The BBC have announced six further comedy pilots as part of BBC Comedy Feeds on iPlayer, featuring a sprinkling of names with TVO connections.
Now in their fourth year, the Comedy Feeds provide a platform for new and emerging comedy talent, both on and off screen. This year’s pilots include a number of familiar faces, starting with a pilot that has spring-boarded off the back of BBC Three’s new hit show Murder in Successville.
Dead Air is written by BBC Radio 1 presenter Greg James, alongside Mark Chappell & Shaun Pye, both of whom worked on cult favourite The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. James stars as Jake Cross – a respected late-night DJ for commerical radio, who is unexpectedly given the opportunity to inherit the coveted breakfast slot when the previous presenter dies.
James – who was the second rookie cop to assist DI Sleet in MiS (the episode is on iPlayer now if you missed it!) – has enlisted the services of Sleet himself, Tom Davis, to play his idiotic best friend in the show. Also along for the ride are Olivia Poulet (The Thick of It), Richard David-Caine and Monserrat Lombard (Ashes to Ashes).
Dead Air has been produced by Tiger Aspect’s new sideline Cave Bear Productions, and behind the scenes talent also have TVO connections to boast. Producer Arnold Widdowson previously produced Crackanory and Grandma’s House, and was a writer on Horrible Histories and Sorry, I’ve Got No Head, whilst director Simon Gibney directed last year’s Horrible Histories special.
Fishbowl is a comedy from Bwark Productions about a university dropout who goes back to stay with her weird family.
It features Katherine Rose Morley (Last Tango in Halifax) alongside Mark Benton (Inside No. 9, Early Doors), Sally Lindsay (Mount Pleasant), Felicity Montague (I’m Alan Partridge) and TVO regular Michael Smiley.
Written by Andrew Mettam, who previously wrote for Scallywagga featuring Steve Edge, it’s producer is Rhianna Andrews in her first producing job following many years as a producer’s assistant and later associate producer on The Inbetweeners and its spin-off movies.
People Time is a character comedy sketch show written by and starring a ‘new wave’ (see how that’s catching on?) of Britain’s comedy writers and performers.
Many of these names will be familiar to those who follow the live circuit, but one in particular stands out for us: Ellie White of House of Fools fame.
Ellie, who played Erik’s deadpan girlfriend Rachel in the madcap sitcom’s second series earlier this year, will be joined by Jamie Demetriou, who recently played Randal in Cockroaches and will be appearing in BBC One’s new sitcom Sun Trap (more on that soon) and the long awaited movie Bill in a few months time.
Also on board is Jamie’s older sister, Natasha Demetriou, who previously wrote for E4’s The Midnight Beast and, like her brother, is a stand-up in her own right. The cast is rounded out by Liam Williams (Uncle), Claudia O’Doherty (The Inbetweeners 2), Alastair Roberts and Daran Johnson.
Ben Farrell (who previously worked on Toast of London before moving to the BBC) is executive producer on the project, with Andrew Gaynord directing and In and Out of the Kitchen‘s Sam Michell on producing duties.
Three other shorts have also been comissioned: provocative comedy SunnyD from Dane Baptiste (which features Fast Show veteran John Thomson); family friendly comedy game show Funz and Gamez (with House of Fools producer Lisa Clark involved); and Radges – a sitcom pilot by Fern Brady starring Miranda‘s Sarah Hadland and set in a Scottish pupil referral unit.
This latter pilot is of particular note, as it is being produced by Sam Bryant – whose previous work on radio includes I Regress and Alice’s Wunderland along with many other firm favourites.
All six pilots will be available on iPlayer later this year. Stay peeled for more info.