Channel 4 has commissioned Big Boys, a new six-part comedy series from Stath Lets Flats indie, Roughcut.

The new comedy created, written and narrated by Jack Rooke centres on an unlikely friendship between sweet, shy, closeted Jack (Dylan Llewellyn, Derry Girls) and boisterous, laddish and ever-so-slightly mature student Danny (Jon Pointing, Plebs).

Jack has spent the past year at home with his potty-mouthed mum. He’s been grieving for his father and she for her husband, but the time has now come for him to take his place at the local uni.

There he meets his roommate Danny as the pair are thrown together during Freshers week, watched over by an entirely over-enthusiastic Student Union head. Jack and Danny are at significantly different places on the spectrum of masculinity but closely bond during the inevitable chaos and frenzy of a first year.

Big Boys is based on comedy writer Jack Rooke’s award-winning live comedy shows ‘Good Grief’, ‘Happy Hour’ and ‘Love Letters’.

Jack Rooke, creator and writer said: “As a kid I‘d stay up late to sneakily watch something a bit ‘queer’ on Channel 4. I‘d ask Dad: ‘Why does that bloke have his face in that other bloke’s lap?’ and he’d grin and say, ‘They’re just having a fun time!!’ Now I am thrilled to have my first comedy series with Channel 4, writing and narrating Big Boys, based on the teen years after losing my dad with all the ups and downs of grief, sexual discovery, freshers’ week and making one very special best mate. (And I’ll be sure to include some of my own ‘fun times’ too!)”

Laura Riseam, Comedy Commissioning Executive for Channel 4 said: “We are delighted to be working with Jack and the team on Big Boys. Jack’s natural ability to find humour in grief brings a beautifully specific POV to something universal and important.  He has already had us in bits and we haven’t even started filming yet!”

Ash Atalla, Managing Director, Roughcut TV said: “Authenticity is so important and this story feels it could only be told by him, Jack is the real deal.  We can’t wait to film Big Boys; I hope it goes on to make Jack the famous monster I know he dreams of being.”

Jackie Edwards, Head of Young Audiences Content Fund, BFI said: “The Young Audiences Content Fund is beyond delighted to support Big Boys. It is a gorgeously funny original scripted comedy that definitively gives big laughs but is also a show with big heart – dealing, as it does, with themes such as bereavement and poor mental health with sensitivity and real warmth. It is a funny, heart-warming delight of a programme, and we’re so glad to be able to help bring such a brilliant and important series to young audiences.”

Big Boys, a Roughcut Television production, has been supported by the government-funded Young Audiences Content Fund, which is managed by the BFI and supports the creation of distinct, high-quality content for young audiences. It is created and written by Jack Rooke, executive produced by Ash Atalla and Alex Smith for Roughcut and commissioned by Fiona McDermott, head of Channel 4 Comedy and Laura Riseam, Comedy Commissioning Executive.

Jon Creamer