Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned

Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned (2000-2003, 2005) is a free-form talk show hosted by British comedians/personalities David Baddiel and Frank Skinner and produced by Avalon Television. Its concept was developed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and had a run in the West End at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 2001.

The show features the two hosts sitting on a couch onstage and responding to questions from the audience — at times rather seriously, but usually with bizarre digressions into satirical comedy. An audience member is chosen as "Secretary" and has the job of keeping a note of the topics covered on a white board. In practice, the personality of the secretary will also prompt many jokes — usually at his or her expense. At the end of the show Skinner asks either the secretary or the audience to choose between two song books, and to pick a page number between 1 and 20. This process determines which song is performed by the duo, performed by Skinner with Baddiel accompanying him on piano (or, on at least one occasion, acoustic guitar).

Topics of discussion are wholly mandated by the audience and have ranged from discussions of the war against Iraq and other political events to comments on the latest plot twists of popular soap operas and the Atkins Diet. Skinner's Catholicism and Baddiel's Jewish faith are also occasional targets of humour (Baddiel describing Skinner's faith as being "insane" and Skinner often using a music-hall Jewish accent to hold mock dialogues among members of Baddiel's extended family, as well as both performers demonstrating how to "play the piano in a convincingly Jewish manner").

To avoid the show becoming too similar to the pair's other show, Fantasy Football League, an unofficial rule has been in effect to prevent discussion of football-related topics.

One of the most notable moments from the series, was when an audience member asked Skinner and Baddiel if the jokes are actually rehearsed before the show goes out live, only to rip his clothes off in one go exposing himself naked only to be escorted out by security.

The first series ran for four consecutive nights (Sunday - Wednesday) for three consecutive weeks. It was transmitted live at around 22:30, each edition being of thirty minutes' duration. It is often repeated on Paramount Comedy 2 and ITV2.

In 2004, a similar series, with Australian comedy duo Merrick & Rosso, aired in Australia - Merrick & Rosso Unplanned.

The intro to the show begins with a slow pan along an empty street before focussing on actor Lewis Rose who sings the intro before the crowds come in to join with a chant of 'It'll never work.'

Other 'Unplanned' content

Baddiel & Skinner produced a series of podcasts covering the 2006 FIFA World Cup for Avalon Television and The Times.

External links

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