BBC iPlayer commissions six new comedy pilots, including Greg James debut
James R | On 15, May 2015
BBC iPlayer has commissioned six new pilots as part of its Comedy Feeds scheme.
Now in their fourth year, the Comedy Feeds exist to provide a platform for new and emerging comedy talent to showcase their The initiative, run by BBC Comedy, BBC Three and BBC Academy initiative, aim to develop the next generation of comedy talent, both on- and off-screen and will see Radio 1 DJ Greg James make his acting debut.
“Comedy Feeds are a crucial and dedicated way for the BBC to find and support the next wave of British comedy talent both on- and off-screen. The range and quality is incredibly impressive and we wish all of the talent involved rich and long careers,” says Shane Allen, Controller of Comedy Commissioning, who commissioned the 2015 content alongside Victoria Jaye, Head of Content for BBC iPlayer and Sam Bickley, when she was in her role as acting Controller, BBC Three.
Last year’s line-up included the excellent Flat TV from Tom Rosenthal and Na Osmanoglu and a potential sitcom for stand-up Josh Widdicombe, the latter of which went on to secure a commission for a full season.
What can you expect from the new batch, which premiere later this year on the Beeb’s streaming service? Here’s a rundown:
A comedy about a radio DJ who fails to get the coveted breakfast slot.
Written by Radio 1 presenter Greg James, Shaun Pye and Mark Chappell, and starring Greg James. It is a Cave Bear Production, executive produced by Ben Cavey. It was commissioned by Kristian Smith.
SunnyD is a provocative comedy for the 21st century from award-nominated stand-up Dane Baptiste.
Trapped in a mundane 9-5 and still living at home with his moody twin and unsympathetic parents, Dane dreams of escape – but will he ever make that happen? SunnyD stars Don Warrington, John Thomson and Gbemi Ikumelo. It’s written by Dane Baptiste, and is being made by BBC In-house production. The executive producer is Rebecca Papworth. It will be produced by Lucy Armitage and directed by Chris Cottam.
Radges is a new sitcom pilot written by stand-up comedian Fern Brady, starring Sarah Hadland alongside a host of young talent including Lois Chimimba (Holby City), Lauren Lyle (The Crucible) and Nick Preston (This Is England).
Radges is set in a Scottish pupil referral unit for kids with behavioural and psychological problems. Arrogant self-serving Mab, nervous wallflower Lauren, and perpetually optimistic Kieran try to navigate their way through small town Scotland, where it’s clear they’re not the only ones with issues. Produced by Sam Bryant, directed by Simon Hynd and Executive Produced by Steven Canny.
A character comedy sketch show written by and starring the new wave of Britain’s comedy writer/performers.
The programme features Jamie Demetriou, Natasha Demetriou, Liam Williams, Claudia O’Doherty, Ellie White, Alastair Roberts and Daran Johnson. It is a BBC In-house production. Ben Farrell is executive producer. Andrew Gaynord is director and Sam Michell is producer.
Fishbowl is a comedy about a girl who drops out of university and goes back to stay with her weird family.
Starring Katherine Rose Morley (Last Tango In Halifax, The Mill), Mark Benton (Early Doors, I’m With Stupid), Sally Lindsay (Coronation Street, Mount Pleasant), Felicity Montagu (I’m Alan Partridge, Suburban Shootout) and Michael Smiley (Spaced, The Kill List), Fishbowl is written by Andrew Mettam for Bwark Productions. The producer is Rhianna Andrews, executive producer is Simon Wilson. It was commissioned by Chris Sussman.
Funz and Gamez
Winning the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Panel Prize, Phil Ellis’s Funz and Gamez was the undisputed cult hit of 2014 “delighting both children and (on a rather different level) adults alike”.
Now, the family show has been made into a unique TV comedy game show with Phil Ellis, Mick Ferry, James Meehan and Will Duggan making up the cast. The producer is Lisa Clark and it is being executive produced by Rebecca Papworth.