As mentioned in my blog last week, BBC Studios have outrageously sold a stolen concept to Channel 4/E4 either by blatant amoral plagiarism or because of a breathtaking lack of interest in or knowledge of the current and recent UK comedy scene – a non-broadcast pilot that has clearly been based on the theft of the intellectual property of comedian Benjamin Bankole Bello – his comedy character President Obonjo.
In what could be read as a two-finger sign to BBC Studios, ‘President Obonjo’ has today made a clean sweep in nominations for the three annual Malcolm Hardee Awards at the Edinburgh Fringe.
The President Obonjo character has been nominated for Comic Originality (on the basis that the BBC have flagrantly ripped-off the basic idea)… and for the Act Most Likely to Make a Million Quid Award.
I am not so sure about the latter as BBC Studios’ actions potentially have the outcome of destroying Benjamin Bello’s so-far successful ten-year career… and the cynical BBC people involved must clearly know this – they are apparently amoral, not actually stupid.
Ironically, E4 and BBC Studios have been nominated in the Cunning Stunt Award category “for exponentially increasing the knowledge of, and sales for, President Obonjo with their ‘appalling theft of his character’.”
In an apparent further two-finger gesture to BBC Studios and E4, President Obonjo will be compering the traditional two-hour Malcolm Hardee Awards Show in Edinburgh’s Counting House venue starting tomorrow at 2359 – that’s midnight.
As it is part of the Laughing Horse Free Festival, entry is free. Whether you will exit with your soul unsullied is a matter for conjecture.
The Award nominations are:
– Sean Morley
– Joz Norris
– President Obonjo
– Charles Quarterman
– Jimmy Slim and Lewis Blomfield
– E4 & BBC Studios – for exponentially increasing the knowledge of, and sales for, President Obonjo with their “appalling theft of his character”.
– Jimmy Slim and Lewis Blomfield – for creating and distributing flyers which have scratch-card like elements on them.
– West End Producer – for releasing a poster featuring 5-star reviews appearing to be from well known critics and producers (M Billington, L Gardner, S Clapp, C Mack, Andy Webber). However, the names mentioned were actually members of the public he phoned up (eg Andy Webber is a man who lives in Bognor Regis), who gave permission for their names to be used.
ACT MOST LIKELY TO MAKE A MILLION QUID
– Catherine Cohen – for her force-of-nature take on millennials and their outwardly perfect, inwardly bleak lives.
– Tom Crosby – for creating a highly addictive video game and getting people hooked on it during the introduction to his show
– Sophie Duker – for being a self-aware, increasingly prominent voice of intersectionality as it changes Western culture
– Candy Gigi – for having a world class voice that could go global and showcasing it in a new musical genre
– President Obonjo – for, in future, either winning a legal battle over ownership of his character or becoming leader of the country
Malcolm Hardee’s children, Frank and Poppy Hardee, say: “One of our dad’s greatest qualities was finding and supporting new talent. This award in honour of our father will hopefully help to continue to promote new, exciting and slightly eccentric comedy acts at one of the world’s most famous comedy festivals.”