Not Going Out Recording – Series 8

When it was announced that Lee Mack’s long running sitcom ‘Not Going Out’ was to end after its seventh series, audiences breathed a sigh of relief. The show may have won the BBC millions of viewers, been praised by critic for its multitude of one liners, and propelled he careers of its stars Lee Mack, Tim Vine, Katy Wix and Sally Bretton, yet frequent cast drop-outs and ever more predictable storylines were slowly having their effect.

The final episode, which featured the long-awaited yet un-expected marriage between Lee and Lucy, aired on Christmas Eve 2014, and the show was forever retired.

IMG_20160701_185809 - Copy.jpgOne year on and it seems the BBC is having problems commissioning new comedy. Not Going Out returned for a ‘one off’ Christmas special set one year after the finale. A couple of months after that, an eight series has been commissioned. So this’ll be fun!

The new series is set seven years after Lee and Lucy’s marriage. The two have moved out of their unrealistically-expensive London apartment to a semi-detached house in suburban Surrey. Surprise surprise they have children, three of them. Don’t bother learning their names though, the combination of strict child working laws and the show’s live audience recording slot means they appear about once an episode, and even then just to remind the audience they exist.

Katy Wix has moved on to bigger things, so Hugh Denis and Abigail Cruttenden (who had recurring roles in series seven) are promoted to series regulars. Some may argue a feuding, unhappily married couple are not the best additions to a light family drama, yet their characters are ideal for exploring the new, family setting of the show. Wait, didn’t they have a child last series, who should be seven by now??

IMG_20160701_185813 - Copy.jpgI attended one recording from the new series, yet it would be unfair to reveal specific plot points. The new format will definitely take some years to iron out, yet the change was necessary for a show stuck in such a repetitive loop. The new series will air later this year. For those who have seen ‘Not Going Out’ before, check it out. For those who haven’t, please please save yourself!

Tim Vine’s Chat Show Recording – Series 1

564eb9b5-e5eb-42d6-8852-c3d9c08f2a7dLast year my friends and I attended the recording of ‘Time Vine’s Chat Show’ a half hour comedy made for BBC Radio 2’s annual Comedy Showcase. The show was an immediate success, with the BBC investing in a full series of the show to air this summer (now on BBC Radio 4). We returned to hear the first episode of the new series being recorded.

So the show (recorded at BBC Broadcasting House) starts with Vine giving a monologue, filled with his signature, quick-fire jokes and puns. Then comes the main part of the show, where Vine brings up members of the audience, whom he interviews. He asks the guests about their jobs (we had a HR manager for a Christian charity), funny stories they have (like a guy who once pretended to be in a band) and fills any breathing room with more [improvised] jokes. About six of these interviews were recorded, four of which should appear in the episode.

Vine intercut the show with more audience participation games, in which he came to the masterful conclusion that half the audience was retired, and some comedic songs. These we’rent the strongest part of the show yet really showcased Vine’s wide talent and fun-loving personality, which is always a bonus.

078fe6fc-5e30-42c2-b55c-367f63e8cb85Overall I thought both the show and format were great, really building upon the introduction it got last year. Whilst I can’t see the show lasting years such as Radio 4’s staples ‘The Unbelievable Truth’ and the like, I’m sure it will be enjoyed.

And here I am with my friends and the man himself!

Walking Dead/Breaking Bad link Confirmed

There’s been a long-standing theory that AMC’s two biggest shows; The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad, are set in the same multi-verse, with Breaking Bad set in the years preceding Walking Dead’s zombie apocalypse. There’s some (but not much) evidence to support this, including:

  • Walt’s blue meth appears in a bag of Merle’s drugs
  • The red ‘Dodge Challenger’ car appearing in both series
  • The name Glenn is mentioned in Breaking Bad (a pretty weak link this)
  • Daryl tells Beth how Merle’s dealer used the phrase “I’m gonna kill you bitch”

However, the season six finale offers us a bit more concrete evidence that connects the two shows, through the casting of Steven Ogg as an unnamed saviour.

saviors-steven-ogg

Steven Ogg in The Walking Dead

Ogg, famous for his role in the Grand Theft Auto games, popped up in the episode ‘Last Day on Earth’ playing a member of Negan’s psychotic band of survivors. Yet it was only last year Ogg appeared in Breaking Bad prequel ‘Better Call Saul, playing Sobchak, a gang member hired to protect an amateur drug dealer.

