his respects to the recently deceased Thane, Hrothgar – the man who raised him. But when Herot is attacked by the terrifying monster Grendl, Beowulf has no choice but to hunt it down, winning favour with Herot’s new female Thane, and the wider community, in the process.
And so begins a personal journey that sees this mighty and capable man slowly reconnect with the notion of family and home.
Beowulf is a series about courage, greed, betrayal, revenge, loyalty, power, man versus wilderness and, of course love. It is a series that explores the notion of good and evil, heroes and villians. However, beyond these wider political undercurrents and inner personal turmoils are the excitement, danger and sense of adventure that any great Western has. Epic fights, thrilling chases, raids, celebrations and battles are an essential part of the promise.
James Dormer (Strike Back, Wallander, Outcast) who will write and executive produce said:
“Hundreds of years ago our ancestors listened to the story of Beowulf because it was a great adventure story – it scared them, thrilled them, made them laugh and cry. But they also listened because they recognised themselves and their fears in it. By holding a mirror up to them this story helped define them and thus – us. So it’s incredibly exciting to have the opportunity to make it relevant again for a wide audience – to let them own it again. To let them see themselves in it.”