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More laughs for BBC Radio 2 schedule

BBC Radio 2 has announced some new comedy commissions – including a sitcom starring Jason Byrne and panel shows about soap operas and the Olympics.

The Pub Olympics will be a 30-minute one-off hosted by Absolute Radio’s Dave Gorman and featuring his One Golden Square colleague Geoff Lloyd as well as a handful of comedians.

Broadcast on Saturday 18th February at 10pm it will be based in a pub and feature events such as Vanilla Ice Hockey, Olympic Rings (based on ringtones) and 100m Something (what can the panellists do in 9.58 seconds?)

Dave Gorman says: “It’s 2012 and time for us to get into the Olympic Spirit. And where better than at the Pub Olympics where it’s served in double measures.”

Panel show Suds Law goes out in the same slot the following week and is presented by former Eastenders actress Tracy-Ann Oberman with guests including Mark Little (Neighbours’ Joe Mangel), Shaun Wiliamson (Eastenders’ Barry Evans), comedian Susan Calman and soap critic Jaci Stephen. The teams battle it out over a number of games celebrating the larger-than-life characters, storylines and clichés which make soap operas such popular entertainment.

Lewis Carnie, Head of Programmes for BBC Radio 2, said: “Radio 2 has a great track record for nurturing comedic talent and I’m really excited to announce these new showcases, which affirm our commitment to comedy programming.”

Radio 2 has also commissioned four-part sitcom Father Figure, written by and starring Jason Byrne. The series will be broadcast in February 2012, following a one-off comedy showcase originally broadcast in April 2010. Jason won the 2011 Gold Sony Award in the Best Radio Comedy category. He said: “My involvement with Radio 2 has surpassed my expectations. When I began with the first series of the Jason Byrne Show I had no idea it would lead to two more series, and then end on a Sony Gold Award. I had so much fun recording it and had an amazing crew and back-up from Radio 2. Winning the Sony Gold was so exciting for me, I’ve worked hard over the years as a stand up and the Sony Gold has lifted me above the rest now and hopefully I’m there for all to see.”

All three programmes are being produced by BBC Radio Comedy and were commissioned by Radio 2 and 6 Music Controller Bob Shennan in conjunction with Jane Berthoud, the Head of BBC Radio Comedy.

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