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More comedy for BBC Radio 2

Independent production company Made in Manchester has clinched its biggest deal to date with BBC Radio 2.

The northern indie has been commissioned to make five hours of programmes in the network’s forthcoming flagship Comedy Season.

The season, which kicks off early next week, will see documentaries on the Carry On’s, Tommy Cooper, Bob Monkhouse and Peter Sellers.

Carry On Forever presented by Leslie Phillips will transmit over two nights next Monday and Tuesday from 10-11pm. 86 year old Phillips, who starred in three of the early films, celebrates the enduring appeal of one of the most successful film canon’s in British movie history. There’s classic clips, new interviews with surviving cast members and archive interviews with the likes of Kenneth Williams, Sid James, Charles Hawtrey and Joan Sims.

“It was in Carry On Nurse where Leslie Phillips first introduced us to his catchphrases ‘oh hello’ and ‘ding dong’. We are delighted to have this legend of British comedy hosting this special series,” says Executive Producer Ashley Byrne.

Made in Manchester also turns its attention to Tommy Cooper with an affectionate hour long documentary presented by comedian Sean Lock. Tommy Cooper: Just Like This! airs on BBC Radio 2 at 10pm next Wednesday 21st July.

Meanwhile on Monday, 26th July, Alexander Armstrong will celebrate the life and work of Peter Sellers. Being Here: The Peter Sellers Story comes 30 years after the death of the British comedy actor who had a chameleon-like ability for taking on different personas. The hour long doc will again air between 10pm and 11pm.

And then on Tuesday 27th July, Barry Cryer will present a moving tribute to his friend Bob Monkhouse. All Round Bob Monkhouse also airs between 10 and 11 in the evening.

Ashley Byrne says: “Made in Manchester is delighted to have been commissioned to make these special documentaries and to be able to help the Radio 2 audience remember some of Britain’s biggest comedy icons. We have a strong track record in this field having already made programmes for the network on Laurel and Hardy, Les Dawson, Dick Emery and Benny Hill.

He added:: “We hope that the Comedy Season will become a regular feature on the network.”

The Comedy Greats series is produced by Phil Collinge and Andrew Edwards and is Executive Produced by Ashley Byrne. It was ordered by Radio 2 controller Bob Shennan.

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