Four brand new original shows announced for 2022 in Sky’s biggest year for entertainment

Tuesday 17 May 2022

Football fan? Music lover? Or just fancy a laugh? Sky have got you covered with their bumper year of unmissable TV, with 2022 seeing more original entertainment shows commissioned than ever before. Teasing a sneak peek of the new programmes coming to Sky Max, Sky confirmed four brand new entertainment shows, with more still to be announced.

Viewers can look forward to the return of Fantasy Football League, hosted by Matt Lucas and Elis James, Got Got Need, executive produced by Jack Whitehall and fronted by father and son duo Jamie and Harry Redknapp, Hold The Front Page with comedy buddies Nish Kumar and Josh Widdicombe, and a second series of Never Mind The Buzzcocks with Greg Davies, Daisy May Cooper, Noel Fielding and Jamali Maddix all set to return to the panel.

Fantasy Football League is back and bringing with it, two brand new hosts – football fanatics and comedy stars Matt Lucas and Elis James. The iconic comedy football show will blend the best of what’s funny in football, with our special celebrity guest managers picking their dream team line-up. The series will return to our screens with a 16-episode series this autumn.

Read all about it! Nish Kumar and Josh Widdicombe are set to leap into the sensational and often surreal world of local news in Hold The Front Page, a six-part series following the pair’s comical venture into journalism.

Meanwhile, football legends Jamie and Harry Redknapp will be put to the ultimate football fan’s test in Got Got Need. The FIFA World Cup-inspired challenge set by executive producer, Jack Whitehall, will see the Redknapps use their connections to bag meetings with top football players in the hope of creating their very own fantasy team.

And finally, following season one’s hugely successful launch, the iconic pop culture panel show, Never Mind The Buzzcocks returns for a second series. Host Greg Davies oversees the musical festivities, while the teams will be headed up by Buzzcocks veteran Noel Fielding alongside Daisy May Cooper and regular guest Jamali Maddix.

Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Entertainment, commented: “There’s something for everyone this year on Sky Max; from football, to music, to local news, to Daisy May Cooper’s laugh. We’re excited to showcase some of the best of British talent from the small screen in a host of entertainment shows that will provide us all with some much-needed light relief.”

Matt Lucas, Fantasy Football, says: “I loved watching Fantasy Football League with Frank, David and Statto and am chuffed to bits to be a part of this new incarnation. I now make a living eating cake and watching football. I must be the luckiest man in the world. I also get to share the sofa with Elis, who is not only hilarious but the biggest football geek I’ve ever met. See you next season.”

Josh Widdicombe, Hold The Front Page, says: “I was forced to become a comedian after a period of being by far the worst journalist on the Guardian Sports Desk. Consequently, I’m delighted that Sky have given me the opportunity to prove once and for all that I 100% made the right decision in leaving this noble trade. Most of all I’m delighted they have paired me with one of the only people I know who has less chance of doing well in a proper important job.”

Jack Whitehall, Executive Producer of Got Got Need says: “I have always been, like many, a devoted fan to the World Cup and I am beyond excited to be putting one of my best mates and his dad to the test in this exciting new World Cup challenge. More importantly, I can’t wait for Sky viewers to watch Jamie Redknapp fail.”

Greg Davies, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, says: “I’m delighted that Buzzcocks is coming back. I can’t wait to give more musicians the chance to increase their cool by hanging out with fat uncle Greg and his three odd children.”

Further information on shows announced today

Fantasy Football

(16 x 30’) Sky Max and NOW

After 18 years off our screens, Sky are bringing back Fantasy Football League, the iconic comedy football show blending football fanaticism with celebrity chat. Originally fronted by the show’s creators, David Baddiel and Frank Skinner, the duo will be passing the ball to brand new hosts, Matt Lucas and Elias James. Fantasy Football League will be returning to our screens this autumn for a new 16-episode series on Sky Max and NOW.

Running from 1994 to 2004, saw celebrity guests competing against each other as managers in a ‘fantasy league’ as well as chatting all things football. Guests on the show included: Bob Mortimer, Noel Gallagher and George Best. The show also included the legendary regular feature, Phoenix From The Flames, where a retired star footballer recreated one of their most memorable moments in football. 

