Written by Rosie Jones and Peter Fellows, Channel 4 has commissioned Disability Benefits from Merman Television and 2LE Media, which started out as a Channel 4 Comedy Blap of the same name.
Having had her state benefits cut to shreds after being made redundant, a young woman with very little left to lose begins to build an illegal drugs empire. But Emily (Rosie Jones) isn’t your average street-dealing dope peddler – she’s sharp, funny, biting, highly educated – and on top of all that, she has cerebral palsy.
People have underestimated Emily her entire life. If they’re not patronising her for completing the most menial of tasks, they’re pretending she’s not there. What better disguise could there be for criminal activity than to be entirely written off by the same broken system which exists to protect the law?
Rosie Jones says: “I am incredibly excited to be making Disability Benefits for Channel 4. It has always been my dream to have my own sitcom and now it is coming true! Bring it on!!”
Charlie Perkins, Head of Comedy for Channel 4 says: “Rosie is a National Treasure at Channel 4, with her distinctively funny and powerful work felt across all genres. So making her first sitcom alongside the huge talents of Peter, Merman and 2LE is the perfect next step for this special force of nature. Disability Benefits adds to an increasingly exciting slate of Channel 4 Comedy shows for next year and beyond.”
Clelia Mountford, Executive Producer and co-founder of Merman Television said: “We are delighted to be working with Rosie, Peter, 2LE and Channel 4, to bring Disability Benefits to a series, following the award-winning success of the original comedy Blap last year. Rosie has a truly unique voice and storytelling ability, alongside impeccable comedic timing, and we are proud to be working with her on her first scripted TV project.”
Tom Thostrup, Executive Producer and Managing Director of 2LE said: “Rosie exudes big criminal mastermind energy in real life so we’re very excited about working with her to bring that to the screen in Disability Benefits.”
Disability Benefits (6×30’) was commissioned for Channel 4 by Charlie Perkins, Head of Comedy and Laura Riseam, Comedy Commissioning Editor and co-produced by Merman Television and 2LE Media. Executive producers are Clelia Mountford and Sharon Horgan for Merman Television and Michael Livingstone and Tom Thostrup for 2LE. The series producer is Charlie Laurie from Merman.
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