Secret Policeman's Ball Moves To New York, Headliners Announced

Secret Policeman's Ball Moves To New York

Amnesty International's legendary comedy and music event, The Secret Policeman's Ball, is heading to America for the first time in its history.

The gig, which will commemorate Amnesty's 50th anniversary, will be held at New York's Radio City Music Hall on 4 March - and its stellar line-up includes US comedians Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and Reggie Watts. Russell Brand will be flying the comedy flag for Britain, while Coldplay and Mumford and Sons headline the music acts.

The Secret Policeman's Ball was set up in 1976 by John Cleese and last took place in London in 2008. Over the years, the shows have included performances by musicians like Eric Clapton, Bono, Kate Bush and Sting - and sketches by comedy stars such as Rowan Atkinson, Peter Cook, Eddie Izzard, Fry And Laurie and the Monty Python team. Not forgetting David Armand's famous mime of Natalie Imbruglia's Torn - below.

"We are thrilled that some of the most creative political humorists of our time will perform when Amnesty International hosts the first Secret Policeman's Ball in the United States," said Suzanne Nossel, Amnesty International USA's executive director. "On March 4, those of us who can make fun of our government and walk away in safety will dedicate the program to those who cannot."

John Cleese said in a statement: "I used to think humour was a luxury, but at the last election Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert taught me it was a necessity. The Secret Policeman's Ball was - and is - a coming together of the very best comedy talent of any generation to celebrate their art, remind audiences how important free speech is, and highlight just how much vital work Amnesty International does to protect it."

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