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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Is that A Bell I can hear?

Originally uploaded by missinghen
Strategic shaving has helped Phil to transform himself into Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. We're having a burst of filming activity this Christmas holiday, all the better to bring you more Danger Signs and News@Then in the new year...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Danger Signs series 2 continues: TV Graphics

The Danger Signs is back with a good hard look at TV graphics. Featuring very little violence and no cusswords. But lots of graphics and the Open University. Which, I suppose is a bit graphic.

Watch it on YouTube, Blip or subscribe using our iTunes feed.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It's been a bit quiet...

...but it'll get noisy and objectionable again soon enough. A good writing evening this evening as Peter and Phil got their heads together to bash out a few ideas for new Danger Signs sketches.

And there's the bulk of a new episode done - so expect some action soon. Regarding toast.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

There will be blood

Originally uploaded by missinghen
Fun evening's filming with Peter and the stage blood. Well, fun for me, Peter doesn't look so happy. Don't know what he's got to complain about. He's only covered with blood-soaked cotton wool pads and air hoses underneath that shirt. Perfectly normal.

And the sketch is nowhere near as sadistic as it looks, honest. Although the blood does taste horrid. I'm told.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


There's a longstanding progression route in comedy that includes a leap from radio to TV. Just like the "Fawlty Towers two series" rule, it's seems to be an immutable law with familiar examples trotted out from Hitch Hiker's Guide to Little Britain.

Mitchell and Webb are currently bucking that trend. After three TV series, they've not written off the radio version, which is back on Radio 4 for a new series. That pleases me, as I think they work well - and differently - in both media. I'd love to see it to inspire other comedians to give radio another go without seeing it as step back. In particular, much as I love the Mighty Boosh on TV, there were some moments of fantasy on the radio show that they've never reached since. I'm talking about you, Tommy Nookah.

Friday, August 28, 2009

We've been writing!

Originally uploaded by missinghen
We had a very successful meeting of the whole team to work on scripts for the next batch of the News@Then. It's the first time all five of us have been in the same room for about 18 months, so it was well worth all the diary wrangling.

It was a real boost to throw ideas around in the same room - especially given that most of the production process (even the filming, with greenscreen) can now be an almost solitary affair.

I guess you need a good balance between logistics and creativity. We'd gone for the greenscreen approach on the principle that it's getting tougher to get people together. This seems to be a good balance - a couple of hours covering half a dozen sketches followed by shooting spread out over the coming weeks.

We're going to have proper rehearsals next. Yeah, us.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Danger Signs series 2 starts today

The new consumer-friendly series of The Danger Signs starts today as we join Jack Bauer in 1924 and investigate Streaker - the bacon-flavoured soft drink. All this and some some more on The Danger Signs - watching out for the consumer.

Watch on YouTube, or Blip.tv or subscribe using our iTunes feed.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Originally uploaded by missinghen
So, you're based in Birmingham, filming a sketch featuring Albert Einstein. Who do you turn to who can properly convey the serious/comic vibe of this scientific genius? None other than Stephen Jackson, Solihull's finest Einstein impersonator and cartoonist. Here's a link to his site, Chuckletown.

A special prize for anyone who can work out what he's up to with those Russian dolls...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

New podcast, new danger

Tonight, as it says in our very exciting Twitter feed, we're recording our first podcast (I've described the shows as video podcasts in the past, but I don't think they really are).

I've held off from recording a podcast for Missing Hen before now because I wanted to make sure it did something different from the shows - I didn't want it to just be a radio version of The News@Then or The Danger Signs (mind you, there are plenty of unused sketches for TDS that have no visual component to the jokes).

No, instead I wanted to look at how we shift Missing Hen from being a body of work that's just distributed via the Internet into something that could only be produced by using the Internet. A big task with lots of possibilities and this podcast is just the first babysteps towards opening up a bit - publishing more than just the final product.

In practical terms, we're going to use the podcast as a kind of side channel. It might be funny, but that's not its main function. It'll have more of a behind the scenes/newsy role.

That's the plan anyway. I'm looking forward to seeing how it works. Which I guess is very appropriate for the Internet - being the start of the question, rather than the closed complete answer...

Posted with LifeCast

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Extracurricular Hens

By complete coincidence two of the Missing Hen team are contributing to video projects tonight - in Birmingham and Dusseldorf.

Firstly, Peter's shot and edited a film of the Goodwood Revival, to be screened tonight at Stan's Cafe's 24 Hour Scalextric in a warehouse in Birmingham. The event's designed to tie into the 24 hour Le Mans driving race that takes place this weekend and films are being curated by 7inch Cinema. Brum, brum.

