Saturday Live (UK TV series)

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Saturday Live was a British television comedy and music show broadcast by Channel 4 from 1985 to 1987, and in 1988 as Friday Night Live. Influenced by the American show Saturday Night Live (in particular its use of guest hosts), it was produced by Paul Jackson.

The series made stars of Ben Elton, Harry Enfield, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, and featured appearances (in some cases first television appearances) by Patrick Marber, Morwenna Banks, Chris Barrie, Emo Philips, Tracey Ullman, Craig Ferguson, Craig Charles and many others. The show featured comic duo Adrian Edmondson and Rik Mayall in their act The Dangerous Brothers.

All episodes were transmitted live, but contained a small proportion of material recorded beforehand. Recordings of shows were edited into compilation repeats, retitled Saturday Almost Live.

The show was succeeded by Friday Night Live, a shorter and slightly more tightly-formatted show with Elton as the permanent host, which ran for a single series in 1988. The show's titles consisted of reforming clay animations, highly comparable to early MTV idents.

DVD release[edit]

A compilation double DVD set, Saturday Live: The Best of Series One, was released in June 2007, containing almost two and a half hours of material. This consisted of the Saturday Almost Live compilations with the music performances removed. Saturday Live: The Best Of Series 2 was released on 4 February 2008 and followed the same pattern, as did the Friday Night Live release. In 2009, a fourth release, a 3-disc set collecting the complete sketches of Fry & Laurie and Harry Enfield and the best Ben Elton monologues, was released.

Later versions[edit]

The series was resurrected for 1993's Red Nose Day telethon, hosted by Ben Elton, with appearances by Reeves and Mortimer, Eddie Izzard, Hugh Laurie, and David Baddiel and Rob Newman.

The series made a return in 1996 on ITV. Hosted by Lee Hurst, it featured comedians including Harry Hill and Simon Munnery. The series lasted six episodes before being cancelled.

On 1 December 2007, the series was revived by ITV for a one-off show titled Saturday Live Again, presented by Marcus Brigstocke. Many comedians were present in the show, including Jimmy Carr, Lee Mack, Mitchell and Webb, and Jocelyn Jee Esien. The original show's regular host Ben Elton also performed. There were musical performances by Bon Jovi and Hard-Fi.[1][2][3][4]


External links[edit]