BBC signs French and Saunders for five years

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

FRENCH and Saunders have signed a five-year BBC contract, the BBC 1 controller Alan Yentob said at the Montreux television festival in Switzerland yesterday.

Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders will make programmes for the corporation as a team and individually. An episode of French and Saunders has been entered for the Golden Rose of Montreux award and Saunders' hit comedy Absolutely Fabulous is being moved to a prime BBC 1 slot from BBC 2 for its new series.

Mr Yentob also disclosed that negotiations were under way to increase episodes of EastEnders from twice to three times a week.

He was confident of securing Noel Edmonds' House Party for the BBC. Danny Baker would get his own talk show on BBC 1 and discussions were under way with Terry Wogan. Mr Yentob said Wogan would continue to be a 'major BBC 1 performer' but would not say if his chat show would continue.

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