Monday 8th May, 2017
UKTV, Britain's biggest multichannel broadcaster, today announced it has commissioned a quick-turnaround, twice-weekly series of political comedy show Unspun with Matt Forde in the run-up to the general election for Dave, with a further fourth series also commissioned. Produced by Avalon Television and recorded the same day as transmission, Unspun will be 'making politics great again' with up-to-the minute analysis of the political landscape during these tumultuous times and an in-depth discussion with one of Britain's leading political figures that will sit at the heart of each episode.
Unspun with Matt Forde's second series landed a series of high profile guests including former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron MP and Harriet Harman MP, former deputy leader of the Labour party. The third series will air on Wednesdays and Sundays starting Wednesday 17th May.
Matt Forde said,
I'm delighted to be returning with Unspun during the election campaign. I for one welcome Theresa May's drive to keep satirists and political comedians in work. It seems to be the only issue which unites her and Jeremy Corbyn.
Hilary Rosen, deputy director of commissioning, said,
Dave is putting Unspun at the heart of its schedule and blazing a trail in the satirical space. Matt Forde is the best in the business - there's no one else out there who is as funny and knowledgeable about the state of British politics. This will be required viewing in the run up to June 8th. Who better to help us make sense of the forthcoming election campaign?
Steve North, Dave general manager, said,
We're putting our weight behind Unspun because we feel there's a real need for contemporary and topical programming that unpicks politics and helps our viewers to understand where we are now. We are significantly increasing our coverage of politics in the run-up to the election and it's important that it's as fresh and up-to-date as it can be given the pace at which politics is playing out, particularly on social media.
Jon Thoday, Avalon managing director, said,
It is great for a British broadcaster to be backing a political comedy series in this way, and we are excited to be working with UKTV once again.
Series three and four of Unspun with Matt Forde are ordered by Richard Watsham and Steve North. Executive producers are deputy director of commissioning Hilary Rosen for UKTV, and Jon Thoday and Richard Allen Turner for Avalon Television. The news follows announcements that this month Dave is also showing live tennis and Live Mixed Martial Arts for the first time, as well as commissioning a raft of new scripted comedies including Porters and the second-series of Zapped, plus a BAFTA nomination for its hit show Taskmaster.
What the Press has said about Unspun with Matt Forde:
A political show for people who find political shows boring... (Forde) is a funny and sensible guy - The Times
Both funny and intellectually literate ... Forde consistently demonstrates he has his finger on the pulse - Mail on Sunday
Up to the minute, witty and, yes, funny, Forde has the knack of dealing with a serious subject and getting some excellent gags - Sunday Express
Note to editors:
It's not the first time Dave has covered politics in a general election. In 2015 Dave commissioned a 90-minute film documenting The Pub Landlord's campaign for the hotly-contested seat of South Thanet.
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Dave's had a haircut and shave in recent years as it grows from awkward teenager to fully-fledged commissioner of new and original shows. And it's not just comedy these days but entertainment and even some knock-out live sport. Hit UKTV Original commissions include Taskmaster, Dave Gorman Modern Life is Goodish, Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled, Dara O Briain's Go 8 Bit and Crackanory, all laden with the biggest names in British comedy. Dave enjoyed critical success with two series of Hoff the Record, a mockumentary ensemble comedy led by the living legend David Hasselhoff.
As well as home-grown delights Dave also goes stateside, cherry-picking cult US Shows including the sharp-witted and sharp-suited Suits and much-loved Parks and Recreation along with Emmy-nominated The Last Man on Earth. This all contributed to Dave's award win at the 2016 Broadcast Digital Awards for Best Entertainment Channel.
Dave is the UK's most watched non-PSB channel broadcasting to over 27 million people per month, and viewers continue to enjoy the ludicrously addictive American Pickers and UK remake of Storage Hunters. The channel continues to grow its original commissioning slate with political show Unspun With Matt Forde, Red Dwarf XI, fantasy comedy Zapped! and Celebrity Storage Hunters.
UKTV is a commercial broadcaster reaching over 41m 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 company's most recent financial results showed record-breaking year-end revenue of £344.8m and EBITDA of £91.3m. It invested £151.2m in programming and related launches last year, and is a significant investor in British creativity.
The network embraces technology to deliver 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.
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About Avalon Television
Avalon Television is a completely independently owned production house operating out of New York, Los Angeles and London. Avalon Television are also currently in production with: BAFTA nominated Taskmaster (UKTV in the UK and Comedy Central in the USA), the multi award winning international hit, Catastrophe (Channel 4 and Amazon); a fourth series of the critically acclaimed sitcom, Man Down (Channel 4) the Emmy winning, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) and the BBC's longest running sitcom, Not Going Out (BBC One).