The BBC has announced three new comedy commissions and has confirmed Cardiff as the next BBC City of Comedy for 2023.
The new comedies are Queen of Oz from Catherine Tate; Undoing Martin Parker from writers Paul Coleman and Sian Gibson and a fourth series of Guz Khan’s Man Like Mobeen.
Queen of Oz is a new 6-part comedy series written by Catherine Tate (The Catherine Tate Show, The Office US, Doctor Who) and Jeff Gutheim and produced by Lingo Pictures in association with The Development Partnership for BBC One and iPlayer. It is from an original idea by Catherine Tate and Borga Dorta and being produced in association with ABC Australia.
Tate will star in the leading role as well as Executive Produce the series alongside producer Michele Bennett (Mr Inbetween) and Executive Producer for Lingo Helen Bowden (The Secrets She Keeps, Lambs of God). Christiaan Van Vuuren (Dom and Adrian, A Sunburnt Christmas) will direct.
Princess Georgiana (Tate) is the black sheep of a fictional British Royal Family. A PR disaster, she’s spent her spoilt, party girl life plastered over the tabloids. On the back of her latest scandal, her father, the King, makes the unprecedented move of abdicating his Australian throne in favour of his daughter. It is hoped that giving her some real responsibility will finally be the making of her and if it isn’t, at least shipping her off keeps her ten thousand miles away from London. Accompanied by a useless entourage, Queen Georgiana of Australia goes kicking and screaming to a country she has zero interest in beyond the Hemsworth Brothers.
Jon Petrie, Director of BBC Comedy, says: “It’s time to roll out the red carpet. And hang up the bunting again. We’re excited to have the multi award winning Catherine Tate back making another comedy for the BBC. Her work has been enjoyed by millions over the years and we look forward to working with her on another hit for us.”
Producer Michele Bennett said: “Catherine Tate is such a superb talent and the team at Lingo Pictures couldn’t be more delighted to be working with her on this fabulously witty series. We know that British and Australians, as well as audiences around the world, are going to love this riotous take on royalty in Australia.”
Queen of Oz (6×30’) has been commissioned by Jon Petrie, Director of BBC Comedy for BBC One and iPlayer. It is a Lingo Pictures production written by Catherine Tate and Jeff Gutheim. It will be produced Michele Bennett and directed by Christiaan Van Vuuren. Executive Producers are Catherine Tate, Helen Bowden for Lingo Pictures and Ben Caudell for the BBC. Endeavour Content are distributing the series internationally.
Filming will begin later this year in Australia and further casting will be announced in due course.
Undoing Martin Parker is a new series for BBC One co-created by BAFTA award-winning writers Paul Coleman and Sian Gibson.
Conleth Hill (Game of Thrones), Rosie Cavaliero (Worzel Gummidge), George Costigan (Happy Valley) and Sheila Reid (Benidorm) will star alongside Sian Gibson (Peter Kay’s Car Share).
Set in Manchester, 1990, the last days of Thatcher, Martin Parker (Conleth Hill) is a self-made impresario with the ambition of Alan Sugar and the swagger of Kilroy Silk. A man with a chain of electrical stores bearing his name, he seems to have it all. But the truth is, times are changing. He’s swimming in debt, his complicated private life is catching up with him and he’s starting to lose his power.
Undoing Martin Parker plots his downfall at the hands of all those he’s screwing over with his lust for money, sex and success. Including wife Diane (Rosie Cavaliero), father-in-law Dougie (George Costigan), Mobile Hairdresser Kath (Sian Gibson) and Kath’s best mate Gladys (Sheila Reid). With 90’s big hair and big laughs to match.
Sian Gibson says: “Luckily my fashion sense hasn’t changed since 1990 so it’s a dream to be reliving my youth and dusting off my crimpers with this amazing cast and wonderful team.”
Paul Coleman added: “Thrilled to be writing this series and working with such a wonderfully talented cast, who are all helping us shine a much needed light on the themes of family feuds, revenge and top loading VCRs.”
