No broadcaster in the world is more committed to British comedy than the BBC with this extensive breadth of new shows to offer to audiences and amazing opportunities and initiatives for budding writers and performers.Shane Allen, Controller, Comedy Commissioning
Date: 26.07.2017 Last updated: 26.07.2017 at 20.00
The Comedy Playhouse strand ran on BBC One from 1961 to 1975 and spawned numerous, much-loved series including Are You Being Served?, Last Of The Summer Wine and Steptoe And Son.
In 2015, Shane Allen revived the Comedy Playhouse strand and today announces a further three pilots for BBC One starring Tim Vine, Spencer Jones and Rob Beckett.
Mister Winner (pictured above) is a sitcom starring Spencer Jones (Upstart Crow, Tim Vine Travels Through Time) as Leslie Winner, a well-meaning but hapless chap who is prone to accidents, complications and landing himself in unusual and often somewhat dangerous situations.
Leslie plans to propose to his girlfriend, Jemma Smith (Aimee-Ffion Edwards - Skins, Peaky Blinders), but unknown to him, she is having doubts about their relationship as he doesn’t take life seriously enough. Jemma is a young professional from Croydon, who loves Leslie, but doesn’t know if that’s enough as he doesn’t have a job, any money, or ever take her anywhere. But he makes her laugh more than anyone else ever has.
Jemma’s parents, Chris and Teresa, (Shaun Williamson - EastEnders, Extras and Dorothy Atkinson - Call The Midwife, Mum) have stuck together through 30 years of marriage. Chris is managing stress with colouring books (although he didn’t realise there were ‘adult’ ones so is frequently seen colouring in pictures of elephants and children with balloons) and Teresa refuses to take life too seriously. Both are supportive of Leslie’s endeavours to win Jemma’s hand in marriage, even after Leslie has an accident with Chris’s prize possessions, his Koi Carp.
Leslie attempts a big proposal on a weekend break to London. After an eventful open-top bus tour, questionable accommodation and a surprise trip to the aquarium, this all results in an impromptu swim in a shark tank. Will Leslie win Jemma over?
Written by Matt Morgan (Hospital People), directed by Ben Palmer (The Inbetweeners, Man Up) and produced by Michelle Farr (Bluestone 42)
A BBC Studios production for BBC One.
Tim Vine Travels Through Time
Master of the pun Tim Vine journeys back in time to the days of Robin Hood in a quest to mend a golden arrow and a broken heart.
Tim is in search of a celebrity for the grand opening of his antique shop. It just so happens that his very first customer is presenter and Strictly Come Dancing champion, Ore Oduba, who asks Tim if he can mend his ancient golden arrow. Tim steps inside his very special Grandfather clock which travels him back in time to Sherwood Forest in the days of Robin Hood and his band of merry men. On arriving, Tim is greeted by Robin himself (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Ore Oduba). Robin is suffering from a broken heart. He has mysteriously lost his famous bullseye aim, and with it the love of Maid Marion. Tim must get to the bottom of the mystery but local tyrant and shouty killjoy, the Sheriff of Nottingham, is determined to drive him out of town. Can Tim get to the bottom of this skullduggery and help Robin regain his archery prowess and win back the love of Maid Marion? Will he be able to repair the broken arrow and secure Ore Oduba to cut the ribbon at the grand opening of Tim’s Antiques? Only time travel will tell...
Tim Vine says: “I'm looking forward to travelling through time on the BBC. I like to think of this show as Doctor Who with puns.”
The cast includes: Ore Oduba, Sally Phillips, Tim Key, Spencer Jones, Mandeep Dhillon, Kayode Ewumi, Marek Larwood, John Archer and Tony Green.
Written and created by Tim Vine and John Archer, produced by John Pocock, directed by Barbara Wiltshire, the Executive Producers are Christine Langan and Paul Schlesinger for Baby Cow Productions.
A Baby Cow production for BBC One.
Static is a sitcom all about twenty-something Rob (Rob Beckett) who jacks in a job in London to move back in with his parents in their southeast London family home, only to discover they’ve just sold the house and moved to a static caravan park in Margate.
Not only is Rob now jobless, but he’s now having to live on a sofabed in his parents’ caravan in a holiday park 80 miles from London whilst he figures out his next move.
It seems like a disaster to begin with, but his mum’s delighted to have someone to cook for, and his dad’s figured out how to get thousands of football channels on the telly. Before long Rob’s getting used to being with mum and dad again, and through them he’s quickly drawn into the world of the park, not to mention the extraordinary characters within it.
The question is - how quickly can Rob get back on his feet and back to London? And, as time goes on - how much does he really want to? Because despite the crippling FOMO Rob feels whenever he Facetimes his best mate back in the city, there’s definitely some benefits to living like a retired person when you’re in your twenties. Not least when there’s a smart and sassy girl working behind the clubhouse bar.
Static is at heart a family sitcom - warm, working-class, multi-generational and broad, with acutely and affectionately observed characters. And some cracking nicknames.
Rob Beckett says: “I always want to stretch myself as a writer and a performer and challenge myself to tackle different issues and genres. However, that's really hard work. So what I've done is knock up a sitcom about a working class bloke from London called Rob who has to move back in with his parents who are coincidentally exactly the same as mine in real life. The only difference is their names which I've had to change in the show so my real parents don't sue me for royalties."
Confirmed casting for Static includes Rob Beckett (8 Out Of 10 Cats), Alison Steadman (The Syndicate, Boomers, Gavin & Stacey) Phil Davis (Vera Drake, Poldark) and Craig Parkinson (Line Of Duty, Misfits).
Static is written by comedian and 8 Out Of 10 Cats captain Rob Beckett, and Shaun Pye (The Rack Pack, A Young Doctor’s Notebook and The Increasingly Poor Decisions Of Todd Margaret). It is produced by Zeppotron (8 Out Of 10 Cats, The Rack Pack, Would I Lie To You?), part of Endemol Shine Group. John Pocock will produce, and Ed Bye will direct. Rachel Ablett, Peter Holmes and Ruth Phillips will executive produce for Zeppotron