Thursday 19 Dec 2013
The BBC has today announced that it has commissioned six 30-minute episodes of Citizen Khan, just one week after it was read at the Salford Sitcom Showcase. Produced by BBC In-House Comedy, Citizen Khan will be shot at MediaCityUK in Salford and will air on BBC One in autumn 2012.
Citizen Khan is a warm family comedy set in the capital of British Pakistan – Sparkhill, Birmingham. It follows the trials and tribulations of self-appointed Muslim community leader Mr Khan (Adil Ray) and his long suffering family.
Khan is a larger-than-life character, a small man with big dreams and strident opinions. Like many of us he's struggling to make ends meet – but he's proud of his thriftiness – witness his 1979 suit and ancient yellow Mercedes.
Things would be so much easier if everyone just listened to him and followed his lead, but his obsessively house-proud wife and two feisty daughters have other ideas.
Created by Adil Ray, the character Mr Khan has already featured online, on radio and now on TV – fulfilling In House comedy's development strategy.
Mr Khan first came to the public's attention in the BBC Two series Bellamy's People, before featuring as a caller in the Radio Four comedy series Down The Line.
In 2010, Adil reprised his role to feature in his own web series for the BBC Comedy website with 12 episodes, in which he covered a variety of topics such as the general election, cricket, even delivering his own Christmas message to the nation.
Adil Ray's Mr Khan was also at the centre of "Sparkhill Sound" which was on Radio 4 earlier this year.
Adil said: "It's been an incredible journey so far working with a great writing team, cast and invaluable support from all at BBC Comedy. I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to bring laughter to our living rooms."
Danny Cohen, Controller BBC One, said: "Citizen Khan will bring wonderful new comic talent and a fresh flavour to the heart of BBC One."
Cheryl Taylor, Head of Comedy Commissioning, said: "The Salford Sitcom Showcase was designed to encourage more studio sitcoms to be produced and filmed in the North West. We are delighted that within one week of Adil Ray's phenomenal performance as Citizen Khan the show has been commissioned as a six-part series for BBC One. It will prove a wonderful companion piece to our other studio sensations – Mrs Brown's Boys and Miranda."
Mark Freeland, Head of BBC In-house Comedy, says: "I am so proud that In House Comedy has a quartet of wonderful studio sitcoms on BBC One in the next year – Miranda, Ab Fab, Mrs Brown's Boys and now Citizen Khan."
Peter Salmon, Director BBC North, said: "The audience were rolling in the aisles at the Salford Sitcom Showcase and I am sure that Citizen Khan will have them roaring with laughter on BBC One."
The series will be Executive Produced by Mark Freeland, written by Adil Ray, Anil Gupta and Richard Pinto and produced by Paul Schlesinger.
About the Salford Sitcom Showcase
BBC North and BBC Comedy Commissioning chose six scripts from over 80 that were submitted, which were staged at the Salford Sitcom Showcase at MediaCityUK.
Independent comedy suppliers and BBC In-House were invited to submit scripts for consideration and the chosen six – aimed at BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Three audiences – had theatrical presentations which took place over three evening performances from 12 to 14 October 2011.
Watch Mr Khan online on the BBC Comedy website.
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