Jon Petrie, Director of Comedy says: “Sian and Paul have created an irresistible gang of comedy characters and a world packed with joyful nostalgia. The quality of their writing is matched by a fantastic cast and we’re incredibly excited to introduce Martin Parker and bring this lovable rogue to BBC audiences next year.”
Undoing Martin Parker (6×30’) has been commissioned by Jon Petrie, Director of Comedy for BBC One and iPlayer. It is co-created and written by Paul Coleman and Sian Gibson, produced by Gill Isles, executive produced by Kate Daughton for Boffola pictures and Head of BBC Comedy Tanya Qureshi and will be co-produced with Lookout Point.
Filming will commence in early 2023 in Stockport.
The BBC has also commissioned a fourth series of Guz Khan’s BAFTA-nominated Man Like Mobeen from Tiger Aspect, part of Banijay UK. Filming on the 4×30’ series written by Guz Khan (Army of Thieves, The Bubble) and co-creator Andy Milligan (Undercover) is set to commence this Autumn, and air on BBC Three and iPlayer next year.
Returning to the series are Guz Khan’s titular character Mobeen and Tolu Ogunmefun (Sick Note, Starstruck) as his best mate Nate, alongside Dúaa Karim (D.I. Ray, Feel Good) as Mobeen’s younger sister Aks, Perry Fitzpatrick’s (Sherwood, Line of Duty) Officer Harper as well as Mark Silcox (Big Boys) as scene-stealing Uncle Shady (obviously still calling Mobeen “b*astard”).
Viewers first met reformed drug-dealer Mobeen as he was trying to turn his life around living as a good Muslim, looking after his little sister, all whilst trying to escape his dodgy past catching up with him. Since then he’s made a fair crack at it but, in the cliff-hanger of a series three finale, he found himself banged-up behind bars with Nate, after their close friend Eight had been killed…
As they adjust to a new life inside, with familiar faces returning in very unexpected situations, Mobeen and Nate need to negotiate a new set of challenges – but can our haphazard heroes make it to the end of their sentence without causing more mayhem and come good on their dream of living a quiet life? Will Aks finally accomplish her goal of training to be a Doctor and will evil Uncle Khan keep a relatively low profile in Pakistan or manage to torment Mobeen from afar?
Guz Khan says: “I’ve been away in Hollywood for a couple of years, but the entire time I was there, I felt like I needed to come home and give my people the show they love. It’s still crazy to me that despite having not made Man Like Mobeen for three years, it still means so much to the people. So we’re making more, for you. As always, I promise authenticity both on and off screen. That’s how real change is made. I’m going to eat roti now, bye”
David Simpson, Executive Producer and Head of Tiger Aspect Comedy adds: “We are absolutely delighted to see the return of Man Like Mobeen. The show has gone from strength to strength with every series and Guz and Andy’s scripts are already packed full of twists and turns, originality, and hilarious new characters, all of which promises to make this series the best yet.”
Tanya Qureshi, Head of Comedy at the BBC said: “The return of Man Like Mobeen was, quite simply, a no-brainer for us. Guz and the team’s enthusiasm and commitment to the show remains as strong as ever, for which we are really grateful. It’s a pure joy to be able to bring more episodes of this iconic comedy character to all the fans.”
Tiger Aspect’s Man Like Mobeen New Talent Trainee Scheme will once again be offering paid entry-level production jobs to candidates within the West Midlands, with further details on how to apply to be announced soon.
Produced by Tiger Aspect for the BBC, in association with Dice Roll Productions, Man Like Mobeen will be Executive Produced by Head of Tiger Aspect Comedy David Simpson, Gill Isles, Guz Khan and Andy Milligan. The Director for the new series is Akaash Meeda (The Lazarus Project, Mobility), the Producer is Lynn Roberts and the series was commissioned by Jon Petrie, Director of Comedy Commissioning at the BBC. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Tanya Qureshi and the series will be distributed by Banijay Rights.
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