Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Bletchley Park Benefit - Tues 3rd November

It's happening. At the Bloomsbury Theatre in London on Tues 3rd November. A comedy celebration of codebreaking, cryptography and those brilliant hut-bound boffins, with all profits going to Bletchley Park.

Comedians, actors and celebs will be performing stand-up comedy, sketches and generally showing off. Confirmed so far are:

Robin Ince
- Bloomsbury favourite stand-up comedian and winner of the Time Out Award for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy. The thinking man's thinking comedian.

Richard Herring - One half of Lee and Herring. The same half of Collings and Herrin (whose podcast can be found here) and a splendidly funny man in his own right. There is worryingly good picture of him looking like Hitler here.

Robert Llewellyn - presenter of Scrapheap Challenge, Red Dwarf's Kryten and the creator of the highly entertaining vodcast, Carpool.

There'll also be sketches (by me and others) on the subject of codebreaking, Bletchley Park and boffinery performed by an all-star cast. Watch this space for updates on the line up, and for news of when tickets will be on sale.

Monday, 29 June 2009


In case you missed Series 1 of Hut 33, you will be able to hear it on Sundays on BBC7 - and subsequently on iPlayer, I guess. Lucky you.

(Don't worry. A third series is in production and should be with you sometime this year. I sat in my office-shed sweltering in the heat trying to write episode 4. It's shaping up!)

Friday, 26 June 2009


Fans of 3rd Lieutenant Joshua Fanshawe Marshall will be pleased to know that Alex Macqueen, who plays Josh, is in the pleasantly silly Krod Mandoon and the Flaming Sword of Fire. He plays Barnabas, the sidekick to Matt Lucas' character. You can see that (for now) on the BBC iPlayer here.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Writing a Sitcom - advice from the expert (ie. not me)

There are three splendid pages of advice on writing a situation comedy from sitcom sage Paul Mayhew-Archer here at the BBC Writers Room section, which is well worth a browse. Paul gives some handy pointers. Then has a sample outline of a sitcom, with some characters and stories, and then explains why sitcom is so dreadful... Great advice. If you want to write a sitcom, read it, learn it and do it. Paul has been an immense help to me over the last ten years.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

D-Day Prize Crossword

Crosswords will forever be associated with D-Day. The story is told of the D-Day codewords appearing in crosswords in the Daily Telegraph. It caused a bit of a stir. And it is around that story that my comic novel Crossword Ends in Violence (5) is based.

So given the anniversary this weekend, there is another chance to have a look at my D-Day themed prize crossword here. You may have looked at it before, or it may be new to you, but have a look and have a go. Print it out and pick at it over this week. It's not fiendish, but playful, I hope. And the prize is naturally a copy of my novel - Crossword Ends in Violence (5).

It is also available to buy here. Or on Amazon marketplace here.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Standing Corrected

In the Duke of Kent episode, there is an explanation to Gordon who innocently doesn't really understand that the Duke of Kent swings boths ways (the one who lived until 1944 at least. I make no comment on the current one). Rugby Union and League rules were used as metaphors. But a correction has been twittered. It's here.