Wednesday 24 Sep 2014
Miranda Hart returns to BBC Two this winter with a second series of her critically acclaimed, twice Bafta-nominated and RTS award-winning sitcom Miranda.
Based on Miranda's semi-autobiographical writing, her eccentric mother Penny (Patricia Hodge) also returns, still desperately trying to marry her off. PR Sloane Tilly (Sally Phillips) constantly reminds Miranda of what a perfect life she leads, joke shop manager and old friend Stevie (Sarah Hadland) manically tries to run Miranda's working life and long-term crush Gary (Tom Ellis) witnesses Miranda's every prat-fall.
With six episodes of brand new slapstick and laugh-out-loud comedy, hapless Miranda continues her daily quest to fit in and attempt to lead a relatively normal life.
Alan Davies stars as Roland White, a fantastic chef who is a little past his sell-by-date, in this brand new comedy.
Set in the kitchen of a country house hotel, Whites follows the trials and tribulations of head chef Roland and his long suffering sous chef Bib, played by Darren Boyd (Green Wing).
Having been on the brink of success 15 years ago, Roland has since lost the sparkle and drive needed to win a long-coveted Michelin star. He can cook with the best of them when he puts his mind to it, but laziness gets the better of him, much to the annoyance of restaurant manager Caroline, played by Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd).
Bib, meanwhile, is under pressure and hasn't spent time with his wife for months. It doesn't help that Skoose (Stephen Wight) the apprentice chef, has zero respect for him or that quirky waitress Kiki, played by Isy Suttie (Peep Show), takes an order for an eggless omelette.
Despite all their problems, Bib knows he is lucky to be working alongside a true culinary genius and Roland knows that Bib is a true friend. But this doesn't stop things from getting heated in the kitchen.
Happily married English couple Sean and Beverly Lincoln also happen to be successful producers of a hit British TV show called Lyman's Boys, in this new seven-part comedy, written for both British and American audiences by highly-acclaimed writing partnership David Crane (Friends) and Jeffrey Klarik (Mad About You) and starring Matt LeBlanc.
At an awards ceremony in London, Sean and Beverly are wooed by a hugely powerful and charismatic US network executive, who persuades them to move to Los Angeles and remake their hit show for an American audience, with disastrous results.
Quintessential US comedy star Matt LeBlanc plays a larger-than-life version of himself. Joining him are Tamsin Greig (Green Wing, Love Soup, Sean Of The Dead), Stephen Mangan (Free Agents, Never Better, Green Wing), Kathleen Rose Perkins (Without A Trace, Tell Me You Love Me), Mircea Monroe (Scrubs, Without A Trace), Daisy Haggard (Psychoville, Sense And Sensibility) and Richard Griffiths (The History Boys, Withnail And I).
Hat Trick Productions for Showtime and the BBC
Stephen K Amos blends stand-up, audience participation, sketches featuring celebrity cameos and a range of comedy characters, all played by himself, in his first TV series.
"Buki", Stephen's disapproving mother (played by Stephen in drag); Paul "the Hammer", a master stuntman so versatile he can play anyone of any size, colour or gender; "Frank", the fashion-conscious security guard; and "Bad Bond", a secret agent who forgets all his essential gadgets, populate the show.
Sketches include the new BBC Show "Search for Othello", in which judges ask the only white contestant how much chance he really stands, plus updates from the Nigerian News, in Sokoto, providing less than gripping headlines, such as the loss of a woman's sandal.
Celebrity guests include Robbie Williams, Warwick Davis, David Walliams and Matt Lucas.
"Obviously I'm thrilled about the show," says Stephen, "although now my mum will find out I'm a stand-up comedian – she thinks I drive a minicab."
Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse bring a brand new series of their Bafta award-winning sketch show to BBC Two, featuring plenty of new characters alongside old favourites The Surgeons, Dragons' Den, Café Polski, I Saw You Coming, The Chocolatier, The Writer and The Landlady and many more.
New characters to look out for include The Benefits, a south London dysfunctional family who create havoc wherever they go; Gabbatore, a corrupt Italian politician and his straight-faced translator; Gerald, the Forties drunkard who gets into homicidal scrapes; Mike Noughts, who might or might not be a top modelling agent; Parking Pataweyo, everyone's favourite parking warden, and the ageing Silver-Haired Beatles.
Co-written by Harry and Paul, this new series includes appearances from distinguished comedy heroes including Charlie Higson, Lenny Henry, Simon Day, Peter Richardson and Timothy West.
Laura Solon, Alice Lowe, Kevin Eldon, Simon Greenall, Catherine Shepherd, Sophie Winkleman, John Henshaw and Daniel Kaluuya also appear.
A Tiger Aspect production
An improvised tour of the north of England reunites comedy favourites Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. In the style of Curb Your Enthusiasm, the story is fictional but based around their real personas.
When Steve is commissioned by the food supplement of a Sunday newspaper to review half a dozen restaurants, he decides to mix work with pleasure and plans a trip around the north with his food-loving American girlfriend. But when she decides to leave him and return to the States, Steve is faced with a week of meals for one, not quite the trip he had in mind.
