During this time the crew referred to the show as Mongrels and it eventually became the show's title. Miller, Brown and a third writer, Daniel Peak began to write scripts over a period of four years. This last move reduced the electricity bill for the second series by a third, saving £500 a week. British comedy show Spitting Image has returned in Britain - and features an interesting depiction of our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The show ran on BBC1from August 10, 2013 to January 5, 2014. 02/11/2020. Who knows, maybe we'll find a that room in the future. [14], In the unbroadcast pilot We Are Mongrels, another character was included called Debbie. The sitcom follows the day-to-day lives, trials and tribulations of Nelson, a metrosexual fox; Destiny, a pretentious pedigree 'it-bitch'; Kali, a deeply cynical pigeon; Marion, an abandoned tom cat; and Vince, a streetwise geezer fox. [4] Mongrels has attracted accusations of plagiarism, with claims that Mongrels stole ideas from a similar Channel 4 show called Pets. BBC Three This article is more ... BBC3's other new comedy, ... Mona Yusefi, Elis James and Chris Corcoran, and one show called Fuzzbox, a puppet show featuring the voices of "real young people". Don't worry! Confused by the Irish border? Don't worry! It was also nominated for the award for "Tape and Film Editing – Entertainment and Situation Comedy" led by film editor Nigel Williams, but lost to Pete versus Life. [14], While Miller was working on a BBC Three sitcom he pitched the idea to producer Stephen McCrum. During each episode there are cutaways from the main plot to create extra gags. The series revolves around the lives of five anthropomorphic animals who hang around the back of a pub in Millwall, the Isle of Dogs, London. A report from the BBC's in-house publication Ariel: "From reusable water bottles filled from tanks of tap water to double-sided scripts, Mongrels is aiming to be the most sustainable production at the BBC." Mongrels is a British puppet-based musical situation comedy series first broadcast on BBC Three between 22 June and 10 August 2010, with a making-of documentary entitled "Mongrels Uncovered" broadcast on 11 August 2010. Despite the adult nature, Miller did not want to make the show too crude. A second and final series of Mongrels began airing on 7 November 2011.. Eight episodes have been ordered for airing in August 2013. Think [stage musical] Avenue Q meets Family Guy but with puppet animals. Mongrels is bold, mischievous, upbeat, surprising and colourful. She has several grudges, including a hatred of all humans and foxes for the way they treat birds. Accessibility Help. Michael Hogan on how a risque new BBC Three comedy is trying to do for puppetry ‘what The Simpsons did for animation’. [12] Developing the character of Destiny, Nelson's love interest, was a challenge to the programme makers. Obviously that's aiming very high. [25] The series was nominated for the Ursa Major Award for "Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short Work or Series" in 2010 (series 1) and 2011 (series 2).[26]. A documentary celebrating Spitting Image, the satirical puppet programme which ended in 1996, is to be shown on ITV1 later this year. [10] Lastly, there is Vince, Nelson's older brother (Vulpus cuntitcus), a violent, foul-mouthed fox who considers himself a proper animal. Original co-creator Roger Law is back on board for the show which saw over 15 million viewers tune in during its heyday. Afterwards, Andy Heath, a puppet builder who worked for both Mongrels and Pets, said on the same blog that he met Adam Miller in 2002 after he [Heath] finished working on Pets in 2000, to work on Ripley and Scuff. BBC Elstree Centre has a longstanding relationship with puppets – and particularly The Jim Henson Company. An adult puppet sitcom for BBC Three about a fox, a cat, a dog and a pigeon who hang out together in an inner-city yard. Mongrels is a puppet comedy featuring adult humour. Rejected titles included I, Nelson; Humans! Each week two famous faces will take part on That Puppet Game Show a mix of puppet comedy and games. [15] Both characters had the same voice actress, Ruth Bratt, who performed Wendy's voice in exactly the same manner as that of Debbie. A Blu-ray release of series 2 should become available soon, but no official date has been set for such a release as of June 2014. West left people to judge for themselves whether Pets had been copied. We also notice that Mongrels' executive producer is Mark Freeland, to whom we did once pitch a Pets follow-up show."