Pier pressure

New channel for old acts

Unfashionable comics like Jethro and Joe Pasquale are to have their own TV channel from the new year.

The Great British Television Channel will offer an outlet for the sort of variety acts more likely to be found at the end of the pier than on Have I Got News For You.

But these comics still have a sizeable audience, filling theatres every night and producing popular DVDs.

Eighties stand-up Richard Digance is behind the idea, and the channel’s backers include Chris Tarrant, Brian Conley, Bobby Davro, Stan Boardman, Bradley Walsh and Roger de Courcey.

The channel will feature the first TV show from Cornish stand-up Jethro, Joe Pasquale narrating an animated show, a variety show fronted by Brian Conley and Sir Alex Ferguson on a futuristic children’s programme called Soccer Staroids.

And it is also planning to break new talent – like Joe Pasquale Jnr.

A spokesman said the channel would offer “new entertainment programmes featuring established stars such as Jethro, Vinnie Jones, Joe Pasquale, Richard Digance, Brian Conley, David Copperfield, Stan Boardman, former World snooker champion Dennis Taylor together with unique vintage American comedy never shown before in the UK featuring the great legends from George Burns to Jerry Lewis and Robin Williams.

“The new channel will soon prove it isn't a backwater for the established, but quite the opposite.”

It will launch on Sky Digital on January 29 with a two-hour special starring Jethro and Brian Conley and broadcast for eight hours a day from 4pm.

Published: 17 Nov 2004

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