10 April 2014
UKTV's award-winning home of witty banter, Dave has teamed up with EVR and Pitch to produce a nostalgic series of football specials (3x60') ahead of the 2014 World Cup in July. The specially commissioned programmes will celebrate and commiserate the recent history of the England international football team with comment from footballing legends and their comedy fans.
England's Top 19 Footy Heroes, England's Top 53 Footy Goals and England's Top 39 Footy Gaffes will star comedians and sports pundits such as Alex Brooker, Tom Rosenthal, Phil Cornwell and Adrian Chiles and sporting heroes including Gary Lineker, Ian Wright, Lee Dixon, Jim Rosenthal, Michael Vaughan and former German star Didi Hamann, as they take a look back at some of England's greatest footballing achievements and World Cup memories. The series, voiced by popular British comedian Jason Manford and written by Paul Hawksbee (Harry Hill's TV Burp, TalkSport, Fantasy Football League), will air in May ahead of the World Cup in the summer.
The three part series, ordered by UKTV's Director of Commissioning Richard Watsham and Dave General Manager Steve North, will be produced by EVR, headed up by former ITV Sport channel manager Tony Pastor, and Pitch Productions. As well as comment from Britain's much-loved comedians, pundits and sporting heroes the programmes will feature clips and highlights from the World Cups of years gone by.
UKTV Commissioning Editor Iain Coyle, who will executively produce on behalf of UKTV, says "This rich mix of talking heads and brilliant clips met with sporting heroes and comedians will be a great build up to the World Cup and remind audiences why we all bask in the love/hate relationship with the England football team."
Steve North, General Manager for Dave, believes the series will sit well on the channel in the lead up to the FIFA World Cup 2014
Offering our viewers a look back at some of England's footballing highlights and downfalls seems like a natural fit for them and Dave. It's a great opportunity for the channel to bring some of the top names in comedy and sports together and create a buzz ahead of the World Cup in the summer.
EVR head, Tony Pastor said, "The team at Dave really love their football, and it's brilliant that they've enabled us to bring together the best collection of modern-day England action ever assembled. I think people will be really surprised to see so much of the most memorable stuff, from Beckham's stunning free-kick against Greece to Michael Owen's astonishing goal at World Cup 98. It's an absolute treat to be producing shows about the England football team, everyone wants to talk about their heroes and where they were when Gazza cried."
It joins the schedule alongside brand new commissions Road to Rio and Alan Davies As Yet Untitled, and returning commissions Crackanory and Dave Gorman Modern Life is Goodish. The announcements follow successful autumn launches from Dave's original commissions including Dave Gorman Modern Life is Goodish, Ross Noble Freewheeling and Crackanory.
Dave's adult viewing share grew by 20% last year and is now the most watched non-PSB channel in the UK, reaching over 27 million adults every month.
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