[5]. Jacinda Ardern's Spitting Image puppet gets 'high as a kite' with a sheep in new BBC comedy sketch . They are kidults struggling with the everyday drama of life in the back-alleys of the urban jungle. the scottish falsetto sock puppet theatre "The Abbott & Costello of the sock world" (Time Out), stars of stage, screen & Youtube bring you a brand … Thank you for watching. I'd also like to thank, from the bottom of my heart, all the writers, cast, crew and support team who have made a horribly challenging show such an utter joy to make. The series attracted audiences of up to 15 million in its heyday. [16][17], Rufus Jones was among the first people auditioned for the role of Nelson. Video / BBC NZ Herald She's already appeared in puppet form on BBC comedy show Spitting Image, and now Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has return to celebrate her election victory by smoking weed. Confused by the Irish border? Most episodes also feature at least one celebrity appearance and every episode features a comic song. In the 1960s, it housed Tom Jones’ variety show, which booked Jim Henson for a cameo. BBC Three has commissioned an adult puppet comedy described as 'Avenue Q meets Family Guy'. This BBC comedy skit show is the brainchild of longtime comedy duo Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders. However, it was decided that the character did not go anywhere and could not be sustained for a full series, so the character was axed. Marion's image was based on topless photos of the comic actor James Corden. I am surprised Basil Brush hasn't been on the blower, as he is a fox, and that must be a copy! Current programming Live action. McCrum criticised the way Miller ended the first script, which ended with Nelson and Marion leaving where they live. It also featured a cat, Marion, who was trying to encourage Nelson to be more animal-like. The adult puppet show opened in the West End in 2006 Puppet comedy Avenue Q will have a new home from 1 June following the decision to extend its run in London's West End at a different theatre. British comedy show Spitting Image has returned in Britain - and features an interesting depiction of our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Sections of this page. Catherine Bohart is here to explain it... with puppets. '"[7], Nelson's love interest is Destiny (Canis selfabsorbedbitchicus), an Afghan hound. [31] The second series was made available on DVD on 8 October 2012 in the UK, available separately or as a boxset with series 1. [9] Then there is Kali (Aves aggravaticus), a pigeon who likes to revel in the misfortune of others. That Puppet Game Show is BBC One's new Saturday Night Entertainment Show from Muppet-creators The Jim Henson Company; featuring the imaginatively named unlicensed Muppet-esque puppet cast, "The Puppets", and celebrity contestants vying to win £10,000 for charities of their choosing. [12], The show also aims to be environmentally friendly in its production. With Harry Secombe, Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan. Miller then began developing the idea for Mongrels in 2004. After several other auditions with other actors, Jones was called upon to play the part. Marion has been abandoned by several owners and is very corruptible. [8] Elsewhere there is Marion (Felis retardicus), an idiotic cat to whom Nelson acts as a father-figure. However, Destiny has no interest in Nelson. and that the work put into the jokes show. In the end, Tetsell was cast after auditioning with a poor version of Djalili's Iranian accent. McCrum then suggested taking Nelson and Marion, and writing a script about them. The show sees the BBC’s in house entertainment section join forces with The Jim Henson Company for a programme which combines the world of puppet comedy and madcap games. Jump to. "[22] Sam Wollaston of The Guardian was mainly positive about Mongrels, but said that the main reason he thought it was funny was because it depicted "cuddly children's toys [...] saying things you wouldn't normally expect cuddly children's toys to say. Each episode featured satire on British life, television, and parodies on big ... See full summary » Stars: Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Simon Brint, Rowland Rivron. "[4] He also said that: "We wanted to make something that had the pace of an American animation but with British sensibilities, that was adult, but not crude, that was based in the realities of the animal world, and that didn't rely on the puppets to do the comedy. "[13], The original idea, known as The Un-Natural World was of an urban fox living in Brixton called Nelson, who was so used to living in the city that he had lost any sense of being an animal. The show also features cut-aways and flashbacks (a bit like Family Guy), musical songs and cameo appearances. "[6], Mongrels was given mixed reviews, with some considering its quality to be inconsistent, with a reviewer for tvBite.com saying that the show was "a bit hit and miss" but also that, "even the laugh-free moments have a well-written sheen." The sitcom follows the day-to-day lives, trials and tribulations of Nelson, a metrosexual fox; Destiny, a pretentious pedigree 'it-bitch'; Kali, a deeply cynical pigeon; Marion, an abandoned tom cat; and Vince, a streetwise geezer fox. It tells the tale of a group of urban animals who hang out together an inner-city backyard. [11], There is no over-riding story arc between episodes, but each episode does contain recurring elements. [4], Miller described Mongrels as: "an adult sitcom, trying to do for puppetry what American shows like The Simpsons have done for animation. Described as: "The only wild fox in East London with subscriptions to all the major broadsheets (excluding The Sunday Times), Nelson is, as he never tires of introducing himself at dinner parties... 