News: Amnesty Goes Online For Shows With Eddie Izzard, Nish Kumar, Guilty Feminist & Goodness Gracious Me Reunion

News: Amnesty Goes Online For Shows With Eddie Izzard, Nish Kumar, Guilty Feminist & Goodness Gracious Me Reunion

Amnesty International is to put classic comedy moments online alongside new live Q&As with a week of Secret Policeman’s Ball Unlocked, which will include a special reunion with the Goodness Gracious Me team.

Hosted by Guilty Feminist Podcast host and Amnesty Ambassador Deborah Frances-White, this series of livestreamed events will bring iconic sketches from Amnesty’s renowned Secret Policeman’s Ball shows - which began more than 40 years ago in 1976 - back to our screens, in a unique opportunity to view the classic comic moments once more.

In each live-stream, Deborah will be joined by special guests - including Nish Kumar, Siobhan McSweeney, Amnesty Ambassador Juliet Stevenson, and original Goodness Gracious Me stars Meera Syal, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Nina Wadia and Kulvinder Ghir - who will discuss the sketches and join a live Q&A with viewers.

Viewers can catch the live events which will be broadcast simultaneously across Amnesty International’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels between 1 - 5 June.

Full Secret Policeman’s Ball Unlocked schedule is below:

  • Monday 1 June, 7.30pm, Amnesty’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – ‘The Four Yorkshiremen’ Deborah, joined by actors Juliet Stevenson and Siobhan McSweeney, will discuss the back story of this classic 1979 version of the sketch featuring Michael Palin and Rowan Atkinson. The sketch and discussion will be followed by a live Q&A on Facebook where viewers can participate.

  • Wednesday 3rd June, 7.30pm, Amnesty’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube – ‘Going for an English’ Deborah, joined by Meera Syal, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Kulvinder Ghir, Nina Wadia and Nish Kumar will revisit the famous Goodness Gracious Me sketch and the impact it had on emerging comedians at the time. The sketch and discussion will be followed by a live Q&A on Facebook where viewers can participate

  • Friday 5th June, 7.30pm, Amnesty’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube ‘We Know Where You Live’ This 2001 show, hosted by Eddie Izzard and including iconic performances by the cream of British comedy including Harry Enfield, Dom Joly, Vic Reeves and Paul Whitehouse and musical performances by Stereophonics and Tom Jones, will be introduced by Deborah Frances White.

    Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, said: “Amnesty’s Secret Policeman’s Balls are trailblazing shows, demonstrating the power of artists, entertainment and comedy to raise awareness and spark action. As the world struggles through this pandemic, we could all do with a dose of light-hearted relief, which is why we’re bringing these iconic moments back to our screens once more. Amnesty will always shine a light in times of darkness – by being relentless in our fight against human rights abuses, showing solidarity, and by celebrating joy and laughter. We hope viewers come together to enjoy these hilarious sketches once again.”

Deborah Frances-White said: “The Secret Policeman’s Ball is synonymous with top drawer comedy, blissed out joy and a focus on human rights. These are all things we could use right now when it feels like basic rights like being able to hug our loved ones have, for good reason, gone away. If there was ever a time to look back on classic glorious sketches presented with panache at Secret Policeman’s events of yore with the performers who delivered them, it’s now. Come and have a nostalgic laugh with us and feel that joy.

Watch the shows here, here and here

About Amnesty’s Secret Policeman’s Balls

More than 40 years ago in 1976, Amnesty International, with a little help from John Cleese and his friends, began producing world-changing comedy shows that promoted human rights. The series, collectively known as The Secret Policeman’s Balls consisted of eleven shows and continued until 2012, taking the UK public by storm. The Ball was the first event of its kind - demonstrating the power of artists and entertainment to build a human rights movement and inspire action, paving the way for Live Aid and Comic Relief. In 2018, the Ball’s saw a revamp with Amnesty Ambassador Deborah Frances White fronting the Secret Policeman’s Podcast Live at the Edinburgh Festival. Which led to The Secret Policemen’s Tour in 2019.



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