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Sage, Adam

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The Times - United Kingdom | 04/02/2008

How British humour bridges the Franco-German border

Paris correspondent Adam Sage explores the transnational appeal of British humour. "The Germans cannot see the funny side of French humour. And the French are appalled at German jokes. So how does Arte, the television station created to forge Franco-German cultural bonds, programme comedy? ... Series such as Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, BlackAdder and Ab Fab, have got the Germans and the French laughing together, according to the station's managers. They are now planning a series of British comedy films ... . 'Fiction and drama cross national boundaries and so do current affairs,' said Emmanuel Suard, deputy director of programmes. 'But it's true that comedy is more difficult because we don't laugh for the same reasons.' He said that British comics were easier to screen because they often relied on visual humour."

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