Sara Pascoe, Tim Key, Nick Helm and Spencer Jones make new Comedy Shorts for BBC iPlayer
James R | On 06, May 2018
Some of Britain’s top comedy talent have created four new short films for the BBC. Sara Pascoe, Tim Key, Nick Helm and Spencer Jones have written and star in the shorts, which have been commissioned by BBC Two and will premiere on BBC iPlayer this month.
In Sara Pascoe’s film, Sara Pascoe vs Monogamy, the award-winning comedian, writer and actor takes on history, heartache and her mother. The comedy short, produced by Stolen Picture and directed by the Blaine Brothers, begins with the bold statement that Sara “doesn’t think human beings are meant to be monogamous” and descends into bad best man speeches, bad sex Victorians and sperm wars. Sara delves into why ‘screwing around’ isn’t a male prerogative and why jazz makes her skin crawl.
Sara says: “I feel so lucky to have been given an opportunity to use animation, actors and Robbie Williams impersonators to develop the kind of thing I talk about in my stand up shows. I’m really excited for people to see it.”
Tim Key’s film, Wonderdate, is a filmic offshoot of his award-winning stage show. Produced by Two Brothers Pictures and directed by Jonathan (Jay) van Tulleken, it’s the tale of a boy dazzling a girl with the perfect first date and then having his dreams hosed down by reality, as he retraces his steps. In spite of myriad texts from him, nothing is coming the other way. His path is riddled with cynics and naysayers, questioning his optimistic outlook on how the date went.
Tim says: “It was nice to film a small slice of something a bit similar to my stage show. Fortunately Jay was free to direct and Lydia was not averse to producing. And crucially Julie Dray didn’t mind spending three days in London to inject the thing with her unique joie de vive. It’s all a learning curve, but I think there’s a bit of charm in it.”
In Nick Helm’s film, The Killing Machine, Helm plays happy-go-lucky human car crash Sam Miller, who turns up at the boxing gym with a simple dream: to become a killing machine. And it looks like reluctant, down on his luck personal trainer Donny Day (Lloyd Everitt) is just the man for the job, while fellow trainer Aled (Jon Pointing) doesn’t think he’s up to the challenge. Produced by Baby Cow and Fancy Pants and directed by Jon Riche, The Killing Machine is about boxing, friendship and not letting being shit at something get in the way of following your dreams.
Nick says: “This film was a great excuse to work again with Baby Cow and newer talents like Lloyd Everitt, Jonathan Pointing and up-and-coming producer Joe Fraser. I was also able to cut my teeth as an Executive Producer with my own production company Fancy Pants and I look forward to working with everyone again on future projects.”
Spencer Jones (Mister Winner, Upstart Crow) writes and stars in the The Mind of Herbert Clunkerdunk, which sees the BAFTA and 2017 Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee as the titular Herbert Clunkerdunk – a man constantly interrupted by his own imagination. Herbert has a big audition. It’s his big chance to finally break out and we follow him as he wakes up, gets ready, gets the all-important call from his agent and begins to learn his lines and rehearse. The episode produced by Tiger Aspect Productions is directed by Jon Riche and also stars Lucy Pearman and Dominic Coleman.
Spencer says: “I’ve been asked to say something for the press release, so I’ll say this: I’ve tried to make something funny with the BBC’s money. So a massive thank you to them and I hope more people like it than not. I’ll be on Twitter waiting with my family.”
Shane Allen, Controller of BBC Comedy Commissioning, says: “The New on Two comedy strand has been extremely fruitful in spinning off full series for Motherland, The Other One and Famalam. It’s a vital place to offer established talent full creative freedom and by having no set duration restrictions this year we’ve assembled four really eclectic and beautifully formed pieces from some of the most vibrant minds working in British comedy today.”
All four films have been commissioned by Patrick Holland, controller of BBC Two, and Shane Allen, controller of BBC Comedy commissioning, and have been executive produced by BBC Comedy commissioning editor Kate Daughton. They will premiere on BBC iPlayer on Saturday 12th May. (Read our reviews here.)
BBC Comedy Shorts are available exclusively on BBC iPlayer.