BBC Two has announced a new comedy-centric Thursday night schedule and several new comedy commissions.
Starting in May, Thursday nights will feature a full comedy slot, with a new series from the creators of The Inbetweeners called The First Team, which will run alongside the new series of QI.
Later in the year, they will be replaced by the second series of What We Do In The Shadows, starring Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou and Kayvan Novak, and There She Goes, with David Tennant and Jessica Hynes.
“BBC Two has always been the home of the most exciting comic talents and the most brilliantly conceived worlds,” said Patrick Holland, Controller at BBC Two. “During these challenging times I am delighted to bring Thursday comedy nights back for the audience.”
Three series and a one-off special were among the new commissions for BBC Two.
Charlie Brooker’s Antiviral Wipe
Charlie Brooker is bringing back Wipe for a one-off special in Antiviral Wipe.
As well as treating coverage of the crisis with his trademark scepticism, Brooker will take a look at the many ways people are passing the time during lockdown.
Wipe regular Diane Morgan will reprise her role as the dim-witted Philomena Cunk to offer her lack of expertise, alongside Barry Shitpeas (Al Campbell) and other contributors.
Brooker said: “The BBC asked me to supply a quote for the press release, which is what you’re reading now."
Comedians Playing Themselves
This six-part series will see some of the nation’s top comics tasked with entertaining the nation in their own unique way.
Among the names on the line-up are Bob Mortimer, Sally Phillips, Kerry Godliman, Tom Allen and Meera Syal.
The comedians will be self-filming their sketches on a wide variety of topics, from familial conflict resolution to podcast production.
Following last year’s mockumentary, The Road To Brexit, Matt Berry’s Michael Squeamish returns to BBC Two to cast an eye over a different topic in each of the four parts of this new series.
Arthur Matthews (Father Ted) will co-write the series with Berry, as they combine archive footage and voiceover for comic and surreal takes.
Alma’s Not Normal
Following the success of the pilot, BBC Two has commissioned a full series of Alma’s Not Normal.
Created, written, and executive produced by Sophie Willan, the series follows the boisterous Boltonian Alma Nuthall (Willan) as she strives to sort her life out after a recent break-up.
But there are many obstacles standing in Alma’s way, including her lack of qualifications and employment, a huge rebellious streak, and even her own family.
Her mother’s suffering from addiction and being sectioned for arson, while her Grandma Joan refuses to get involved.
Shane Allen, Controller of Comedy Commissioning at the BBC, said: “Alma’s Not Normal landed so wonderfully formed with its distinctiveness, heart on sleeve charm, sparky humour and knockout cast.
“Sophie’s raw honesty, eye for characterisation and comedic insouciance have resulted in a cracking show bursting with potential.”