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British Comedy

Jack Dee to host next series of I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue (which returns 16 Nov
15/10/2009 18:30 GMT

Posted by lisa


Jack Dee to host Radio 4's Clue 

Comedian Jack Dee will host the next series of long-running BBC Radio 4 show I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue.

The programme was presented by Humphrey Lyttelton for 36 years, until his death last year.

Stephen Fry, Jack Dee and Rob Brydon shared hosting duties for the last series of the show.

Dee will take the helm alone for the next series, beginning on 16 November. A permanent new host has still yet to be appointed.

A longer article appears at - use the "click here for more" link below to read the text.


Jack Dee takes over I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue

Jack Dee, the actor and stand-up comedian, is taking over from the legendary Humphrey Lyttelton on Radio 4’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.

By Andrew Pierce
Published: 4:55PM BST 16 Oct 2009

Dee has been favoured by the BBC over Stephen Fry and Rob Byrdon who had taken it in turns to front the comedy instituition. Dee, 47, will present next month's series on his own for the first time.

The death last year of Humphrey Lyttelton, who was the chairman of the antidote to all panel games, ushered in 12 months of radio silence.

Lyttelton, with his deadpan delivery of the double entendres, was the glue that held the show together from its inception in 1972. He had a comic timing that even Big Ben would envy. So much so many of the show’s admirers did not believe that the “Humph” as he was affectionately known could ever be replaced.

But the BBC, after assessing audience reaction, now appears to have decided that Jack Dee is the best of the first temporary trio. Dee, renowned for his curmudgeonly style of delivery will be only prresenting the next series – the 52nd since it was launched by Lyttelton in 1972 – from November 16.

A BBC spokesman said: “We are delighted to confirm that Jack is taking the chair for the next series of I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue.” The BBC insisted no decision had been taken on a permanent host. “When we can confirm Humph’s permanent replacement, we will make a formal announcement,” the spokesman said.

But BBC insiders are confident that if Dee delivers the laughs, and the ratings, he will be confirmed as the permanent successor to the “Humph” as Lyttelton was affectionately known by contestant and fans. The appointment confirms Dee’s position as one of the country’s leading comedy performers.

Not that Dee, 47, enjoyed a rapid rise to comedy ascendancy. After years eking out an existence on the stand-up circuit he was on the verge of quitting showbusiness. He decided, out of duty, to honour his existing commitments but assumed a sardonic demeanour as he no longer cared whether the audience liked him or not.

But in fact they loved the grumpy new exterior. Dee had found his comedy voice. His first television break came in 1992, a year after he had won Best Stage Newcomer at The Comedy Awards, when he was given his own series on Channel 4.

His popularity was nurtured by a series of award-winning commercials for John Smith’s beer and consolidated even further when he won the very first Celebrity Big Brother in 2001.

Since 1985, the show’s routines have included a fictional and completely silent scorer, “whose job is eased by the fact no points are actually awarded”. The role is usually filled by “the lovely Samantha” — who would like to sit on Humph’s left hand. Samantha is expected to continue with Dee. “I don’t think there will be too many changes,” added the BBC insider. “The programme is a comedy institution.”

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