The ABC has formally announced the return of The Chaser to television screens, unveiling details of the popular satirical group's new series.
Bearing the title Yes We Canberra!, the programme will air weekly in the lead-up to the next federal election, which is expected to be held in the coming months. It will occupy the 9:45pm timeslot in ABC1's Wednesday night line-up during the four weeks prior to the election, followed by a further wrap-up episode after the poll.
The ABC said that Yes We Canberra! would adopt "an all-new format" distinct from previous The Chaser Decides specials, and described the group's new role as that of "warm-up guys" for Lateline.
"Most people don't know that Lateline is filmed in front of a live studio audience," said Julian Morrow, the programme's executive producer.
"That's the problem - they're terribly quiet. So the ABC hired us to rev them up a bit. Hopefully, we can help Tony (Jones) and Leigh (Sales) receive the wild applause, hollers and whoops they deserve."
Sales noted that "adding The Chaser to the Lateline team will give us a gravitas we've been lacking to date".
Commenting on the name of the new programme, Chris Taylor stated that "we wanted the name of the show to be Ratf#*ked 2010, but apparently that's what the ABC's main coverage is going to be called".
A spokesperson for the ABC had already confirmed last week that The Chaser would be returning, following a disclosure by one of the group's members, Chas Licciardello, that the team had been negotiating with the broadcaster over a contract.
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