Five boss demands more comedy

Channel to spice up its 'boring' output

The new boss of Five has pledged to seek out new comedy talent to make the channel more ‘fun’.

Dawn Airey conceded that the channel had become a ‘bit boring’ and that she needed to use more comedians to spice up its output.

She said: ‘What we need to do, and have started to do again, is regain our voice and get stars back on the channel.

‘I want us to go back to being a channel that has some levity on it. We want to put fun back into the lexicon and that involves introducing new comedic talent involving big family entertainment shows.

Five in the beginning also had a lot of big entertainment shows, whether it was Fort Boyard, whether it was Night Fever, whether it was Jim Tavare. You name it, we had every stand-up and comic pass through, and we need to go back to doing that.

‘We need to be an easy watch that is fun. We have gone from being young and provocative and loud, to actually being old, middle-aged and frankly a bit boring.’

Five has recently commissioned little comedy. A co-production deal with Paramount Comedy produced Respectable and Suburban Shootout, while in 2007 the channel announced it was giving up on sitcoms in favour of cheaper panel shows.

It recently aired the first series of US import 30 Rock, but shunted the second series to its digital channel Five USA, where it attracted just 63,000 viewers on Friday.

Airey, who was Channel 5’s first director of programmes and took up the post of chief executive in October, was speaking to BBC Radio 4’s The Media Show,

Published: 26 Feb 2009

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