Catherine Tate Teaches You How To Write Comedy. Plus: Merlin Reviews Are In!

  • Catherine Tate writes some tips on comedy writing in The Guardian: “Trust yourself. You have to start with what you think is funny before you can have the confidence to write to anyone else’s brief. Give a gag three chances to work – if after three (separate) attempts they’re still not laughing, bin it. It’s not them. It’s you. Don’t take criticism personally, take from it what’s useful. Apply it and move on to something better. And be brave. No one got anywhere by being too scared to open their mouth in case nobody laughed.” Sounds like damn good advice to me.
  • Torchwood star Eve Myles is the only memorable thing about the first episode of Merlin, the new BBC fantasy drama to replace Doctor Who, says The Guardian.
  • Off The Telly likes Merlin a lot, however: “On the basis of the first episode, the big guns/big budget approach has worked. This is really quite thrilling television, a country mile ahead of its stablemate Robin Hood in terms of coherency, structure, and acting. It’s nicely-paced, dispenses with the boring scene-setting very quickly, and unfurls Merlin’s wizardry in wisely staggered moves.”
  • Photos of the Top Gear boys out in Nevada. One hopes they don’t antagonize the rednecks. Those folks have guns out there.(Jalopnik)
  • Simon Pegg has a video diary from the set of How To Lose Friends and Alienate People at The Guardian.
  • Keira Knightley will star in the new movie Last Night opposite Sam Worthington and Eva Mendes.(Hollywood Reporter)
  • Simon Cowell is Botoxed beyond belief, says Ryan Seacrest.(The Sun)
  • Someone phone Life Alert: Madonna has fallen and she can’t get up.(Daily Mail)
  • Jude Law will play Dr. Watson to Robert Downey, Jr.‘s Sherlock Holmes in Guy Ritchie‘s new Sherlock Holmes picture, based on the comic books.(Telegraph)
  • Tony Blair was “ill at ease” and “not very funny” on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.(The Independent)
  • The very married Cheryl Cole was being “fought over” by two male models, Paul Sculfor and David Gandy.(Mirror)
  • Kenneth Branagh gets high praise from The TimesBenedict Nightingale for his role in Chekhov’s Ivanov.
  • Mark Ronson, Kate Nash, The Ting Tings, The Spice Girls (beating Zeppelin!), and Take That all won Vodafone Live Music Awards last night.(The Times)
  • Kate Moss‘ rag doll chic frightens and appalls the paparazzi.(The Sun)
  • Naked men for charity! Not safe for work, naturally.(The Sun)
  • Lily Allen is the new Gillian McKeith: she loves poopies.(The Sun)
  • Bryan Ferry‘s son Otis spent the night in jail for allegedly threatening a witness in his trial. (He is in court due to charges that he attacked a protestor who was taking photos of his fox hunt.)(Mirror)
  • Naomi Campbell could marry her hot Russian billionaire.(Mirror)
  • Being married to comedian Billy Connolly is boring, says actress Pamela Stephenson. And he plays the banjo.(Daily Record)

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.

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