Reluctantly, he calls Rob, the only person he can think of who will be available. Never one to turn down a free lunch (let alone six), Rob agrees and together they set off for a culinary adventure.
Over the course of six meals at six different restaurants in and around the Lake District, Lancashire and the Yorkshire Dales, the ultimate odd couple find themselves debating the big questions of life, such as how did I get to be here and where do I go next, over a series of culinary delights.
This six-part comedy series is directed by Michael Winterbottom and builds on the success of previous collaborations between Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan, A Cock And Bull Story and 24 Hour Party People.
BBC Entertainment Publicity
A Revolution Films/Babycow/Arbie production
In this brand new series Rob Brydon invites the audience into his world, sharing his comedy experiences as a dad, husband and famous face. As well as the glamour of showbiz expect some funny observations too as Rob is just like every other modern man – unable to deal with the plumbing or panicked at the thought of school sports day.
The show features a mix of stand-up comedy from Rob and a hand-picked guest comedian each week.
Rob also takes the chance to sing alongside a host of top musical guests and showcase his skills as a number one selling music artist.
Recorded before a live studio audience, Rob interacts with his audience in his own inimitable style.
A TalkbackThames production
Mankind – 10,000 years in the making, and one generation to completely balls it up.
James May is on a mission to save modern man. Thirty years ago men were a resourceful, practical and dependable band of brothers. Today, somehow, they have been reduced to shambling, useless, half-drunk and unreliable oafs in the eyes of society, a reputation perpetuated by the popular culture of blokeishness, which says they're a bit pitiable, endearingly hopeless and completely unable to multi-task.
From Man Lab HQ, James leads a team of today's lost male souls on the slightly muddy but invigorating path to enlightenment. They face an array of inventive practical tests, learn how to deal with the mysteries of romance and reclaim the notion of teamwork in a series of daunting challenges that demonstrates to the world that men can be a dependable and admirable bunch rather than the tepid receptacles for sperm many now assume them to be.
Each week, James sets an example to his team of men by facing a breathtaking test of courage and skill that would be more at home in an action movie. They go to the pub quite a lot too.
A Plum Pictures production
The Apprentice You’re Fired! returns to BBC Two this autumn with award-winning stand-up comedian Dara O Briain in the host’s chair.
Each week the freshly-fired apprentice will be given the opportunity to explain what it is like to try to impress no-nonsense self-made millionaire Lord Sugar.
Joining Dara each week to dissect the candidate’s behaviour and discuss Lord Sugar’s decisions, will be three guests made up of captains of industry and leading figures from the worlds of entertainment, broadcasting and journalism, all united by their shared passion for The Apprentice.
The newly fired apprentice will be able to reveal what it’s really like to be on the receiving end of a boardroom showdown with Lord Sugar and hear the words each of them dread: "You're Fired!".
A TalkbackThames production
Ever wondered why life doesn't measure up to those youthful lofty expectations?
From love and money to fear and progress, Charlie Brooker explores a different universal theme each week as this six-part series attempts to explain where it all went wrong and just how wildly the TV and movie ideal differs from life's grim reality.
Marking the point where the mad daydreams of TV and the sorry reality of real life collide, the series employs a mixture of archive footage, sketches and interviews that will have you wiping away tears of laughter while nodding in recognition, which means you’ll probably have your eye out if you’re not careful.
BBC Entertainment Publicity
A Zeppotron production
Legendary double Michelin-starred chef Michel Roux Jnr and MasterChef judge Gregg Wallace are joined again by Michel's trusted sous chef Monica Galetti for a six-week series that aims to discover a chef who can make it to the top in the culinary world.
Together the team narrow down the competition to find the chef with the skills, commitment, palate and style necessary to reach Michelin standard.
In each of the heats, four chefs face a nail-biting elimination round, in which they must earn the right to cook for Michel by demonstrating their culinary expertise against the clock in a skills test and a palate test.
Monica and Gregg will determine which three chefs are of sufficiently high standard to cook before Michel. The other chef will be sent home. Viewers then see Michel demonstrate a classic recipe, which the remaining three chefs have to replicate for the two judges.
Only the best chefs will be selected to go through to the quarter-final, one step closer to winning the coveted title of Professional MasterChef 2010.
A Shine production
The Dragons are once again off on tour across the country in a new five-part series following up their new investments and finding out what happened to the entrepreneurs they turned down.
There's also behind-the-scenes access to their multi-million pound empires as well as exclusive access to their home lives to find out what the Dragons are like outside the Den.
This year the Dragons shook hands on a record number of investments, and the cameras will be there as they bring their no-nonsense business acumen to the table and get the new investments off to a flying start.
There's also a catch up with some well known Den investments from the past. Is My Dish, Carol Savage's "Facebook for foodies", still flavour of the month with Deborah Meaden? What exciting new developments have there been for Duncan Bannantyne's stage-school investment, Razzamatazz? Has James Caan's faith in Motormouse been proved right and were Theo Paphitis and shoe business Slinks a good fit?
Dragons' Den Where Are They Now? also drops in on Levi Roots, to find out how he and Peter Jones are expanding their food empire, even further.
BBC Front Desk Publicity
BBC Productions, Manchester
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