Happy Birthday BBC2

Red Dwarf joins in the celebrations for the channel's 40th anniversary.

16 April, 2004

Despite its initial problems - a power failure on launch night, for example - the BBC's second channel has become a key player when it comes to innovative programming, particularly in the realm of comedy. On April 20th the channel that launched The Young Ones, Monty Python and, of course, Red Dwarf celebrates 40 years of programming with... three hours of programming.

Happy Birthday BBC2

Red Dwarf will feature in the second of three hour-long shows, and the whole shebang kicks off at 8pm. The second hour, though, is dedicated to the shows of the '80s (Dwarf kicked off in 1988), and features interviews with key contributors, including Rob Grant, Robert Llewellyn and Chris Barrie.

The programme will be punctuated by original sketches written and performed by the Dead Ringers team, and dotted throughout the evening are the strange and wonderful letters from the readers of the Radio Times, moved to put pen to paper by BBC2's output. (Hey, I once had a letter in the Radio Times! And it mentioned Buffy, which is sort of a BBC2 show... kinda... ish.)

In other news, the BBC's Comedy Connections programme is currently compiling a Red Dwarf edition - a half-hour look at the show's place in TV history. Following a successful first series - including a great edition on Men Behaving Badly - the eight-episode series will also run specials on The Young Ones, Hi-De-Hi, Reggie Perrin, Father Ted, The Goodies, Keeping Up Appearances and Birds of a Feather.

Happy Birthday BBC2

The team have spoken to the ship's complement of cast - Chris Barrie, Craig Charles, Danny John-Jules, Robert Llewellyn, Norman Lovett, Hattie Hayridge and Chloë Annett - as well as co-creator Rob Grant (Doug Naylor remains Australia-bound and unable to participate) and original Executive Producer (and TV legend) Paul Jackson.

Currently about to hit the edit suits and aiming for an Autumn debut, we'll have more details on what may be the best Dwarf documentary outside of Grant Naylor's DVDs later in the year.

Mr Flibble talks to... Paul Jackson.

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