Series ordered for Jo Brand's Great Wall Of Comedy

Monday 11th February 2013, 3:54pm

Jo Brand.A full series of new chat show Jo Brand's Great Wall Of Comedy has been ordered for Gold.

Hosted by Jo Brand, the programme will see Barry Cryer and Rebecca Front appear as regular guests helping Jo to "uncover the stories and secrets behind the nation's greatest comedy treasures".

The format was originally trialled in 2012 as a panel show "celebrating sitcoms - classic and modern", but UKTV's commissioners and producers at STV, the Scottish ITV franchise holder and production company behind the programme, appear to have favoured the format's factual discussion and trivia elements over its quiz aspects.

They say: "Jo Brand will be joined by comedy genius Barry Cryer (The Morecambe And Wise Show, The Kenny Everett Video Show, I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue) and BAFTA Award-winning actress Rebecca Front (The Thick Of It) as they uncover the stories and secrets behind the nation's greatest comedy treasures.

"Each week the trio will be joined by a host of star guests from the world of sitcom as they delve into the archives to reveal little known facts about our favourite comedy icons and shows."

The 5-part series will be recorded at Maidstone Studios from the end of the month. Tickets are now available via our free tickets page.

Two run-throughs of the series were held last year, on 30th April and 27th October, with Cryer and Stephen Mangan joining Brand on the latter occasion.

Gold's General Manager, Steve North, says: "Jo Brand's Great Wall Of Comedy is an innovative and bold format for Gold and embodies the type of original programming we want for the channel. We are sure the combination of comedy talent headed by Jo, mixed with the fun of a chat show and filled with eye opening anecdotes from a line-up of comedy stars, will make this a hit with viewers."

UKTV's Commissioning Editor, Sarah Fraser adds: "STV have developed a great format and an original way of delving into the sitcom archive that forms the backbone of Gold. Between them, Jo, Barry and Rebecca have worked with the cream of British comedy talent. Our audiences will lap up the unusual clips, sitcom facts and anecdotes."

Great Wall will not be the first foray into comedy trivia for Gold. In 2006, Danny Baker hosted a 5-part comedy quiz show, The Sitcom Showdown, for the then named UKTV Gold. Each programme saw two teams of 'super-fans' competing in a game of knowledge and obscure trivia.

The commission and format change come after a series of Comedy World Cup was broadcast on Channel 4 during September and October 2012. Hosted by David Tennant, the show saw teams of comedians battle through a series of rounds and heats over 7 episodes to show off their knowledge of comedy from around the globe.

Made by Open Mike Productions, the final episode saw a team comprised of Josh Widdicombe and Mick Miller, captained by Johnny Vegas, awarded the 'Comedy World Cup'. Jo Brand was the captain of the losing team in the opening episode of the series.

This story was edited on Wednesday 13th February with further detail.

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