Eighties TV star Russ Abbott is to make a return to the sketch show format at the BBC’s Salford Sitcom Showcase next month.
Now in its fifth year, the annual event aims to develop comedy for the BBC, with the likes of Citizen Khan, Boy Meets Girl and Hebburn involved in previous years.
Abbott, who enjoyed primetime success on the Beeb in the 1980s, will return with The Russ Abbot Sketch Show, a show “full of big memorable characters, some old friends and a roistering sense of energy and fun that only Mr Abbot can deliver”.
On July 5, the studio audience at MediaCityUK will also see a performance of The Late Late Morecambe And Wise Show, starring Olivier-nominated Ian Ashpitel and Jonathan Stephens as the much-loved double act.
On the second night, July 6, there will be two different shows: Home From Home, starring Johnny Vegas, and Lodger, co-written by Miles Jupp.
Additionally, there will be a series of panels and masterclasses for aspiring writers and comedians, organised by BBC Writersroom in collaboration with Salford University.
The ballot for audience tickets is now open, with free tickets available from http://www.sroaudiences.com/
Gary Matsell, the event’s producer, said: “Salford Sitcom Showcase is now in its fifth year and I’m excited to be a part of it. We have a few treats again this year… and there’s nothing quite like instant feedback from a live audience!”
Alice Webb, director of BBC North, added: “The Salford Sitcom Showcase is a key event in BBC North’s summer calendar, and is what we are all about – discovering new talent from outside of the capital to share with our audiences. We hope it will result in some new commissions and continue to offer northern talent a platform.”