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Britain tunes in to fake news "Daily Show"

(Posted August 26, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)

"The Daily Show," comedian Jon Stewart's popular deconstruction of U.S. nightly newscasts, has struck its first full-scale overseas syndication deal with UK broadcaster Channel 4.

Stewart and his team of fake news correspondents will be a cornerstone of Channel 4's new digital channel More4, filing nightly dispatches on U.S. politics, news media foibles and Iraq's "Mess O' Potamia."

American comedy has an uneven track record when it is exported across the pond, but More4 boss Peter Dale is betting that British audiences who are used to Ricky Gervais' "The Office" will latch onto "The Daily Show's" sardonic sensibility.

"I think it's irresistible to an audience that likes an irreverent brand of humour. It's made for British audiences in some ways," he told Reuters on Friday, noting that Comedy Central "seemed a bit surprised that we were interested."

A weekly digest of the programme already runs on CNN International -- which like "The Daily Show's" network Comedy Central is owned by global media conglomerate Time Warner -- but Channel 4 will be the first overseas network to air the show in its entirety.

"The Daily Show" took off during the U.S. presidential elections, when a poll showed many viewers in the hard-to-reach 18-34 demographic were obtaining much of their news about the race from the programme's "Indecision 2004" coverage.

Source: Yahoo! News

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