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Facilitators of Mirth

Toby Hadoke scoops Royal Television Society Award

This week comedian Toby Hadoke recieved by courier his Royal Television Society Award, which he won during lockdown, at a virtual award ceremony in September. 

Toby's show 'The Doctor Who Cookbook - Revisited' won the award for 'Best Factual Entertainment' at the Royal Television Society West of England Awards 2020, up against long running shows Countryfile, Rick Stein’s Secret France, and Beat the Chef - shows with much larger budgets.

The feature, produced by Moon Balloon Productions, went in search of the magic behind one of the most obscure pieces of Doctor Who merchandise ever released, the Doctor Who Season 23 Blu-Ray set. It was produced by Chris Chapman, narrated by Masterchef’s India Fisher and featured Toby Hadoke enticing brave cast members, including Colin Baker, Janet Fielding, Nicola Bryant, Frazer Hines, Sarah Sutton and Terry Molloy, to tackle their original recipes from the 1986 cookbook, written by Gary Downie.

The judges described the winner as 'Original and clever, an intelligent and fun idea that served a niche superbly'.

The Royal Television Society West of England Awards hails the very best in the fields of on screen talent, craft, animation, regional television news and across a range of factual programming including natural history and documentary.

"The West of England is now, rightly recognised as an international centre of excellence in film, tv and digital production and our judges had a really tough job this year, with entries from an impressive range of programmes from our public service broadcasters and streaming platforms, like Netflix.

In the year that welcomed Channel 4 to the West of England creative community, these awards are a great reflection of the exciting talent in the region.” said RTS chair, Lynn Barlow, who is Assistant Vice-Chancellor Creative and Cultural Industries at UWE, Bristol, and a documentary producer.

Watch a clip of the show here, where Actor Fraser Hines and Toby take on the challenge of putting on their chef hats and recreating a classic dish from the Doctor Who Cookbook - Vegetable Soup with Dalek Krotons a recipe by Patrick Troughton

Toby Hadoke scoops Royal Television Society Award Toby Hadoke scoops Royal Television Society Award

News story posted on 05-05-2021 10:00

Flixton Comedy Festival

Nodding Dog Comedy and Gag Reflex present: Flixton Comedy Festival!

Taking place at Flixton Cricket Club, in Urmston, Manchester on Saturday 10th July 2021, 12pm until late.

This very special event is in two halves, so families can enjoy the daytime, and at night we can turn up the comedy for the grownups!

The Family Festival runs from Midday until 5pm, with award winning stand up comedy and entertainment for kids and families! Featuring the very best from festival favourites and children’s TV, including Wacky Woody, Katie Pritchards and Foxdog Studios. Add to the mix a street market, attractions, food trucks, music and a bar...it’s a fantastic afternoon out for the whole family.

Tickets: Family Day (2 x adult, 2 x child) £22.50. Adult Day £7.50. Child Day £5 (under 3s free). Available to purchase here

The Night Festival runs from 6pm until late. At night, the entertainment is equally as impressive. Top stand up comedy from some of the very best from the UK circuit, including Chris Washington, Lloyd Griffith, Arielle Souma, Brennan Reece, and Yuriko Kotani!

Away from the festival stage you can immerse yourselves in a superb street market, fill up on food from the BBQ, pick a pizza from the pizza oven, hop on a fairground ride and grab a drink from the outdoor bar. Bring your picnic blankets and garden furniture if you wish. There will even be a joke competition, with prizes for anyone that fancies themselves as a bit of budding comedian.

Ticket: Adults £15.00. Available to purchase here

With some surprises to be added along the way, Flixton Comedy Festival is a day and night out not to be missed!

Flixton Comedy Festival Flixton Comedy Festival

News story posted on 04-05-2021 09:00

Jamie MacDonald chats to The Sunday Post

Comedian Jamie MacDonald chats to The Sunday Post, ahead of his new BBC Radio 4 series ‘Life On The Blink’

Read the full article here

'Adapt, improvise and overcome. If the slogan was good enough for the US Marine Corps, it was equally good enough for Scotland’s artistic community during lockdown.

With live venues from theatres and comedy clubs to grand concert halls and dingy music bars shuttered many actors, comedians, poets and musicians have been forced to take a job outside of their profession.

However, for comedian Jamie MacDonald adapting and improvising has not been as much of a problem as finding the time.

The stand-up filmed an advert with David Beckham for the football idol’s new aftershave just before lockdown began, and he is ending the latest lockdown with a new Radio 4 series, a BBC2 travelogue show and a BBC Scotland sitcom.

“This last year for everyone in the arts has been a nightmare, so I felt really happy but also a bit guilty that I had a ray of sunshine to look forward to,” said Jamie, as he talked about new Radio 4 comedy, Life On The Blink, which begins this week. “We were told in July it was being commissioned, which couldn’t have come at a better time because every comedian was floating dead in the water by then, so it was nice to start working towards something again.”

Life On The Blink is about him coming to terms with being diagnosed with a progressive degenerative eye disease while still in his teens. Ultimately, it was losing his sight that led to him becoming a comedian – and it’s also what brought him to David Beckham’s attention as he was cast in the former Manchester United footballer’s Bold Instinct aftershave advertising campaign.

I’m still not quite sure how it happened,” said Jamie. “My agent told me he’d put me forward for it and that they wanted to talk to me. Suddenly, I’m down in this mansion in Highgate having my hair cut and getting dressed up.

“He was a nice guy and we had a good chat. The idea behind the advert was to feature people who had made bold decisions in their careers, and mine was going from banking to comedy without being able to see.”

That journey is also the premise for the four-part radio show which 40-year-old Jamie made with fellow Scottish comic Julia Sutherland’s Dabster Productions.

I’ve always had eyesight material in my shows, because a degenerative eye condition is an obvious topic for comedy,” he smiled. “But this is the first time I’ve looked at it as a whole, from my mid-teens to being 40.

“It starts with me as a schoolboy denying my eyes and hiding them, which I could do because they weren’t that bad. Then we go to my mid-20s when I really should have been using a white stick but I wasn’t, and then on to when I did start to use the stick, at which point I felt I lost my identity.

Read the full article in The Sunday Post, here

JAMIE MACDONALD, LIFE ON THE BLINK, BBC RADIO 4, transmits on the 5th, 12th, 19th & 26th May, at 11pm.'

Jamie MacDonald chats to The Sunday Post Jamie MacDonald chats to The Sunday Post

News story posted on 03-05-2021 12:00

Jonny pens Comedy Song for BBC Radio Derby

Jonny Awsum was rightly "chuffed to bits" when asked to write a Comedy Song for BBC Radio Derby, to celebrate their 50th anniversary

On the special day Jonny spoke to Ian Skye live on air, to toast half a century of broadcasting

"I was born and raised in Derby. So when BBC Radio Derby asked me to come up with a comedy song to help them celebrate the station turning 50, I was honoured. I've thrown the kitchen sink at it and hopefully it will give the good people of Derby a laugh”
– Jonny Awsum


The song aired on Thursday 29th April, broadcast to Derbyshire and East Staffordshire, but click here to see the interview and hear the song

Jonny Awsum is an award-winning comedian who has charmed audiences all around the world with his high energy performance style and unique brand of musical comedy. A comedic whirlwind, Jonny has a special feel-good brand of comedy.

Jonny pens Comedy Song for BBC Radio Derby