Press - 2009
Let’s Dance for Comic Relief – the celebrity dance series from the BBC and Whizz Kid Entertainment – was the most watched programme in the UK on Saturday night, with a staggering 8.6 million viewers tuning in for the grand final. The series has enjoyed tremendous ratings success in the UK, with the penultimate episode attracting a peak of 8.7 million viewers (37.3%) on Saturday 7th March.
The four-week long, hugely popular live entertainment series formed a key part of the BBC’s Comic Relief programming schedule, running weekly on BBC1 from 21st February through to the final on 14th March. The British public demonstrated genuine support for the programme and raised over £300,000 for Comic Relief.
After weeks of voting, the British public chose the following celebrities to perform in the final programme: comedian Jo Brand, presenters Dick and Dom, Peep Show actor Robert Webb, athletes Denise Lewis and Martin Offiah, comedians Paddy McGuinness and Keith Lemon, and The Bill actors Lisa Maxwell and Patrick Robinson. In the end Robert Webb’s Flashdance routine, which developed into an online sensation over the course of the series, received the highest number of votes from the public and led him to be crowned winner.
Whizz Kid Entertainment, jointly owned by Malcolm Gerrie and Ingenious Media, partnered with FremantleMedia to produce the popular series worldwide. Rob Clark, Senior Executive Vice President, Entertainment and Production, Worldwide Entertainment for FremantleMedia said: “We’re delighted to be working with a company with such a fantastic track record as Whizz Kid Entertainment, and to be using our global network of production companies to take Let’s Dance to audiences around the world. The show has had fantastic ratings in the UK, and we hope to see the same success in other countries. We’re so pleased to be involved in producing this great original format.”
The series saw different celebrities each week performing a dance routine in front of a live studio audience and panel of experts. Each 75-minute episode featured iconic dances, with everything from movie classics to famous music video routines making an appearance.
Malcolm Gerrie, CEO of Whizz Kid Entertainment, said: “We hoped we were on to a winning formula with Let’s Dance for Comic Relief but none of us could have predicted the huge success we achieved. The format has clearly captured the imagination of the nation, both young and old, driving the ratings way above the slot average. The media coverage has also been phenomenal across TV, radio, press and online, creating what can only be described as a ‘cult smash hit’ for the BBC. But most satisfying for all of those in front and behind the camera are the amazing awareness and substantial sum of money that we raised for Comic Relief.”
Let’s Dance for Comic Relief, hosted by Claudia Winkleman and Steve Jones, is an exciting new live entertainment series, which sees some of the nation’s favourite celebrities pay homage to iconic dance routines in a bid to wow viewers with their moves. Donning their dancing shoes, they will fight for a chance to be crowned champion of the dancefloor. The series ran over four weeks, comprising three heats and culminating in a spectacular final dance off on Comic Relief weekend on 14th March. Each week viewers voted for their favourite dancers until someone is crowned the Let’s Dance for Comic Relief Champion on the big night.
Whizz Kid Entertainment was launched in 2006 and is owned jointly by Ingenious Media Active Capital Limited (IMAC) and former Initial CEO Malcolm Gerrie. The company was created to produce top quality programmes across a wide-range of genres including Entertainment; Factual Entertainment; Events and Music and has experienced in-house specialists in each field. In a short time Whizz Kid Entertainment has secured a raft of commissions including Let’s Dance for Comic Relief (BBC1), Elton’s New Year’s Eve Party – Live From the O2 Arena (ITV1 & ITV3), Countdown To Midnight: Take That & Guests Live At The O2 (ITV1 & ITV2), Happy Birthday Elton! (ITV1), The Orange British Academy Film Awards (BBC1), The BAFTA Television Awards (BBC1), George Michael: The Road To Wembley (Channel 4), The Nokia Green Room (Channel 4) Beauty And The Best (LivingTV), Help! I’ve Got A High Maintenance …. (five) plus a major on-line production – The Moonlight Signing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for Bloomsbury Publishing.
About Comic Relief
Red Nose Day 2009 has raised more than a whopping £59 million so far
To make a donation, call 03457 910910 (Calls to our new 0345 number will cost the same as calls to 01 and 02 prefixed numbers and will be included as part of any inclusive minutes or discount package)
Comic Relief, registered charity 326568 (England / Wales); SC039730 (Scotland)
Comic Relief spends all the money raised giving extremely poor and disadvantaged people in the UK and Africa a helping hand to turn their lives around
The Comic Relief promise
In order to run itself in a professional and effective way Comic Relief incurs necessary significant costs. Raising funds, making grants and organisational overheads cost real money.
Despite these costs, Comic Relief is still able to promise that for every pound the charity gets directly from the public a pound goes to helping transform the lives of people living with poverty and social injustice. If Red Nose Day raises £50 million, Comic Relief will spend at least £50 million doing just that. It can make this promise because its operating budget is covered in cash or in kind from all types of supporters like corporate sponsors and donors, suppliers, generous individuals and government (including Gift Aid) as well as from investment income and interest.
For further information please visit:
www.whizzkid.tv or contact:
Tracey Lloyd: General Manager, Whizz Kid Entertainment
Tel: + 44 20 7440 2550 or + 44 7841 997682
Vicky Beaney, Eulogy! Jessie Winston, Eulogy! Anne Fuller, Eulogy!
Tel: 0207 927 9999