Harry Hill (TV series)

Harry Hill, later titled The All-New Harry Hill Show and also referred to as The Harry Hill Show, was a British stand-up comedy sketch show, starring comedian Harry Hill, that ran for four series from 1997 to 2003, on both Channel 4 and ITV.

Harry Hill
Title card (1997–2000)
Also known as'The All-New Harry Hill Show'
Created byHarry Hill
StarringHarry Hill
Barrie Gosney
Al Murray
Burt Kwouk
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series3 (Channel 4)
1 (ITV)
No. of episodes27 (Channel 4)
6 (ITV)
Production
Producer(s)Avalon Television
Running time25 minutes (Channel 4)
30 minutes (ITV)
Release
Original networkChannel 4 (1997–2000)
ITV (2003)
Picture format16:9
Original release30 May 1997 (1997-05-30) 
16 March 2003 (2003-03-16)
Chronology
Related showsHarry Hill's TV Burp
Fruit Fancies

Broadcast

Channel 4 (1997–2000)

The original Channel 4 series of Harry Hill was commissioned on the back of the success of Fruit Fancies, a series of six short comedy films written and performed by Hill, which were broadcast on BBC Two, and a sell-out theatre tour in 1996 which was given excellent reviews by critics and fans alike. The Channel 4 series was commissioned in January 1997. The programme's title, as shown in the title sequence, was simply Harry Hill, but was often referred to, in some programme listings, as The Harry Hill Show.

As well as writing and producing the majority of the show's material himself, the Channel 4 version of the series also featured regular performances from Al Murray, who played Harry's older brother, Alan, Burt Kwouk, who appeared as himself, Steve Bowditch, who played Harry's chief scientist, Finnsbury Park, and Matt Bradstock, who played Harry's three year old adopted son, Alan Hill Jr. Each episode was introduced by Barrie Gosney.

Each episode would also include regular features, such as Burt Kwouk performing "Hey Little Hen", the Badger parade, Harry reading the news disguised as Zainab Badawi, and occasionally, a tale from Nana Hill, Harry's eighty two year old nan. The Channel 4 version ran for three years, between 30 May 1997 and 24 April 2000, and spawned three series. The Channel 4 series was produced by Avalon Television.

To tie in with the series, Channel 4 released a book, Harry Hill's Fun Book, for Christmas 1998.

ITV1 (2003)

Following the success of Harry's latest television series, TV Burp, which was broadcast on ITV, ITV decided to recommission the series for themselves, purchasing the rights from Channel 4. For the revival, the show was retitled The All-New Harry Hill Show, and a series of six episodes were broadcast between 9 February and 16 March 2003.

New features for the revival included "The Hamilton Challenge", where each week Neil and Christine Hamilton would take on one of a number of different challenges; "Celebrity hobby that you didn't know about.... but will in a minute".

This was in which Harry would invite a celebrity on, who would then reveal their secret hobby, and the Bouncy Castle, whereby the show would end with the entire audience coming on stage, and bouncing on a giant bouncy castle. Although viewing figures were high enough, ITV decided not to commission a second run, due to fans of the original Channel 4 series expressing distaste for what was dubbed the "poor ITV revival".

Revival (2012)

In June 2012, as part of Channel 4's upcoming Funny Fortnight, Hill revived the series, and filmed a spoof documentary, entitled Whatever Happened to Harry Hill?. The documentary features the story of the original Channel 4 series, and includes interviews with Alan Hill (Al Murray), Burt Kwouk and the Badgers.

The documentary reveals the story in a spoof light, claiming that Hill was in fact the cause of the show's demise, when it was in fact Channel 4's budgetary restraints, and an upcoming deal with ITV which led to its cancellation, fake stories of Hill becoming addicted to Sild and abusing cast members, and a pair of new sketches, dubbed as the "rewritten ending".

This featured Alan Hill performing as Rizzle Kicks and Hill, Alan, Burt Kwouk and Stouffer dressing up as the judges of The Voice UK, to perform a rendition of Jessie J's "Price Tag". The spoof documentary aired on 23 August 2012, alongside repeats of episodes from the first and third series of the show.

Episodes

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