BBC announces more details of its line-up at Edinburgh Festival Fringe

BBC Three is all about new comedy and we're delighted to be giving a host of new and established faces a TV platform at the Edinburgh Festival FringeZai Bennett, Controller of BBC Three
Date: 11.08.2011     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.08
The BBC today announced more exciting additions to its pan-BBC output at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

The event which kicks off this Friday will play host to an array of exciting shows and performers.

Fringe regular and comedian Arthur Smith, is set to be the face and voice of the festival as well as presenting The Comedy Club alongside Andi Osho for BBC Radio 4 Extra. Elsewhere, Mel Giedroyc presents festival fun for all ages in The 4 O'Clock Show, whilst rising star Jason Cook, takes the helm for the mischievous comedy round up, What's So Funny?

Following on from the sell-out success of BBC Comedy Presents shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2010 which featured no less than 10 out of 12 of the nominees from the Edinburgh Comedy Awards, BBC Three is to become the destination channel for live comedy and the showcase platform for new comedy talent by airing a 90-minute live special on Friday 19 August.

Over the course of the show, audiences will be treated to an impressive mix of MCs, sketch and character led sets from some comedy favourites including Lee Nelson, Russell Kane, Charlie Baker, David O'Doherty, Roisin Conaty and Joe Wilkinson, along with a host of other household names and rising stars from the world of comedy.

Zai Bennett, Controller of BBC Three, said: "BBC Three is all about new comedy and we're delighted to be giving a host of new and established faces a TV platform at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with our live 90-minute special THREE @ THE FRINGE, along with loads of exclusive gigs online and on the Red Button."

In addition, BBC Three and BBC Comedy will be incorporating a fully interactive element to their coverage of the event, enabling audiences, both at the festival and at home, to take part and enjoy a host of extras via bbc.co.uk/bbcthree and bbc.co.uk/comedy.

There will also be a host of backstage pictures, live chats with acts, a running commentary of the event via the BBC Three and Comedy blogs together with mini-clips of all the action.

Over on the BBC Red Button, audiences will be able to enjoy BBC Radio 1's Scott Mills' drive time show and Nick Grimshaw's Fun And Filth Cabaret with a host of musical acts and Fringe comedians together with Radio 1 DJs Greg James, Edith Bowman and Sara Cox joined by David Hasselhoff; four early compilation shows of all the action from around the festival with Radio 4's red button coverage hosted by Arthur Smith and featuring Stephen K Amos's show Life: An Idiots Guide and festival favourite Just A Minute.

Those attending the festival will also be able to test out new-found skills in the BBC Three "Funny in 15" video booth, with the best ones being broadcast on BBC Three. All this activity will be supported by the comedy online team with broadcast partners BBC Three and BBC Radio.

Will Saunders, Executive Producer for Comedy online, added: "We're actively encouraging people to come and show us that they're funny as well as allowing them to influence what's happening on TV by getting involved in the conversation online."

BBC Comedy will also be recording Edinburgh Comedy Live, a bespoke evening of dynamic and intelligent comedy for BBC Four to be broadcast as an hour-long package later this year, featuring a high energy mix of the best emerging and established comics on the circuit.

The on-site Comedy School supported by BBC Learning will run a range of activities from daily laughter yoga and celidh classes through to stand-up workshops and masterclasses.

Masterclasses are set to include sessions with Greg McHugh, star of BBC comedy Gary: Tank Commander, interviewed by Susan Calman, stars of BBC Three's series Mongrels reveal the secrets behind the hit puppet show, Richard Bacon interviews Ricky Gervais and Warwick Davies about the making of BBC Two's upcoming series Life's Too Short.

Edinburgh's first Bright Club initiative will launch from the venue hosted by BBC 6 Music's Josie Long and star of Peep Show Isy Suttie providing the musical accompaniment as Edinburgh's academics take to the stage to share their research findings though the medium of stand-up.

Fringe Street Performers will, for the first time, perform at the BBC site for waiting audiences, showcasing a variety of acts from the hundred who appear on Edinburgh's street each year, bringing a slice of the street performance world to the venue.

For aspiring writers there'll be two writers' masterclasses with BBC Head of Comedy, Mark Freeland reading scripts or programme ideas handed in at the session with feedback on the ideas.

A perennial BBC beacon at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Radio 4's line-up during its two week residence at the festival will be a great cast of top comic talent including: David Mitchell, Roisin Conaty, Jason Byrne, Josie Long, Mark Watson, Ed Byrne, Russell Kane, Andrew Maxwell, Gyles Brandreth and Paul Daniels. Ever at the forefront of new comedy, Radio 4 will have further names joining this impressive cast to be announced soon.

Radio 4 confirms What The Papers Say presented by David Aaronovitch with Graham Seed, Laurence Dobiesz and Rachel Atkins; Four Thought, a series of four lectures by leading thinkers including Andrew Robinson on "What can we learn from geniuses?" and Charles French Constant on "Regenerating the Human Body"; and Comic Fringes returns with comedians Sarah Millican, Bridget Christie and Joe Lycett (BBC Radio 2 New Comedy Award 2011 Finalist) reading their own work.

BBC Radio 2's Ryan Turbidy will present his Saturday morning show from the site on the 27 August. He will be joined by comedian Paul Merton and radio and TV presenter Nicholas Parsons.

Funny man Richard Herring reveals the secret of his Edinburgh longevity, cabaret duo Frisky & Mannish turn another pop song on its head in their own inimitable way, Russell Kane and Roisin Conaty will be previewing the announcement of the Comedy Award winner for 2011, and The Magnets will be performing a specially written song for the show. Over on BBC Radio 5 Live Nick Hancock will present The Back End Of Next Week from the on-site radio studio.

In addition to Fred MacAulay & co and Festival café's weekday shows, which will also go out on Radio 4 Extra, BBC Radio Scotland will also produce Christopher Brookmyre's Comedy Bookcase from the site with comedic authors including Alexi Sayle, Richard Herring, Christopher Douglas and Jonathan Lynn. The BBC Performing Arts Fund gets in on the action with a Flash Choir mounted for the end of the Festival.

Finally, in partnership with the Edinburgh University Literary Society, from August 13-17, there will be a free nightly poetry slam competition featuring some of the finest spoken word performers and compered by the Scottish slam poet champion, Young Dawkins.

Visit bbc.co.uk/comedy as more shows are added to the line-up.

Notes to Editors

This is the first time all of BBC Edinburgh Festival coverage will benefit from combining a wide array of talents under one roof for all its Fringe activities.

As in previous years, the BBC's coverage will extend well beyond the Fringe, with the diversity of the Edinburgh festivals reflected in output across TV, radio, news and online.

But this year, BBC Radio, TV and Online comedy, Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 4, Radio 4 Extra, 5 Live, BBC Northern Ireland and Radio Scotland will join forces along with BBC Learning for a string of live shows and acts in a special pop-up venue on Potterrow, near Bristo Square from Friday 12 to Saturday 27 August.

CP