'An urbane fox! Eight episodes were filmed so as to spread the cost of making the series over each episode. Tetsell describes the voice as a mixture of, "every accent on the planet", but with the joke that Marion was meant to be a Persian cat. The other is that none of the characters were mongrels. Additional content and tools are available across the site for Supporters and BCG Pro subscribers. MARTIN LAMBIE-NAIRN, co-creator of Channel 4 comedy Spitting Image, has died aged 75 with his family confirming he sadly passed away on Christmas Day. Therefore, new suggestions were called for. [19], On 18 January 2012, Tetsell revealed on Twitter that Mongrels had been cancelled, saying: "we've all been sacked now".[6]. [30] The DVD release of series two was later rescheduled for October 2012. Press alt + / to open this menu. [12], The show's puppeteers claim there are different problems working with different characters. Following this, a telephone conversation between West and Mongrels producer McCrum took place where McCrum, "claimed that no-one from the BBC production team had watched Pets before or during the development and production of their series." Travelodge asked 2,000 British adults who their favourite puppet was as part of their new ad campaign. [12] Paul Kaye at one time provided the voice for Nelson before taking the role of Vince. Almost all his lines contain at least one swear word that is always bleeped over. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. [12], The new script was then pitched to the BBC. [20] Jane Simon of the Daily Mirror wrote: "While most of it is very funny, some of the gags about Harold Shipman completely misjudge the tone. From this West responded that: "We might therefore conclude that any similarities between the two shows is 100% coincidental." Crazy talk. The first series of Mongrels was released on DVD (region 2 and 4) and Blu-ray (region free) on 16 August 2010. Mongrels is a British puppet-based musical situation comedy series first broadcast on BBC Three between 22 June and 10 August 2010, with a making-of documentary entitled "Mongrels Uncovered" broadcast on 11 August 2010. Pages Other Brand Website BBC Comedy Videos A Puppet… Pages Other Brand Website BBC Comedy Videos A Puppet… The idea was first suggested between the creator and director of Mongrels, Adam Miller, and the show's head puppeteer, Andy Heath, when they worked on ITV children's show Ripley and Scuff. Meanwhile, Prince Andrew's puppet rocks a tartan coat complete with paisley neckerchief. The BBC Two show is in fact not the first fake chat show hosted by Mr Putin. [5], On 18 January 2012 it was announced via Twitter that Mongrels had not been renewed for a third series by the BBC due to a decision made by Zai Bennett. Right? In 2012, Andy Heath & Iestyn Evans won the Royal Television Society Craft and Design Award 2011/12 for special effects in Mongrels Series 2, beating Downton Abbey and Great Expectations in the process. This was done as a tribute to it, with Miller arguing that when The Muppet Show did it, "it just must have just knocked the socks off the people who saw it, because it's like nothing you've ever seen before, and we thought: 'Why fix what ain't broke, so we did our own very British version of that. On the 18th of January 2012, it was announced that Mongrels would not return for a third series. On this page you can: "I can give you the cause of anaphylactic shock in a nutshell." Originally the show - an adult Sesame Street with Muppet-style puppets - had been due to close at the Noel Coward Theatre to make way for another show. Mongrels is a puppet comedy featuring adult humour. Both series are now available on iTunes and Netflix. It tells the tale of a group of urban animals who hang out together an inner-city backyard. [14], When writing for the commissioned series began, the character of Nelson was originally depicted as being brash and obnoxious. The show is aimed at an adult audience, features "neutering, incontinence, cannibalism and catnip overdoses" and has several humour styles such as slapstick and farce. Both of you. This is a list of television programmes currently and formerly broadcast on the children's television strand of the BBC in the United Kingdom. [24], In 2011, Brown won the BAFTA Craft Award for "Break-through Talent". I'd like to believe that there's room on television for a little show like ours; one that's not just another sitcom, one that tries to do things a bit differently and that tries to push a few boundaries here and there. If, as a viewer, you can sit down and say they are the same, then there is little point of making any new shows, if the slightest similarity (puppets and animals) can be suggested as idea stealing. The shows were a mixture of Brian’s unique stand up, musical numbers and sketches, featuring some immortal characters, of which the most famous had to be Nick Frisbee and Larry The Loafer, a send up of BBC Saturday morning show Going Live’s puppet Gordon the … [6], Mongrels looks at the lives of five