Dave partners with CALM for Comedy Against Living Miserably series produced by Spirit Media


1 November 2019

UKTV's award-winning comedy entertainment channel Dave today announced Comedy Against Living Miserably (3x60'), a series of filmed stand-up specials produced by Spirit Media to raise awareness for mental health charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). The three one-off fundraising events will air on Dave next year, with comics waiving their fee to donate to the charity.

Comedy Against Living Miserably is the latest initiative in Dave's partnership with CALM since the "Be the Mate You'd Want" campaign launched last year with an ad break takeover where airtime was given to encourage viewers to spend that time texting or calling a mate.

Teaming up with Spirit Media, who enjoyed global success with #IAMWHOLE and Music 4 Mental Health, the series creates the perfect opportunity for the comedy community to join in and get behind the mission towards a more positive and open culture when it comes to mental health.

The three-part series of stand-up comedy specials will star some of the nation's biggest names in comedy and each episode will be hosted by a headline act and feature three leading comedians. The stand-up specials are being held at EarTH (Theatre) Hackney and tickets for the first show, hosted by Nish Kumar, are now available here. All proceeds will be going to CALM.

Before taking to the stage, the nation's favourite funny people will discuss their own mental health stories and what it feels like to feel sad when your career is built around making other people laugh.

Comedy Against Living Miserably is commissioned by Joe McVey, UKTV commissioning editor, and ordered for Dave by Richard Watsham, director of commissioning, Luke Hales, Dave channel director and Steve North, genre manager, comedy and entertainment. Spirit Media creative director Matt Campion will executive produce the series alongside Morgan Jones, former head of creative for Comic Relief whose recent credits include A Royal Team Talk for BBC1 which features Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.

Joe McVey said: "While Comedy Against Living Miserably in aid of the Campaign Against Living Miserably is a great joke, you can expect a higher calibre of comedy from the actual comedians. That's why they earn the mega bucks (which they're donating to CALM - what lovely people)."

Luke Hales said: "The whole Dave team are really proud of the work we do with CALM, we are so glad we have managed to make these three stand-up specials happen as they promise to be brilliantly funny and are for such an important cause. The aim of these shows is to help raise awareness and lots of money for CALM to help them as they continue their incredibly important work saving lives."

Spirit Media's Matt Campion added: "Comedy Against Living Miserably is such an amazing follow up for Spirit to the event we produced last year, Music 4 Mental Health, which saw the biggest names in the music industry come together to help combat the stigma surrounding mental health. Not only does this series promise to deliver on the funny, but we hope along with CALM, Dave and some of the UK's biggest comedians, we can build a new TV-led awareness raising platform that uses comedy and the gift of laughter to make a meaningful difference to those of us who are struggling with mental health."

Simon Gunning, CEO of the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), said: "We're delighted to continue our partnership with Dave and UKTV for Comedy Against Living Miserably. We've seen how comedy can be an effective vehicle for conversations around mental health, suicide, and generally being there for your mates when things get tough. This series of events, in collaboration with our friends at Spirit Media and the brilliant comics who are on board, will promise bags of fun with an important message underneath."

Since launching its partnership with CALM last year, Dave's ambition is to encourage its viewers to reach out to their mates and Be the Mate You'd Want in a bid to bring about a behavioural change in society. Earlier this year Dave aired a "Comedy Festival in an Ad Break", and launched hit podcast Conversations Against Living Miserably, hosted by mental health author Aaron Gillies and stand-up comic Lauren Pattison, now in its second series.

Tickets available for the first stand up special on Thursday 21st November and hosted by Nish Kumar, can be found here.

Proceeds will go towards the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).

Notes to Editors:

All comedy talent have waived their fee, which UKTV will donate to CALM. Dates and names will be announced in due course.

For more information, please contact:

Gem Pinkey, Publicity Manager, UKTV
Ali Laurie, Network Communications Executive, UKTV

About Dave

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Ever since it was knee high to a TV remote, Dave had an idea. It wanted to be the first place viewers would come for brand-new, award-winning entertainment from the biggest and brightest stars and production companies in the UK. And in the years since, it has launched some of the most exciting and best-loved titles on TV.

