Posts Tagged ‘Russell Brand’

Big Fat Quiz Of The Year: 2008

December 30, 2008

Another year, another Big Fat Quiz Of The Year. Previously, this was decent, low-grade Christmas TV fodder. You could even stand Jimmy Carr and his casual bigotry as the outing relied more heavily on the panelists, made up of, if memory serves:

  • A pre-Manuel-trouble Jonathan Ross, gamely trying to keep up with the cool kids and acting the giddy goat, managing to be funny for ten percent of the time.
  • A pre-Manuel-trouble Russell Brand, putting in a good spot in conjunction with partner in crime…
  • Noel Fielding. Noel Fielding is one of those annoying swines who personifies likability. Thus, anything with him in it is generally alright.
  • David Walliams – like Ross, trying a bit too hard, but keeping the thing afloat with enthusiasm and idiocy.
  • David Mitchell – always good quality, even when he’s in something shit.
  • Someone else I can’t remember. [update] It was the comedian and good egg, Rob Brydon.

This year, things went horribly, horribly wrong. Ross is on a forced holiday because he done a naughty on a phoneline. He couldn’t appear as a result, presumably. Brand was unavailable for similar reasons, in addition to promoting a proper career abroad. Mitchell must have been busy and Walliams is in America. Consequently, we were left with a real horrorshow. Barrels were scraped and dogshit scraped ceremoniously from shoes as Channel 4 booked, presumably whilst drunk:

  • Claudia Winkleman – that woman off Liquid News in the 90s who looks like a goth nine-year-old who’s being continuously tasered.
  • Dara O’Briain – a man who claims he’s a comedian but is actually just Irish. And, disgustingly, he can’t even spell his own name.
  • That posh man – who is infrequently funny on Have I Got News For You.
  • Sean Lock – a cracking comedian whose usually brilliant humour was sullied for the second time this year by that arsehole:
  • James Corden – why? Why, why, why? Why is this bastard even… even…. Why is he…

…I can’t be arsed.

  • Oh – and Davina Fucking McCall.

Need I go on? Does the resultant car crash even warrant description?

Does it buggery. Even the bit where the kids from a primary school do an amusingly amateurish and endearing take on an event from the preceding year fell flat, thanks to the berks on stage following the clip, hooting like gorillas and revelling in their own crap jokes. What a ruddy letdown.

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News Gush: Who’s the New Doctor Who?

November 6, 2008

It’s official. During the total fiasco that was last week’s National Television Awards (is there anyone on earth more wooden than Trevor McDonald?) David Tennant confirmed that he’d be leaving the show in 2009 after another four specials next year.

Speculation has inevitably started about who will be replacing him. Names in the frame so far include: John Simm, David Morrissey, James Nesbitt, Rhys Ifans and little-known Paterson Joseph, who could become the first black Doctor Who:

More off-the-wall suggestions include both Stephen Fry and Stephen Merchant. Personally, I don’t think they need to look any further. I think Stephen Merchant would be a superb Doctor Who. But what about a woman this time?

Would that work?

I hear Russell Brand is now free…

Decency Prevails At The BBC

October 31, 2008

In light of the recent crisis at the BBC, Watch With Mothers takes a look at next week’s revised Friday night line-up now the corporation’s scheduling policies have been handed over to the Downeysett-On-The-Wold Over 65’s Women’s Flower-Arranging Guild …

7:00 – The One Show : New presenters Alan Titchmarsh and Rosemary Clooney interview The Last of the Summer Wine’s Frank Thornton about his collection of Royal Doulton character jugs. Also, in a light-hearted segment, religious correspondent Aled Jones calls for the public beheading of all those that would deny Christ.

7:30 – The Last of the Summer Wine: After reading in the Daily Mail about a young radio presenter’s ill-judged prank phone call that occurred four years ago, an outraged Clegg fires off a strongly-worded letter of complaint to the Director General of the BBC. Later, he and his fellow villagers burn an effigy of the young radio presenter, whooping and hollering around it like excited chimpanzees.

8:00 – Antiques Roadshow: Fiona Bruce – properly attired in a burkha – introduces another episode of the popular antiques and collectibles show, this week coming from the grounds of Hogarth House in Leicestershire. Excitement reaches fever-pitch when a 17th century wooden spoon turns out to be a 19th century reproduction! With subtitles.

9:00 – New Casualty: Shifting location away from the bloodshed on offer at Holby City hospital, we follow the exploits of God-fearing Christian medic Dr. Ballard Ballard. It’s a difficult time for Ballard, as he juggles family life with an ever-increasing workload of minor ailments at his delightful Peak District family health practice. WARNING: Contains scenes of sneezing that some viewers may find distressing.

10:00 – Have I Got Some Good News For You For Once: Guest presenter Pam Rhodes tries to keep a lid on the antics of regular team captains Daniel O’Donnell and Ben Fogle … with hilarious results! With special guests Sally Magnusson and Jonathan Edwards.

