Batty showbiz raconteur Count Arthur Strong is working on a new BBC Two gameshow .
Father Ted co-creator Graham Linehan and the League of Gentlemen’s Jeremy Dyson are working on a pilot episode of Count Arthur Strong’s Entertainment Game with the character’s creator Stephen Delaney
The show, to be recorded in front of a studio audience in July, promises ‘a smorgasbord of showbiz fun involving celebrity guests, impossible riddle rounds and of course the opportunity for contestants to Challenge Arthur and win a shed load of wonderful prizes such as exercise bikes, matching polyester bedding and modestly-sized inflatable dinghies.’
Linehan said: ‘I've loved Count Arthur for many years and it's a dream come true to be able to work with him. I'm sure nothing will go wrong.’
Count Arthur, a faded variety star with a failing memory and ever-loosening grasp on the English language, started life at the Edinburgh Fringe, and has become a cult figure on Radio 4, which has broadcast six series of his Sony Award-winning sitcom,
The BBC Two show is being produced by Talkback Thames – whose credits include Linehan’s IT Crowd – and Komedia Entertainment, which produced the live and radio shows.
Komedia’s Richard Daws said: ‘Having made Count Arthur Strong a fixture of BBC Radio Comedy, we wanted to build the “dream team” to transfer the character onto TV, the collaboration with Tallkback gives us that opportunity, working with the very best talent in the comedy industry”
Stephen Delaney, added: ‘Sounds good to me. Where do I sign? Can I have a Winnibago?’
Delaney created the Count Arthur character in the Eighties when he was a student at Central School of Speech and Drama in London, and resurrected him for the 1997 Edinburgh Fringe.
To be in the audience for the pilot recording, see our Free Tickets page.