Just weeks after its colourful re-launch on March 19, 2022, TV47 has unexpectedly halted production of formerly successful standup comedy segment “Churchill Show” for failing to live up to its expectations.
The show hosted by veteran comedian Daniel Ndambuki alias “Churchill” had found a temporary home at the station after its exit from NMG-owned NTV where a change in format amidst the ban on public gatherings in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic proved unfavourable for advertisers.
At TV47 hopes were rife that a return of the audience at the Mount Kenya University’s Mwai Kibaki Convection Centre in Thika would boost the much-needed viewership.
Unfortunately, reality soon proved the show to be stale and boring.
Despite pumping more millions into the project, the numbers kept plummeting which led to Mr Gicharu reportedly cancelling the deal with Laugh Industries Limited a few days ago.
A source privy to the matter reliably informs us that the wealthy businessman was pressured by suffering backroom staff who accused Mr Ndambuki of failing to remit their dues as agreed on their job contracts.
Murmurs on the ground say that the root cause of the problem is a well-known toxic figure that has been negatively influencing the self-proclaimed comedy godfather to the extent of completely metamorphosing into a whole different person.
Insiders argue that unlike before, Mr Ndambuki has recently turned into a serial boozehound inspired by close associate Mr Victor Ber whose notoriety has extensively been exposed in the past.
Two years ago, a former popular comedienne under Churchill’s wings, Zainabu Zeddy disclosed how the show’s comedians were being frustrated by the creative director, who is Teacher Wanjiku’s husband.
In the long post shared on Instagram, she accused Ber of killing talents and lives by depressing artists who go to the auditions with negative feedback.
“Here is the guy behind the artistes’ woes @VictorBer24, creative director at Churchill Show. ‘Depression maker’,” she wrote.
“If you have been to Churchill Show auditions, you know this guy. He will criticise you with his tough words.”
Ber and Ndambuki are reported to make all crucial decisions when drunk which has adversely affected the quality of the show.
TV47 has now decided not to go ahead with producing new episodes and will start airing re-runs until they can safely exit from the contact with Churchill.
“Heads up, Nyakundi,
TV47 is set to cancel the Churchill Live Show after the show failed to live up to expectations.
TV47 expected by signing Churchill, the show would grow their viewership numbers and adverts.
But the show has become very stale and boring.
Despite pumping millions they have seen very low returns and numerous claims of suppliers and comedians not being paid.
The irony is that shows like the Kakamega one were fully sponsored by the county.
TV47 has decided not to go ahead with producing new episodes and will start repeating shows from Sunday until they can safely exit from the contact with Churchill.
The major cause of the problem is Victor Ber who has turned Churchill into a drunkard.
This is the same Victor who was accused by Zeddy of causing comedians depression.
Crucial decisions are made when they are both drunk.
This has greatly affected the quality of the show,” the source writes.
In March 2020, we highlighted how artists who formerly performed at Churchill have come out to protest what they term as exploitation by an extremely greedy employer.
Speaking out via an anonymous e-mail forwarded to this site’s Chief Editor Cyprian Nyakundi, the frustrated employees claim that Mr Ndambuki took off with their dues which he is yet to clear despite recently signing a multi-million deal with industry disruptors TV47.
When the pandemic struck in 2020, he dismissed the team made up of long-serving technical crew members and casual labourers and promised to preserve their roles until Live recording of his show resumed.
Interesting to note, this was done through a WhatsApp message.
But to their surprise, when Mr Ndambuki moved to TV47, he unveiled a completely different team to avoid paying the other guys.