UPDATE: Here are some rather groovy "Through The Viewfinder" pics of the event, from Pete Ashton's blog.

Then, by way of explanation of what Phil was doing in a carpark wearing a long black ladies' evening glove a couple of week's ago (see pics), here's details of Cafe Continental, a cabaret show Phil helped film at the Kitchen Garden Cafe in Kings Heath as part of a recreation of vintage German Television for an arts festival currently running in Dusseldorf. This page has details of what's on, but it's in German, so here's the relevant paragraph from it (translated badly by Google):

The best-known entertainment television broadcast of the English is the first time by all television channels over Europe. Alexandra Taylor (Birmingham) & guests.

I trust that makes it all very clear. Thank you.

Friday, June 12, 2009

News@Then: Plague

Bring out your dead - but only once a fortnight. Council causes corpse chaos as they cut cadaver collections. In a new episode of The News@Then, we report live from the 14th century as the Black Death takes a turn for the worse.

See the episode on blip.tv, YouTube or download from iTunes.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

N@T: The Apprentice

Just in time for today's final of the Apprentice - see, we can do topical gags on an historical news show - it's Lord Sir Alan Sugar in the 16th century, seeking out the finest business brains of the era.

See the sketch on YouTube, Blip.tv or download from iTunes.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Filming the Mayor of London

Originally uploaded by missinghen
It's hot outside in Spring 2009, but it's also a bit too hot in Summer 1348 as Mayor of London Richard Whittington announces controversial changes to refuse collection services. From the new episode of The News@Then, likely to be posted in the next week.

It's amazing what you can do with Brylcreem. Hair can go down as well as up.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

New Danger Signs coming soon

Originally uploaded by missinghen
Yes, we promised it quite a time ago now, but we are busy working on new episodes of The Danger Signs to run alongside The News@Then.

Expect consumer-based chaos as we leap out from the greenscreen and actually do some filming on location. Some time in June.

In the meantime, here's a picture of Jack Bauer leaping into action...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Filming Alan Sugar

Crack out the hats with buckles on it - it's time for Puritan Alan Sugar, brought to life tonight in the studio by Meds. He also slapped on a bit of futuristic make-up (think Blake's 7) as James "Horny Pony" Jackson. All will become clear. Possibly.



Friday, March 13, 2009

News@Then: Attack The Moon

More News@Then as Kerry uncovers a Victorian plot to pop the moon.

Click here to see it on blip.tv and here to see it on YouTube.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

News@Then: Werewolves

A new segment from the News@Then for you, as Kerry reports from the 17th century on scientists planning to reintroduce werewolves to the wild.

Click here to see it on YouTube.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

News@Then: Kicking the Habit

It's here. The first episode of the new show, in which we report on Henry VIII's abolition of the monasteries.

Here's the YouTube link - Kicking the Habit

iPod-friendly versions to follow through blip.tv and the iTunes feed later tonight.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

News@Then wallpaper

The first episode of the News@Then is almost ready and will be uploaded next weekend. In the meantime, here's some desktop wallpaper.

So, if you fancy having us all staring out of your computer at you, download this!

From Wallpaper

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Don't look down in the mouth

More filming for the new episode of the Danger Signs, this time with the greenscreen. Featuring Kerry as an errant dentist and Peter as her boss. We also managed to shoot a new testcard using his jacket.

And finally, just to scare the carp out of the pond, we gave Kerry a crossbow for another sketch.

Click the picture for the full gallery.

Danger Signs filming - dentists and crossbows

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Time and Relative Drinks in Space

Fresh from his disappointment at not being named the next Doctor Who, Ranulph joined us for a bit of filming for the Danger Signs. Ranulph enjoyed swigging a whole range of exciting beverages - even if at times he couldn't keep all of them in his mouth. With the sight of Ranulph back in his alleyway you know that whatever happens to the economy, some things never change.

The campaign for the 12th Doctor's Tardis starts here!

Click on the pic for the full gallery.

Danger Signs filming - Ranulph

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New year - new show

Hello - we've been away for a bit, but we've not been resting on our laurels. We've been working on new sketches for the Danger Signs - expect a new episode soon - as well as shooting a new show called The News@Then. It's set in the future and is all about the past.

We've just uploaded a new year mini episode of The Danger Signs that will make everything a little bit more clear - and also includes bloopers from the last three years of the show.

Here's the link.

We'll also be uploading more material on a regular basis - we plan on a busy 2009!