animals that hang around the back of a pub called The Lord Nelson in Millwall, on the Isle of Dogs in the East End of London. ... BBC comedy version of Mary Poppins features Ardern puppet … The UK’s 20 favourite TV puppets have been revealed but we’re not too happy with the results. Spitting Image puppets of John McEnroe and Jefferey Archer flanked by Lenny Henry and Kate Bush PA For 12 years, he was a consultant creative director at the BBC … However, like the other humans that appear in the series, he cannot understand what Destiny or what the other animals are saying. Two very different ideas.". Not many other kids' sitcoms can boast the twin distinctions of running for ten years and achieving a lasting cult status. ... – BBC. McCrum told him it was best to set the series in a single place rather than have the characters move from one place to another. For example, the first episode begins with a scene in which Marion, portrayed as desperately trying to revive his deceased owner, learns she has actually been dead for four months, whereupon he casually gives his cat friends permission to eat her. I worked on both, and know for a fact where they both come from. Catherine Bohart is here to explain it... with puppets. She speaks with a Black English accent. The Telegoons is a comedy puppet show, adapted from the highly successful BBC radio comedy show of the 1950s, Mongrels is Mongrels. The satirical series features puppet caricatures of contemporary celebrities and public figures, including politicians. Debbie was a suicidal chicken who never left her coop. Heath then went on to say: "Pets was Pets. [28], Mongrels has attracted anger from production company Fit2Fill which claimed the BBC "ripped off" their 2001 Channel 4 sitcom Pets. Like 'You are such a cock-end'", and that, "the novelty will wear off at some point not too far away". "Mongrels: the new BBC Three adult puppet comedy is a shaggy dog story", "Puppets, sex and Paul Kaye: The birth of Mongrels", "Tuesday: Puppet away, spamfilter issues and a competition (22/06/2010)", "Last Night's TV – The Biology of Dads, BBC4; Tribal Wives, BBC2; Mongrels, BBC3", "Last night's TV: The Biology of Dads, Mongrels and Special 1 TV", "Television Craft Awards Winners & Nominees in 2011", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Mongrels_(TV_series)&oldid=992617393, TV series involved in plagiarism controversies, British television shows featuring puppetry, Pages using infobox television with editor parameter, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, 17 (plus 1 unbroadcast pilot and a behind the scenes featurette), This page was last edited on 6 December 2020, at 06:25. For example, Destiny is the largest puppet and so moving her is more difficult. Spitting Image is the first original commission announced by BritBox UK, the streaming service launched by the BBC and ITV. She is the pet dog of Gary (Tony Way), the landlord of The Lord Nelson. The performance was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3,[27] and later broadcast on BBC Two on 27 August 2011. [12], The show was originally entitled We Are Mongrels, but the title had to be changed for two reasons: one was that the title was too similar to another BBC Three comedy show, We Are Klang. A pilot was eventually filmed and the BBC commissioned a full series, targeted at adults. "[14] The producers liked it but did not fully understand what the show was about. I hope it has a minibar. Kali is said to be the most difficult puppet to work with, because as she has no hands she is limited to what she can hold. Read about our approach to external linking. Maybe the age group BBC3 is aimed at reckon anything is fair game for comedy. So is it worth watching or is it 'Honey I Couldn't Afford the Muppets Tonight License'? "[21] The Independent's Tom Sutcliffe said that: "It does have its laughs, though, because the script isn't entirely about crass shock value", but that the sitcom, while aimed at adults, is "not really for grown-ups. The hero of the series is Nelson (Vulpus metrosexualus), a fox who lives a metrosexual lifestyle. Each week two celebrities will be plunged into That Puppet Game Show – "a unique world of puppet comedy and madcap games," the BBC said. ; Undergrowth and Never Been Stroked. It's wonderfully reassuring to think that we weren't mad after all, and that what we find funny, other people do too. [18], When writing for Vince the writers blanked out all of the characters swearing like it is done on the show, but when it came to recording the programme the swear words had to be put in for Kaye to read them. [12], When the puppet for Marion was first created, he was depicted as having stripy fur, but looked more like a mouse in the eyes of the crew, so his puppet was changed. [12] Another chicken character called Wendy appeared in the first broadcast episode as a reference to Debbie. [13], It was then decided by the creators to make Marion a foreign character and to find an accent that reflected this. The last of these titles was rejected after one of the show's additional writers, Danielle Ward; "said it sounded like 'a makeover show for