All About The Bants: Part of a New Raft of Edgy, Young, British, Comedy Talent

ITV2 is airing a raft of comedy shows this month, featuring new talent on and off screen. BAME workers in the TV industry in the UK all know, how difficult its been over the past couple of decades, to get any diverse programming content supported by British mainstream TV players.

ITV2 is airing a raft of comedy shows this month, featuring new talent on and off screen. BAME workers in the TV industry in the UK all know, how difficult its been over the past couple of decades, to get any diverse programming content supported by British mainstream TV players.

Well ITV2 seems to be making a positive, non-patronising, genuine change this month, although only time will tell whether this is a box ticking exercise or whether they are taking it seriously. As it stands now, I'm pretty impressed.


The four, 30 minute comedy and comedy entertainment shows ( All About The Bants, The Ty and Ky Show, The Comedy Basement, Pranksterz), that have been commissioned by Entertainment Commissioning Editor Asif Zubairy and Director of Digital Channels, and Acquisitions Angela Jain, are airing in the run up to the MOBO Awards this week, and include some of the most prominent players on the urban, young comedy scene.

This weekend saw All About The Bants, a hidden camera comedy show air, very confidently presented by music star Tinchy Stryder.

AATB see's a host of rising stars cause mischief and mayhem for unsuspecting members of the public, including two cocky estate agents. Its basically like MTV's Punke'd meets Beadles About with Jeremy Beadle from the eighties and nineties.


PIC - Jasmine Dotiwala.

All About The Bants sees hidden camera pranks meet lad culture. Accompanying Tinchy, the show features an all-star cast including Facebook prankster Arron Crascall helping execute pranks on unsuspecting twenty-somethings across a number work and leisure locations.


I caught up with Tinchy Stryder, and All About The Bants Executive Producer - Dhanny Joshi - this weekend, to hear just how a grime music star had made the transition from music to TV hosting.


Tell about all about the bants and what it was like turning your hand from music to TV hosting?

All About The Bants is our take on making a hidden camera show and flipping it on its head a little with riskier and edgy pranks. Yeah there was an obvious difference going from music to TV, but it was really just about being myself and having fun. I had to adapt to the situation & challenge myself, so I just embraced it you know.

What was your favourite sketch to film?

I would have to go with the Shisha lounge (with the bad waitress). Too much jokes, when you see people looking all-uncomfortable, not knowing where to look. Got tense at times.

What makes AATB different?

I just think we're making a show that's in line with youth culture. Like people these days go to shisha places to relax so why not prank someone at a place where people really go to? Same thing with the estate agent prank - I think everyone knows that young and cocky agent so we thought it would be good to prank one. I just think it's about time there was a hidden camera show that's relatable to this younger audience. Whether that's through the pranksters we're involved or us doing riskier pranks we do that you might not see on another channel.

What did we not see on-screen that didn't make the cut cos it was too outrageous?

We did a prank outside involving an actress asking guys to post for a picture with her for her fake portfolio. She flirts with them a little and then you see the men flirting back. This one guy didn't see the funny side after the actress told him it was a joke and it all kicked off. He grabbed the cameraman by the throat and screamed down at one of the runners. It was a little mad.

Do you remember Beadles About- the 80's middle-aged version of the show; you're the 2015 version of Jeremy Beadle?

Yeah I remember that I'm sure, 2015 version yeah... Cool!!




Tell us how AATB was born, inspired, early life, how did you source and bring the talent together?

AATB came from us wanting to see a hidden camera show that spoke to us. Most hidden camera prank shows are made for a family friendly audience and we wanted to watch something that had more edge and banter to it so we came up with the concept of hidden camera meets lad culture. We liked Tinchy and approached his team and their humour was equally as warped as ours and they were totally up for it. The commissioners at ITV2 really got where wanted to go with it and greenlit it. From then we just approached talent that we're fans of and we knew they would be able to deliver.

Are ITV2 simply ticking a diversity box around the end of black history month?

I don't believe they're trying to tick a box but I do think they're aware that giving opportunities to a diverse off screen talent can only be a good thing. You've got the Mobo's coming up and credit to the channel - they've used it as an opportunity to give a platform to companies to show what they can do in the TV. I think the topic of diversity is part of an ongoing larger conversation, but we're grateful to the channel for putting their neck out - and money - for a relatively new company like ours, BAME or not.

What were you keen to avoid in ''urban yoof culture'' with this show?

We didn't try to avoid making any type of show. I just think if it's funny, it's funny. We wanted to make a show that was representative of what we feel young people might enjoy and between Arron Crascall, London Hughes and Psychomar, there's content in the show for everyone.

What was Tinchy like to direct and work with?

Tinch really was a pleasure to work with. He took direction well and was more hands on with his own thoughts of how some of the pranks or scenes could be which was quite refreshing. He was a real member of the team and it made for a great working atmosphere especially on the long filming days.

How well do you think the Uk's main TV broadcaster- The BBC - represent youth and urban programming content?

I think they're trying. Within our first year they've commissioned two projects from us, which heavily feature diverse contributors and stories so I can say that I'm seeing an active effort to want to reach out to wider communities. I think they were smart to recruit commissioners from diverse backgrounds as the wider perspectives - be it urban, youth, LGBT, disabled and so on will hopefully be catered for if there's someone in the channel knows their world.

What's next for AATB?

We would love to turn this into a series, as there's so much scope to take the jokes further. Once we finished filming we had another thirty ideas for pranks we could do. The main thing for us is we've made a show we can be proud of, and if the audience likes it then we've done our job. Whatever happens after that is the channel's call.


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