A new romantic comedy for BBC One
BBC One announced today that it has commissioned Lapland (working title), a heartwarming comedy series starring Sue Johnston (The Royle Family, Coronation Street) which follows the lives of the Lewis family from Birkenhead, Merseyside.
The commission follows the success of the 90-minute special of the same name that aired to an audience of over six million during Christmas 2011. The six 30-minute episodes will be made by BBC In-House Comedy and filmed in Salford, Manchester, Liverpool and Birkenhead later in the month to air in early 2013.
Sue Johnston plays Eileen Lewis, the recently widowed matriarch of the chaotic Lewis clan, a large, close-knit and dysfunctional Northern family. The trip to Lapland that took place in the Christmas Special changed Eileen's outlook on life and left her determined to live life to the full rather than 'sitting in the corner dressed in black'. But life back in Birkenhead is a little less inspiring than the spectacular vistas and Northern lights of Lapland.
The series centres on Eileen's continued struggle to find her own peace and joy in life after Ted, as often confounded by her hilariously self-centred children and loveable but trying grandchildren. Lapland features three households and three generations, Eileen, her son and daughter-in-law Pete (Dean Andrews, Marchlands, Life On Mars) and Mandy (Julie Graham, Survivors), daughter and son-in-law Paula (Elizabeth Berrington, In Bruges, Stella) and Ray (William Ash, Shameless, Waterloo Road) and both couples’ respective children Ethan & Melissa and Jack & Liam.
The series is once again penned by Michael Wynne (Olivier Award winner, Best New Comedy 2010 for The Priory, BAFTA winner, Alexander Korda award for Best British Film 2005 for My Summer Of Love) and produced by Rosemary McGowan (Jonathan Creek).
Mark Freeland, Controller, UK Comedy Production, BBC says: "After its rating success last Christmas, it’s exciting that Lapland is coming back as a series. It shows BBC One backs fresh, new, comic writing.”
Pete Thornton, Executive Producer, BBC adds: "Michael Wynne has penned a beautifully nuanced, warm hearted Northern comedy featuring a highly original comic family. With the brilliant Sue Johnston leading a stellar cast, we're thrilled to welcome this hit ensemble back to BBC One."
Lapland has been commissioned by Danny Cohen, Controller BBC One and Cheryl Taylor, former Controller of Comedy Commissioning. The director is Simon Delaney and the executive producer is Pete Thornton for the BBC.
After its rating success last Christmas, it’s exciting that Lapland is coming back as a series. It shows BBC One backs fresh, new, comic writing.”