Just A Minute blog

A blog on the BBC radio programme Just A Minute

Location: Wellington, New Zealand

April 25, 2012

couple of bits of news

A TV documentary series is to focus on gay comedians. It carries the amusing title God Save The Queens. Kenneth Williams and Julian Clary are both among those on the list and I expect to see Graham Norton and Stephen Fry too. Story here courtesy British Comedy Guide
Gay performers in British entertainment are to be charted and celebrated later this year in a new series for Sky Atlantic. God Save The Queens, a three-part series, will tell the story of gay comedians and performers in Britain since Queen Elizabeth acceded to the throne in 1952. Production company Twofour describe the programme as "a warm-hearted and intelligent definitive history of gay performers in the British entertainment industry". They said: "It starts in 1952 and tells the story of gay performers and the role they have played in changing public perception of homosexuality and becoming national institutions along the way. "It will be a celebration of achievements and career highlights, as well as a history of how gay rights and our perception of gay performers has changed over the last 60 years." Viewers can expect contributions from current gay comedians such as Julian Clary (pictured), as well as comment on the lives and work of celebrated performers of the past, including Carry On stars Charles Hawtrey and Kenneth Williams, stand-ups such as Frankie Howerd, and high-profile entertainers such as Larry Grayson. The Queen assumed power on 6th February 1952, after the sudden death of her father, George VI. The series is likely to be broadcast during the summer to coincide with her Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Commissioning Editor Clare Handford says: "The history of entertainment is inextricably linked with camp culture. God Save The Queens is a celebratory look at the flamboyant male stars who have shaped our cultural landscape during the 60 years of the Queen's reign." Executive Producer Juliet Rice adds: "As we celebrate the royal jubilee, God Save The Queens tells the stories of our favourite gay stars and the social landscape that defined them, providing us with constant entertainment over the last 60 years."
And Jo Brand is at the helm of a new panel show which focusses on classic TV comedy. It really sounds good fun - again from the British Comedy Guide.
Jo Brand has been lined up as the host of a brand new panel show - all about classic comedy. A pilot for the currently untitled project will be recorded later this month in central London, with guests including comic actor Miles Jupp. Producers say the new programme includes "silly games, banter, and clips from some of the funniest TV shows ever made", and invites contestants and audience members who know their Gavin & Stacey from their Only Fools And Horses, and their Fawlty Towers from their Office. Although no further details have been confirmed at the time of reporting, the new format is believed to be a pilot for digital repeats channel GOLD, which has secured a "double-digit millions" budget for its own original programming commissions to mark its 20th year on air. The station began life in 1992 as UK Gold, and last month announced it had ordered a new, revived series of hit 1980s satire Yes, Prime Minister. Whilst Brand presented docu-stand-up series Jo Brand's Big Splash for GOLD's sister channel, Dave, in September last year, GOLD themselves have covered this territory in the past. 2006 saw the channel - then known as UKTV Gold - broadcast 5 part comedy quiz show The Sitcom Showdown. Each episode saw two teams of fans, assisted by one celebrity proponent, battle in a number of rounds of trivia and general knowledge related to their chosen favourite sitcom, for that show to be named the greater of the two - for example, the first episode saw 'Allo 'Allo! win over Absolutely Fabulous.


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