Year of the Rabbit renewed for Season 2
Staff Reporter | On 12, Feb 2020Reading time: 5 mins
Channel 4 will return to Victorian London for a second helping of Year of the Rabbit.
The comedy series will once again focus on tough booze-hound detective Rabbit (Matt Berry), his hapless partner Strauss (Freddie Fox) and the country’s first female police officer, Mabel (Susan Wokoma), as they fight crime in London’s east end.
At the end of the first series Lydia (Keeley Hawes) had pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes, with Strauss thinking they were lovers and Mabel joining Lydia’s secret female society, mistakenly thinking it was a power for good. After Rabbit and the gang foiled Lydia’s plot to take down London, saving the day, but with Lydia is still at large and Her Majesty requesting an audience with Rabbit, Strauss and Mabel for a secret job.. anything could happen.
Matt Berry comments: ”I’m looking forward to Inspector Rabbit returning back to our screens to fight crime in the past. This time he’ll deal with all sorts of unearthly forces, including the Royal Family! Victorian London is presently very much where it’s at.”
Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy at Channel 4, adds: “Year of the Rabbit is one of the most glorious, gutsy and audacious comedies on TV, made by a fantastic cast and crew who relish every detail. We’re thrilled to welcome it back. Here’s to more absurd capers in the dark underbelly of Victorian London.”
The six-part second season will be directed by Andrew Chaplin and co-written by Matt Berry and Emmy and WGA Award-winners Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil (Veep, Black Books). Ben Farrell and Ben Taylor will executive produce for Objective Fiction, Toby Stevens for Objective Media Group Scotland, with Hannah Mackay producing.
Keeley Hawes and Sally Phillips join Matt Berry’s Year of the Rabbit
31st January 2019
Keeley Hawes and Sally Phillips have joined Matt Berry in new Channel 4 comedy Year of the Rabbit.
The six-part series, announced last year, sees the Toast of London star play Detective Inspector Rabbit, a hardened booze-hound cop in Victorian London. He’s aided and abetted by his new partner Wilbur Strauss (Freddie Fox) and the country’s first female police officer, Mabel Wisbech (Susan Wokoma), as they bring justice to the streets of the east end.
Year of the Rabbit is directed by BAFTA-nominated Ben Taylor (Catastrophe, Sex Education) and written by Emmy and WGA Award-winners Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil (Veep, Black Books), with additional material from Matt Berry. Produced by Objective Fiction out of OMG Scotland with international partners IFC and all3media international, that line-up alone was enough to put the show on our a watchlist, but now, it’s expanded the cast with some heavy-hitting names.
Alongside the crime-fighting trio, Keeley Hawes (Bodyguard, Misbehaviour) will star as the mysterious Lydia, Sally Phillips (Veep, Bridget Jones) is Princess Juliana of Bulgaria, and Jill Halfpenny (Three Girls, In the Club) as Rabbit’s ex, the deadly Flora.
Within the turmoil of the Whitechapel police station, Alun Armstrong (The Cane, Frontier) will play Chief Inspector Wisbech – who suffers two ways, as Rabbit’s boss and Mabel’s father – while Paul Kaye (Game of Thrones, Afterlife) will play Rabbit’s nemesis, D.I. Tanner.
Also starring in the series are David Dawson (Last Kingdom, Ripper Street), Ann Mitchell (Call The Midwife, Widows), Alistair Petrie (The Night Manager, Sex Education), Matthew Holness (Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, Toast of London) and Craig Parkinson (Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Line of Duty).
Hawes says: “It’s been a thoroughly enjoyable, bonkers experience.”
Phillips comments: ““I can report that there is literally nothing more pleasurable than playing a haughty, 19th Century, pansexual, Bulgarian autocrat with access to guns. I may have peaked.”
Production is now underway.
Year of the Rabbit: Matt Berry to star in new Channel 4 comedy
17th June 2018
Matt Berry is set to star in a new Channel 4, Year of the Rabbit.
The BAFTA award-winning star of Toast of London and The IT Crowd will travel back to period London for the series, playing the brilliantly named Detective Inspector Rabbit.
A hardened booze-hound who’s seen it all, Rabbit is joined by his new, hapless, by-the-books partner (Freddie Fox – Cucumber, Banana, Patrade’s End, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword). While they’re investigating a local murder, the lewd but insightful adoptive daughter (Susan Wokoma – Chewing Gum, Crazyhead, Porters) of the chief of police joins them, becoming the country’s first female officer. Together, the trio must fight crime while rubbing shoulders with street gangs, crooked politicians, Bulgarian princes, spiritualists, music hall stars and the Elephant Man.
Described as being “irreverently and profanely inspired by the unhinged chaos of [the] Victorian era”, the series is directed by Ben Taylor (Catastrophe) and written by Andy Riley and Kevin Cecil (Veep), with additional material from Berry.
The comedy series will span six episodes and is produced by Objective Fiction with international partners IFC and all3media. Ben Farrell and Toby Stevens will executive produce for Objective Fiction, with Hannah Mackay producing. The show was commissioned for Channel 4 by Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy, and Jack Bayles, Commissioning Editor. IFC head of programming Pete Aronson, SVP Christine Lubrano and VP Maura Madden will oversee the series for the channel.
Matt Berry says: “I’m very much looking forward to working with Channel 4 again, and IFC for the first time, as I’m equally looking forward to stepping back in time to fight crime in the same significant year which bought us Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, The Elephant Man and of course Jack The Ripper.”
Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy at Channel 4, says: “Imagine The Sweeney in Victorian England and you’re getting close to the heady misguided machismo that runs rife in this series.”
Shooting will begin later this year, with an expected air date of 2019.