The series was commissioned by Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts and Entertainment at Sky for Zai Bennett, Managing Director of Content at Sky. Fantasy Football League is produced by Avalon. The Series Producer is Spencer Millman (Fantasy Football League, TV Burp, The Inbetweeners) and the Series Director is Peter Orton (Fantasy Football League, TV Burp, The Russell Howard Hour).


Hold the Front Page

(6 x 60’) Sky Max and NOW

Josh Widdicombe and Nish Kumar are about to leap into the unique and often sensational world of local news with Hold the Front Page, a six-part series following the comical duo's journey into the heart of grass roots Britain.

Sky’s new series will follow the highs and lows of Nish and Josh as they travel across the UK working for a different local newspaper each week, on a mission to find real local stories strong enough to make the front page.  Their investigative journey around Britain will see them delve into local mysteries, take part in unusual events, cover the burning issues of the day and even involve themselves in the news or enlist a celebrity or two to help them out along the way.

But with almost no journalistic experience the pair will have to rely on their quick wits and natural curiosity as they attempt to get to the heart of makes each town or village tick - digging up some extraordinary scoops.  This will be an eye-opening look at some of Britain's amazing local communities through the lens of their local newspaper.  What could possibly go wrong?

The series is commissioned by Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts and Entertainment at Sky UK, for Zai Bennett, Managing Director of Content at Sky UK. Shirley Jones is the Commissioning Editor for Sky. Hold the Front Page is produced by CPL Productions, a Red Arrow Studios company, the Executive Producers are David Taylor, Murray Boland and Danielle Lux.

Got Got Need

(3 x 60’) Sky Max and NOW

The World Cup 2022 kicks off this November in Qatar and Jack Whitehall has challenged best mate Jamie Redknapp to a World Cup challenge of his own. Instead of collecting stickers as so many do, he has to build his own World Cup team by collecting real-life meetings with actual World Cup stars. Panicking about failing and desperate not to lose to Jack, Jamie drags his father Harry into the caper hoping that his contacts can open some doors. Together, Jamie and Harry embark on a road trip across the UK & Europe to do whatever it takes to meet as many World Cup legends as possible… but will Jack be impressed by their final 11?

Manager extraordinaire, Harry Redknapp says “I can’t wait to work with Jamie again and start this challenge. It’s going to be great fun collecting my team of World Cup legends and hopefully I’ll be able to catch up with a few old friends along the way!”

Football legend Jamie Redknapp says “I still remember my first World Cup sticker album – Spain 1982. I got close, but never managed to find Peru’s Hugo Gastulo and I’ll never forgive him for it. I hope I do better with this one.”

The series is commissioned by Phil Edgar Jones, Director of Sky Arts and Entertainment at Sky UK for Zai Bennett, Managing Director of Content at Sky UK. Shirley Jones is the Commissioning Editor. Got Got Need is produced by Jackpot Productions Ltd; the Executive Producers are Jack Whitehall and Richard Ackerman.

Never Mind the Buzzcocks

(9 x 60’ plus Christmas special) Sky Max and NOW

Never Mind the Buzzcocks is returning to Sky for a second series after the first series being one of Sky’s best performance launches ever. Host Greg Davies oversees the musical festivities, while the teams will be headed up by Buzzcocks veteran Noel Fielding alongside Daisy May Cooper and regular guest Jamali Maddix. Joining them will be a roster of top stars from the world of music and comedy, as they compete over both beloved classic rounds and brand spanking new ones.

The series is commissioned by Phil Edgar Jones, Director of Sky Arts and Entertainment at Sky UK for Zai Bennett, Managing Director of Content at Sky UK. Shirley Jones is the Commissioning Editor. The series is produced by Talkback (a Fremantle label) and Executive Produced by Kate Edmunds and Jonno Richards, Managing Director of Talkback. The Series Editor is Jordan Read. Fremantle holds the global format rights.

For further information please contact:

Molly Wyatt molly.wyatt@sky.uk

About Sky

Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of Comcast Corporation, a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. Across six countries, Sky connects 23 million customers to the best entertainment, sports, news, arts and to our own award-winning original content.

