I have been at UEA since 2006, and was Head of School for 2011-13. Prior to UEA, I worked for the University of Glamorgan and the Open University, and did my PhD on television sitcom at Canterbury Christ Church College. I have published widely on comedy and popular television, including two books: Television Sitcom (British Film Institute, 2005) and The Sitcom (Edinburgh University Press, 2009). I have journal articles in a wide variety of publications (including Screen, Television and New Media, Journal of Popular Television, Journal of British Cinema and Television, and Celebrity Studies) and have edited and co-edited special editions of Participations, Comedy Studies and Critical Studies in Television. My interest in teaching and pedagogy has resulted in co-authoring the text book Reading Media Theory: Thinkers, Approaches, Contexts (Pearson, 2009/12), now in its second edition.
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The Animals Went in Two by Two: Heteronormativity in Television Wildlife Documentaries
in European Journal of Cultural Studies
pp. 100-114Full Text UEA Repository
Invalid Animals: Finding the non-Human Funny in Special Needs Pets
in Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability StudiesUEA Repository
'American Remake - Shudder': Online Debates About Life on Mars and Britishness
In: Life on Mars: From Manchester to New York.
University of Wales Press
ISBN 978-0708323595UEA Repository
'Fox Tots Attack Shock': Urban Foxes, Mass Media and Spacial Boundaries
in Environmental Communication: A Journal of Nature and Culture
pp. 494-511Full Text UEA Repository
Reading Media Theory: Thinkers, Approaches, Contexts. 2nd edition
ISBN 978-1-4082-8525-1UEA Repository
Written evidence submitted to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport Inquiry into Support for the Creative Economy. : Make Me Laugh Research Project
Comedy Audiences - Editor's Introduction: Foregrounding The Comedy Audience
pp. 120-127UEA Repository
Days of Future Past: Documenting the Future
in Journal of British Cinema and Television
pp. 81-98UEA Repository
The Guardians of the General Interest: Discourses of Knowledge in QI
in Television and New Media
pp. 136-153UEA Repository
Invisible Television: The Television Programmes No-One Talks About Even Though Lots of People Watch Them
in Critical Studies in Television
'A pleasure working with you': Humour Theory and Joan Rivers
in Comedy Studies
pp. 151-160UEA Repository
Television wildlife documentaries and animals' right to privacy
in Journal of Media and Cultural Studies
pp. 193-202UEA Repository
Being Rob Brydon: Performing the Self in Comedy
in Celebrity Studies
pp. 190-202UEA Repository
Contemporary Comedy Performance in British Sitcom
In: Genre and Performance: Film and Television.
Manchester University PressUEA Repository
I'm Anti-Little Britain, and I'm Worried I Might Start Laughing: Audience Responses to Little Britain
In: Reading 'Little Britain': Comedy Matters on Contemporary Television: Yeah But Groundbreaking TV Comedy.
ISBN 9781845119393UEA Repository
On Television Comedy as an Invented Tradition
in Media International Australia
pp. 64-73UEA Repository
Those Pig-Men Things
in Media Culture Journal
Why We Should consider the Privacy of Animals
Welsh/From Wales: Representations of the Welsh in Contemporary Television Sitcom
in Cyfrwng: Media Wales Journal
pp. 47-60UEA Repository
Reading Media Theory
London: Pearson Education
ISBN 9781405821995UEA Repository
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Key Research Interests
I’m interested in popular television, especially that which is routinely ignored by academics and critics (I explored this idea in a special edition of Critical Studies in Television I edited in 2010, called ‘Invisible Television’). This has primarily centred around comedy, but I’m also interested in other genres, such as the panel show and wildlife documentaries.
I’m currently leading the 3-year (2012-4) Arts and Humanities Research Council project, ‘Make Me Laugh: Creativity in the British Television Comedy Industry’ (http://www.makemelaugh.org.uk/) which is working with comedy writers, producers and commissioners to explore their creative processes and to examine how comedy gets made. This follows the earlier AHRC-funded project ‘Funny Business’ (2005-6), in which I interviewed comedy workers about their activities.
A more recent research interest concerns the representation of animals on television, in particular in wildlife documentaries. My publications on this topic in European Journal of Cultural Studies (2013) and Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies (2010) received widespread international media attention.
I’m interested in supervising PhD students on topics including comedy, popular culture, television, genre, and media and animals.
External Activities and Indicators of Esteem
- I’m a member of the editorial boards for Journal of Popular Television and Critical Studies in Television.
- I’m the external examiner for BA Film and Television Studies at the University of Northumbria, and was previously the external examiner for BA Broadcasting and New Media at Kingston University.
- I’ve contributed to a wide number of television and radio programmes about television comedy, including Funny Gals: Lucille Ball (BBC Radio 2, 2011), Sex and the Sitcom (BBC4, 2011), The One Show (BBC1, 2011) and Men About the House (BBC4, 2010).