BBC Showcase 2011 – Comedy

It was a showcase of comedy yesterday during day four of this years BBC Showcase. With the focal point of both the screenings and the ‘organized’ presentations centering around the best of the best from the BBC comedy department, it was immediately clear that 2012 could be a good year on both sides of the pond. That said, there seems to be some interesting decisions from a who stays, who goes, in trying to keep a good combination of ongoing series and commissioning new product. Here are some of the highlights of the comedy presentation yesterday…


  • Come Fly With Me – from the creative minds of Little Britain, Matt Lucas and David Wailliams, comes more greatness in the form of a mock-documentary set in an airport terminal. Shot on location at several of Britain’s airports, Lucas and Wailliams play almost 50 characters in this, sometimes, politically incorrect comedy.
  • Friday Night Dinner – starring Tamsin Greig and Simon Bird, the concept centers around, you guessed it, the weekly ‘Friday night dinner’  at the Goodman family household. Seen as a great way to keep the family unit together from parents perspective, the children look at it as more of a necessary evil with the necessary part being the free food every Friday and the evil part having to spend time with Mom and Dad in order to get the necessary part. Having seen several episodes, it gets better as the series progresses, but it’s the same three jokes over and over and over and over….you get the idea.
  • Psychoville – bizarre is probably the safest way to describe this series from the minds of Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith, both from The League of Gentlemen fame. This series has all the makings of another LOG with an amazing collection of bizarre characters and a great cast. Imagine Dawn French as a deranged midwife with a very peculiar baby, Reece Shearsmith as a troubled children’s entertainer, Mr. Jelly, who’s career has taken a dive after losing a hand, makes Krusty the Clown look like a very well-balanced individual and Steve Pemberton as a man-child with a mind like a steel trap when it comes to serial killers. Throw in the great, Dame Eileen Aitkens, and you immediately see why this was renewed for a second season. While definitely not for everyone, the series also has an incredible website. Check it out here. Still not convinced? Here’s a clip from the Halloween special with Mr. Jelly, who’s motto is Keeping Kids Quiet

    Others of note touted during the presentation were Rev, a comedy drama that follows the trials and tribulations of a sleepy rural parish vicar who moves to the busy, inner-city world of St. Saviour’s in East London, Rock & Chips, a continuation of the prequel adventures of Freddie Robdal and the Trotter family from Only Fools and Horses writer, John Sullivan, another season of the greatness that is Lead Balloon, starring Jack Dee as Rick Spleen, an out of work television personality who’d make Larry David look like the most well-rounded individual on the planet and Chekhov: Comedy Shorts, starring an incredible collection of British comedy talent assembled for three of Anton Chekhov one-act plays.

    Tomorrow, the drama presentations which include the eagerly anticipated in the States, Upstairs Downstairs, Zen, South Riding and Outcast.

    In: Actors/Actresses,Comedy