Thursday 17 August 2017

PJ Gallagher brings 'whistling chancer' to UK

Ken Sweeney Entertainment Editor

HIS blue suit, glasses and rolled-up newspaper made him a legend on Irish TV screens. But whistling chancer Jake Stevens is back from the dead, filming his hidden camera show for Channel 4.

Comedian PJ Gallagher has been hired by the UK broadcaster to star in a new 'Naked Camera' -- but this time for British audiences.

Shooting began in Liverpool yesterday on a new pilot of the series being made by the same seven-man Irish production crew who produced three series of the comedy for RTE2.

"We drove over this morning in the van with the crew and all the cameras. It's like a new beginning," PJ Gallagher told the Irish Independent.

The funnyman's newspaper-wielding alter ego, Jake Stevens, became an instant hit on RTE from the moment he appeared in hidden camera comedy 'Naked Camera'.

However, after a third ill-judged season in which Stevens was let loose on the US public, the series came to an end. Now Channel 4 has hired Dublin company Scratch Films to remake it for the UK.

"I'm delighted for Jake. He's like a vampire coming back from the dead and after the UK lent Ireland three billion, I feel like we're giving them something back," joked Gallagher.

Many of the sketches first seen on the Irish show will be making a return, including Gallagher's erratic taxi driver, who once picked up RTE presenter Bill O'Herlihy.

"Jake Stevens is loose in Liverpool as we speak. We'll be winding up motorbike couriers, office temps and everybody else. The only thing the English need to worry about is that Jake did three series for RTE and only washed that blue suit once," added Gallagher.

Liverpool was picked because the budget for the pilot is coming from Channel 4's regional department.

Shooting on the Channel 4 'Naked Camera' goes on for the rest of this week in Liverpool, with the remainder of the pilot being filmed in January. The station will then decide whether to commit to a new series.

Irish Independent

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