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Allen unveils raft of new shows for C4's Funny Fortnight

Allen unveils raft of new shows for C4's Funny Fortnight
Staff Reporter
18 June 2012

Channel 4 will run a Funny Fortnight in August, featuring over 30 hours of  new comedy programming, including shows from Objective, Pett Productions, Zeppotron, Hat Trick, Lucky Features, Tiger Aspect, Zeitgeist, Shiver and Lucky Features.

Shane Allen, Channel 4 head of Comedy said "Channel 4 has been at the forefront of British comedy from day one. We've launched so many careers by backing new talent and have never been afraid to get in trouble all for the comedy cause. Channel Four's Funny Fortnight is a chance to celebrate our achievements with a raft of new shows featuring many of the biggest names in British Comedy".

The fortnight will include Toast of London, a sitcom written by Arthur Mathews (Father Ted, Big Train) and Matt Berry.  Matt Berry (The IT Crowd) also stars in the lead role as Steven Toast, a successful actor now in his forties who regularly appears in prestigious television dramas and on the London stage. However, he has made a recent career faux pas by electing to star in a new controversial west end stage play. The play is considered so outrageous, that Toast is frequently attacked by appalled members of the British public. Recently divorced, Toast is staying with his friend Ed Howzer- Black and Ed's elderly mistress, the agoraphobic Goodhouse.

In the pilot episode Toast is asked to audition for the long running television series Inspector Somerset. However, the producer has been recently imprisoned for racial chanting on the set of his own production, so Toast has to audition for the part of a gay corrupt detective during prisoner's visiting time.

Made by Objective Productions Toast of London is directed by Michael Cumming, produced by Phil Clarke and Rachel Springett and executive produced by Ben Farrell and Andrew Newman

Lucky Sexy Winners sees Vic & Bob once again reinvent panel and quiz show formats. Their new programme will feature new comedy talent, original sketches, new characters and anarchic twists along the way. Made by Pett Productions, series producer is Lisa Clark and director is Geri O'Dowd

The Boyle Variety Performance is Frankie Boyle's take on a Royal variety event of a similar name. Complete with red carpet, celebrity guests, comedy, variety, music and Frankie himself, the show will come direct from a London theatre. It is produced by Zeppotron; exec producers are Ruth Phillips, Peter Holmes and Richard Osman.

Guy Jenkin and Andy Hamilton - co-creators of Outnumbered and Drop the Dead Donkey - return to Channel 4 with Just Around the Corner, a comedy set in the future. It is being made by Hat Trick Productions. Guy Jenkin and Andy Hamilton produce and direct and Jimmy Mulville is executive producer

Just Around the Corner is the story of a suburban family, the Pilches, who live in an uncertain, unsettling and warmer world where all the banks have disappeared, along with much of Britain's coastline. The Pilch family encounter all the familiar dilemmas that have shaped family life through the ages, only this time those struggles are played out against the backdrop of a dystopian, dog-eat-dog future.

A one off show hosted by Harry Hill will look back at the seminal series Harry Hill, which ran for three series on Channel 4.  Made by Lucky Features. Producer Adrian Sturges and written and directed by Harry Hill.

Them from That Thing is a new two part sketch show that combines a core cast of Channel 4 comedy stars - Blake Harrison (The Inbetweeners), Kayvan Novak (FaceJacker), Sally Phillips (Smack The Pony) and Morgana Robinson (Very Important People) - with faces from the world of drama.

Made by Hat Trick Productions the executive producer is Helen Williams and producer is Tom Thostrup.

Kayvan Novak stars as car salesman turned international television star Terry Tibbs and he will subject his celebrity guests to his own unique brand of interview technique. Set in a world where serious characters say and do very stupid things, Them From That Thing combines the look and feel of British drama with a comic sensibility. Written by Ben Caudell, Peter Holmes, Charlie Brooker, Neil Webster, Chris Grady and Robert Florence, Them From That Thing is produced by Zeppotron and directed by Ben Palmer (The Inbetweeners).


Bad Sugar, written by Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong stars Olivia Colman, Julia Davis and Sharon Horgan, who also co-conceived the idea. The show centres on a dysfunctional, wealthy mining dynasty, with an ailing patriarch and some greedy siblings. It's a British take on telenovela style melodramas. The programme also stars David Bradley, Peter Serafinowicz, Kayvan Novak and Reece Shearsmith.

Made by Tiger Aspect Productions Sophie Clarke-Jervoise is exec producer and director Ben Palmer (Inbetweeners). Producer is Derren Schlesinger (Four Lions, Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy).

I'm Spazticus is a prank show featuring disabled performers pranking able-bodied members of the public. A mix of hidden camera show and mock doc the show will feature a number of recurring characters as well as one-offs.

I'm Spazticus will be made by Zeitgeist Television for Channel 4.Executive producer and director is Jamie O'Leary. Paul Hupfield is director and producer is Jemma Gander.

The Function Room is a studio sitcom written by Dan Maier (Harry Hill's TV Burp) Set in a pub function room which sees pub regulars who've booked the room for different events joined by new characters each week: In this episode the function room is being used for a local community ‘Meet The Police' event, with residents quizzing local police officers about crime in the area.

The cast includes Blake Harrison (The Inbetweeners), Reece Shearsmith (The League of Gentleman), James Fleet (The Vicar of Dibley), Simon Day (The Fast Show), Paul Ritter (Friday Night Dinner), Jessica Knappet (The Inbetweeners Movie), Daniel Rigby (Eric and Ernie) and Kevin Eldon (Big Train, Brass Eye). The Function Room is produced by Zeppotron. The executive producers are Peter Holmes and Ben Caudell. Director is Babs Wilstshire

The season will also feature Channel 4's 30 Greatest Comedy Shows. A countdown of the 30 greatest comedy shows in Channel 4's extraordinary contribution to British comedy featuring classic clips and the stories behind them. Contributors include Simon Pegg, Al Murray, Charlie Higson, Vic and Bob, Jessica Hynes, Sally Phillips and many more. Made by Shiver, Ali Lynch is the producer and Mark Robinson is exec producer.

There will also be gems from the Channel 4 archive including The Weekenders ( Vic and Bob), Norbert Smith: A Life (Harry Enfield ) and Peter Cook's genius appearance on The Clive Anderson Show.

The season will feature shows from the archive of Channel 4's breeding ground for brand new talent including Dynamo, Peter Kay - The Services, Anna and Katy and Karl Pilkington: Satisfied Fool

Finally, there will be TV premieres of live shows from Alan Carr , Peter Kay, Lee Evans  and Micky Flanagan.

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