Both characters are violent, well enunciated, have a cool mustache and ARE PLAYED BY THE SAME GUY. If this isn’t proof that the two series co-exist, I don’t know what is. It can’t be a coincidence that AMC have refused to name Ogg’s Walking Dead character either.

better call saul

Steven Ogg as Sobchak in Better Call Saul

Also, my friend is trying to raise money to fund an exhibition, so please help. https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/Evolution2016 

Some Hipster Place

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Its Easter. Sweet, that means lots of lovely chocolate and church services and tweeting birds and stuff. Also, it means holidays, so I went out with me friends to have coffee in some hipster cafe (reminiscent of a filthy drug den).

That’s your update over.

Reading University – English Literature Applicant Day

So the quest to get accepted by a half-decent university continues, with Applicant Days being the next bump in a very bumpy road. Applicant Days are run by universities, to candidates they’ve offered places to, and showcase a little bit of what you’ll be doing during the course. The other day I attended my first applicant day at the University of Reading.

So the day started at about 10, with a tour of the campus. Whilst I’d already done one of these at the open day, it’s was nice to see the campus again, not to mention the bloke trying to flog us the premium accommodation options (cheaper options were ‘unavailable’).

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Then we had some talks, the first of which was given by a professor of English Literature, explaining the course and the division of study over the three years. The second was given by a student and concerned student life. I must say it was rather amusing when she showed a photo of the sports centre and admitted she’d never been inside. #futureme

Then we had what was probably the most fun part of the day. A mock seminar. We were all given a pack of poems and asked to read them through before discussing them as a group. Finally, thought I, fellow poetry enthusiasts. The poems we discussed were Catherine Dickinson’s poem 764 (famous for introducing the ‘Loaded Gun’ metaphor) and Kai Miller’s ‘Some Definitions for Night’. Both of which were interesting poems, especially as I’d never heard of Kai Miller before. Some say that means he’s a randomer. Others would say it’s just ‘cos I haven’t heard of him.

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So all in all a lovely trip. Learnt a lot about the course, especially getting to experience the feel of a seminar for myself. Let’s hope Reading gets into my top choices then!

Another Poem… About Peace

Okay guys here’s another poem. You see I was thinking ‘Man, there’s so much conflict in the world. Why can’t we all just love each other?” Silly old romantic me aye.

Imagine a room

Silent of sound

Just a tabby, a hamster, a duck and a hound

Sitting together in peace and in calm

Without any malice, without any qualm

Just the love of each other

In them does bloom

In a small, and silent, sanctuous room

Illustration

Some Famous People

My blogging activity has sadly decreased recently, however that’s not to say I haven’t attended plenty of radio recordings at the BBC. To summarise, here are a few of the famous people I’ve met in the last few months.

Tim Vine

I met comedian Tim Vine in October, when he was recording ‘Tim Vine’s Chat Show’ a one-off stand-up performance for BBC Radio 2’s annual comedy gala. The show consisted of an unending stream of one liners from Vine, interrupted only by brief interviews with members of the audience, including my friend Amber.

Tim VineJessica Hynes

Jessica Hynes, the star of Spaced, Twenty Twelve, W1A with guest roles in Skins, Doctor Who and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Hynes was hosting an episode of ‘With Great Pleasure’, a showcase of the host’s favourite passages and poems, back in July. She was in a rush after the show but managed to sign a few items for me.

Jessica HynesCyril Nri

Cyril was reading in Jessica’s episode of ‘With Great Pleasure’ and signed some photographs for me after the show. I know him from his guest appearance in the Sarah Jane Adventures and his leading role in Cucumber.

Cyril NriAlex MacQueen

Alex was features in ‘The King’s Men’, another comedy commission for Radio 2’s comedy gala. He seemed to me a very lovely man, posing for a photograph after the show. As a fan of Doctor Who I know him as the Master, appearing in Big Finish radio dramas since 2012.

Alex MacqueenIsy Suttie

The comedian and star of Peep Show has recently taken over as host of ‘Sketchorama’, a radio show that showcases performances from various sketch groups. Also a lovely person, she signed for me and discussed the recording of Peep Show and its [then] upcoming final series.

Isy Suttie