Thursday, March 31, 2016

Tracey To Become 100th Guest Host of Have I Got News for You

From Chortle:

Tracey Ullman is to become the 100th guest host of Have I Got News For You, the BBC has announced. 

She will take the chair in the second episode of the 51st series, which airs on Friday April 15. 

The comic actor, who recently returned to BBC One for the first time in 30 years for her own sketch series, said: ‘I am really looking forward to appearing on a national treasure.’ 

Outnumbered creator Andy Hamilton and BBC News anchor Clive Myrie will be the guests on her episode.

Have I Got News For You returns next Friday with Stephen Mangan at the helm and German comedian Henning Wehn among the panelists.

The series will also see Frankie Boyle, Gary Lineker and Katherine Ryan host for the first time.

Other hosts confirmed include Victoria Coren Mitchell, Jo Brand, David Tennant, and Martin Clunes, while panellists will include Romesh Ranganathan, Eddie Izzard, Diane Morgan and Andrew Neil. 

Guests have hosted the topical comedy quiz since Angus Deayton lost the host’s job in 2002 amid a string of tabloid stories about his personal life.

Alexander Armstrong holds the record for the most appearances in the chair, with 27, followed by Jo Brand (15) and Jack Dee (13).

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Tracey Ullman’s Show is Coming Back for a Second Series on BBC1

Exclusive: Corporation confirms another series for the legendary comic - so Judi Dench, Camilla Parker Bowles and Maggie Smith look out... 

By Ben Dowell
Saturday 5 March 2016 at 8:19AM

Tracey Ullman’s Show has been recommissioned for a second series, can reveal. 

The legendary comic will be bringing back more of her surreal and satirical comedy for a new run, probably next year.

Ullman made a successful return to BBC1 at the beginning of January after a break of 30 years, and the series garnered critical acclaim and consolidated audiences of more than 4m viewers in a late-night slot.

A mix of sketches, celebrity impressions, song and dance, the show played to her strengths as an impressionist and comedic social commentator, and included impressions of Dame Judi Dench (below) as a kleptomaniac hooligan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel as a vain sex kitten.

Maggie Smith also fell under Ullman's comedic gaze and was portrayed in a series of sketches auditioning for various roles.

Other comedy characters included drugs mule Karen, adjusting to modern life after 28 years in a Thai prison, and topless feminist MP Sally Preston.

The comedian also poked fun at the British Royal Family with pitch perfect impressions of Camilla Parker Bowles and Carole Middeton, mother of the Duchess of Cambridge.

Ullman said: “It has been a pleasure being back at the BBC, and I am thrilled to get the opportunity to write more shows with my brilliant team. The warm reception from the British public has meant a lot to me personally. I want to thank them and let Dame Judi Dench and Chancellor Angela Merkel know I couldn’t have done it without you girls. Here’s to Season two.”

Shane Allen, the BBC’s controller of comedy commissioning added: “Tracey’s triumphant return to British television was a big hit with the audience, she’s such an exceptional talent at the top of her game. The new series will have plenty more surprises and finger on the pulse characters and impressions that hold a fairground mirror up to modern British society, politics and celebrity.”

The show is made by the BBC in-house comedy department and the writing team includes Kevin Cecil, Andy Riley, Georgia Pritchett, Jeremy Dyson, Laurence Rickard, Jonathan Harvey, and Lucy Montgomery. The director is Dominic Brigstocke.

Radio Times