Amnesty plans new benefit

...25 years after Secret Policeman

Amnesty is planning another huge comedy benefit show for next year.

Details of the gig are being kept under wraps, but it continues 25 years of high-profile fundraisers, which started with The Secret Policeman’s Ball.

The last big event was We Know Where You Live, hosted by Eddie Izzard at Wembley Arena, and broadcast on Channel 4.

Meanwhile, the silver anniversary of the first gig is being celebrated with a benefit screening of a behind-the-scenes documentary.

The London event will also feature Rowan Atkinson  answering audience questions about the BBC Arena film.

It takes place at the Prince Charles Cinema on December 2 – a week before the programme, Remember the Secret Policeman’s Ball?, is screened on BBC4.

And it will be shown on BBC TWO some time in 2005.

As well as Atkinson, the original show starred John Cleese, Peter Cook, Michael Palin, Alan Bennett, Stephen Fry, among others.

Terry Gilliam joked: “The dressing rooms were appalling, the conditions were terrible, the food was non-existent.  Where was Amnesty when you needed them?”

Amnesty International’s UK director, Kate Allen, said:  “The Secret Policemen’s Ball had a massive effect on Amnesty International’s profile, bringing our work for human rights to a huge new audience.

“After those early shows membership soared and, for a popular campaigning organisation, more members means more impact.”

For tickets to the screening, call 020 7494 3654.

>> To buy the complete Secret Policemen's Balls on four DVDs for just £8.97

Published: 29 Oct 2004

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