BBC iPlayer unveils Valentine’s Day shorts for 2016
Staff Reporter | On 23, Jan 2016
BBC iPlayer has unveiled its Valentine’s Day shorts for 2016.
The romance-themed short films, titled “Funny Valentines”, were first released last year, with movies featuring comedians including Bill Bailey, Romesh Ranganathan, Sara Pascoe and Limmy. The response was amorous, with the collection racking up a total of 1.3 million views and downloads.
Since then, iPlayer has continued to commission a wave of short-form content, from its Matt Berry Does… series to My Jihad, a rom-com based on an Original Drama Short. Acclaim hasn’t just been limited to audiences: earlier this month, Nick Helm’s Funny Valentine, titled Elephant, was nominated for the BAFTA for Best Short Film.
Now, iPlayer will debut a new trio of shorts, featuring new faces, including Doctor Foster’s Suranne Jones, Stephen Mangan, Adil Ray (Citizen Khan) and Harry Hill.
Shane Allen, Controller of BBC Comedy Commissioning, says the shorts will feature “pioneering and truly experimental work”.
“BBC iPlayer has fast become the crucial creative playground and this second year of Funny Valentines is a testament to the ambition in finding new forms of content with big names for the audience,” he adds.
The shorts will premiere at 9pm on 7th February.
Here is the full line-up:
Written and directed by Rhys Thomas (Brian Pern), Substitute tells the story of Carly (Suranne Jones) and Zach (Stephen Mangan), whose life is turned upside down on Valentine’s Day by the arrival of a hapless online grocery delivery man.
Writer/producer Rhys Thomas says: “BBC iPlayer is a great platform for experimental comedy where the limitations of schedules and durations are out of the window. Suranne was so funny in Brian Pern, I couldn’t wait to make another comedy with her and here it is, at the earliest opportunity. And she’s joined by the brilliant Stephen Mangan, a dream team to work with.”
Harry Hill’s Look At Love
Harry Hill is a man. A man looking at women and love and romance. Also, what happens when Eros’ arrow strikes, the dance of love and how marriage – and babies – ripen. With his international team of experts, Harry Hill prises open the safety deposit box of love and peers in.
Harry Hill says: “We all seek it, yet it is entirely odourless – except in rare cases – just what is [love]? I think I’ve nailed it in this 10-minute documentary.”
Star of Citizen Khan Adil Ray introduces Rafi, a 30-something year-old reluctant carer who endures the loud-mouthed curmudgeon Bert (Ted Robbins, Coronation Street) and the overbearing interference of his well-meaning mother Mary (Harvey Virdi, Citizen Khan). It is Valentine’s Day and Rafi is forced to role-play the perfect date scenario with this unlikely pair – and inevitably, it doesn’t go to plan.