The Cup – a six-part comedy series for BBC Two – from 9.30pm, Thursday 21 August 2008
The Cup is a new comedy series shot in a documentary style about Bolton-based Ashburn United Football Club and their quest to win the North and Midlands Under 11s Cup in Birmingham. It rapidly becomes apparent that the real story is the selfish and obsessive behaviour of the kids' parents as they try to live their own dreams through their children.
The six-part BBC Two series is written by Moray Hunter and Jack Docherty (Absolutely, The Creatives), based on the Canadian series The Tournament which was produced by Adjacent 2 Entertainment, created by Howard Busgang, Wendy Hopkins and Marty Putz, and set in the world of junior ice hockey.
The Cup is produced by Sue Vertue (Fear, Stress & Anger, Coupling) and directed by Matt Lipsey (Jekyll, Little Britain).
The Executive Producer is Beryl Vertue of Hartswood Films (Jekyll, Men Behaving Badly).
Steve Edge (The Visit, Phoenix Nights) and Jennifer Hennessy (Drop Dead Gorgeous, Lilies) star.
Other cast includes Tanya Franks (Pulling), Dominic Coleman (Ruby In The Smoke), Samantha Power (Little Britain), Billy Geraghty (The Last Detective), Pal Aron (Casualty) and Emmanuel Leconte (The Tudors).
The series also introduces newcomers Ceallach Spellman, George Weaver, Nazim Khan, Haylie Jones and Henry Smith as the young footballers.
The Cup was commissioned by Roly Keating, Controller, BBC Two, and Lucy Lumsden, Controller, BBC Comedy Commissioning.
Lucy Lumsden says: "Following a promising pilot we're delighted to have the world of The Cup on BBC Two."
The Executive Producer for BBC Comedy Commissioning Regions is Cheryl Taylor.
As Ashburn United prepare for the league decider and the game that will qualify them for the North and Midlands' Under 11s Cup in Birmingham, joint leading scorer Malky McConnell misses a training session because his dad Terry insists he play in a trial for Bolton Wanderers' Youth team. Malky is dropped as per Ashes rules and Terry's wife Janice, desperate for a long weekend in Birmingham to rekindle their love life, is furious. So Terry goes on a mission to have Malky reinstated, begging first rival dad Dr Kaskar and then club owner Sandra Farrell to persuade Blackley the coach to change his mind in time for the vital league decider.
The Ashes have made it to the North and Midlands' Cup in Birmingham and, with coach Blackley now too unwell to carry on, his job is up for grabs. Terry and Kaskar, the fitness coach, vie for the coveted position. In order to gain brownie points with Ashes' owner Sandra Farrell, Terry volunteers his wife Janice to organise an auction of promises to raise funds for Tom Blackley. Will Janice manage to raise any money for Blackley and who will Sandra choose as the new coach?
Further information will be published in BBC Television Programme Information.