UKTV has commissioned five short-form comedy shows for its Dave branded social channels.

Those include two shorts for Dave’s YouTube; Big Zuu’s Wrap Clash (6×8’) – a brand-new food competition and a spin-off of Dave’s TV series Big Zuu’s Big Eats, and Who Cares? (6×8’) – hosted and produced by Chicken Shop Date creator Amelia Dimoldenberg.

Exclusively for Dave’s Facebook, UKTV and BBC Studios have commissioned The Comedy Guide to Life (8×7’) – featuring stand-up comics offering witty and punchy observations on modern life, BackChat​ (8×7’) – a comedy talk radio show for Facebook created by Ciaran Bartlett and Luke Mason, and Bad Advice with Olga Koch (8 x7’) – an eight-part comedy chat show with some of the brightest comedy minds.

A team of social media experts are also being recruited to manage Dave’s Facebook and YouTube channels to increase UKTV’s engagement with viewers and fans. A video manager, video editor, junior social analyst, deliverables co-ordinator and a community manager will join the business this year. They’ll also work closely with the UKTV commissioning team and Dave channel director when new short-form ideas are pitched for the channel’s social platforms.

Erina Jones, UKTV’s head of social and online said: “Creating unique short-form series for Dave’s social platforms will increase our offering of entertaining, funny and relatable content in the online world. It’s an incredible opportunity to test out new formats, work with a new generation of talent and extend the enjoyment of our popular Dave Originals for existing fans, and hopefully entice a wave of new fans too. Dave’s mission is to be as funny on social media as it is on air and we want people to enjoy spending time with us wherever they are. Our followers can now look forward to these new and exclusive shows on a weekly basis over the coming months.”

Since its relaunch in December 2020, the Dave YouTube channel has seen a 312% increase in views and it now counts 24k subscribers. The channel’s Facebook page has garnered over 157k new followers and grown by 33% in the last 12 months.

Andrea Amey, who joined UKTV in December to lead the company’s digital strategy said: “UKTV’s channels are incredibly strong but it’s important we have something on offer for viewers who might not watch our shows in the traditional way, on linear TV. Younger audiences are spending increasing amounts of time on social media, so by creating bespoke and bite-sized shows online, I hope they’ll find something they enjoy featuring Dave’s well-known witty tone. When editorially appropriate, we’ll also premiere the best of Dave’s short-form content on our on-demand service, UKTV Play.”

Dave’s YouTube shorts have been commissioned by Mark Iddon, commissioning editor at UKTV, with development from Natalie Rose. Who Cares? is produced by Dimoldenberg’s new indie, Dimz Inc. and Big Zuu’s Wrap Clash comes from Boom.

The Comedy Guide to Life, Bad Advice with Olga Koch and BackChat are commissioned by Mark Iddon for UKTV and Jasmine Dawson, SVP for digital consumer engagement, on behalf of BBC Studios. All three are produced by BBC Studios. Sarah Asante, UKTV’s scripted commissioning editor, is executive producer for BackChat.

Big Zuu’s Wrap Clash will be available at 5pm today and further episodes will drop every Wednesday and Monday ahead of the TX of Big Zuu’s Big Eats on Dave. The series will see grime artist turned TV chef Big Zuu challenge some of the UK’s hottest social media personalities to create a better wrap than him and features guests including, Henrie, Kojey Radical, Alhan Gencay, Ray BLK, Amelia Dimoldenberg and Big Zuu’s partners in crime themselves, Tubsey and Hyder. The series is directed by Adrian Choa and series produced by Alex Gilman, with Rohan Minhas as producer and Sam Grace as executive producer for Boom.

Mark said: “Everyone knows that Big Zuu delivers the tightest raps, but can anyone beat him in the food truck and produce a better wrap? Big Zuu has been a huge hit with Dave viewers so it’s great that Big Zuu’s Wrap Clash is launching on YouTube to coincide with series two of Big Zuu’s Big Eats. I’m also excited for Dave fans to see all the other great shows we’ve commissioned for YouTube and Facebook coming soon.”

Who Cares? is premiering on Dave’s YouTube this month. Each episode will see Amelia pose a selection of questions to the UK public on burning issues – be it political, social, celebrity or fast-fashion – using her unique interview style. The series is directed and produced by Amelia Dimoldenberg.


Jon Creamer

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