As head of the 2012 Olympic Deliverance Commission, it’s pretty much a given that you will find yourself sacked after the London Olympics came to a close when Rowan Atkinson participated in the Closing Ceremonies. Fortunately, the now former head of the Commission has landed a new position as the BBC’s new Head of Values. Ian Fletcher, played brilliantly by Lord Grantham himself, Hugh Bonneville, is set to return in W1A, the postcode of Broadcasting House, the BBC’s central London headquarters.
As Head of Values, Bonneville’s Ian Fletcher character is now charged with the task of defining the core purpose of the BBC as it gears up for its’ charter renewal and a new license fee settlement in 2016. Besides Bonneville, also returning will be Jessica Hynes as PR guru Siobhan Sharpe.
Twenty Twelve writer John Morton, trying to curb fears that the new series will be one giant in-joke, fully grasps the concept and dangers of creating a BBC comedy about the BBC saying that W1A “…will highlight the absurdities of modern corporate life itself. The key principle is to operate at a level of reality just to the left or the right of fact, to create stories that haven’t actually happened but that could happen or might have happened.”
Mark Freeland, head of BBC in-house comedy, said: “This is a kind of love letter to the BBC. But a letter that gets mislaid, because the remote computer system is not working and head of recovery, BBC, is stuck in a blue sky brainstorming session in a meeting room that’s been double booked and anyway, the bean bags have gone missing.”
For those coming a bit late to the Twenty Twelve party, check out a bit of its brilliance, which is set to premiere on a number of public television stations across the U.S. beginning in February 2014 (including KERA in North Texas).
As for the forthcoming four-part W1A, I already have space reserved on my DVR. How about you?