London, Tuesday 6th September 2016
Dave, Broadcast Digital Awards' entertainment channel of the year, has today commissioned a brand-new UKTV Original, Joy of Techs (10x30'), produced by Blink Films. Award-winning writer, comedian, actor and self-confessed technophobe Marcus Brigstocke and his best mate, gadget obsessive actor, broadcaster and 2016 Celebrity Masterchef winner Alexis Conran rove the UK, pitting themselves against each other as they tackle classic scenarios, hobbies and games from opposite ends of the spectrum, and put the world's top gadgets to the test.
Alexis is a technophile who has everything. Marcus has his old school kit. Will Alex be able to make Marcus fall in love with tech, or can retro savvy ever win the day? Joy of Techs sees the best friends experiencing the great outdoors as they go low and high tech camping. Alexis tries to convince Marcus technology is the way forward while Marcus is sure the old way is best and will do everything in his might to prove he's right.
Marcus Brigstocke said,
Even if we needed half the so called 'life-hack' crap they produce - most of it is so complicated it rarely works. You're left with some gormless consumption slave holding a widget aloft trying to find a signal. Nonsense! I'll tell you a good bit of tech - the zip. That works. The match. Brilliant. Now poor Alex is obsessed with this stuff and in the Joy of Techs I will take great pleasure in demonstrating to him that it's a waste of time and money. It's going to be fun. I will be setting the timer on my VHS recorder for this series... If I can find the remote control thing.
Alexis Conran added,
Technology is the way forward and if anything has a button on it... I'm in! I'm not worried about our friendship suffering on this show, as we can both be stubborn and argumentative, but I do worry about killing ourselves trying to prove our point!
Iain Coyle, UKTV senior commissioning editor, said,
Alexis and Marcus have a real friendship - warm, funny and encompassing a competitiveness bordering on the unhealthy. It's a brilliantly simple format that pushes all those buttons and you get to see solar powered cars and flying bikes too.
Steve North, Dave general manager, added,
We're delighted to welcome back Marcus Brigstocke to Dave. His hugely original and entertaining take on the world of gadgetry will strike a chord with anyone who has ever struggled to grasp the techie zeitgeist. Combined with Alexis' uber competitive nature to try and convince Marcus - and all of us - that technology can triumph.
Dan Chambers, Executive Producer for Blink Films added,
It's a genuine thrill to be making Joy of Techs for Dave. Marcus and Alexis come with a ready-made chemistry and a competitive streak that is hugely entertaining to watch. Whether they're turning a daily commute into an episode of Wacky Races, destroying each other's tents on a camping weekend or competing to win the heart of a robot girlfriend, the real joy is going to be in watching their friendship being pushed to its limits every week - along with the tech they'll be testing.
Joy of Techs has been commissioned by director of commissioning, Richard Watsham, is ordered by Dave general manager, Steve North, and will be executive produced for Dave by Iain Coyle. Blink Films executive producer for the series is Dan Chambers, series producing and directing is Jack Cheshire.
Joy of Techs, to air in 2017, will join the ever-growing raft of UKTV Originals on Dave, including new series Dara O Briain's Go 8 Bit, Taskmaster, Celebrity Storage Hunters, Red Dwarf XI and Zapped!. UKTV's flagship free-to-air entertainment channel has retained its place as the number one non-PSB channel in the UK and grew by 1% year-on-year in 2015.
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Dave's had a haircut and shave in recent years as it grows from awkward teenager to fully-fledged commissioner of new and original shows. And it's not just comedy these days but entertainment and even some knock-out live sport. Hit UKTV Original commissions include Taskmaster, Dave Gorman Modern Life is Goodish, Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled and Crackanory, all laden with the biggest names in British comedy. Dave enjoyed critical success with two series of Hoff the Record, a mockumentary ensemble comedy led by the living legend David Hasselhoff.
As well as home-grown delights Dave also goes stateside, cherry-picking cult US Shows including the sharp-witted and sharp-suited Suits and much-loved Parks and Recreation along with Emmy-nominated The Last Man on Earth. This all contributed to Dave's award win at the 2016 Broadcast Digital Awards for Best Entertainment Channel.
Dave is the UK's most watched non-PSB channel broadcasting to over 27 million people per month, and viewers continue to enjoy the ludicrously addictive American Pickers and UK remake of Storage Hunters. The channel continues to grow its original commissioning slate with political show Unspun With Matt Forde, Red Dwarf XI, Dara O Briain's Go8Bit, fantasy comedy Zapped! and Celebrity Storage Hunters airing later this year.
UKTV is the biggest multichannel broadcaster in the UK. The award-winning independent has eleven imaginative brands - UKTV Play, Dave, W, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food. These include the two most popular non-PSB channels in the UK and account for 9.31% of the British commercial TV market. The company's most recent financial results showed record-breaking year-end revenue of £319m and EBITDA of £82m. It invested £148m in programming and related launches last year, and is becoming an increasingly significant investor in UK creativity. UKTV has a truly innovative model, curating brand-defining commissions, high-profile acquisitions and the very best of BBC, alongside programmes originally shown on ITV and Channel 4. The network embraces technology to deliver inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat, Amazon Fire and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories. Now celebrating its 23rd year at the forefront of digital television, UKTV - an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) - is proud to be the only British television broadcaster in The Sunday Times top 100 companies list.