After weeks of rumours, the BBC have finally decided to let the cat out of the wheelie bin and confirm that hard-hitting panel show Mock The Week will return from its summer break on Thursday 9 September.
Several of Pakistan’s top bookmakers have already ensured that episode one will feature talent such as Andi Osho, Milton Jones and Chris Addison and scurrilous internet gossip has suggested that the likes of Ed Byrne, Kevin Bridges, Jack Whitehall and Edinburgh Comedy Award-winner Russell Kane will be inappropriately sharing desks before the end of the run in October.
The series is extending later into the year than ever before, allowing the team to plunder the traditional autumn news surge and come away with more gems than a dinner party guest at Nelson Mandela’s.
A show outsider speculated wildly: “The next six weeks promise to be full of news. As well as three party conferences, a papal visit and a new Labour leader, there’s some golf stuff happening and hopefully more weird stories involving octopuses, giant rats and Boris Johnson.”
Russell Howard will be joining the panel for the first and last programmes and the Christmas special. But his extensive BBC work commitments – not least his wildly popular BBC Three series Russell Howard’s Good News – means he has a timetable clash and won’t be able to join the gang for the whole series.
Russell says: “I love being part of Mock The Week but I wanted to quash the persistent rumours that Dara and I inappropriately share a dressing room by taking a break until they blow over”.
Mock The Week was created by Dan Patterson and Mark Leveson, the creative force behind the iconic improvisation based show Whose Line Is It Anyway? which ran for 10 years on British TV before successfully transferring to the United States.
Suzanne Gilfillan is the executive editor for the BBC. It is produced for the BBC by independent production company Angst Productions.