Best of 2014: Comedy preview
Julian Hall picks this year’s must-see comedy
Miles Jupp Is The Chap You’re Thinking Of
The eloquent, erudite comedian promises to take on burning issues such as having to have opinions and other people’s pants during this follow-up to his sumptuous cricketing adventure Fibber in the Heat. Filming a third series of Rev and with a number of feature films in the offing, Jupp is a hot ticket.
Tour starts 9 January, Reading South Street Arts Centre and runs to 2 April
John Robins: Where Is My Mind?
The former flatmate of Russell Howard and Jon Richardson deserves a share of the limelight himself and should get it with this charming show. It falls into two distinct halves – a tale of him as a romantic underdog and a sequence relating his neuroses about his health. Structurally, this was a little problematic for an hour-long Edinburgh set, but it should be ideal on tour.
Tour starts 28 January, Soho Theatre, London and runs to 14 March
Miranda Hart: My, What I Call, Live Show
Her sitcom is, by turns, brilliant and groanworthy, so a certain amount of “will she pull it off?” anticipation of Miranda Hart’s debut live tour could be forgiven. It’s touted as her first stand-up foray, though Hart took a number of hour-long character shows to the Edinburgh Fringe between 2002 and 2005.
Tour starts 28 February, Bournemouth International Centre and runs to 18 October
Russell Kane: Smallness
Neurotic, elastic, fantastic, the buoyant, bouffant jester previewed his treatise on inhibition at the smallest Edinburgh venue he could – the 55-seater Pleasance That. Now playing more expansive venues, Kane hasn’t lost any of his ability to enthrall.
Touring to 11 May
Michael Che: Cartoon Violence
When I first saw Che, the American was battling a rowdy Edinburgh Fringe crowd. Even in these less than ideal conditions his natural charm and streetwise pragmatism caught the eye. Now the comedian, feted by Variety and Rolling Stone, has another chance to shine with this brief London residency.
27 May to 1 June, Soho Theatre, London
Lee Mack: Hit The Road Mack
Mack was on fine form recently at the Royal Free Rocks With Laughter charity night where his new material hinted at good things to come. Forthright to the point of brusque, Mack’s relentless style and high hit rate can leave you simultaneously reeling and gasping for more.
Tour starts 23 August, Roisin Dubh, Galway and runs to 13 December
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food