Following the launch of Sky Glass, we now offer customers our strongest ever line-up of products and services. As well as the new streaming TV with Sky inside and everything integrated, customers can enjoy the award-winning Sky Q with all your favourite channels and apps in one place, and with Sky Go you can now access an even better experience on your devices. Sky TV has new channels, new shows and new deals with Peacock, Paramount+ and more. Sky Mobile was voted Best Pay Monthly and Best Value Pay Monthly network by Uswitch, and with Sky Broadband we’re offering our fastest speeds yet.

Building on the success of Sky Originals like Chernobyl, Gangs of London and Brassic, we are doubling our investment in original content by 2024 through Sky Studios. Our new TV and movie studio, Sky Studios Elstree, is expected to create over 2,000 new jobs and generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in the UK over the first five years alone. Sky News provides impartial and trustworthy journalism for free; Sky Arts is the UKs only dedicated free-to-air arts channel making the arts accessible for everyone and Sky Sports, our leading sports broadcasting service, brings customers some of the biggest and best global sporting events from the Premier League to Formula 1 and everything in-between. Sky Cinema is the home of Sky Original films with brand new films launching every month alongside an unrivalled range of the latest cinema releases and on demand library.

We believe that we can be a force for good in the communities in which we operate. We’re committed to being Europe’s first net zero carbon entertainment company by 2030 and we’re proud to be a Principal Partner and Media Partner of COP26 – the UN Climate Change Conference. We take pride in our approach to diversity and inclusion: we’ve been recognised by The Times and Stonewall for our commitment to diversity, and we’ve set ambitious 2025 targets to continue to increase diversity and representation. We’re also committed to investing £30million across our markets over the next three years to improve our approach to diversity and inclusion, and to tackle racial injustice.

About NOW

NOW is the home of brilliant entertainment. We’re one of the UK’s leading streaming services with critically acclaimed shows, new and exclusive movies, unmissable sport and epic kids TV – all with no contract. Join in with an Entertainment, Cinema, Sports, or hayu Membership to stream instantly across TV, mobile, desktop and over 60 other devices. Watch on the go and even offline with our app by downloading shows and movies.

Entertainment Members can enjoy critically acclaimed dramas, documentaries and comedies, Emmy award-winning shows, the best of HBO and exclusive Sky Originals. Cinema Members can discover over 1000 brilliant movies, from the latest blockbusters and classic favourites and a new premiere every day. Sports Members cheer on unmissable Premier League, international cricket, F1, golf and more – all live, across 11 Sky Sports channels.

Plus, members can enhance their experience with NOW Boost – that’s full 1080p HD, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and streaming on up to 3 devices at once, ad-free in VOD.

For super-fast broadband, members can enjoy a contract-free connection with a NOW Brilliant Broadband, Fab Fibre or Super Fibre Membership.

Learn more: nowtv.com

See what’s on offer: nowtv.com/offers

Follow us: facebook.com/NOWTV

Go behind the scenes: Instagram.com/NOWTV

Join the conversation: https://twitter.com/NOW

About Avalon

Avalon is a multi-award-winning talent management, television production and live promotion group with offices in London, Los Angeles and New York.   Avalon, Artist Rights Group (ARG) and The Agency represent a prolific roster of artists including comedians, actors, presenters, writers and directors.

Avalon’s numerous ground-breaking returning television shows currently in production include: Not Going Out (BBC), the UK’s longest running sitcom on air; Taskmaster (Channel 4), the BAFTA-winning hit entertainment format showing in 100 countries; multi Emmy-winner, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO); The Russell Howard Hour (Sky), the network’s most successful entertainment show launch since 2010; Starstruck, a new sitcom from the 2018 Edinburgh Comedy Award winner Rose Matafeo (HBO Max/BBC); Flatbush Misdemeanours (Showtime), a new comedy series created by and starring Dan Perlman and Kevin Iso; Breeders, a sitcom starring Martin Freeman and Daisy Haggard (FX/Sky); upcoming new series The Chris & Rosie Ramsey Show (BBC); and multiple comedy specials for Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max and Netflix.

