Secret Policeman's Ball crosses Atlantic

Russell Brand at the Secret Policeman's Ball Russell Brand was among the British comedians who performed

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Russell Brand, Coldplay and a host of other acts have taken part in a Secret Policeman's Ball gala in New York - the first to take place outside the UK.

The Amnesty International benefit at Radio City Music Hall was held to mark the organisation's 50th anniversary.

British comedians like Eddie Izzard and David Walliams were joined by such US stars as Jon Stewart and Ben Stiller in the first such event since 2008.

The first Secret Policeman's Ball was held in London in 1976.

Organised with the aid of John Cleese, the event - then entitled A Poke in the Eye (with a Sharp Stick) - saw the Fawlty Towers star perform alongside fellow members of the Monty Python team.

Python legends Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin also contributed to Sunday's concert, albeit in the form of video messages.

Statler and Waldorf at the Secret Policeman's Ball Muppet duo Statler and Waldorf also took part in the charity gala

Actors Liam Neeson and Tim Roth were among the on-stage speakers at Sunday's concert, while Mumford & Sons were the night's other musical guests.

The evening also included a cameo appearance from Statler and Waldorf, the curmudgeonly duo from The Muppet Show.

The two-and-a-half hour show, streamed live online in the US, will be broadcast in the UK on Friday on Channel 4.

Amnesty International has been campaigning on human rights issues since 1961.

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