UKTV GOLD to invest millions in new comedies

Thursday 16th February 2012 @ 11:45am

UKTV Gold. Comedy repeats channel GOLD is to produce a raft of its own original shows, it has been reported.

According to trade magazine Broadcast, the station - still best known by its original name, UK Gold - has secured a budget running into "double-digit millions" to create a raft of new comedy shows over the next two years. The channel is looking to develop a mix of panel shows, sketch shows, sitcoms and comedy dramas.

The move follows the notable successes of GOLD's sister station, Dave, and Sky1, the latter of which is now investing £600m a year in creating new British shows such as sitcom Spy, comedy drama Stella and panel show A League Of Their Own.

Dave, also owned by UKTV and originally known as UK Gold 2, has had success in resurrecting 1990s cult sitcom hit Red Dwarf, a new series of which has just been filmed. The channel also has hits in stand-up showcase series Dave's One Night Stand, which is also to return later this year, and panel show Argumental.

The first batch of new shows for GOLD are expected in the latter half of this year, with the channel set to mark its 20th anniversary on 1st November. Originally formed as a 50-50 ownership venture between the BBC and Thames Television - which was to lose its ITV franchise on 1st January 1993 - to showcase the burgeoning classic programme catalgoues of both, what has grown into the multi-channel UKTV network is now wholly owned by BBC Worldwide, the corporation's commercial arm.

Previous original GOLD programming has been limited to documentaries and clip shows related to the classic series that air on the channel. Fawlty Towers: Re-Opened, Fry And Laurie: Reunited, The Royle Family Portraits and, most recently, Sitcom Does..., are amongst the most recent such productions. However, this new announcement concerns a bigger investment, with the aim being to create hit new comedy shows.

UKTV executive Jane Rogerson emphasised to Broadcast that the commissions would be high-quality, as "they'd need to sit confidently alongside classics such as Only Fools And Horses and The Vicar Of Dibley." She added: "GOLD is well entrenched in the UK's psyche as the home of national treasure comedies, so we cannot afford to look cheap next to those programmes. It's important that anything we order continues that love and feel, but we don't want to look back; we want a contemporary stamp on the channel."

Commissioning editor Sarah Fraser comments: "There's never been a better time to invest in homegrown comedy. Comedians are selling out arena tours, being cast in the West End and on the big screen here and in the US."

News about the first new commissions for the channel is expected during the summer.

 

Latest News

Holly Willoughby to host new ITV panel show

Holly Willoughby to host new ITV panel show

Holly Willoughby has signed up to present Play To The Whistle, a new comedy panel show for ITV focused on the world of sport.

ITV2 to show Keith Lemon's Back To The Future Tribute

ITV2 to show Keith Lemon's Back To The Future Tribute

The character Keith Lemon is to star in a one-off special on ITV2 celebrating the 30th anniversary of the first Back To The Future film.

Comedy Central reveal Russell Howard's new show

Comedy Central reveal Russell Howard's new show

Russell Howard's Stand Up Central, which launches in April, will feature guests including Doc Brown, Katherine Ryan and Joe Wilkinson.

BBC Two orders Charlie Brooker election special

BBC Two orders Charlie Brooker election special

Charlie Brooker will return to BBC Two in the run-up to the May General Election with a new Wipe special focusing on the political campaign.

Filming starts on Series 7 of Doc Martin

Filming starts on Series 7 of Doc Martin

Martin Clunes and the rest of the Doc Martin cast are now in Cornwall to film Series 7 of the hit ITV comedy drama.

Frankie Boyle to return to iPlayer with post-election special

Frankie Boyle to return to iPlayer with post-election special

Frankie Boyle will follow the popularity of his 2014 Scottish independence referendum special with a new iPlayer programme about the May General Election.

Get More News

In The Press

In The Press

The latest press clippings from the newspapers and various internet blogs.

Newsletter

Newsletter

Subscribe to our mailing list to get news and more in your inbox every Monday.

Twitter

Twitter Feed

You can follow us on Twitter too. We post the latest news and gossip every evening.

RSS Feed

RSS Feed

Subscribe to our RSS feed to get our headlines in your news reader software.

Ray Peacock: taboo comedy

Ray Peacock: taboo comedy

Ray Peacock explains why he has decided to open up about his suicide attempt in his latest stand-up show. Read

Dad's Army only just made

Dad's Army only just made

A speech by TV executive Huw Wheldon revealed that the BBC nearly didn't make the Dad's Army series. Read

Graham Fellows interview

Graham Fellows interview

Graham Fellows will celebrate his 30th year as John Shuttleworth with a big gig - but could it be his last hurrah? Read

Laura Aikman interview

Laura Aikman interview

Laura Aikman talks about joining the cast of Bluestone 42, and how she was 'liquid sweat' filming the show. Read

Nathan Caton interview

Nathan Caton interview

Stand-up comedian Nathan Caton talks to us about various topics, including his ideal comedians football squad. Read