Other landmark Avalon shows include BAFTA winning and multi Emmy nominated Catastrophe (Amazon Prime Video/Channel 4), Fantasy Football League (BBC/ITV), multi BAFTA-winning TV Burp (ITV), and Workaholics (Comedy Central USA). Avalon also distributes its catalogue of programmes to over 150 countries worldwide. Avalon has produced many globally successful podcasts and is at the top of the UK iTunes chart with the multi-award-winning Shagged.Married.Annoyed.

As a leading promoter of live comedy, Avalon produced Newman and Baddiel: Live at Wembley, the UK’s first arena comedy show; Jerry Springer: The Opera, the first West End show to win all four UK ‘Best New Musical’ awards; and has continued to produce and promote live shows globally, as well as promoting more winners and nominees of the prestigious Edinburgh Comedy Award than any other company.

For Avalon news visit: www.avalonuk.com/press or follow @avalonent

About CPL Productions 

CPL Productions, a Red Arrow Studios company, is one of the most successful independent TV, radio and podcast production companies in the UK. An impressive roster of hit shows includes Sky Arts BAFTA-winning spoken word series Life & Rhymes; Sky Max’s long-running and double BAFTA-winning series A League of Their Own, the US version Game On! for CBS, and spin-off series’ A League of Their Own: European Road Trips, US Road Trips and UK Road Trips including the latest Dingle to Dover; There’s Something About Movies and Rob and Romesh Vs for Sky Max; Sky Max comedy The Reluctant Landlord, written by and starring Romesh Ranganathan; comedy quiz show Quizness, hosted by Tom Allen,  multi-award winning Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds, The Restaurant That Makes Mistakes and Married At First Sight - all for Channel 4 and E4 along with the brand new series of Trip Hazard for Channel 4; children’s game show Don’t Unleash the Beast for CITV and BFI; scripted series Brief Encounters for ITV;  High Strangeness the sci-fi comedy drama for Audible; You Are What you Eat the new reboot of the hit series for Channel 5; and with Harry Hill and their NIT Television joint venture, Alien Fun Capsule for ITV, Harry Hill’s Clubnite and Reasons to be Cheerful with Matt Lucas for Channel 4,  entertainment series Harry Hill’s World of TV for BBC Two,  new comedy sketch show Ellie & Natasia for BBC Three and Britain’s Greatest Obsessions, the new factual entertainment series for A+E Networks UK for Sky History, due to premiere in mid-2022.  The company has production partnerships with Ranga Bee Productions, Licklemor Productions and Tiny House Productions.  CPL also has a long history of producing award-winning audio content, including numerous productions for BBC Radio Two and Four.

www.cplproductions.co.uk 

About Jackpot Productions Ltd

Jackpot Productions Ltd was formed by Jack Whitehall and Richard Ackerman. The company officially launched in November 2021 but has been a co-producer on many productions over the last few years including five series of Netflix hit Travels With My Father, Jack Whitehall: I’m Only Joking and Netflix’s Xmas With My Father. Jack is an award winning stand-up comedian, actor, presenter and writer. His most recent film work has seen him star in Disney’s 2021 hit movie Jungle Cruise and Paramount’s Clifford The Big Red Dog, also released in 2021. On television, as well as Netflix’s Travels With My Father, Jack has starred in numerous other series including Good Omens (Amazon), Decline & Fall (BBC) and Bounty Hunters (Sky). He also wrote and starred in three series of BBC3 sitcom Bad Education. Richard Ackerman is a multi-award winning Executive Producer with over 20 years experience of creating and running hit shows.

About Talkback

Talkback (A Fremantle label)

Talkback is the comedy entertainment label of Fremantle UK. Known for creating funny, distinctive shows across a range of genres, Talkback's recent and current productions include Too Hot To Handle (Netflix), Let's Make a Love Scene (C4), Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow (ITV), Shopping with Keith Lemon (ITV2) and Last Woman on Earth with Sara Pascoe (BBC Two). Its rich history of comedy entertainment programming spans four decades, featuring iconic shows such as QI (BBC Two) and Celebrity Juice (ITV2).

www.talkbackproductions.tv

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