New broadcast partner and 2017 Gala host announced!

We're delighted to today announce that ABC will be the 2017 broadcast partner for the Festival's signature events The Gala, Opening Night Comedy Allstars Supershow and The Great Debate.

This exciting partnership builds on a longstanding relationship. Australia’s national broadcaster already air the Festival’s Comedy Up Late series on ABC and Stand & Deliver on ABC ME. 

The announcements keep coming with Wil Anderson, much-loved ABC host of The Gruen Transfer and one of the country’s top comedians, as master of ceremonies for the 2017 Gala.

"It is an honour to host the first ABC Oxfam Gala and I would like to thank Adam Hills, Charlie Pickering and B2 for turning down the gig so I could host", said Wil.

Melbourne International Comedy Festival Director, Susan Provan said: “We are delighted to partner with ABC TV for the broadcast of Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s most popular celebrations. We thank Network Ten for their long support and look forward to an opportunity to reach new audiences for our iconic events. 

“The ABC is Australia’s undisputed home of broadcast comedy and Melbourne International Comedy Festival stands proudly as Australia’s greatest celebration of live comedy. We look forward to a rewarding collaboration and to bringing a world of fantastically funny entertainment into Australian living rooms.”

ABC Head of Entertainment, Jon Casimir said: “The ABC is Australian TV’s home of comedy, so we’re stoked to be strengthening our ties with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. The Galas and Debate will add to our proud roster of local comic talent, gracing our screens in sitcom, satire, quiz, sketch and stand-up series.”

ABC will film each of these key Festival events. The Gala, the biggest night in the comedy calendar and proudly supporting Oxfam, is at the Regent Theatre on Wednesday 22 March, as is the long-sold out Opening Night Comedy Allstars Supershow, which officially opens the Festival on Wednesday 29 March.

The 28th annual Great Debate takes over the Melbourne Town Hall on Saturday 15 April, as six smarty-pants local and international superstars take to the stage, using logic, laughs, wit and charm to win the day.

Comedy Up Late is recorded over five nights in April at the Festival Club, with performances by the boldest new stars captured live and aired on ABC’s popular series of the same name.

Stand & Deliver is a super-sized, super-fun show especially for 8-12 year olds in The Famous Spiegeltent on the Arts Centre Melbourne Forecourt. It will be filmed on the final weekend of the Festival for broadcast by ABC ME, ABC’s dedicated digital and broadcast service designed for primary-school age children.