Christmas comedy round-up: Amstell, Miranda, Pegg, Nica Burns and Big Fat Quizzes

Simon Pegg in The World's End
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Christmas is the time of year when the the news radar packs up due to excessive mince pies, so for those looking to catch up with what's gone on over the past 10 days, here's a quick round-up.

The Christmas TV shows

 
First off the blocks Miranda scooped the prize for the largest audience in the Christmas telly contest, racking up around 9.5 million viewers – quite a feat really, during the prime time slot. It was followed closely by Mrs Browns Boys, which got 9 million.
 
While Miranda ruled Christmas Graham Norton remained king of the New Year by beating Jason Manford into second and Alan Carr’s offering into third place in the ratings. Norton pulled in 4.5m viewers to his show, with Manford attracting 2.4m and Carr 1.78m.
 
The other notable programme on Christmas was Adam Hills’ Alternative Christmas Message, which the comedian used to highlight how the Paralympics helped make a difference to disabled people are perceived in the UK.
 
On the quiz show front The Big Fat Quiz of the Year was either a: an offensive load of comedy aimed squarely at corrupting our youth, or, if you’re not the Daily Mail, a fairly average contribution to the New Years celebrations. Here’s a piece by the Huffington Post outlining the Mail’s tenuous grip on reality.
 
Another comedian who has been busy this festive period is Rich Fulcher, who appeared in Mashed and also dressed up as santa for a day too.
 
Among the new projects on the go ITV have ordered an animated show about a football fan called The Wild World Of Warren, which will focus on a 37-year-old man ‘who hasn’t grown out of being a football fanatic’.
And finally, Milton Jones appeared on Celebrity Mastermind over the festive period, where his specialist subject was potatoes. 
 
Gongs galore
 
Edinburgh Comedy Awards producer Nica Burns and writer Jeremy Lloyd have been awarded OBE’s in the New Years honours list.
 
Burns has been recognised for her work promoting comedy through the annual awards and her work in London’s West End through her Nimax theatre company while Lloyd, who created ‘Allo ‘Allo and Are You Being Served, has been honoured for his services to comedy. Speaking about the Lloyd said the OBE was 'the most amazing thing in my life'.
 
Interviews
 
Simon Amstell is in ‘a nice place’ at the moment, despite the fact that he has confirmed news that  Grandma’s House will not be making a return to the screens ( which was lamented by SSP’s co-editor Andrew Mickel ). Speaking to The Independent’s Alice Jones the comedian explained how he is happier than he has ever been. Read the full interview here.
 
Simon Pegg has finished the principle filming of The World’s End – and has posted the pic at the top of this article of the film as a teaser for fans. We are already wondering already which scene will feature the cornetto in it.
 
Dawn French almost turned down the Vicar Of Dibley role – which we briefly covered here – while Ruth Jones has come out to confirm once again that there won’t be another Gavin and Stacey – no matter how many times she, James Corden, or Rob Brydon are asked about it. 
 
Rory Bremner has said that Mock The Week is ‘too aggressive’ in an interview in The Times and covered by Chortle here.
 
Worldwide:
 
Dipping into the rest of the globe, a Chinese comedy has broken box-office records in China. "Lost in Thailand" had taken in over 1 billion yuan in cinemas (which is around $160m) to become the highest grossing domestic film in the country.
 
Also in what looks like a harsh move, a popular TV comedian Bassem Youssef in Egypt is facing a probe after ‘undermining the president’.
 
Industry:
 
Katie Philips PR have been appointed to represent Julian Clary on his up-coming tour, speaking to PR Week about the appointment Philips said she would be “looking to ramp up the national reviews, with leading newspaper critics among those invited’.
 
Dark comedy feature film project The Fitzroy has raised over £70,000 via crowdfunding website Kickstarter according to the British Comedy Guide.
 
Columnists
 
In the columnists column Bruce Dessau gets the stating-the-bleeding-obvious award for pointing out that comedians can sometimes engage with an audience (and sometimes it can go wrong) in his piece in the Guardian.
 
Chortle’s Steve Bennett has taken a very good look at the TV charts for comedy shows and sitcoms – with some interesting reading in there too.
 
Videos:
 
Videos which landed in our inbox over Christmas include Eager Beaver Film’s mash up of The Office and The Hobbit: 
 
 
Another video well worth a watch is a comedy web series called 'MICKY' which is based in Northern Ireland and is made by a new underground comedy group called E.P.R.
 
 

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