BBC Four commissions age 60+ joke telling series

Friday 13th July 2012, 3:15pm

BBC Four.BBC Four is making a 4-part series in which members of the public who are 60 years of age and over tell jokes to the camera, backed up by a studio audience laughing.

The episodes are based on a successful American series called Old Jews Telling Jokes, which was first broadcast on the digital channel last November.

The BBC explains: "The programmes do exactly what they say on the tin, and like all simple ideas, it works. Members of the public stand up and tell their favourite jokes. It was decided that no joke teller could be younger than 60 years old. A lifetime of experience was needed to infuse these jokes!"

Each episode of the British series will be themed around a different group of people. At present, only two of the four titles are known: Old Vicars Telling Jokes and Old Scousers Telling Jokes. The other two programmes are expected to be announced at a later date.

Producers are now looking for participants for the series. They say: "We're arranging filming days in August for people to come along and tell us their favourite gags. You won't have to get up on stage and entertain a crowd; it will just be a few of us and a camera. The evening should be a relaxed social occasion and a lot of fun, so if you know a few jokes please get in touch."

To take part, participants must be aged 60 or over and "enjoy making people laugh." Additionally, for the Scousers episode participants must be from the Liverpool area and consider themselves a Scouser. For the Vicars episode participants must be ordained, however the BBC points out "We don't mind if you're not strictly a vicar. We'll also accept rectors, chaplains, even the Archbishop of Canterbury."

Applicants should get in touch with producers via one of the following methods. The closing date is the 3rd August 2012.

Vicars: oldvicars@bbc.co.uk or on 020 8576 4317

Scousers: oldscousers@bbc.co.uk or on 020 8576 9982

The series is expected to be shown on BBC Four towards the end of the year.

John Bishop is also currently making a series involving members of the public telling jokes. Ten episodes of John Bishop's Only Joking will be broadcast on Sky1 later this year.

Here is a clip from Old Jews Telling Jokes, which gives an idea as to the style of filming viewers can expect when the British series is broadcast:

Can't see a video here? Watch this clip on bbc.co.uk

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