10:30 – Room 102: Comedy discussion show in which presenter Kate Humble and guest Dr. Rowan Williams extract some of the items unfairly tossed into the now defunct Room 101. This week, Dr. Williams rescues Public Information Films from the Orwellian pit of damnation created by evil former BBC presenter Paul Merton.

11:00: – Question Time: New chairperson Gloria Hunniford keeps order as panellists debate the hot political issues of the last seven days. This week, guests discuss whether there is too much swearing on television, the utter depravity of on-screen nudity, and how young people need to get their hair cut and learn some respect for their elders.

12:00 – The Queen: Her Majesty says goodnight to the nation.

12:10 – The National Anthem: All rise for the BBC Concert Orchestra’s stirring rendition of Britain’s most beloved tune.

12:20 – Close: Pages from the Book of Revelation.

NewsGush – Russell Resigns, Tabloids Triumph

October 30, 2008

Just to draw a line under this sorry saga (and if you haven’t been in the slightest bit interested, I apologise for the recent Brand-related news triptych), the last few days of complete stupidity and insanity have ended with Russell Brand quitting his post at the BBC. 

Taking the bullet for his friend, Jonathan Ross, in other words. Let’s not forget that it was the older of the two who blurted out the initial offending sentence.

I suppose, in some senses, Brand has also taken the hit on behalf of the BBC who, it has to be said, have behaved like disorganised buffoons throughout this farrago. They shouldn’t have put the recording out in the first place. They should have organised a public apology on behalf of all parties immediately and they should have ignored all the tabloid speculation.

But the real arseholes in this Kafkaesque trial by second hand information are – as usual – the tabloid press. Without the Mail picking up on the story and hypocritically running it endlessly (thus, presumably, adding to Mr Sachs’ embarassment) and without printing tittilating pictures of the supposed ‘fuckee’, this wouldn’t have reached the ridiculous heights it broached.

The Sun also went crazy with the story – as did all the tabloids including those with a more limited circulation – your London Lites, your citywide Metros. All expressing outrage whilst regurgitating the point of Mr. Sachs embarassment. Bizarre, eh?

To compound the weirdness, it seems Georgina Baillie has now signed up with Max Clifford – a day or so after he dumped Katona as a client. Some people are admiring of the girls guile and pluck. From where I’m sitting, it looks suspiciously like she’s exploiting the situation for personal gain. Exploiting her grandfather’s initial embarassment and milking this fabricated ‘shame’ for all its worth. I can’t believe that, by now, she’s still red-faced. Not with all those offers coming in.

The other aspect of this so-called scandal that makes it so very 2008 is the way information spread. Without Youtube, without messageboards and blogs, people wouldn’t have formed an opinion so quickly. The replay wouldn’t be available, so unless you’d taped it it’d all be hearsay.

It’s impossible to quantify whether this made the situation worse for the presenters and the BBC, but it certainly intensified the atmosphere. The web was alive with chitter and chatter and gasbag opinion. Mail readers suddenly found reason to comment on the Guardian messageboard. The papers and their websites couldn’t keep up with the bloggers who were formulating opinions left right and centre – and this aspect of the incident is something we should expect to see a lot more of in the future.

All in all, the ultimate tragedy of the whole affair is that, as a result of a very silly, vaguely amusing and massively ill-considered gag, the conservative element in the press and in the blogosphere has somehow managed to force the hand of the BBC using the most questionable tactics imaginable. They’ve also managed to make one of my favourite podcasters – a genuine talent, I feel – resign over what amounts to very little. I think that’s depressing.

It seems one squawking idiot can’t change a thing, but multiply him by a few thousand using the latest technology and soon enough you won’t be able to hear yourself think.

NewsGush – Brand & Ross Debacle Escalates

October 29, 2008

With this just in from the BBC, following front pages, comments from politicians and the blogosphere ignited, it seems nobody’s got anything better to report or comment on than this whole sorry affair…

And as a result, Ross and Brand have been suspended from the airwaves. More as a result of the furore rather than the stunt itself, one suspects.

Nice to see Georgina Baillie chipping in at last with some very Sun-style quotes. Off with their heads!

Maybe us bloggers helped this to get out of hand… and maybe politicians shouldn’t be asked such trivial questions. But on a day when Meredith Kercher’s killer has been jailed (one of three, potentially), an earthquake in Pakistan has killed loads of people and we’re all continuing to ignore this credit crunch business, is a silly phone call really something we should be focusing on? Of course, with this post I’m part of the paradoxical problem…

Isn’t it time we all grew up?

NewsGush – Sachs, Scandal and the Sack

October 28, 2008

I was trying to avoid bringing this up as I don’t believe it deserves the oxygen of publicity – especially after the Daily bloody Mail have got their idiot paws all over it. They were bound to when there’re images of the Satanic Sluts involved. Anything that tittilates the readers whilst giving them a heart attack, right?

You know the drill – Jonathan Ross appeared on Russell Brand’s Radio 2 show, Russell Brand got ridiculously over-excited, silly phone calls were made, a nice old man called Andrew Sachs who we all remember as Manuel got upset.

