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Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

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Comedy goes rambling as BBC Four commissions new comedy series – The Great Outdoors

Acclaimed comedy writer and actress Ruth Jones stars in a new three-part comedy series for BBC Four. The Great Outdoors, a co-venture between the BBC and Ruth's production company, Tidy Productions, follows the hikes, heartaches, friendships and rivalries of a group of ramblers.

At the heart of the show is Bob (Mark Heap), the vain, deluded, tragic-comic organiser of the rambling group. Over the course of the series Bob will battle to keep his place from newcomer Christine (Ruth Jones), who is determined to jump into his boots and steal his best friend Tom.

While mud flies between Bob and Christine, he is also trying to come to terms with the love-life of his 18-year-old daughter Hazel, and Victor, a chess-loving geek. Although Victor only has eyes for Hazel, he finds himself the focus of the attentions of 30-something Sophie, a stressed-out businesswoman seeking to escape her claustrophobic marriage to Joe, a charming yet manipulative freeloader.

Each week the misfit group heads off on a new adventure across the British countryside and, as they do so, their intertwined lives become more complicated, resulting in a true fight for survival.

Paul Schlesinger, BBC Executive Producer, said: "Rambling is such a great British institution. It's a brilliant subject for a character comedy. And what's really exciting is that with Ruth Jones and Mark Heap we have two of the best comedy actors around at the centre of it."

Written by BAFTA award-winning and rambling-loving duo Kevin Cecil and Andy Riley (Black Books, Hyperdrive, Robbie The Reindeer and Armstrong And Miller), The Great Outdoors will be shot on a handheld camera to offer viewers the virtual experience of walking alongside the characters, without having to leave the comfort of their armchairs.

The executive producers are Paul Schlesinger for the BBC and David Peet for Tidy Productions. The series will be produced by Alex Walsh Taylor.

The Great Outdoors was commissioned by Controller of BBC Four Richard Klein and Controller of BBC Comedy Commissioning Cheryl Taylor.

The Great Outdoors is part of BBC Four's Outdoor Season. From a nostalgic exploration of Britain under pedal-power to wild swimming, camping and bird-watching, the season celebrates the great British love affair with the countryside – whatever the weather.


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