CNN tackles comedy with stand-up special featuring Ricky Gervais

LONDON - CNN is venturing into comedy for the first time as news reader Richard Quest prepares for a live stand-up performance at a New York comedy club, with help from comedians Ricky Gervais and Billy Connolly.

The one-hour special follows Quest, a CNN news anchor and former BBC news reader, as he interviews a host of comedians including Gervais, Connolly, US comedian Jon Stewart and French satirist Les Guignols de l'Info to gather tips on how to deliver a stand-up routine.

According to Gervais: "You've got to have something but I think you can probably get away with bad material, if you've got charisma and a great delivery."

Connolly added: "I have a skeleton. I have stories and situations around which I work every night and I invent every night and the good stuff stays and the old stuff slides off the edge and disappears."

After a brief visit to the Manhattan Comedy School, Quest takes to the stage at Caroline's Comedy Club in New York to see how his debut stand-up performance goes down with the public.

'Quest' will air on April 29 from 10pm on CNN International and is repeated on April 30 and May 1. 

A CNN spokesman said: "It shows people CNN is more than breaking news."

Separately, CNN has secured The Portuguese National Tourist Board as its sole sponsor of weather updates on CNN International -- with broadcasts going out to more that 107m households and hotel rooms in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

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