Harry Enfield and Jo Brand among stars returning for Friday Night Live special

The live comedy programme was initially broadcast on Channel 4 in 1985.
Harry Enfield and Jo Brand among stars returning for Friday Night Live special

By Connie Evans, PA Entertainment Reporter

Harry Enfield, Jo Brand and Julian Clary are among some of comedy’s famous faces joining Ben Elton for a special edition of Friday Night Live later this month.

The comedy show was initially broadcast on Channel 4 from 1985 to 1988 with comedian Elton, 63, as its host and was responsible for launching a range of now highly recognisable comedy talent.

As part of Channel 4’s 40th anniversary celebrations, Elton is bringing Friday Night Live back to the screen with a selection of familiar faces who found fame on the show and new comedy talent currently on the circuit.

Ben Elton is set to return to present a one-off special of Friday Night Live (Channel 4)

Stars of the original series joining Elton once again include Enfield, 61, Clary, 63, and Brand, 65, as well as newer talent including Rosie Jones, Mawaan Rizwan, Jordan Gray, Ronni Ancona and Sam Campbell.

After launching on Channel 4 in 1985, the show, which was initially called Saturday Live before moving to its Friday night slot, ran for three years and helped boost the popularity of a number of now-household names including Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie.

The show returned for a number of one-off editions, including as part of the BBC’s 1993 Comic Relief telethon.

The special Red Nose Day show was once again hosted by Elton and featured appearances from Reeves and Mortimer, Eddie Izzard, Hugh Laurie, David Baddiel and Rob Newman.

It later returned in 1996 in a reboot for ITV, regaining a Saturday slot and being retitled accordingly. However, the show, which was this time hosted by comedian Lee Hurst, only lasted for eight episodes.

The performers featuring in the upcoming special will offer audiences a mixture of topical sketches and stand-up, all happening live for the 90-minute programme.

The special edition of the show will also feature live music from Mercury Prize nominee Self Esteem.

The show will mark the beginning of Channel 4’s Truth and Dare season, which is celebrating 40 years of the broadcaster and is a production by Boffola Pictures and Phil McIntyre Television.

Friday Night Live airs on Channel 4 and All 4 on October 21st at 9pm.

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