December 2006

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Robert rounds of the year for us in fine style!
Well….hello. And a warm welcome to the very last ‘Laughter Lines’ for the year. Shame! I hear you cry…

Anyway, those astute Monty Python fans out there would no doubt have noticed that the documentary, What the Pythons Did Next, didn’t air in November at all.  Sorry for misleading you about that last time but that’s what I was told!! Anyway, my producer Jon Riley now assures me that the show will be broadcast on Channel 4 on New Year’s Day. So…for those nursing a well-deserved New Year hangover a bit of Holy Grail, Fawlty Towers and Rutles might just be the wake-up call you need.

And Spamalot is still enjoying a healthy turnover of business…so if you hadn’t all ready…get along to the Palace theatre. I know you want a pair of those Killer Rabbit slippers as much as I do!!  Also in the West End, the League of Gentleman’s Reece Shearsmith is currently starring in The Producers. The show comes to an end on January 6th 2007…so get your skates on.

Christmas telly is, once again, centred around the new episode of Doctor Who on Christmas Day itself. I don’t know about you…or maybe I do…but I’m as giddy as a school kid about the prospect of turkey, stuffing and David Tennant…all on the same day!! It’s becoming something of a seasonal ritual…along with silly hats and repeats of the Morecambe and Wise Show.

And talking of classic Christmas television, those clever people at Network have released a bumper collection of comedy shows with a festive leaning. Although I prefer my sitcoms in series order, this is a tasty treat for those amongst us who want to over-indulge in Christmas specials. Shows such as On the Buses, George and Mildred, George and the Dragon and The Dustbinmen are represented, while the plum in the pudding is the 1971 Sid
James and Kenneth Connor one-off comedy special, All This and Christmas Too! Think the Bless This House Christmas special that never was and you are almost there.

Another quick reminder that Carry On: the Ultimate Collection and Carry On Quizzing and my book, the Goodies Rule OK, are still available and would make lovely gifts for all the family!!

Also on the book front, comedy admirers are recommended to check out the Michael Palin Diaries (1969-1979): the Python Years, Ronnie Corbett’s touching memoir of the Two Ronnies, And it’s Goodnight from Him, Wendy Cook’s fascinating account of Peter Cook, So Farewell Then, Peter Sallis’s unassuming autobiography, Fading in to the Limelight and, of course, Hello, by the greatest living Englisman, Leslie Phillips. All have ‘perfect stocking filler’ written all over them.

It only remains for me to wish you all a very merry Christmas and look forward to returning to this column early in 2007.

Robert Ross

Page Last Updated Sunday, April 01, 2007 at 08:54:29