Dewsbury's Baroness Sayeeda Warsi to attempt stand up comedy in Channel 4 contest against Reverend Richard Coles, Shaun Ryder,Curtis Pritchard and Katie McGlynn

Yorkshire-born Tory politician Baroness Sayeeda Warsi will attempt to become a stand up comic in a television contest.

Wednesday, 18th November 2020, 11:35 am
Updated Saturday, 5th December 2020, 9:09 pm

Channel 4 has today announced that five plucky celebrities are set to be thrown into the "often unforgiving" profession for Stand Up and Deliver, a new two-part series in support of Stand Up To Cancer.

Dewsbury-born former Conservative Party co-chairwoman Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, broadcaster and Reverend Richard Coles, Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder, Love Island’s Curtis Pritchard and former Coronation Street actress Katie McGlynn will each be paired up with an established comic who will mentor and train them.

David Baddiel will coach Reverend Richard Coles, Jason Manford will be tasked with shepherding Shaun Ryder, Nick Helm will guide Baroness Warsi, Judi Love will be in charge of Curtis Pritchard and Zoe Lyons will champion Katie McGlynn.

Dewsbury-born former Conservative Party co-chairwoman Baroness Sayeeda Warsi. Picture: Tony Johnson.

The five famous faces will be tasked with perfecting their routine alongside their celebrity mentor in just a matter of weeks before performing in a special stand-up show.

Becky Cadman, commissioning editor for factual entertainment at Channel 4, said: “This joyous fact ent series is both a masterclass in comedy, and a dramatic test of character.

"A Reverend, an actress, a politician, a reality star, and a musical legend already sounds like the start of a joke and watching them learn the craft of stand-up from five of the best in the business is brilliantly entertaining.”

Baroness Warsi quit frontline British politics in 2014 over what she called the Government’s “morally indefensible” stance on the ongoing Palestine/Israel conflict, as well as her disillusionment with what she saw as her party’s lurch to the right.

Shaun Ryder. Picture: Jo Hale/Getty Images.

She has since split her time between her duties in the House of Lords - she was made a life peer in 2007 - and her business and charity interests.

It is not the first time that a Yorkshire politician has moved into television entertainment - former Morley and Outwood MP Ed Balls took part in the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing in 2016.

Stand Up and Deliver will air on Channel 4 as part of Stand Up To Cancer 2021.

Launched in the UK in 2012, Stand Up To Cancer is a joint national fundraising initiative from Cancer Research UK and Channel 4 that brings the UK together to speed up progress in life-saving cancer research. To date, Stand Up To Cancer has raised more than £62 million, funding 55 clinical trials and projects, involving over 11,000 patients across the country.

Stand Up and Deliver was commissioned by Channel 4’s head of factual entertainment, Alf Lawrie, and commissioning editor Becky Cadman.

It will be produced by Lime Pictures under Sarah Tyekiff, head of unscripted, with Tamsin Dodgson as executive producer and Genna Gibson being series producer.

Ms Tyekiff said: “Lime Pictures are excited to kick off 2021 with some unexpected one liners and a lot of laughs, with this fantastic Fact Ent series for Channel 4 and Stand Up To Cancer.

"Stand Up and Deliver has been an unforgettable format to make.

"With some of the UK’s biggest comedy names leading the way, it’s full of surprises, shocks and sheer fear as, for one night only, five brave celebrities battle it out for the biggest laughs.”