Late night laughs back on UTV with new series of Secrets of the Comedy Circuit

Paddy McDonnell.

UTV’s series showcasing the vibrant Northern Ireland comedy scene is making a welcome return after a successful pilot series last year.

Secrets of the Comedy Circuit is filmed in front of a live audience in the Belfast Empire Music Hall during their Empire Laughs Back Comedy Club nights, and this series brings the audience eight episodes starting on Thursday 14 September.

The eight-part series showcases not only the best of local talent including established comedians Andrew Ryan, Paddy McDonnell, Diona Doherty, Shane Todd and Paddy Raff, but also new and emerging voices from home, GB, the Republic of Ireland and even further afield, to include Coleraine’s Martin Mor, Cardiff’s Leroy Brito, Jazmynne Sieraa from the US, and Australians Troy Kinne and Thomas Green.

Jazzmynne Sierra

All will bring their unique observations and stories to the audience.

All the episodes capture highlights of a typical ‘comedy club’ night. Each evening is hosted by a well-known face on the local comedy circuit who introduces the various acts.

The viewer will also get to see behind the scenes chat among the comedians with promoter Jade Henry, as the camera gets backstage access before and after the shows.

As well as airing on UTV, viewers from all over UK will be able to watch the episodes via ITV’s streaming service ITVX.

Paddy Raff

UTV’s Programmes Editor Tony Curry said: “We were delighted with the viewer reaction from the first series, and we’re excited to be back at the Empire Laughs Back Comedy Club to bring more new comedy to our local programming. The mix of comedians this series is even more eclectic than last time, and there is sure to be something for everyone.”

Jackie Hamilton, Managing Director at independent production company Moondog Productions Ltd, has again produced and directed the series for UTV.

He said: “This club is regarded as ‘must do’ for stand up comedians from all over the UK, Ireland and further afield. Many famous stars have stepped on to that stage at the Empire Laughs Back Comedy Club over the past 30 years. It is the natural home of comedy in Northern Ireland, and has helped lead the way for Northern Ireland’s vibrant comedy scene.

Leroy Brito

“We hope that this series gives the viewers a snapshot and a sense of what’s going on week in and week out locally. There is a thriving creative community here and we’re delighted to bring the lighter side of life to a wider audience.”

Simon Clemison Head of News and Programmes at UTV said, “I’m delighted viewers of both UTV and our streaming ITVX are getting a night out in Belfast from the comfort of their sofas. We wanted to do more than offer great stand-up and so the series gives a snapshot of their working lives in between the laughs. It’s not something we often get to hear and so Secrets of the Comedy Circuit was born.”

Shane Todd

Secrets of the Comedy Circuit is produced by Belfast-based Moondog Productions, and is sponsored by Connolly’s of Moy.

You can watch the first episode on Thursday 14 September at 10.45pm and on catch up on www.itv.com/utvprogrammes and on ITVX .

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