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05 Television (all broadcast dates are UK unless otherwise stated) (Ben Elton)


This article is from the Ben Elton FAQ, by Andrew Wong andrew@theyoungones.com with numerous contributions by others.

05 Television (all broadcast dates are UK unless otherwise stated) (Ben Elton)

 Sunday       ALFRESCO, a Granada TV sketch comedy show that ran for two
 10:30pm,     series, featuring the talents of Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Emma
 1982 / 1983  Thompson, Robbie Coltrane and of course Ben Elton. He has said
              that he'd be embarassed if it was repeated, since it was
              such a long time ago... Unfortunately for him, you can
              occasionally catch it on Granada Plus...
 1984         THE YOUNG ONES, the first UK "alternative-comedy" sitcom set
              around a group of students, co-written with Rik Mayall and Lise
              Meyer. Ben also popped up in cameo appearances in two of the
              12 episodes. See the Young Ones FAQ for more information...
 1985         HAPPY FAMILIES - A six-part series from Ben Elton, starring
              Jennifer Saunders and Adrian Edmondson.
 1986         FILTHY, RICH AND CATFLAP - Ben wrote this six-part sitcom,
              assumed by the "media" to be the 'sequel' to The Young Ones.
              It starred Rik Mayall, Nigel Planer and Adrian Edmondson but
              was panned by the critics, and didn't succeed. Plans were
              made for a second series, but never came to fruition.
 1987         BLACKADDER II - co-writer with Richard Curtis (Four Weddings
              and a Funeral, Mr. Bean), starring Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean)
              as Edmund Blackadder, loyal subject to Queen Elizabeth I
              (Miranda Richardson, also in The Crying Game).
              Highly recommended!
 1987-88      SATURDAY LIVE / FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE - the host of a weekly
              comedy/variety show for "young people". Tapes are very
              hard to come by...
 1988         BLACKADDER THE THIRD - co-written with Richard Curtis, with
              Rowan Atkinson as Edmund Blackadder, servant to the thick
              Prince Regent (Hugh Laurie). Ben had a cameo role as an
              anarchist trying to kill the Prince in one episode.
 1988 / 1989  "LIVE FROM LONDON" HBO COMEDY HOUR SPECIAL - the host of a
              special comedy broadcast on the HBO Channel in the USA.
 5 Mar 1989   THE SOUTH BANK SHOW - an ITV arts documentary series which
              turned its' spotlight onto Ben Elton for one edition,
              coinciding with the release of his first book Stark.
 1989         Presented WOGAN (the UK's premiere chat show at the time),
              standing in for Terry Wogan for two weeks.
 1990         BLACKADDER GOES FORTH - Again co-written with Richard
              Curtis, with Rowan Atkinson as Captain Blackadder trying
              to avoid going over the top and into the trenches - a bit
              difficult during World War One.
 1990         THE MAN FROM AUNTIE - six-part stand-up comedy series with
              the odd sketch, mostly based on his live performances.
              Available on video.
 1993         TONIGHT LIVE, an Australian chat show where he covered for
              the main host Steven Vizard for a week.
 Dec 1993     STARK - a TV film based on his novel. Ben wrote the
              screenplay, and starred as CD.
 Jan 1994     THE MAN FROM AUNTIE - a second series of his stand-up comedy
              and sketches, material mostly taken from his Very Live tour.
              It gained 7 million viewers.
              This is mentioned in the superlative Morecambe & Wise
              biography, Behind The Sunshine. If anyone has a copy of
              this show, *please* let me know!!
 Nov 1994     HARRY ENFIELD & CHUMS - guest-starred in a sketch as
              Benny Elton, sending up his 'socialist right-on' image and
              Benny Hill, chasing page 3 models to chastise them.
 November     THE THIN BLUE LINE - Wrote and produced this 7-part comedy
 1995         series, set in a police station. Often reviewed as Elton's
              attempt at 'traditional' comedy, a la Dads' Army and its'
              ilk, but updated for the 1990s. The original press release
              is available for your consumption.
 March 1996   Presented some episdoes of THE NOSE AT TEN: THE BEST OF
              COMIC RELIEF (highlights from the Comic Relief telethons),
              and made frequent references to his short / lack of hair...
 Nov 1996     THE THIN BLUE LINE - A second series...
 February     Presenter of THE BRIT AWARDS 1997, and caught dancing like a
 24th 1997    sixth form geography teacher to the Bee Gees
 March 1997   Presenter of one segment of COMIC RELIEF
 Feb 1998     Came back to present THE BRIT AWARDS 1998. With more dancing.
 Mar 1998     Was grilled by a psychologist on FACE TO FACE, a late-night
 Apr 1998     THE BEN ELTON SHOW -- an eight-part TV series featuring his
              stand-up, but also making room for weekly appearances from
              veteran Ronnie Corbett and Australian "comedians" Roy & HG.
              Memorably sang (for all the wrong reasons) in the first show.

He has also been a contributing writer for various comedy shows, including
the Lenny Henry show.


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