PJ Gallagher

PJ Gallagher

C4's latest prank show

Trojan Donkey from Ireland's Naked Camera team

Channel 4 has ordered an 'irreverent' hidden camera show from Ireland.

Trojan Donkey was shot in Dublin and stars stand-ups PJ Gallagher and Sharon Mannion alongside prank call DJ Jim Nugent.

The show is a UK version of Naked Camera, which ran for three series on RTÉ Two between 2005 and 2007, and will covertly film unsuspecting members of the public.

It is the latest commission in an increasingly overcrowded genre, following the likes of Channel 4's own I'm Spazticus, ITV's Off Their Rockers and Fool Britannia, and the BBC's Impractical Jokers and Richard Hammond's Secret Service.

The original made stars of Gallagher and Maeve Higgins in Ireland and also featured Patrick McDonnell, who played Father Eoin McLove in Father Ted.

It won best entertainment show at the Irish Film and Television Awards, while Gallagher's character Jake Stevens got his own spin-off show touring the US, Makin' Jake, and recorded a Christmas single, which peaked at No 9 in the Irish charts.

Most of the characters will be new, but transferring from the original series will be Gallagher's maddening character Fixer, plus Jumper Man and Auld Gran.

Channel 4 will screen five half-hour episodes this summer. Trojan Donkey is a joint-production between Dublin-based Double Z Enterprises, the production company that created the Big Breakfast's alien puppets Zig and Zag, and Northern Ireland's Waddell Media.

Although he is a familiar face in Ireland, this will be Gallagher's first appearance on UK screens, but he did co-write BBC Northern Ireland's The I Hate Show with its star Jason Byrne.

Laura Riseam, assistant editor of Channel 4 Comedy, said: 'Trojan Donkey is a fresh take on the hidden camera show with irreverence at its core. We’re proud to be developing a new wave of talent and Trojan Donkey gives the genre a real kick up the backside.'

Executive producer Ronan McCabe added: ‘It’s hilarious to watch as members of the public are drawn into the strange world that the characters PJ, Jim and Sharon create and how they find it almost impossible to walk away, even when things get utterly ludicrous.’

- by Jay Richardson

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Published: 7 May 2013

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