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Caroline Aherne: Queen of Comedy - New BBC2 Celebration on Christmas Day

Started by holyzombiejesus, December 17, 2023, 07:16:54 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

holyzombiejesus

Looking forward to this although I guess it'll be pretty bleak at times. There's a lengthy article in The Guardian. Peter Hook conspicuously not mentioned whatsoever.

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2023/dec/16/the-genius-of-caroline-aherne-royle-family-friends-remember

Barry Admin

I really liked this article and always absolutely loved Caroline Aherne, so thought I'd share it in anticipation of the forthcoming telly show.

BBC article on Caroline Aherne

I think there's still a part of me that's shocked she wasn't actually Irish, given I first encountered her doing this act when I was a kid:


Caroline Aherne. Just an amazing talent.


Maurice Yeatman

Quote from: neov1974 on December 17, 2023, 06:10:42 PMThis Guardian article from yesterday was pretty good too:

https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2023/dec/16/the-genius-of-caroline-aherne-royle-family-friends-remember

This old news article about her heckling Nigel Hawthorne at the Comedy Awards is fairly typical of the way tabloid pieces about her were an excuse to lay out all sorts of other details about her private life. She was definitely disproportionately targeted.

https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/12161844.less-than-regal-performance-as-aherne-heckles-sir-nigel/

QuoteAfter concluding his speech, the show's host, Jonathan Ross, apologised to Sir Nigel: ''Not all of us can handle the drink my friend, although normally she can,'' he said.
Ugh.



idunnosomename

I'm sure Baz will merge this but I meant to comment... it does mention Peter Hook

QuoteA disastrous pilot was made with a live audience. Aherne hated it, and eventually got her way. The show soon became a huge success. And the more successful it became, the more determined the tabloids were to hound Aherne. In the first series of Mrs Merton, the studio band was led by her then husband, Peter Hook, of Joy Division and New Order fame. They divorced acrimoniously in 1997, and the tabloids had a field day. When Aherne tried to stop a scrap between Hook and her new boyfriend, TV researcher Matt Bowers, the tabloids had another one. And again when Bowers and Aherne split up after four months. The following year, Bowers died of stomach cancer at the age of 28, and again she was headline news. Then there was the drinking. It seemed that every time she went out, the tabloids pictured her pie-eyed or falling over.

does that live audience pilot exist in a recording? imagine The Royle Family "filmed in front of a live audience", with everyone hooting and hollering when Twiggy comes in.


pigamus


MattD

Quote from: pigamus on December 17, 2023, 08:52:54 PMI look forward to the repeat showing of Mrs Merton and Malcolm

I saw some poor quality uploads on YouTube, I actually remember watching this as a kid when it was originally shown. I actually thought it was hilarious.

Definitely the oddest sitcom I've ever watched.

She was a genius though.

idunnosomename

Quote from: pigamus on December 17, 2023, 08:52:54 PMI look forward to the repeat showing of Mrs Merton and Malcolm
genuinely would like to see it. I think it was a bit before CaB but it was very poorly received because it was so odd. I saw bits of it but definitely not all of it.

rewatching The Fast Show properly this year did love Aherne's performances. also noting in the first series she is credited as Caroline Hook

kalowski

I vaguely remember a scene with Malcolm singing along with Rabbit, by Chas n Dave, as Mrs Merton watched on.

idunnosomename

but loads of Mrs Merton on the iplayer. also here credited in 1995 as Caroline Hook introducing "Hooky and the Boys" as the house band. seems utterly bizarre that now

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/p00dzctk/the-mrs-merton-show

DigForVictory

I think Mrs Merton and Malcolm aired after the first series of The Royle Family too so you had the double hype of it being a sitcom starring beloved character Mrs Merton and also being the follow up to the already beloved Royle Family. I think the BBC assumed it would be a monster success. They were wrong.

It's a very, very strange show but I actually enjoyed it. It's not laugh out loud funny but the oddness of it is intriguing. Coogan makes a cheeky cameo in the last episode as a Priest and he's very funny.

This tribute to Caroline Aherne sounds great. Looking forward to that.

lauraxsynthesis

Loving that there will be a Caroline Aherne retrospective. There's some French & Saunders stuff on over the hols too so a bit of a comedy Ladyfest.

Mrs Merton and Malcolm still disturbs me decades on.  Malcolm mourning that the woman doesn't fancy him and crying out "Why?!" in his bedroom at night fucking hell. And his mother shouting at him to shut up. The cruelest thing I'd seen in a comedy up to that point. Definitely don't want to watch that series again. Always up for a Fast Show rewatch though. Love this gang.


   

Magnum Valentino

Didn't the BBC do a tribute to Aherne only a year or two ago with John Thomson chumilly introducing clips in a pub? Can't have imagined that can I?

Thosworth

Standup from 1995, with a giant DOG added by an idiot. Perfect example of how delivery elevates material. On paper there'd only be a couple of laughs there, but the delivery and asides render the weaker parts hilarious


shiftwork2

This sounds great, so there's one thing worth watching live TV for on Christmas Day.

