The gift of laughter...

Our round-up of the Christmas releases

Videos -TV comedy

The Office: Complete Series One

VHS: £11.99
DVD: £14.99

Just about the most acclaimed comedy of the past few years, this two-disc set of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's sublime sitcom includes a host of behind-the-scenes extras.

Phoenix Nights

VHS: £11.99
DVD: £15.99

The only comedy to rival - and possibly exceed - The Office in terms of critical acclaim and fan appeal is Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights. Already a cult classic, with the promise of even greater things to come. The DVD comes with a host of extras.

The Very Best Of Have I Got News For You

VHS: £11.99
DVD: £15.99

A mammoth three-and-a-quarter-hour compilation of the funniest moments from the first 12 years of the satirical news quiz. Somehow it just won't be the same any more...


Videos - Stand-up

Billy Connolly: Live 2002

VHS: £12.74
DVD: £14.99

Recorded during Billy's brief, and rare, tour earlier this year, this latest release sees the Big Yin on fine form. He may be a bit old for the tales of teenage high jinks, but he's still a masterful exponent of the art of stand-up

Jack Dee: Live At The Apollo

VHS: £14.07
DVD: £15.99

Recorded at London's Hammersmith Apollo after a 77-date UK tour, Jack demonstrates his scathing deadpan comedy - plus you get behind-the-scenes footage and Jack's commentary on his preparations for the gig

Another Audience With Ken Dodd

DVD: £16.99

With an additional 40 minutes added to the version screened on ITV, this shows Doddy entertaining a celebrity-studedd audeince with his stand-up and, less enjoyably, his singing and Dicky Mint interlude.

Lee Evans: Live At Wembley

VHS: £14.07
DVD: £15.99

This October, Lee became the first solo comic to fill Wembley Arena for two nights running. This show marked the culmination of a mammoth 117-date stand-up tour for the exciteable Essex 'monkey boy'. And it's a LOT funnier than So What Now?

Eddie Izzard: Circle

VHS: £12.74
DVD: £15.99

Eddie's promised to tour in 2003 - but he won't even start until the end of the year, and he's got the whole world to cover. In the meantime, you can get your Eddie fix with this release, recorded in New York - not his best, but it still beats most other stand-up videos.

Victoria At The Albert

DVD: £16.99

After her run at the Royal Albert Hall last year, Victoria Wood said she would never again perform stand-up, as it was too much like hard work. So this could well be her last video, covering everything from her look at the mundanities of middle-class life to her hysterectomy.



Tragically I Was An Only Twin: The Complete Peter Cook

Amazon: £12.59

Tragically I Was An Only Twin collects a wide range of writing from the much-missed Peter Cook, from schoolboy poetry to newspaper columns, to produce a rounded overview of his amazing career. Full review

Harry Hill: Lasy Flight From Deathrow

Amazon: £4.79

This typically anarchic and surreal debut is not the easiest book in the world to read, thanks to it's fragmented and bizarre style. But fans will enjoy the humour - and it's even been praised by proper literary critics.

The Essential Spike Milligan

Amazon: £13.59

A new collection of Milligan's finest, reminding us again of what a true comic original we lost earlier this year. This encylopaedic anthology of Milligan's genius also includes an introduction from Eddie Izzard.

The Office: The Scripts

Amazon: £6.99

Anatomy of a smash. Study the workings of arguably the best sitcom in years - or just laugh again at the awkward posturings of inept boss David Brent.

For more comedy books



Spike Milligan: The Parkinson Interviews

Amazon: £12.99

A collection of hilarious interviews taken from Spike Milligan's numerous appearances on the Parkinson show from1972 to 1982.

The Mark Steel Lecutres

Amazon: £10.99

Steel examines the flaws and the passions of Karl Marx and Leonardo da Vinci in these two Radio 4 lectures, in such a witty way that you wouldn't recognise them from your dull history lessons.

Published: 2 Dec 2002

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