It was the show which brought the anarchic spirit of comic improvisation to TV audiences. Now 16 years after it was canned by Channel Four amid declining ratings Whose Line Is It Anyway? is being revived as a live show at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.
Original host Clive Anderson will be chairing proceedings whilst Greg Proops, Stephen Frost and Josie Lawrence are already said to be on board to provide the ad-libs for the 14-night run in the city’s McEwan Hall venue in August.
Paul Merton and Phill Jupitus have also been in talks to appear in the new version, which is being retitled Whose Live Show Is It Anyway?
Anderson, who presents the BBC show Loose Ends from festival each year said he was talking to a number of old contestants, many of whom would be in Edinburgh with their own shows this summer. “Someone suggested doing a version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? and I couldn’t really think of a good reason not to.
"We did film a lot of material for the TV show that never made it in, but it was all genuinely improvised from audience suggestions. The only thing that we faked at all was the running order of the games,” he said.
The show originally started life on BBC4 radio featuring Stephen Fry and John Sessions but switched to Channel Four in 1988 where it enjoyed a 10-series run. Among those later to appear as guests were Sandi Toksvig, Tony Slattery and Caroline Quentin. The format proved popular in the United States where it was revived for television this year.