Monday 5th March 2018
Avalon is producing a one-off UKTV Original special from the uniquely talented ensemble The Horne Section. Commissioned by Richard Watsham and Hilary Rosen for entertainment channel Dave, the two-hour special will feature The Horne Section's spontaneous and free-wheeling combination of live music and comedy.
The show, which will be recorded live at the London Palladium for broadcast later this year, will be filled with The Horne Section's distinct brand of fun, outlandish musical talent and several stupid but catchy songs. The unlikely jazz/comedy hybrid will also feature guest performances from some of the biggest names in comedy and music, with the latter also treated to unlikely band leader Alex Horne's (Taskmaster) inimitable interview style.
Alex Horne said,
I'm pretty sure no-one's ever tried combining music with comedy before, let alone filming the whole thing and putting it on TV, so we're pretty excited to see how Twitter will cope with jazz and jokes for two hours. Good luck everyone!
Richard Watsham, director of commissioning at UKTV, said, "Alex Horne's unique and popular sense of humour has already turned Taskmaster into an award-winning hit for us, so giving him two hours on Dave and putting the London Palladium at his disposal was an easy decision. I can't wait to see the Horne Section's imaginations run wild."
Hilary Rosen, deputy director of commissioning at UKTV, said, "I am delighted to be working with Alex Horne on another project. He is a mastermind when it comes to originating fresh comedy ideas and this special will not disappoint."
Luke Hales, channel director for Dave, said, "The Horne Section special is a great fit for Dave, what with Alex Horne's involvement and the brilliant combination of music and comedy. It's certainly going to be entertaining two hours!"
James Taylor, Executive Producer, added,
We're delighted to be continuing our award-winning relationship with UKTV to make another show the world has been crying out for. It's time to make music stupid again.
The Horne Section is created and fronted by award-winning comedian Alex Horne whose five-piece band has already performed with some of the biggest names in music and comedy. Previous performances have featured comedians Greg Davies, Tim Minchin, John Oliver and Reggie Watts as well as headline musicians such as Felix Buxton (Basement Jaxx), Neil Hannon (The Divine Comedy) and Suggs (Madness).
The Horne Section are: Alex Horne (band leader), Joe Auckland (trumpet and banjo), Mark Brown (saxophone), Will Collier (bass), Ben Reynolds (drums and percussion) and Ed Sheldrake (keyboards).
Alex Horne is the creator and co-host of one of UKTV's most successful original commissions, Taskmaster. The hit series was most recently nominated for 2017 BAFTA and International Emmy Awards and awarded a 2018 Broadcast Award for Best Entertainment Programme. The hit show, which was the most popular programme on UKTV Play last year, ended 2017 with a ratings-winning two-part special Taskmaster: Champion of Champions which reunited the victors from the previous five series.
The Horne Section is the only band to have hosted an episode of Nevermind the Buzzcocks (BBC Two), regularly appear in dictionary corner on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown (Channel 4), and hosted three series of the successful Alex Horne Presents The Horne Section on BBC Radio 4. The band has also enjoyed numerous sold-out runs at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as well as at The Lyric Theatre - Shaftesbury Avenue, The Criterion Theatre and The Hackney Empire.
The special is produced by Chris Little and directed by Peter Orton. Executive producers for Avalon are Richard Allen-Turner, Alex Horne, James Taylor and Jon Thoday. The programme was commissioned for UKTV by Richard Watsham and Hilary Rosen.
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Notes to Editors
Sky 111/246, Virgin 127/194, Freesat 157 Freeview, BT & TalkTalk 12/79 On demand on Sky, Virgin and UKTV Play
Since bursting onto TV sets in 2007, Dave has been putting in hours at the gym and is now a beefed-up powerhouse of brand new and original commissions from some of the biggest stars and production companies in entertainment. Romesh Ranganthan, Jon Richardson and YouTube sensation Yianni Charalambous are just some of the latest additions to the channel's ever-increasing slate.
Whether it's innovative comedy entertainment like the BAFTA and Emmy-nominated Taskmaster, Unspun with Matt Forde, and Dara o Briain's Go 8 Bit or scripted sitcoms including the worldwide hit Red Dwarf, Zapped, and Porters, Dave's guaranteed to work your funny bone like never before.
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UKTV is a commercial broadcaster reaching over 40m viewers every month.
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 nearly 10% of the British commercial TV market.
The network delivers 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 over 20 years 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 first British television broadcaster in The Sunday Times top 100 companies list.
Avalon is a multi-award winning talent management, live promotion and television production group with offices in the UK and the USA.
Avalon and ARG, the talent management arms of the business, have discovered and represent many artists which are household names, in the UK, the USA, and around the world.
In 2017 Avalon was named the number one true independent television production company in the UK and has produced numerous ground-breaking television shows including: Emmy and Peabody award winner Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO), multi-award winning and Emmy-nominated Catastrophe (Channel 4/Amazon Prime), RTS and Rose d'Or winning Not Going Out (the BBC's longest running sitcom currently on air), BAFTA and RTS-nominated Taskmaster (Dave/UKTV), multi-BAFTA award winning TV Burp (ITV1), Russell Howard's Good News (BBC2), Fantasy Football League (BBC/ITV) and Workaholics (Comedy Central USA).
Avalon and Topical Television form the television arm of the company and other shows currently in production include: Taskmaster USA (Comedy Central), Man Down (C4), Dave Gorman's Modern Life is Goodish (Dave/UKTV), The Chris Ramsey Show (Comedy Central), Chris Ramsey's Stand Up Central (Comedy Central); whilst the catalogue is sold worldwide by Avalon Distribution.
Avalon produced Newman and Baddiel: Live at Wembley, the UK's first arena comedy show; Jerry Springer: The Opera, the first West End show to win all four UK 'Best New Musical' awards; and has continued to produce live shows globally, as well as promoting more winners and nominees of the prestigious Edinburgh Comedy Award than any other company.