Gina McKee, Jan Ravens and Phil Nice have been lined up to star alongside Jim Moir, Chris Ramsey and Kimberley Nixon in new six-part BBC Two comedy series, Hebburn.
The series, which started filming this week on location in Hebburn and in studio in Manchester, will transmit later this year.
Hebburn is the home town of stand-up comedian Jason Cook, who has created this warm, true-to-life comedy, inspired by his own experiences of growing up in the North East of England.
It tells the tale of the Pearson family and their impetuous and ambitious son, Jack, played by rising stand-up star Chris Ramsey, who has left Tyneside for the bright lights and glamour of Manchester. He has secretly married a middle class Jewish girl, Sarah, played by Kimberley Nixon (Fresh Meat), and realises that it is about time he introduced her to his family.
Jim Moir (Vic Reeves) and Gina McKee (Our Friends In The North, Notting Hill) play Jason’s parents, Joe and Pauline, who are devoted to their family and their hometown.
Jan Ravens and Phil Nice star as Sarah’s parents, Susan and Ben, who have to contend with their daughter marrying into a family from a very different background.
Joining them are stage actress, Lisa McGrillis as Jack’s fun-loving sister, Vicki; Pat Dunn (Emmerdale) as his Grandmother, Dot, who likes to keep everyone ‘up to speed’ on her bowel movements; Verity-May Henry (Confession) as Sarah’s hippy sister, Marial; stand-up comedian Steffen Peddie as Jack’s ‘larger than life’ friend, Big Keith; Victoria Elliott (Holby City) as Vicki’s best friend, Denise; and Neil Grainger (Judge John Deed) as her boyfriend Gervaise. Jason Cook also stars in the series as Ramsey, a friend of the on-screen lead character Jack.
Gina McKee said: “So far we've had a great time and it's only day three. Really enjoying being part of Hebburn and it's brilliant to be here.”
Joining the cast as Sarah’s dad, Phil Nice said: “Having seen Jason Cook’s show in Edinburgh last summer, I’m not surprised that the writing in this series is so good – the characters are really strong and I’m very happy to be part of Hebburn.”
His on-screen wife, Jan Ravens, agreed, adding: “Even at the read through, the script just leapt off the page. Jason Cook has such an individual style. It's earthy, outrageous and has a heart of gold… and it's DEAD funny. The cast is amazing, and really get their teeth into a panoply of fantastic characters.”
Jason said: “I can’t wait to show the cast the actual town of Hebburn in all its glory! I used to quote all of Vic Reeves' lines when I was at school so to bring Hebburn to life with him, an award-winning actress like Gina McKee and the young, electric cast is going to be mind-blowing.”
The series will be executive produced for the BBC by Kristian Smith; by Henry Normal and Lindsay Hughes for Baby Cow Manchester and Matt Tiller and Alan Marke for Channel X North. It is directed by Chris Gernon (Gavin & Stacey), produced by Gill Isles and written by Jason Cook and Graham Duff (Ideal).
So far we've had a great time and it's only day three. Really enjoying being part of Hebburn and it's brilliant to be here.”