Ben Elton for new Nine comedy

Ben Elton has a new comedy project with the Nine Network, Live From Planet Earth.

The live comedy series will see Elton act as host, writer and producer.

Elton (The Young Ones, The Thin Blue Line, Blackadder and Mr. Bean) has been resident in Fremantle, WA, for many years after marrying the sister of Junior MasterChef‘s Anna Gare.

In June he signed a creative deal with FremantleMedia Australia.

The series is expected to debut early next year.


Live From Planet Earth will be 100 per cent comedy and 100 per cent LIVE. It is a studio-based variety program hosted by Elton with a cast of regular sketch performers, plus guests, comedians, comedy music acts and international stars. Elton will also be delivering his world-renowned stand-up routines and his influence will be felt throughout the program as he revels in the producing, writing and performing roles.

Elton’s multi-award-winning portfolio of work includes sitcom classics such as Blackadder and The Young Ones and numerous sellout stand-up comedy tours. He is a prolific writer of top-selling novels including Stark, Popcorn and Dead Famous and his smash-hit West End stage plays are regularly performed around the world. He has also had phenomenal success with writing, producing and directing the Queen rock musical We Will Rock You. Elton lives with his Australian wife and their three children in Fremantle, WA.

Elton is excited by this opportunity to create some magic on Australian television.

“I’ve had a great love for Australia for many years and have always been made to feel so welcome. With Live From Planet Earth I want to bring a unique and exciting live comedy experience to Aussie screens,” he said.

“It’s the ultimate great night out, but we bring it to you. No babysitters, no designated driver, no dodgy take-out on the way home. Just smart, high-energy live entertainment with plenty of attitude. The audience, the performers and our guests will all play a crucial role in the fun which, uniquely for an Australian prime time entertainment show, will not feature either sport or cooking. It’s a radical concept I know, but you’re just going to have trust us on this one.”

Nine’s Director of Programming, Michael Healy, said: “Ben Elton is an extraordinary talent and Nine is delighted to have him join the network with his new show Live From Planet Earth in 2011. Ben has had global success with shows such as The Young Ones and Black Adder, which changed the face of comedy. Not only has Ben had hit TV shows, he is also a prolific writer of novels and has produced some of the most successful West End and Broadway shows. Live From Planet Earth will be part of a dynamic lineup on Nine next year.”

Earlier this year FremantleMedia Australia forged an exclusive creative partnership with Elton and Live From Planet Earth is the first project from the partnership.

“Simply put, Ben is a world-class creative force. This show will be fantastic,” Ian Hogg, CEO of FremantleMedia Australia, said. “This commission is a credit to our creative director, Jason Stephens, and his development team for their work with Ben on creating Live From Planet Earth. It feels great to be delivering such a fresh and unique comedy program to the Australian audience.”


  1. At last some intelligent comedy in Aust!’ Goodness knows there’s enough craziness happening to poke fun at!! Ben Elton is great- I’m sure you’ll all get to love him!

  2. Ben Elton is doubtless a prodigious talent on many levels, but I’m not sure I can stomach too much of him in one go. I remember The Ben Elton Show (I guess circa mid 90s?) and yeah, his ego did become a little rampant at times.

  3. @Lisa I couldn’t agree more.

    I remember his appearances on The Panel; kept interrupting guests, even international guests, with his unrelated stories which he thought was better.

    I don’t think one show could contain that much ego.

  4. It was turned down by Ten last year…. Which is a shame, it feels like 10 is the right home for a show like this. Elton is a talent, but then again so was Micallef and see how long his show lasted on 9. Or 110% Squires on 7….

  5. David is this a remake of the Belgium format ‘Greetings from Earth’ by Sylvester productions?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.