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BBC4 orders four comedies

BBC4 orders four comedies
News
Pippa Considine
31 January 2014

BBC Four has commissioned four comedy series, with two in-house productions joined by shows from Channel X/ Lola and Boom Pictures.

Detectorists is a six-part comedy written, starring and directed by Mackenzie Crook. Crook stars as Andy, a wannabe archaeologist who, alongside his friend Lance, spends time in muddy fields with a metal detector and a packed lunch, dreaming of finding that priceless Saxon hoard that will make them rich and cement their place in detecting history.

Adam Tandy is producer and Detectorists is a Channel X / Lola Entertainment co-production. Kristian Smith is commissioning editor for the BBC.

The Walshes is a three-part series co-written by Graham Linehan (The IT Crowd, Father Ted and Count Arthur Strong) and the five-strong comedy troupe Diet of Worms. This is the first non-audience sitcom that Linehan has directed, and Diet of Worms also play the lead roles.

The Walshes are a warm, tight-knit family from the West Dublin suburb of Strollinstown. Tony (Niall Gaffney) and Carmel (Philippa Dunne) are parents to Ciara (Amy Stephenson) and Rory (Rory Connolly), who are both still at home because the state of the Irish economy has forced them all back together.

Even Ciara’s new boyfriend Graham (Shane Langan) is forced to move in and family friend Martin (Owen Roe) always seems to be hanging around mending bits and pieces, as well as accidentally becoming trapped in the wall cavity.

The Walshes is a Boom Pictures production for the BBC and RTE, directed by Graham Linehan and produced by Richard Boden. Chris Sussman is the commissioning editor for the BBC with Eddie Doyle the commissioning editor for RTE.

Emmy award-winning documentary maker Rhys Thomas and fellow Fast Show comic Simon Day combine in rock doc parody The Life Of Rock with Brian Pern.

Brian Pern (Simon Day) is an ageing rock star and former front man of ground breaking progressive rock group, Thotch. Like many artists of his age, rather than make new music, he spends more time trying to save the planet (including his campaign to teach gorillas how to Skype).

Now, the BBC have asked him to front a major new documentary where he presents his guide to The Life Of Rock, from prehistoric man to the present day, in a spoof three-part chronology of some of the biggest moments in rock history.

Thotch band members and former Stowe classmates Pat Quid, guitarist (Paul Whitehouse) and keyboard player Tony Pebble – pronounced Pebblé (Nigel Havers) - join Brian to reminisce about their heyday and beyond.

Matt Lucas and Michael Kitchen also star as Brian’s legendary producer Ray Thomas, and his infamous manager John Farrow respectively, with the likes of Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer (as folk legends Mulligan and O'Hare), and David Baddiel popping up as talking heads.

With guests from the world of music playing versions themselves, including Jools Holland, Rick Wakeman, David Arnold and Roger Taylor, Brian (Day) takes rock lovers on a re-imagined history of the genre.

The Life Of Rock with Brian Pern is an In-house BBC Comedy production. It is directed and produced by Rhys Thomas and the executive producer is Saurabh Kakkar.

In And Out Of The Kitchen is a three-part programme based on the BBC Radio 4 comedy created, written by and starring Miles Jupp about cookery writer Damien Trench (Jupp) and everything that happens to him both in and out of the kitchen, ‘no matter how grizzly, or indeed, how gristly’.

Each episode follows a few days in the life of Damien and his partner Anthony (Justin Edwards), their seemingly ever-present builders Mr Mullaney and Steven, and Damien’s terrifying agent Ian. Damien longs for a quiet life contemplating good food but also longs for perfection in all things, and his life has a habit of never quite working out the way he wants it to. While Damien’s recipes always go to plan, his life never does.

In And Out Of The Kitchen is a BBC In-house comedy production. It is produced by Sam Michell and executive produced by Gareth Edwards.

Shane Allen, BBC controller of comedy commissioning, said: “This quartet of comedy treats is testament to BBC Four’s unique legacy in bringing the audience big name comedy talents in surprising and inventive shows that follow in the footsteps of award-winning predecessors like Getting On, The Thick Of It, Twenty Twelve and Screenwipe.”

Cassian Harrison, BBC Four channel executive, said: “We're home to a fantastic spread of innovation and some of the finest talent working in comedy today - exactly what comedy on BBC Four is all about.”

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