Another fan of Mrs Merton and Malcolm here.  The insularity and comfortable routine of Northern working class life taken to an almost nightmarish extreme.  The world is both attractive and suffocating.  It's a great achievement. 

Quote from: pigamus on December 17, 2023, 08:52:54 PMI look forward to the repeat showing of Mrs Merton and Malcolm

Mrs Merton & Malcolm always felt to me what a Frank Sidebottom sitcom could be. Maybe Corbett's Sorry as well.

Barry Admin

Quote from: Thosworth on December 18, 2023, 07:12:33 AMStandup from 1995, with a giant DOG added by an idiot. Perfect example of how delivery elevates material. On paper there'd only be a couple of laughs there, but the delivery and asides render the weaker parts hilarious



WOW. Don't remember ever seeing this before. Amazing stuff. She's just so likeable and natural, almost palpably nervous, yet utterly hilarious.

Ignatius_S

Quote from: Magnum Valentino on December 18, 2023, 06:41:42 AMDidn't the BBC do a tribute to Aherne only a year or two ago with John Thomson chumilly introducing clips in a pub? Can't have imagined that can I?

There was a programme that Thomson fronted, but it was focussed on Aherne's career and it was quite short, so quite a brisk run though.

This one is being done for the Arena series and is more of a documentary about Aherne's life as well as career

The press release for the show is at:
https://www.bbc.com/mediacentre/proginfo/2023/52/caroline-aherne-comedy-queen

There's also a news story at https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-67646274 which shows some of the photos that are included in the Arena documentary.


buzby

Quote from: DigForVictory on December 17, 2023, 10:55:24 PMI think Mrs Merton and Malcolm aired after the first series of The Royle Family too so you had the double hype of it being a sitcom starring beloved character Mrs Merton and also being the follow up to the already beloved Royle Family. I think the BBC assumed it would be a monster success. They were wrong.
The first series of The Royle Family TX 14/09/98-19/10/98. Mrs. Merton and Malcolm TX 22/02/99-29/03/99.

The BBC weren't keen on The Royle Family concept (hence pushing them to do it with a live studio audience) and wanted more Mrs Merton from Aherne instead. She negotiated agreeing to another series of Mrs Merton against the BBC agreeing to commission The Royle Family in it's original form.

Pink Gregory

never seen even a second of Mrs Merton, and only recently came to the Royle Family, so naturally I'm quite excited for this.


Sebastian Cobb

Quote from: buzby on December 18, 2023, 03:53:14 PMThe first series of The Royle Family TX 14/09/98-19/10/98. Mrs. Merton and Malcolm TX 22/02/99-29/03/99.

The BBC weren't keen on The Royle Family concept (hence pushing them to do it with a live studio audience) and wanted more Mrs Merton from Aherne instead. She negotiated agreeing to another series of Mrs Merton against the BBC agreeing to commission The Royle Family in it's original form.

Apparently she fought for it to be shot on 16mm as well. Which helps give it the  kitchen sink/naturalistic look light wise. Meaning we get nice HD transfers. The later specials have a more soap opera look.

Enzo

Quote from: Simply_The_Bestest on December 18, 2023, 10:52:42 AMMrs Merton & Malcolm always felt to me what a Frank Sidebottom sitcom could be. Maybe Corbett's Sorry as well.

Frank Sidebottom's radio show included the genesis of Mrs Merton.

Sebastian Cobb

Mrs Merton never pressed a 7" with a banging tune on one side and an accompanying zx81 music video on the other, more's the pity.

tdurbo

Quote from: Thosworth on December 18, 2023, 07:12:33 AMStandup from 1995, with a giant DOG added by an idiot. Perfect example of how delivery elevates material. On paper there'd only be a couple of laughs there, but the delivery and asides render the weaker parts hilarious



Not one wasted line, the same as Royle Family

Dimbleby

This will be good, but I'm veering slightly off-topic to highlight the BBC2 Christmas Day schedule.

17:25 Dad's Army
17:55 Morecambe & Wise x3
21:00 The Royle Family
21:55 The Mrs Merton Show
22:25 Caroline Aherne
23:35 The Fast Show

Is that usual? Why so many old repeats on the most-watched day of the year in the era of streaming?

shiftwork2

That's actually quite interesting.  They're going for the scheduling nostalgia market, or something.

Thosworth

Really interesting discussion on nostalgic Christmas TV and comedy shows on the podcast Box Of Delights which just popped up in my feed after a long time away.

Joel Morris says that these days UK TV is only making documentaries, reality and drama, and comedy is too high budget/risk. Ghosts and Mrs Brown's Boys are the only Christmas comedy specials this year.

Well worth listening to the whole thing https://shows.acast.com/boxofdelights

neveragain

Quote from: Thosworth on December 22, 2023, 05:32:02 PMJoel Morris says that these days UK TV is only making documentaries, reality and drama, and comedy is too high budget/risk. Ghosts and Mrs Brown's Boys are the only Christmas comedy specials this year.

There's also Here We Go, Not Going Out and the Martin Kemp mock-doc. Dawn French's Twat show is also on at some point (viewable now on iPlayer). Agree there's not as many though. Bit of a slim Christmas.