Channel 4 to broadcast Secret Policeman’s Ball

Amnesty International announced today the latest top comedic talent from both sides of the Atlantic added to the line-up to appear in this year’s Secret Policeman’s Ball at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall on Sunday, March 4, 2012. The all-star cast of music and comedy talent will join previously announced artists Coldplay, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Mumford & Sons, Russell Brand and Reggie Watts.

UK and US stars Fred Armisen, Hannibal Buress, David Cross, Noel Fielding, Micky Flanagan, Bill Hader, Rashida Jones, Seth Meyers, Bob Odenkirk, Andy Samberg, Peter Serafinowicz, Sarah Silverman, Statler & Waldorf from Disney’s The Muppets, Jason Sudeikis, Jack Whitehall and Kristen Wiig have all been added to the cast of the show which will celebrate free speech and Amnesty International’s 50th anniversary.

It was also announced today that UK fans will be able to watch the Ball on Channel 4 within days of the event itself.

Justin Gorman, Head of Entertainment at Channel 4 said: “We’re very proud to be working with Amnesty International and to be able to bring the show to UK audiences. It’s a brilliant line-up in an iconic venue.”

Even with over 20 top names already announced, more comedy and music stars will be announced over the coming weeks, as well as the winner of ‘The World’s Shortest Gig’ a competition for an aspiring UK comedian to win a 15 second slot on stage at The Secret Policeman’s Ball.

Amnesty International’s Kerry Moscogiuri said, “We’re extremely excited by the great host of talent who have given up their time to take part in Amnesty’s Secret Policeman’s Ball. We expect this will be a great evening of entertainment that will also succeed in throwing a spotlight on the importance of Amnesty’s work on defending all human rights, and in particular free speech.”

Campaigning for freedom of expression remains a fundamental part of Amnesty’s campaigning work. Last week the organisation called for the release of social media activist Park Jeonggeun from South Korea after he retweeted messages from North Korea’s official government Twitter account.

Meanwhile last year Amnesty campaigned for the release of young poet in Bahrain who was jailed for reading out a poem. Ayat al-Qarmezi was reported to have been beaten while she was in detention and tortured with electric shocks. Following international pressure, including from Amnesty, Ayat was released from prison.

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About Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international human rights organisation with more than three million supporters worldwide. Working in over 150 countries, Amnesty International investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilises people into action, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom and dignity are denied.

About The Secret Policeman’s Ball
The Secret Policeman’s Ball is a world famous comedy event, which celebrates freedom of expression with the very best within the arts and entertainment industry. Established in 1976, The Secret Policeman’s Ball used anarchic humour to throw a spotlight on human rights abuses.

Returning to mark Amnesty International’s 50th anniversary, The Secret Policeman’s Ball this year is set to be bigger than ever as some of the world’s best comedians and musicians team up for an evening of original, cutting edge entertainment.

About Free Speech
The Secret Policeman’s Ball celebrates free speech – one of the first rights to be stifled by state authorities which seek to repress its citizens. Free speech is a basic human right denied to thousands of people around the world. The Secret Policeman’s Ball aims to celebrate this right through comedy and music.