Peter Kay to star in BBC Two comedy Cradle To Grave

Peter Kay and Lucy Speed (EastEnders, The Bill) are to star in upcoming comedy Cradle to Grave. The eight-part series is an adaptation of Danny Baker’s autobiography, Going To Sea In A Sieve. Set in 1974, the series follows the real-life events of Danny and his family.

Published: 7 March 2015
I am thrilled and honoured to be involved in a project of this scale. I've never known anything like it before, eight period half hour episodes, shot as feature films and written to an extremely high standard by Danny Baker and Jeff Pope. It's an exciting time.
— Peter Kay

Cradle To Grave is co-written by Jeff Pope and Danny Baker. It is due for broadcast on BBC Two later this year.

The regular cast includes Peter Kay as Danny’s father, Fred ‘Spud’ Baker, Lucy Speed as long-suffering wife Bet Baker, Laurie Kynaston as a young Danny and Alice Sykes and Frankie Wilson as Danny’s siblings Sharon and Michael.

Peter Kay says: “I am thrilled and honoured to be involved in a project of this scale. I've never known anything like it before, eight period half-hour episodes, shot as feature films and written to an extremely high standard by Danny Baker and Jeff Pope. It's an exciting time.”

Danny Baker says: “Well this is weird and there's no way around that. To see your life played out by actors is always going to be peculiar and also, frankly quite tremendous. I always knew these stories were thunderingly entertaining incidents and that I seemed to be hurtling through a particularly unpredictable, high-velocity life peopled by extraordinary characters. Now here they are. This will be a fantastic, rich voyage back to a boisterous often maligned era, true tales told large - a strong family in a magnificent working class community just getting on with life.”

In Cradle To Grave, 15-year-old Danny Baker is the guide through the ups and downs of life with the family. Fred ‘Spud’ Baker is a proud south London docker with a penchant for cheeky scheming. Wife Bet loves him deeply but longs for the family to go 'straight’ and play by the rules. With eldest daughter Sharon’s looming wedding, the docks facing closure, and Danny’s struggles to get closer to the opposite sex, times are tough.

Co-writer, Jeff Pope says: "The most exciting part of this series is that it all happened. There is nothing funnier or more dramatic than real life and Danny and his family are a treasure trove of wonderful stories. To see Peter Kay take on a cockney character in 'Spud', Danny's late father, is terrifically exciting."

Shane Allen, Controller of BBC Comedy Commissioning, says: “The talents involved in this series are a powder keg of writing and performing British comedy genius. It’s a raucous and rich world of colourful characters and hilarious stories, and like Danny himself it’s shot through with a big-hearted ebullience.”

Kim Shillinglaw, Controller of BBC Two and BBC Four, says: “I want BBC Two to be the place where creative talent can produce their very best, most authored work and Cradle To Grave is a wonderful example of this, written by the brilliant Jeff Pope and Danny Baker and starring a fantastic cast - demonstrating yet again the ambition and range of comedy on the channel.”

Cradle To Grave was commissioned by Shane Allen, Controller of BBC Comedy Commissioning. It is directed by Sandy Johnson, with Ben Wheeler, DoP, and Mark Davies, editor. It is co-written and produced by Jeff Pope, Head of Factual Drama for ITV Studios.

EH