Dermot O’Leary is to host U&Dave’s six-parter Silence is Golden entertainment show created by Richard Bacon, whose Yes Yes Media is set to produce the series for UKTV.

At the start of each episode, the network gives £250,000 to the studio audience and all they need to do to keep it…is remain silent. With every audience member mic’ed up, all hell breaks loose as a green room of 30 acts, led by three returning comedian captains, headed up by Katherine Ryan, wage war on the audience, with every sound forced out of them bringing the total prize money down. It’s entertainers vs audience – they’re not on the same side. If the entertainers get the prize pot to zero, they get to give money to charity. Silence is Golden – the comedy show that you can’t laugh at.

Silence is Golden is commissioned for UKTV by Mark Iddon, senior commissioning editor, comedy and entertainment, and Jason Dawson, commissioning executive. The series is ordered by Cherie Hall, channel director and Hilary Rosen, director of commissioning. Silence is Golden is produced by Yes Yes Media, with Tim Dean (fresh off Channel 4’s Late Night Lycett) to series produce, and executive produced by Richard Bacon and Yes Yes Media’s Head of Entertainment Mark Sidaway (former showrunner of The X-Factor).

Silence is Golden is distributed by BBC Studios.

Mark Iddon says, “We’re really excited to bring Silence is Golden to U&Dave. Dermot is the perfect host to hold this chaotically ambitious show together and we think our U&Dave audiences are going to embrace this subversive and unpredictable format. Silence is Golden is the only show where staying silent is worth its weight in gold. It’s the quietest way to lose a fortune you’ll ever see and it’s time for our studio audience to put their money where their mouth isn’t.”

Cherie Hall says, “This is a really original premise for a show and I wish our audience the best of luck as they try and resist the temptation to break the silence – viewers at home will love watching the chaos unfold.”

Richard Bacon, founder of Yes Yes Media, says, “You know the feeling when you’re not allowed to laugh at a funeral? Well, it’s that: the Game Show. And I commend U&Dave for boldly commissioning a show that will cost them a quarter million a week – if the audience is better at playing the game than we are.”

Dermot O’Leary says “I’m so looking forward to Silence is Golden. When a show like this falls into your lap, you can’t quite believe your luck. Looking forward to having lots of fun with the audience, our comedians and assorted cast of regulars, all trying to make the audience laugh, gasp and giggle”.

Silence is Golden joins a string of comedy entertainment commissions on U&Dave this year, alongside Battle In The Box hosted by Jimmy Carr, Follow The Leader with Jamali Maddix, returning series of World’s Most Dangerous Roads, Mel Giedroyc: Unforgivable and scripted comedy Meet The Richardsons.

Silence is Golden will air on U&Dave and stream on U next year, following the launch of U – a new masterbrand that will unite UKTV’s family of free-to-air channels and its free streaming service. Launching in Summer 2024, the move will see current streaming service UKTV Play transition to U, and UKTV’s family of free-to-air channels will become U&Dave, U&Drama, U&Yesterday and U&W.


Pippa Considine

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