virgins'." I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at BBC Comedy, BBC Three and BBC Worldwide who have supported us so strongly over the years, and helped us put our silly puppet show on the digital screens of the nation. It encompasses all human life, love and its contradictions - relationships, sex, aspirations, desperations and shattered dreams. Miller posted another, longer message online saying: "Mongrels friends, it is my unbearably sad duty to announce that we will not be returning for a third series on BBC Three, a decision that has been made based on the fact that apparently you need more than two people watching a programme to make it successful. Accessibility Help. Sections of this page. On 13 August 2011, the cast of Mongrels took part in the first ever Comedy Prom, in which they performed the song "Middle Class is Magical" from the seventh episode of the first series, "Marion The Superfluous Feed Character". [23], Mongrels won the Royal Television Society Craft and Design Award 2009–2010 for "Production Design – Entertainment and Non-Drama" led by production designer Simon Rogers. The programme was among the trailblazers of alternative comedy, he told BBC Radio Scotland in September. -, 17   (1 pilot + 2 series), plus 2 specials. Brian Henson acted as lead puppeteer on the project, with the characters created by Jim Henson's Creature Sh… The co-creator and co-producer of Pets, Brian West, went on to post his views on a BBC blog post about Mongrels. This was later changed to make him more metrosexual, middle class and likeable. The pitch tape they made was based on the same pitch used by The Muppet Show. [5], The producer of Pets, Andrew Barclay said: "We checked the BBC's Mongrels website this morning and the Beeb do appear to have hired the same puppet builders and puppeteers as Pets. Vince was partly based on the brash version of Nelson. The series revolves around the lives of five anthropomorphic animals who hang around the back of a … Press alt + / to open this menu. Fit2Fill claimed they received 30 emails from people saying the series were similar, and they once pitched the idea of Pets to then BBC head of comedy Mark Freeland, who also acted as the executive producer of Mongrels. Kali was created to be a villain, with Miller describing her as a "Hitler-figure". Read more about BBC Culture’s 100 greatest comedies of all time: What the critics had to say about the top 25 The full list of critics who participated – and how they voted Votes: 3,021 A second and final series of Mongrels began airing on 7 November 2011.[1][2]. Catherine Bohart is here to explain it... with puppets. [29] A planned DVD and Blu-ray release of the second series was cancelled,. As Marion spends much of his time sitting on top of a rubbish bin, his puppeteer, Brownlow-Pike, has to stand inside a bottomless bin for long periods of time. The production team also use reusable or compostable cutlery in their canteen, reducing any future merchandise packaging to just a barcode, and replacing conventional lighting with fluorescent tube lights. Best Ever Spitting Image will look back at the show's most memorable puppets and sketches, which lampooned the famous using latex puppets. Bodger and Badger is something of a rarity in children's TV comedy. There was discussion about Iranian-British comic Omid Djalili playing the role. [12], The show took five years to make. "You really felt you were at the cutting edge of comedy," he said. Everywhere! During read-throughs of the scripts, a toy horn was honked whenever Kaye swore to give an idea of what it would sound like during the programme. [14] Later, another writer, Jon Brown came in to write and at this time rules were set out with regards to writing the show, such as the animals could not be dressed in clothes unless it was in a flashback sequence or during a song. We Are Mongrels is about a country fox in the city, where his friends include a … 17 episodes (pilot + 2 series), 2010 - 2011. This news could not be less of a reflection on your brilliant work. Stars Tony Way, Rufus Jones, Lucy Montgomery, Katy Brand and others. The DVD and Blu-rays featured the unbroadcast pilot amongst their extras. The characters are Nelson, a metrosexual fox (voiced by Rufus Jones, performed by Andy Heath); Destiny, an Afghan hound (voiced by Lucy Montgomery, performed by Richard Coombs and Sue Beattie); Marion, a "borderline-retarded"[3] cat (voiced by Dan Tetsell, performed by Warrick Brownlow-Pike); Kali, a grudge-bearing pigeon (voiced by Katy Brand, performed by Iestyn Evans); and Vince, Nelson's friend, a sociopathic foul-mouthed fox (voiced by Paul Kaye, performed by various puppeteers). The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre tries to get to grips with the British postal code system. Catherine Bohart is here to explain it... with puppets. Multi-species, adult puppet comedy series, created by Adam Miller. BBC Three sitcom animals in London. Mongrels: the new BBC Three adult puppet comedy is a shaggy dog story. A `` Hitler-figure '' of Destiny, Nelson 's love interest, was a challenge to show... 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