Yesterday, we saw a hint of what’s in store for BBC drama output with the upcoming premiere of Ripper Street but now is the time to focus on some upcoming comedy projects that will make their way to telly in the not-too-distant future. Given that new series for Trollied, Spy and Rev are already lined up, this is a good time for comedy on the tube in the coming months. Here are a few others on the horizon….
Father Figure with Jason Byrne (BBC One)
Coming to BBC One and based on Jason Byrne’s existing Radio 2 series of the same name, Father Figure will also star Pauline McLynn (Father Ted), fellow stand-up Michael Smiley and Dermot Crowley from BBC’s Bleak House. Byrne will play Tom, a father of two sons whose good intentions are ruined by bad luck and his extended family. Thankfully, BBC Radio continues to step up to the plate to pilot new comedy in a day and age when not so much is being done on the telly side
Charlie Brooker’s A Touch of Cloth (Sky 1 HD)
Broadcasting later this month, Charlie Brooker’s A Touch of Cloth is part Naked Gun, part A Touch of Frost and all Charlie Brooker. Having already confused some viewers who aren’t quite sure whether or not this is a spoof of the classic dark police procedural programs or an actual detective series, A Touch of Cloth has done nothing to simplify the issue having secured the services of director Jim O’Hanlon (Waking the Dead) and Suranne Jones (Scott and Bailey). In addition, viewers of two brilliant series, Luther and The Killing, may immediately recognize just how rife both series are for a bit of mockery.
Bad Education with Jack Whitehall (BBC Three)
In Bad Education, Jack Whitehall stars as Alfie, the worst teacher ever to grace the British education system. He’s a bigger kid than the kids he teaches. The teacher your kids would love but parents would hate! The ensemble cast also includes Mathew Horne (Gavin And Stacey) as Fraser, the school’s headmaster, who tragically longs to be as cool as Alfie. He’s the teacher who just wants to be everyone’s ‘best mate’ and is prone to massive and very public mishaps. Sarah Solemani (Him And Her) plays Miss Gulliver, the school’s biology teacher. She’s the apple of Alfie’s eye and she cares deeply about the school and the students. Michelle Gomez (Green Wing) plays Pickwell, the deputy head, is an ‘old school’ teacher who can’t stand the other younger teachers. She’s a disciplinarian who wants Creationism put back on the syllabus and, actually, would prefer a school without children at all.
Finally, word is that a Royle Family Christmas Special has been confirmed by Sue Johnston (Barbara Royle) that there will be a new Christmas special in 2012. Let’s hope that, along with the return of Craig Cash, Ricky Tomlinson and Caroline Aherne, plans call for a fitting send off to Twiggy, played by the late Geoffrey Hughes.