There are names like BAFTA and Emmy-nominated Taskmaster - now in its ninth series -, Judge Romesh, Hypothetical, Jon Richardson: Ultimate Worrier and Comedians Giving Lectures. And of course there's Dave Gorman, whose inquisitive mind is returning to the channel for Terms and Conditions Apply. It's not just in front of the camera where the comic genius lies either, with a wealth of scripted treasure such as Sliced, Porters and the globally popular Red Dwarf.

Dave's not content just to make you laugh and share gags with your mates though. Expedition with Steve Backshall and Hurricane Man are showing you regions and aspects of the earth never before seen on TV. Red Bull Soapbox continues to delight with its boundless capacity for invention. And stepping away from the TV entirely, Dave's partnered with CALM to launch the "Be The Mate You'd Want" campaign and the "Conversations Against Living Miserably" podcast.

Reaching 20million viewers a month, Dave's come a long way, but it's only just getting warmed up.

dave.uktv.co.uk / @davechannel

About UKTV

UKTV has been at the forefront of branded television for over 25 years, entertaining the nation with programmes they love. Its leading brands - Dave, Gold, W, Drama, Alibi, Eden and Yesterday - span comedy, entertainment, natural history, factual and drama, and are delivered to audiences through UKTV Play, Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat and Amazon Fire. The broadcaster is a significant investor in British creativity and is committed to working with new and established writers, directors and programme-makers.

UKTV is part of BBC Studios, the UK's most-awarded production company, a world-class distributor with international branded services, and a commercial subsidiary of the world's leading public service broadcaster, the BBC.

corporate.uktv.co.uk | press.uktv.co.uk | @uktvpress.

About CALM

The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is leading a movement against suicide, the single biggest killer of men under the age of 45 in the UK. In 2016, 76% of all suicides in the UK were male (ONS). Only 55% of men who've experienced depression will tell anyone about it, compared to 67% of women (CALM's Masculinity Audit 2016). CALM's free, confidential and anonymous helpline & webchat are open every day, 5pm-midnight: thecalmzone.net/get-help

thecalmzone.net twitter.com/thecalmzone facebook.com/thecalmzone Instagram.com/calmzone

About Spirit Media

Spirit develops and produces award winning content for broadcasters, brands and digital platforms.

Founded by ex-Endemol execs Peter Cowley and Matt Campion, Spirit's work is based around the point where 'science meets creative'. With both broadcast and digital in their DNA, Spirit is at the forefront of innovation as audience behaviours evolve.

Using in-depth data analysis and understanding of how audiences interact on different platforms, Spirit consistently creates engaging and entertaining content. Spirit have created original programmes for broadcast channels including the BBC (SHAMED: You Are What You Tweet), Channel 4 (Trigger Happy) and ITV (The Stand Up Sketch Show - currently in production on series 2); branded content for industry leaders like Samsung, BOSE and The National Lottery; the successful comedy podcasts Private Parts with Jamie Laing & Francis Boulle and Teenage Mixtape with Joel Dommett & Steve Dunne; digital channels including the pioneering YouTube channel, Lion Whisperer TV; the in house multi-award winning campaign #IAMWHOLE with the NHS & YMCA, and a hugely successful live fundraising event Music 4 Mental Health.

#IAMWHOLE is an award-winning mental health campaign, founded by Spirit Media and Jordan Stephens. The campaign launched on World Mental Health Day 2016 with a music video by Jordan Stephens and social campaign introducing our emotive signature symbol of a circle drawn on the palm of the hand. The campaign immediately went viral, was endorsed by a number of global superstars including Ed Sheeran, Liam Gallagher and James Corden, reached an audience of over 120 million, and was even mentioned in Parliament.

As the #IAMWHOLE campaign continued to evolve over two years, we came to see music and live events as an integral part of our work and consider how to utilise their power to create a groundswell movement that can change the conversation and the stats.

In 2018, #IAMWHOLE united leading youth charities CALM, The Mix and YMCA to stage its first ever live fundraising event, Music 4 Mental Health, with performances from artists including Ed Sheeran, Anne-Marie, Olly Murs, Ella Eyre, Professor Green and James Arthur.

The sold-out gig generated over 140 million social impressions, 1.6 million article views and massive increases in engagement for our charity partners.