BBC Showcase – comedy, comedy, comedy in 2012

One thing was quite clear after day two in Liverpool at the 2012 BBC Showcase. While it’s been an exceedingly good year for the BBC with regards to drama with the premiere of Call the Midwife, the return of Whitechapel, the continuation of Upstairs Downstairs and the brilliant end to Spooks (MI5), it’s clear that it’s not all drama at the BBC. There’s plenty of comedy in the pipeline in the coming year…which is always a good thing.

The greatness of BBC Showcase every year is the ability to get a quick sense as to what is in the pipeline for the next year or two and what could possibly make its way to the States in the not-too-distant future. Here are some of the best of what we were able to see on Monday…

Bleak Old Shop of Stuff

  • Described as a horse-drawn trip into a madly comical Dickensian world full of heroes, villains and urchins, this “twisted dickens of a tale” (sorry) sports an amazing cast including Stephen Fry, Robert Webb, David Mitchell, Katherine Parkinson and Tim McInnerny. This is really an intelligent comedy that will be worth keeping track of over the next couple of months.

The Cafe

  • From Sky1, The Cafe, comes from the creators of The Royle Family. Three generations of a family occupy a seaside cafe in this really sweet, fun new comedy filled with colorful characters, old school friends, new boyfriends, old boyfriends and former classmates.


  • Created by Ruth Jones (Gavin & Stacey), a really sweet, heartwarming comedy/drama also from Sky1 that portrays family life in Wales. Set in the fictional town of Pontyberry in South Wales, Stella is the profile of a 40-something divorcee with three kids and a struggling ironing business. Her eldest son is in prison, 16-year old daughter that possesses the perfect 16-year old combination of being both pretty and lazy and youngest son, Ben, the 13-year old that is the brains of the family. More often than not, Stella’s world gets turned upside down with her daily association with oddball friends and relatives.

Other comedies screened for possible acquisition by public television stations were Watson and Oliver, Gavin & Stacey, Little Britain and the new season of Rev. Tonight is “Crime Night dinner at the Convention Centre with special guests Steven Moffat, Sue Vertue, Una Stubbs (Mrs. Hudson, Sherlock), Andrew Scott (Moriarty, Sherlock), Stephen Tompkinson (DCI Banks), Nathaniel Parker (Inspector Lynley Mysteries) and Phil Davis (Sherlock, Whitechapel, Ashes to Ashes). Expect a full report on Wednesday….

In: Actors/Actresses,Comedy,Drama,Mystery