Channel 4 has commissioned two new comedies, Northern Ireland-set Derry Girls and Desiree Akhavan-starring The Bisexual.
Set in Derry in the run-up to the ceasefire, Derry Girls is billed as a warm, funny and honest look at the lives of ordinary people living under the spectre of the Troubles, all seen through the eyes of a local teenager. Writer Lisa McGee (Indian Summers, London Irish, Being Human) has mined her own experiences to create this comedy about what it’s like to be a teenage girl living amongst conflict.
McGee, who grew up in Derry in the Nineties, said: "Anything set during the Troubles tends to be a bit grim and bleak, but that just wasn’t my experience of Derry as a child and a teenager, it was a joyful place. I’d like to celebrate that. It was also hugely matriarchal, so I was keen we have a large and varied cast of female characters."
Nerys Evans, Deputy Head of Comedy, who said: “Derry Girls may have a unique setting but it’s a really warm family sitcom, seen through the eyes of teenager Erin. Lisa’s writing is truthful, brave and laugh-out loud funny.”
Derry Girls is executive produced by Caroline Leddy (Friday Night Dinner, London Irish, The Inbetweeners) and Liz Lewin (Crashing, London Irish, My Mad Fat Diary). It was commissioned by Nerys Evans, Deputy Head of Comedy and Phil Clarke, Acting Head of Drama & Head of Comedy.
Meanwhile, The Bisexual looks at the difference of dating men and women from the perspective of a person who finds herself doing both.
New Yorker Leila (Desiree Akhavan) is feeling lost in London. Recently part of an uber-cool power couple, she’s now split from girlfriend Sadie and is struggling to adjust. Moving in with a ‘stranger off the internet’ she soon discovers she’s swapped her luxe old life for a house-share with Gabe, a British guy who’s only ever other female ‘flat-mate’ was his mum. Gabe doesn’t know any lesbians and Leila’s not got too much experience of hanging out with heterosexuals – their worlds collide in deeply awkward and revealing ways as he becomes her unlikely wingman and helps her to navigate her new life dating men.
The Bisexual was commissioned for Channel 4 by Nerys Evans, Deputy Head of Comedy.
It is written by Desiree Akhavan and Cecilia Frugiuele (Appropriate Behaviour) and is being made by Naomi de Pear (Flowers) within Sister Pictures. It was commissioned by Nerys Evans, Deputy Head of Comedy and Phil Clarke, Acting Head of Drama & Head of Comedy for Channel 4.