Gold commissions a million jokes, 'Bob Monkhouse: The Million Joke Man’

Bob monkhouse

9 December 2014

Bob Monkhouse: The Million Joke Man, new and exclusive to Gold, 2015

UKTV continues its investment in originations with a brand new commission, Bob Monkhouse: The Million Joke Man, for flagship comedy channel Gold.

This brand new 3 x 60' series takes a retrospective look at the extraordinary career of Bob Monkhouse that spanned over 50 years. Known to millions as a game show host, he was also an extremely popular stand-up comedian and skilled joke writer. A skill he took so seriously he meticulously catalogued thousands of jokes in twelve beautifully handwritten and illustrated volumes.

Presented by Paul O' Grady and with a whole host of famous faces past and present, Paul, equipped with the original joke books, will attempt to discover the secret of Bob's success. From the books, to his fellow professionals, to a fascinating array of unseen footage, the audience will get a real insight into the extraordinary talent of Bob Monkhouse and the man with a million jokes.

General Manager of Gold, Steve North said

Bob Monkhouse is a true great of British comedy. He was often seen as just a presenter and host but really he was a great stand up first and foremost. Bob was a prolific writer, so it is incredibly exciting to have gained access to the enormous volume of work that he produced and it is a privilege for Gold to have the opportunity of crafting a show around these tomes.

Commissioning Editor, Simon Lupton added

I've always been fascinated by how Bob seemed to have a joke for every occasion, and when I saw the books I realised that it was the result of the hard work of a genius. These books are an extraordinary legacy and a compelling insight into one of the finest comedians this country has ever produced. We are very privileged that Bob's family and the person Bob entrusted the books to, Colin Edmonds, have for the first time granted such access to the books and his extensive archive. The Gold audience is in for a rare, enthralling and hilarious treat.

Executive Producer, Rain Media Entertainment, Mark Wells, commented

We were extremely honoured that Bob Monkhouse's estate chose to give us total and unrestricted access to Bob's huge personal archive for this UKTV series. Bob's legendary joke books in particular have never properly been seen by a television audience, and Paul O'Grady has loved leafing his way through them and the other wonderful discoveries he's come across during the making of these programmes.

The series, produced by Rain Media Entertainment, marks Gold's continued, bold commissioning strategy, investing in fresh and unique content and is the latest in a line of an original series.

In 2014 Gold is the 3rd biggest pay only entertainment channel, placing it above Comedy Central. Porridge: Inside Out, celebrated the 40th anniversary of the hit British sitcom and it performed 124% above slot average reaching two million individuals. Most recently Monty Python Live Mostly: One Down Five to Go stage show, proved a ratings smash hit for UKTV channel Gold with over 900,000 individuals tuning in, making it the highest ever rating commission for Gold (consolidated viewing) and staying in Twitters trending topics through out the night.

Bob Monkhouse: The Million Joke Man has been commissioned by UKTV's Director of Commissioning Richard Watsham, Commissioning Editor, Simon Lupton is Executive Producer for UKTV, and has been ordered by Gold's General Manager, Steve North. The Executive Producer for Rain Media Entertainment Ltd is Mark Wells and the producer is Colin Edmonds.


For more information please contact:

Emily Jones, Publicist

Carly Sandland, Group Publicity Manager

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.

About UKTV

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.

Now celebrating its 21st 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 to be recognised by Best Companies. / / @uktv_press