The funny 50

Scores of comics in ITV2 showcase

Dozens of the leading names on the stand-up circuit are to get exposure on a new ITV2 showcase.

Fifty performers will be taking part in the Comedy Cuts series – part of the digital channel’s drive to find hit new comedies that might transfer to the mainstream terrestrial channel.

Among those taking part in the new show are all three winners of last year’s if.comeddie awards: Phil Nichol, Josie Long and Mark Watson.

Others include Howard Read with his six-year-old cartoon boy Little Howard, ebullient eccentric Sir Tim FitzHigham, and stand-up stars including Glenn Wool, Andrew Maxwell, Jason Byrne and Robin Ince.

The ten-part show places the comedians in locations to match their style, such as a school, church, park bench or a makeshift prison.

ITV2 is increasing its investment in homegrown programming by a third, with comedy a priority. Channel controller Zai Bennett recently told actors’ newspaper The Stage: ‘I want comedy that is right for our viewers - the 16-24 demographic. We need original comedy. We are keen to look at scripts, try things out and get more things into development.’

Episode one goes out at 11pm on January 18 and includes Brendon Burns, Howard Read, Steve Hughes, Josie Long, Phil Nichol and Paul Sinha.

The following week’s show includes Isabel Fay’s magician assistant Annette Cadabra, Rob Rouse, Rhod Gilbert, Nick Doody and Jim Jeffries

Published: 4 Jan 2007

Today's comedy-on demand picks

SHAKE WITH LAUGHTER FOR PARKINSON’S UK:

The charity fundraiser, usually held at the Comedy Store, launches an online version, with Mick Ferry as host.

The bill comprises fellow circuit favourites  Eleanor Tiernan, Laura Lexx, Nathan Caton, Rob Deering and  Russell Kane, plus Paul Sinha, and Vicar Of Dibley writer Paul Mayhew-Archer, both of whom have the condition.

Click for more suggestions
... including the Good Ship comedy club and the return of Radio Wales panel show The Leak.

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