Wednesday 1 April 2015
Kenneth Williams, The Two Ronnies, Les Dawson, Oliver Reed, Spike Milligan, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore all feature in new series
UKTV, the multi-award-winning media company, continues its increasing investment in originations with a brand new commission, The Interviews, for flagship comedy channel Gold.
Each episode of this brand new 6 x 60' series follows the career and personal story of legendary celebrities from the world of comedy and showbiz, using their most memorable moments from British TV chat shows and beyond. The show will premiere exclusively on Gold in June 2015.
Voiced by actress and comedian Dawn French, the series features Kenneth Williams, The Two Ronnies, Les Dawson, Oliver Reed, Spike Milligan, and the partnership of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. By mining the archives, each episode pieces together their lives, as told down the years to the master interviewers, Parkinson, Harty, Wogan, Bragg, Ross, Norton, as well as inquisitors, such as Michael Aspel, Des O'Connor, and Mavis Nicholson. Away from the chat show studios, other footage from highly personal documentary interviews and radio specials will give audiences a rare insight into the fascinating lives of these icons.
Commissioning Editor, Iain Coyle said,
The Interviews is a unique way of doing biography through chat show appearances, as the guests' stories are told straight from the horse's mouth. We are delighted Dawn French will add her warm and authoritative voiceover which will bring each episode together. It is a privilege for Gold to have the opportunity to craft, with North One, a compelling show that perfectly captures the personalities of our comedy legends.
General Manager of Gold, Steve North said,
The Interviews features some of the sharpest and most inventive comic minds ever to grace the sofas of our infamous TV chat shows. From Les Dawson's one-liners and gruff persona to the unpredictable and rebellious nature of Spike Milligan's interviews, the Gold audience is in for a rare, enthralling and hilarious treat. This commission complements Gold's other brand new series, Bob Monkhouse: Million Joke Man, and is a signal of our commitment to originating brand new and exclusive content for Gold.
North One Executive Producer, John Quinn commented,
The best biographies feature those closest to the subject, the ones who really knew them best. We have just extended that logic, limiting ourselves solely to first-person testimony. The wealth of archive footage where the subjects discuss their extraordinary lives really did exceed all our expectations. From traditional talk-shows to more in-depth documentary films, the likes of Kenneth Williams, Oliver Reed and Spike Milligan never flinch from the truth - these are really moving and honest self-portraits.
The series, produced by North One, marks Gold's continued, bold commissioning strategy of investing in brand new content. It is the latest in a line of original programmes, which already includes a second series of You, Me & Them and Bob Monkhouse: Million Joke Man.
In 2014 Gold was the third biggest pay only entertainment channel, placing it above Comedy Central. Monty Python Live (Mostly): One Down Five to Go, proved a ratings smash hit, with over one million people tuning in, making it the highest ever rating commission for Gold and staying in Twitter's trending topics through-out the night. Most recently the channel worked with David Jason on Only Fools and Horses: The Favourites, which brought in an average audience up 30% for adults in their slots.
The Interviews has been commissioned by UKTV's Director of Commissioning Richard Watsham and ordered by Gold's General Manager, Steve North. UKTV's Commissioning Editor, Iain Coyle will act as Executive Producer for UKTV.
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Notes to Editors
About Gold (Sky 110, Virgin 126, TalkTalk 408, Top-Up TV 20)
Dedicated to celebrating the best of British comedy, Gold is the nation's favourite comedy channel. Much-loved comedy series such as Only Fools and Horses, The Vicar of Dibley and Outnumbered sit alongside successful commissions including Porridge: Inside Out, The Comic Strip Presents: Five Go To Rehab (starring Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders), You, Me and Them, Bring Me Morecambe and Wise, Monty Python Live (mostly): One Down Five to Go and the ultimate Python documentary Monty Python: The Meaning of Live. The perfect tonic to make you laugh whatever the time of day, Gold shows universally funny content that everyone can enjoy.
UKTV is the multi-award winning media company that reaches over 42 million viewers every month.
UKTV's eleven imaginative brands - UKTV Play, Dave, Watch, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food - include the most popular non-PSB channel in the UK and account for 9% of the British commercial TV market. The company's most recent financial results showed record-breaking year-end revenue of £278m, and EBITDA of £67.4m. It invested a record £125m 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 and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories.
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