Hitmen, The Queen and I: Sky One orders new British comedies
Staff Reporter | On 26, Sep 2018
Sky’s one has ordered a brave of new British comedy series from talent including Mel and Sue and David Walliams.
Yes, Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc will star in their first scripted comedy, Hitmen. The six-part series, produced by Tiger Aspect, follows two best friends trying to make their way in the world with only each other to rely on. They also just happen to kill people for a living.
Having stumbled into a career in contract killing, misfits Fran and Jamie (Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc) are not your typical killers for hire. Working out of their scruffy van, each episode follows the hapless duo as they try to carry out their latest hit, inevitably derailed by incompetence, bickering, and inane antics. As each hit goes south, our (anti)heroes are thrown into one bizarre misadventure after another, each full of oddball characters and unexpected dilemmas.
Across the series, as the mishaps – and bodies – rack up, Fran and Jamie’s friendship is put through the wringer: while affable goof Jamie seems content to spend her days hanging out with her best mate, the more sensitive Fran starts to question whether it’s really the life she wants. Will their friendship survive their trials and tribulations? More to the point, as the jobs get increasingly dangerous, will they even survive?
Executive producer Myfanwy Moore says: “We are so excited to be working with the truly fantastic female comedy partnership that is Mel and Sue, who can brandish bullets and banter brilliantly in equal measure.”
Sue adds: “I’m delighted to be part of this project, I can’t wait to sit for months on end in a hot van with my old, flatulent, double act partner.”
Mel comments: “It’s 30 YEARS AGO that I met Sue Perkins, and we had happy times together playing ridiculous characters, then spent hours in a fetid van in order to release them around the country. Essentially nothing has changed in the Mel/Sue collective. And that’s a great comfort.”
Hitmen is written by Joe Parham and Joe Markham and will premiere on Sky One in 2019. The producer will be Arnold Widdowson and the executive producers will be Myfanwy Moore and Siobhan Bachman.
Sky’s other new commission, The Queen and I, stars David Walliams, Samantha Bond and Johnny Vegas. This Christmas, the House of Windsor will be released from royal duty in a comedy based on the novel by the late Sue Townsend and produced by King Bert Productions.
In the 90-minute special, the People’s Republican Party is elected to power and the monarchy is dismantled by the unfathomably popular Prime Minister Jack Barker, played by Walliams. The show follows our beloved Royal Family, with Bond playing the dethroned Queen, as they are evicted from Buckingham Palace and forced to lead normal lives as citizens of a republic. The Queen and I began filming last week, with Walliams and Bond being joined by a star cast including Amanda Abbington, Francis Barber and Johnny Vegas.
Jo Sargent, Head of King Bert Productions, says: “The Queen and I is a truly unique, feature-length adaptation of the late Sue Townsend’s original novel and we at King Bert are so proud to be bringing her incredible work to the screen. Our wonderful cast, led by Samantha Bond and our very own David Walliams bring the storyline to life in the way that only they can. We’re delighted to be working with Sky One, which is such a natural home for comedy of the highest quality, and I can’t wait for viewers to see the show when it airs later this year/next year.”
The Queen and I is written by Stephen Russell, directed by Dan Zeff and produced by Margot Gavan Duffy. Executive producers are Jo Sargent and David Walliams for King Bert Productions.
Head of Sky Comedy, Jon Mountague, announced the orders, saying: “It’s such a thrill to be able to bring our customers – who keep telling us they love comedy – such sparkling shows with world class talent. Over the last 18 months our comedies have won record ratings, a host of awards and the acclaim of customers and critics alike. We’ve set a high bar, and are extremely proud to be raising it.”