Andy Zaltzman

Andy Zaltzman

An Oxford classics graduate, Andy Zaltzman emerged on to the stand-up scene in 1999, when he was a finalist in the So You Think You're Funny? talent contest.

The following year he was chosen to take part in the well-regarded Comedy Zone showcase at Edinburgh, and also made the finals of the Daily Telegraph Open Mic award. His solo Edinburgh debut, Andy Zaltzman versus The Dog Of Doom, was nominated for the Perrier Best Newcomer award in 2001.

Zaltzman has worked extensively with John Oliver. In 2004, they launched a satire night in London and Edinburgh, called Political Animal, which transferred to Radio 4, and since 2007 have hosted The Bugle, a topical podcast for Times Online. They also wrote and starred in three series of The Department, again for Radio 4.

He performed at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival for the first time in April 2007, where he won the coveted Piece of Wood Award for the comedians' comedian.

Zaltzman has also written for several series of Bremner, Bird and Fortune, and in November 2008 his first book, entitled Does Anything Eat Bankers? And 53 Other Indispensable Questions For The Credit Crunched, was published.

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Andy Zaltzman satirises the British Empire

New show for Radio 4

Andy Zaltzman and Indian comedian Anuvab Pal, an occasional correspondent on his podcast The Bugle, are to team up for a new Radio 4 series.

In Empire! they will examine the legacy of British colonialism from competing English and Indian perspectives, in both London and Calcutta.

Zaltzman’s previous shows for the broadcaster include Andy Zaltzman’s History of the Third Millennium, Series 1 of 100,  which aired in 2009, and The Department, which he made with former Bugle co-host John Oliver in 2005.

Pal started his stand-up career with The Comedy Store when it opened a branch in Mumbai in 2010, and in 2014 was listed by The Times Of India as one of the country’s top five comedians.

Empire! – which comes as the 70th anniversary of the Partition Of India is marked this month – was one of a number of comedies announced today by Radio 4’s commissioning editor for comedy, Sioned Wiliam, which are expected to air in 2018 or 2019.

There are also a number of literary-themed programmes among the new commissions, including Mrs Hudson’s Radio Show, created by Barry Cryer and his son Bob revolving around  Sherlock Holmes’s landlady. The pair have wrote a book, Mrs Hudson’s Diaries, based on the same premise in 2012

Alexei Sayle's Mystery Theatre will dramatise selections of the stand-up legend’s bestselling short stories; Nick Revell: Storyteller combines satire with magical realism; and Lemn Sissay's Social Enterprise explores our understanding of charity and philanthropy through poetry, interviews and anecdotes.

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Published: 17 Aug 2017

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