Saturday Live (UK TV programme)

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Saturday Live
GenreVariety, Stand-up comedy
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series4
No. of episodes39 (list of episodes)
Release
Original networkChannel 4 (1985-8)
ITV (1986, 96, 2007)
BBC1 (1993)
Picture format4:3
Original release12 January 1985 (1985-01-12) – 1 December 2007 (2007-12-01)
Chronology
Related showsSaturday Night Live

Saturday Live (Friday Night Live in 1988) is a British television comedy and music show broadcast by Channel 4 from 1985 to 1988.

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 third and final series Friday Night Live is a shorter and slightly more tightly-formatted show with Elton as the permanent host. The show's titles consisted of reforming clay animations, highly comparable to early MTV idents.

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

On 1 December 2007, the show was revived by ITV for a one-off 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.

DVD releases[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.

DVD Title Discs Year Release date
Saturday Live: The Best of Series 1 2 1985-1986 16 April 2007
Saturday Live: The Best of Series 2 2 1987 4 February 2008
The Very Best Of Friday Night Live 2 1988 2 June 2008
Saturday Live: Fry and Laurie, Harry Enfield and Ben Elton 3 1985-1988 5 October 2009

Transmissions[edit]

Series[edit]

Series Start date End date Episodes
Pilot 12 January 1985 1
1 25 January 1986 29 March 1986 10
2 7 February 1987 11 April 1987 10
3 19 February 1988 29 April 1988 10
4 1 June 1996 20 July 1996 8

Almost Live[edit]

Series Start date End date Episodes
1 13 September 1986 18 October 1986 6
2 3 October 1987 21 November 1987 8
3 12 October 1988 30 November 1988 8

Specials[edit]

Date Entitle
4 January 1986 The Best of Saturday Live
12 March 1993 Comic Relief Special (Friday Night Live - Lives Again!)
1 December 2007 Saturday Live Again

See also[edit]

External links[edit]