Hynes in John Cleese Sitcom

Jessica Hynes has joined the cast of a new BBC sitcom starring John Cleese.

© Red Planet Pictures

Edith will star John Cleese as Phil, a smitten old boyfriend of the titular heroine played by Alison Steadman. After months of turning down his marriage proposals, Edith finally says yes, but their lives are soon disrupted by the arrival of her 50-year-old son Roger played by Jason Watkins (Inside No. 9, Psychoville). He announces that he’s left his wife, his kids and his job, and has come home in an attempt to find his lost happiness again… putting all of Phil’s plans and dreams on hold.

Completing the cast is Jessica Hynes as Roger’s abandoned wife Wendy, Anne Reid as the interfering housekeeper Mrs Gale, Rosie Cavaliero (Hunderby) as Roger’s money-driven sister Sandra, James Cosmo (Stag) as Edith’s troublesome ex-boyfriend Bob, and Peter Egan as confrontational neighbour Mr Dugdale.

The new comedy has been written by Charles McKeown, who is a regular collaborator with Cleese’s fellow Python Terry Gilliam.

BBC head of comedy Shane Allen says: “If you had carte blanche on your fantasy BBC1 comedy cast then you’d not be far off the Edith line-up. It’s also a huge pleasure to welcome John Cleese back to the land of BBC sitcom – his last one did alright”.

John Cleese comments: “These are the most enjoyable scripts I’ve been sent in the last 100 years. It will also be particularly nice to work with Alison again since we joined forces in Clockwise all that time ago.”

Filming of the sitcom begins in June for a likely broadcast at the end of the year.

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