Sunny D commissioned by BBC Three following comedy pilot
James R | On 30, Dec 2015
Sunny D has been commissioned by the BBC for a full series after its pilot earlier this year.
The show was part of the 2015 BBC Three Comedy Feeds, a system that is not unlike Amazon’s pilot-driven approach to new original series. Designed to give a platform to new comedy talent, the Comedy Feeds featured six pilots this year, including Radges (a sitcom set in a pupil referral unit for kids with behavioural problems), Dead Air (a sitcom by BBC Radio 1 presenter Greg James), Funz and Gamez (an amusingly dark spoof game show), Fishbowl (a sitcom about a student returning home after university) and People Time (a hilarious sketch show featuring a host of young talent).
Starring award-nominated stand-up comedian Dane Baptiste (Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer nominee, 2014), Sunny D is a sitcom that captures the angst of the quarter-life crisis from Dane’s perspective. Trapped in a mundane 9-5 job and still living at home with his moody twin and unsympathetic parents, Dane dreams of escape. The series will co-star Don Warrington MBE (Rising Damp, Doctor Who, Death in Paradise) and Gbemi Ikumelo (Broadchurch).
Dane Baptiste says: “I’m incredibly happy that Sunny D has been commissioned! It represents the possibility of the mainstream opening the comedy landscape to a new perspective and the resurrection of the Black British sitcom. I grew up watching sitcoms on the BBC, so to have them invest in my own project is an opportunity that I relish and am grateful for.”
Damian Kavanagh, Controller, BBC Three, adds: “We’re excited to have Dane and Sunny D on BBC Three. BBC Three will always be the home of the best and brightest new comedy talent.”
The season will span four episodes of 25 minutes and is a BBC Comedy in-house production, executive produced by Rebecca Papworth.
“The idea of an everyman struggling through life is far from original, but it’s presented with a huge helping of wit, from colourful graphics to cutaways featuring fictional press conferences,” we wrote in our review. “The conclusion may be predictable, but Baptiste’s fast-paced script crams in a lot of jokes before we get there.”
The announcement arrives as BBC Three is on the verge of becoming an online-only channel with a much smaller budget. With some concerned that the tinier purse will mean that BBC Three will not nurture homegrown talent in the same way as before, BBC Three Comedy Feeds represent a key part in the channel’s dedication to encouraging less established creatives. THis year, full seasons of Josh and Fried both premiered on the channel following pilots in the 2014 collection. As Sunny D prepares for an online debut, we have our fingers crossed that People Time will soon be given the green light too.
Watch all of the BBC iPlayer Comedy Feeds by hitting the button below.
Photo: Photo: BBC/Des Willie