Funny Firsts – BBC Scotland showcases new comedy on iPlayer
James R | On 17, Nov 2018
BBC iPlayer is heading to Scotland for the winter, with a month dedicated to showcasing Scottish comedy talent. Funny Firsts, which spans TV, Radio and iPlayer, is multi-platform experiment that kicks off later this month, featuring talent including Robert Florence, Fern Brady, Ashley Storrie, Larry Dean and Des Clarke.
The Comedy Underground, Breaking The News, The State of It, Whiplashed, The Farm, Don’t Ask Fern, The Social presents…Comedy and Short Stuff are the comedy titles which aim to get Scotland sniggering and laughing out loud. The eight productions highlight BBC Scotland’s commitment to produce distinctive and reflective Scottish output complimenting established comedy brands, including Still Game, Scot Squad and Burnistoun. These comedies come ahead of the forthcoming launch of BBC Scotland’s new TV channel in early 2019 – the largest single investment by the BBC in content in Scotland in a generation.
Launching four weeks of Friday night comedy, The Comedy Underground debuts on BBC Two Scotland on 23rdNovember at 10pm. Presented by rising star Ashley Storrie, The Comedy Underground is a stand-up show, bringing together the best, brightest and most exciting comedians gigging in Scotland right now, from Susan Riddell and Stuart McPherson to Christopher KC, Donald Alexander and Ray Bradshaw. Later that night, on BBC Radio Scotland, there’s a chance to hear some more stand-up shenanigans along with some backstage chat with the comedians as they stepped off stage.
This is followed by popular topical satire show Breaking The News, which makes its TV debut on St Andrew’s Night (Friday 30th November). The popular topical panel show fronted by Des Clarke premieres earlier that day on BBC Radio Scotland as it takes a satirical view of the week’s news headlines. Next up, on Friday 7th December, brand new late night comedy The State Of It sees host Robert Florence take a look at the state of Scotland and the world at large. Featuring explosive sketches, satirical animation and topical contributions from a range of new Scottish comic talent, The State of It is produced and directed by the team behind the BAFTA Scotland award-winning Scot Squad.
And last, but not least, on-the-road- panel-show Whiplashed debuts on Friday 14thDecember. Host Larry Dean puts team captains – and fellow comedians – Christopher Macarthur-Boyd and Fern Brady through their paces as they take to the road. Joined by TV personality Aggie MacKenzie and Still Game’s Scott Reid, their road trip takes a series of unexpected and anarchic turns, all engineered by Larry, intent on leaving them feeling Whiplashed.
Exclusive to BBC iPlayer, meanwhile, are four original comedies – Don’t Ask Fern, The Farm, The Social presents… Comedy and Short Stuff. Brady becomes an anti-agony Aunt in Don’t Ask Fern giving all-too-honest advice to the masses; Perthshire farmer Jim Smith offers a unique insight on life in mini-mockumentary The Farm, which also stars Ann Louise Ross and Chris Forbes; BBC Scotland’s emerging talent strand The Social presents… Comedy showcases its funniest new comedy faces with presenter Marjolein Robertson guiding audiences through the sketches; while there’s a compilation of comedy treats in the second instalment of Short Stuff.
That quartet of comedy will debut on iPlayer on Friday 23rd November at 10.30pm.
Gavin Smith, BBC Scotland’s Commissioning Executive, Comedy, Drama & Entertainment, says: “Our Funny Firsts is a chance for audiences to try an array of our comedy in new and exciting ways. Whether that’s the first Scottish satire show to be broadcast on radio and TV on the same day, or the first chance for the audience to see the best emerging stand-up comedians, or the release of BBC Scotland’s first digital shorts sitcom on iPlayer – there’s lots of new ideas, new faces and laughs across all our platforms for all audiences.”