Cleese back on British TV

He heads UKTV's new line-ups

John Cleese is returning to British TV for the first time in seven years.

The comic will host a new show examining bizarre gadgets for digital channel Dave.

Batteries Not Included will also feature a raft of guest stars, including comics Alex Zane, Danny Wallace, Dom Joly and Richard Herring.

Cleese, 69, last fronted a British TV show in 2001, when he presented his BBC One science series The Human Face. Producers apparently approached him for the new show because of his role as James Bond’s gadgetmaster Q.

Also part of Dave’s autumn schedule is Argumental, a series of 12 half-hour panel shows designed to provoke debate. It will be hosted by John Sergeant and feature Marcus Brigstocke and Rufus Hound as team captains.

Among the guests lined up to appear are immy Carr, Sue Perkins, Phill Jupitus, Charlie Higson, Johnny Vegas and Frankie Boyle.

And in another show, the cast of the Red Dwarf will reunite for a retrospective running over four half-hour episodes, that will mix archive with fresh material.

Dave’s owner, UKTV, is also relaunching its Gold channel as G.O.L.D – standing for Go On Laugh Daily, and now dedicated to vintage comedy.

The channel will relaunches with a Blackadder exclusive, featuring interviews with the cast and crew as well as unseen footage.

UKTV Drama will be replaced by Alibi, focussing on murder-mysteries, while UKTV Gold+1 becomes the general entertainment channel Watch, which will air Richard & Judy's new series.

Published: 18 Sep 2008

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