Ben Elton to give the first Ronnie Barker Talk | New comedy lectures on BBC One

Ben Elton to give the first Ronnie Barker Talk

New comedy lectures on BBC One

Ben Elton is to give the first Ronnie Barker Talk – a new annual lecture on a comedy-related theme to be broadcast on BBC One.

Setting up the speeches has been described as a ‘passion project’ of Shane Allen, the BBC’s controller of comedy commissioning, and the idea has been developed with the approval of Barker’s family. 

Allen says: ‘British comedy reflects and defines our national character as well as bringing us together through laughter. We’re delighted to have Ben kick this off for us as a hugely influential stand up and master of the sitcom whose work across the decades continues to hit the funny spot.’

The topic of each lecture will be entirely of the invited speaker’s choosing. It will be recorded this summer at the BBC Radio Theatre in front of an audience, made up of comedy talent from both on and off the screen, and will broadcast  later in the year.

Elton said: ‘What an honour. I grew up loving Ronnie Barker and can only hope the news that I am to give a talk in his name doesn’t leave him spitting spiritedly splenetic spoonerisms in Comedy Heaven.’

Published: 21 Apr 2017

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