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Katherine Ryan & Dermot O'Leary front Dave game show Silence Is Golden

Wednesday 3rd July 2024, 10:05pm by Jay Richardson

Katherine Ryan
  • Dave has ordered a new game show in which comedians and other entertainers try to provoke the audience into making a noise and losing £250,000
  • Silence Is Golden airs next year, hosted by Dermot O'Leary and featuring Katherine Ryan as the head of a group of comics
  • "Looking forward to having lots of fun with the audience, our comedians and assorted cast of regulars, all trying to make the audience laugh, gasp and giggle" said O'Leary

Katherine Ryan will lead a group of 30 entertainers trying to stop an audience from remaining silent and pocketing a quarter of a millions pounds in a new TV series.

Silence Is Golden is a new comedy game show coming to Dave, hosted by television and radio presenter Dermot O'Leary, in which the studio audience must try to not utter a sound.

Six hour-long episodes of the show have been ordered to air in 2025, when the channel will have become known as U&Dave. The group of entertainers, led by three as-yet-to-be-announced comics and headed up by Ryan, wage war on the audience, who are all individually miked up, with each sound forced out of them by the acts bringing the £250,000 prize pot down. If the entertainers get the pot to zero, they get to give the money to charity.

"I'm so looking forward to Silence Is Golden," said O'Leary. "When a show like this falls into your lap, you can't quite believe your luck. Looking forward to having lots of fun with the audience, our comedians and assorted cast of regulars, all trying to make the audience laugh, gasp and giggle."

The show is one of the first commissions for Yes Yes Media, the company founded by former Blue Peter presenter Richard Bacon, and bears a superficial resemblance to Amazon's LOL: Last One Laughing format, in which comedians must try to resist other comedians trying to make them laugh. Having aired multiple different versions internationally, including in Australia, Canada and Ireland, a UK adaptation of LOL is reportedly in development.

Bacon said: "You know the feeling when you're not allowed to laugh at a funeral? Well, it's that: the Game Show. And I commend U&Dave for boldly commissioning a show that will cost them a quarter million a week - if the audience is better at playing the game than we are."

Ryan is already a team captain on Rosie Jones's Comedy Central panel show Out Of Order alongside Judi Love, and was recently announced as a judge on the next series of Canada's Got Talent.

Silence Is Golden is produced by Tim Dean (Late Night Lycett) and was commissioned for UKTV by Mark Iddon, senior commissioning editor, comedy and entertainment, and Jason Dawson, commissioning executive. 

After a pilot in 2021, the series was ordered by Cherie Hall, channel director and Hilary Rosen, director of commissioning and is executive produced by Bacon and Yes Yes Media's head of entertainment Mark Sidaway, a former showrunner for The X Factor. The series will be distributed by BBC Studios.

"We're really excited to bring Silence Is Golden to U&Dave," said Iddon. "Dermot is the perfect host to hold this chaotically ambitious show together and we think our U&Dave audiences are going to embrace this subversive and unpredictable format. 

"Silence Is Golden is the only show where staying silent is worth its weight in gold. It's the quietest way to lose a fortune you'll ever see and it's time for our studio audience to put their money where their mouth isn't."

Hall added: "This is a really original premise for a show and I wish our audience the best of luck as they try and resist the temptation to break the silence - viewers at home will love watching the chaos unfold."

Dave will relaunch as U&Dave on Tuesday 16th July 2024.

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