Funny Business. Copyright: BBC.

Funny Business (2013)

BBC Two documentary. 3 episodes (1 series) in 2013. Features John Cleese, Rhod Gilbert, Jo Brand, Arthur Smith, Mark Thomas, Clive Anderson, Barry Cryer and others.

Series 1, Episode 2 - Deal Makers

Eddie Izzard, David Baddiel, Rhod Gilbert and Jo Brand talk frankly about today's stand-up comedy business and the managers and agents who have helped the top stars earn millions.

Further details

The documentary reveals the back room deals and negotiations which can make the difference between success and failure, including an extraordinary visit to the BBC archives to uncover never before seen contracts reflecting Morecambe & Wise's pay negotiations in the 1960s and 70s.


This episode was postponed from an original scheduled broadcast of Wednesday 23rd January 2013, at 9pm.

Broadcast details

Saturday 16th February 2013
60 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
John Cleese Self
Rhod Gilbert Self
Jo Brand Self
Arthur Smith Self
Mark Thomas Self
Clive Anderson Self
Barry Cryer Self
Ross Noble Self
Jo Caulfield Self
Eddie Mair Narrator
Guest cast
Peter Bennett-Jones Self
Mick Perrin Self
Eddie Izzard Self
Michael Mittermeier Self
Trevor Noah Self
Jimmy Mulville Self
David Baddiel Self
Richard Allen-Turner Self
Caroline Chignell Self
Kate Copstick Self
Imran Yusuf Self
Don Ward Self
Jon Thoday Self
Clive Tulloh Self
Nica Burns Self
Oliver Double Self
John Drury Self
Sarah Hodson Self
Tommy Sheppard Self
Eric Morecambe Self (Archive Material)
Ernie Wise Self (Archive Material)
Production team
John Holdsworth Director
John Holdsworth Producer
Anne Gilchrist Executive Producer


Morecambe and Wise's new agent

TV agent Billy Marsh made Morecambe & Wise one of the most sought-after acts of the time.

Can't see a video here? Watch this clip on

Featuring: Oliver Double, Eric Morecambe, Ernie Wise.

High Earner

Max Miller was one of Britain's most popular comedians in the 1940s and once earned £400 per week for his work, equivalent to £17,000 nowadays. Oliver Double explains.

Can't see a video here? Watch this clip on

Featuring: Oliver Double.


Supporters and subscribers get more

Additional content and tools are available across the site for Supporters and BCG Pro subscribers. On this page you can:

  • Broadcast details of 3 further repeats of this episode
  • This episode's inital overnight ratings
  • BCG Pro business users can see additional crew credits  
    If you join BCG Pro business, you can see Editor credits for this episode.

Donate (for fans) BCG Pro

Already a donor or Pro user?