Chris Tarrant: A Comedy Roast (found Channel 4 comedy television special; 2010)

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Still image from the show.jpg

Still image from the show.

Status: Found

Date found: 08 Jan 2022

Found by: sanguinehand

A Comedy Roast was a British adaptation of an American classic format. It was hosted by Jimmy Carr, and the targets were all British celebrities. The shows were all entitled, first, by the name of the celebrity, followed by the subtitle - 'A Comedy Roast'. Five were produced in total.

The series is particularly notable in that it was the first - and only - successful attempt to bring the television format to the U.K. after various attempts had previously floundered.[1] (Roast Battle, an adaptation of Jeff Ross Presents Roast Battle does currently air on U.K. pay channel Comedy Central, though its resemblance to the tradition of roasting is only in the barest sense.)


While the Bruce Forsyth, Sharon Osbourne, Davina McCall and Barbara Windsor ones had all been uploaded (albeit in not-great quality) to YouTube and to Dailymotion, the Chris Tarrant one remained elusive. They were all broadcast just once (the episode in question on 9th April 2010)[2], and remained on Channel 4's streaming service for a limited time[3]. While it is not 100% verified that Chris Tarrant: A Comedy Roast is still in Channel 4's possession, it is very probable that it is; and if such is indeed the case, it is highly unlikely that the episode will ever be officially re-released given the complaints it originally received - controversy was leveled at foul language on terrestrial television (despite airing at 10 pm) by a proportion of viewers, it may be presumed, unaccustomed to seeing the American institution of roasting.

Comedy roast episode 0103.jpg

Chris Tarrant is a television presenter most famous for hosting Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, but also a well-known face on British television for hosting other shows such as Tarrant On TV and Tiswas. On his appearance on A Comedy Roast he was roasted by British comedians Jack Dee, Sean Lock, Paddy McGuinness, Jack Whitehall, and Mark Watson; and by TV and radio presenters (and former colleagues) Mark Durden-Smith, Jamie Theakston, Sally James, and Sir Terry Wogan (by video). Writers included Rob Colley, Kevin Day, Dominic English, Dan Gaster, Nick Findlay-Coulson, Miles Jupp, Tony Nicholson, Christine Rose, Pete Sinclair, Charlie Skelton, Lee Stuart Evans, and Martin Trenaman.[4]

There does survive some scant details online of some jokes and skits included:-

Sean Lock: "I knew I'd have to write jokes about Chris Tarrant... Can you imagine a more barren, uninspiring, emaciated topic than that? I'd rather perform an hour of new material about pylons to a submarine crew after the stripper had cancelled."[5]

Vicki Power of The Telegraph attributes the following gag to Jimmy Carr. However, one member of the audience remembers it as being Sean Lock's line.[6][7] In reference to Tarrant's divorce: "Famous for his charity work, Chris recently gave £12.5 million to a Norwegian single mother."

And Paddy McGuinness performed a segment hosting a Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? style quiz on Tarrant.[8][9]

For a time this was all that was publically available - but on January 8th, 2022, a Redditor uploaded all five roasts in decent picture quality, including Tarrant's. On May 23rd, 2022, a backup copy was uploaded to the Internet Archive.

External Link