The dust settles. One week later, The Daily Mail make an issue of it. Suddenly complaints are made in their hundreds and there are calls for sackings.

I’m getting stuck into a debate over here at Andrew Collins’ blog. My view is that this isn’t front page news, nobody should be sacked and that the Daily Mail is a toilet-rag.

Anyone think differently?

MTV VMA Awards, 2008

September 9, 2008

You’ve probably read about this little storm in a hairy teacup in the newspapers and either a.) had a chuckle to yourself about it or b.) brushed over it, turning the page in your periodical, distinctly unimpressed. You may even have tuned in last night. If you did, I congratulate you on your bravery.

Despite the few laughs that could be gouged from the miniscule slots the host was given, the rest of it was a squalid load of crap. Mainly advertising, endless advertising – each ad break longer than the content that followed – with a few absymal performances from modern pop artists afterwards, sandwiched between shots of Britney looking confused.

Brand was on form though. Despite obvious nerves he managed to make a provocative call to action from the off, pissing off half his crowd immediately by championing Barack Obama. And then he called Bush a retard. It was interesting not in the fact that any wit was involved, more for how the likes of Britney and the Jonas Brothers looked all confused at some unabashed political provocation whilst the likes of LL Cool J and Lil’ Wayne instantly became Brand-fans, showing their love later in the show.

The highlight for me though was the constant ridiculing of the Jonas Brothers (which I noticed was cut mercilessly in the UK edit having spent time scouring the web for clips yesterday. Presumably to keep that JoBro shitheap of a band happy).

It was grand that RB didn’t leave it at mocking the ostentatious and passive aggressive practice of wearing celibacy rings, but continued a filthy tirade against the purity of the utterly unlistenable Brothers Jonas that became more and more winningly crass as it went on. You even started to pity the boys. A bit.

The defining moment, for me, was when ex-American Idol winner and award presenter ‘Jordin’ Sparks – they clearly don’t have spellcheckers in American birth registers – retorted to Brand’s celibacy-ring mockery with ‘I’d just like to say that purity rings are not stupid because not all of us want to be sluts!’ – thereby telling half her teenage audience that she thinks they’re whores if they’ve ever had a little bit of hanky panky. The fucking idiot.

The bizarre thing about the VMAs was that it was noticably split right down the centre. You had the hip hop artists on one side and the teeny pop shit on the other. Though it’s often hard to tell the difference as all genres seem fused and spliced these days (yes, I am old), it was nice to see Brand break the audience neatly into a divide, with liberal America on one side and dribbling, hypocritical funda-mentalists on the other.

And now for another fucking ad break.

One Minute Review: Forgetting Sarah Marshall

July 15, 2008

Composer’s actress girlfriend leaves him for rock star, Russell Brand. Composer goes to Hawaii to get over it, despite knowing ex will be there. Ex is there. Russell Brand is a tame version of himself, talking like Davie Jones of the Monkees. He’s a rock star because that means he can do comedy songs to make screen time pass a bit more quickly. The songs are quite funny.

The receptionist at the hotel is attractive and is clearly the second love interest from the moment she appears onscreen – thus all will-she / won’t-she drama is squibbed. Nothing really happens for an hour. Then the end happens.

I know you shouldn’t go looking for enlightenment in a Judd Apatow film, but you’d have thought you might get a few belly-laughs.

That chubby stoner from Knocked Up is here as a stalker-like fan of Brand’s band, Infant Sorrow. He isn’t really given any material you’d call ‘comic’. The one black character – a big, fat barman – is meant to be an amusing character, I think, because all he does is list things. Which isn’t very funny. There’s a thread about a wimpy newlywed on honeymoon who’s scared of sex, but that one failed to raise a smile. The surfing stoner played by the husband in Knocked Up kept forgetting things. I think he was also meant to be funny. It’s quite tricky working out what you’re meant to be laughing at which, for a comedy, poses a problem.

Russell Brand does his usual schtick, but a diluted, American-family-friendly version of it, so all potential for cheekiness and irreverence is snuffed out. Brand with a script isn’t quite the same beast as the sex-freak with the haircut when he’s allowed to improvise. He’s a little bit wasted here, but you’d imagine it’d be a challenge to give him a role in anything, being as he’s developed his own persona. In a way, he’s stuck with himself, much like Frankie Howerd or Kenneth Williams were.

The only remarkable aspect of the whole film is the fact that you see the leading man’s penis on two occasions. The comedy reveal of his winky is another failed laugh-prod, ultimately feeling like a pretty desperate attempt to shove in something for bloggers to talk about – like the ‘crowning’ scene in Knocked Up – another example of a tacked on shocker.

All in all – not as annoying or rubbish as Knocked Up, and without the occasional quality gags.

Apatow’s surely had his time… while the likes of Stiller, Ferrell and Sandler have all long outstayed their welcome. Can Hollywood do us some decent comedy now, please?