28 Aug 2012
NEWS RELEASE August 2012
Retort and Komedia Entertainment to make a
Count Arthur Strong series for BBC Two
Retort, FremantleMedia UK’s label specialising in scripted comedy, and Komedia Entertainment have secured a 6 x 30 minute series, Count Arthur Strong, for BBC Two commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller BBC Two and Gregor Sharp, Executive Editor, Comedy.
Graham Linehan (IT Crowd, Father Ted, Black Books), will work with Steve Delaney, the creator of Sony Award Winning radio character Count Arthur Strong, to take the character on the full journey from Edinburgh cult to a national television treasure.
Count Arthur Strong is a fictional comedy character created by comedian Steve Delaney. He is an elderly pompous show-business legend…though really just an out-of-work deluded thespian originally from Doncaster, in the north of England. Delaney's geriatric creation is a mixture of physical and mental clumsiness, mirthful malapropisms and Tourettic tics, whose pride forbids him from ever conceding fallibility, even as his world crashes around him.
Delaney created the Count Arthur character in the 1980s when he was a drama student at Central School of Speech and Drama in London. In 1997 Delaney resurrected Strong for the Edinburgh Fringe, an outing that gained a commendation from the Perrier Award panel. Further runs at Edinburgh gained the character cult status, with fellow comics, including Ross Noble and Noel Fielding, being particularly vocal in their support of the character. In 2003 Count Arthur appeared regularly as a guest on Mark Radcliffe's BBC Radio 2 Show. In 2005 he was given his own BBC Radio 4 series entitled Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show! The series, now in its seventh season, won the Sony Radio Award for Best Comedy in 2009.
Graham Linehan said:
"I've loved Count Arthur for many years and it's a dream come true to be able to work with him.”
Stephen Delaney, added:
"I've loved Graham Linehan for many years and it's a dream come true to be able to work with him. I'm sure that nothing will go wrong. (That's seven more words than him as well).”
Gregor Sharp said:
“We are absolutely delighted to see Graham and Steve join the immensely talented group of writers and comedians making brilliant shows across the BBC channels.”
Executive Producer Richard Daws, Komedia said:
"Having made Count Arthur Strong a fixture of BBC Radio Comedy, our 'dream team' collaboration with Retort gives us the opportunity to make the character a fixture in the BBC TV Comedy schedule."
Jon Rolph, Managing Director of Retort, and Executive Producer commented:
“Graham and Steve are two mighty talents and we're thrilled that Retort is helping to bring them together for BBC Two."
The series is currently being written by Linehan and Delaney and will go into production later this year. Executive Producers are Jon Rolph for Retort, Richard Daws for Komedia and Gregor Sharp for the BBC, and the series will be produced by Richard Boden.
For further information:
Susan Wilks, Acting Head of Publicity and Corporate Communications, Tel: 0207 691 6137
Ellen Diamond, Senior Publicist t: 0207 861 8403 email@example.com
Notes to Editors:
FremantleMedia UK is the UK production arm of FremantleMedia, the global production and content business of the RTL Group, Europe’s largest television and radio company. FremantleMedia UK, comprises of a group of labels, Talkback, Retort, Boundless, Thames and Newman Street, which produce some of the UK’s most successful shows. Retort is the newly-established label specialising in scripted comedy. The labels are headed up by some of the UK’s leading creative talent including Dan Baldwin, Jon Rolph, Patrick Holland, Richard Holloway and Paul Marquess. Across the group the labels provide award winning programming for all major terrestrial, digital channels and digital outlets. With an unparalleled range of programming including: The X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, Celebrity Juice, Take Me Out, Over The Rainbow, Blockbusters, The Apprentice, You’re Fired, Can’t Take It With You, Four Rooms, Grand Designs, Great British Railway Journeys, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, The IT Crowd, QI, The Rob Brydon Show, The Sinking of the Laconia, Kidnap and Ransom and Holy Flying Circus - the Group has aired over 450 hours of programming on terrestrial TV in the past 12 months alone.
Komedia Entertainment was founded by Richard Daws after becoming a partner in Komedia, the Brighton based live entertainment venue operator. Komedia Entertainment has produced live shows for Character, Musical, Physical and Theatrical Comedy. Komedia has supported the development of leading Character Comedian Count Arthur Strong, taking him from Edinburgh Fringe cult status to being a fixture of BBC Radio 4 comedy. Other shows produced include Japanese Comedy duo Gamarjobat's sell out Edinburgh shows and their first run on Broadway, New York and their pilot work on BBC 3; The Fringe First award winning play Meeting Joe Strummer and The Cow that Nearly Missed Xmas animation co-production (with Babycow) for CBBC.
Komedia is in the top tier of live venue operators in the UK; Komedia Brighton has been the Chortle Award winner of Best Comedy Venue in the South a record nine times with Komedia Bath now holding the same title for the West and Wales. The venue has featured in the careers of almost every name in UK comedy.
Prior to forming Komedia Entertainment, Daws worked extensively in the TV and media industry with his previous business, the award winning digital media company Victoria Real, which he sold to Endemol in 2000. During this time Daws personally picked up an Emmy Award for Outstanding Editing for his work on Stomp Out Loud (HBO) and edited a Classic Film Sequence for the 75th Oscars Ceremony.