Channel 4 announce new commissions and return of family comedy Friday Night Dinner

Channel 4 announce new commissions and return of family comedy Friday Night Dinner

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Wednesday, 23rd August 2017
Friday Night Dinner returns for series 5 (Credit: Channel 4)

Channel 4 are hungry for more Friday Night Dinner.

Channel 4 have announced a slate of new commissions including a period thriller, gender-based documentary and a four-part series with Grayson Perry, as well as the return of laugh-out-loud comedy Friday Night Dinner.


Channel 4 has commissioned Genderquake (w/t), a 90 minute one-off programme to look at gender-fluidity in the UK. Gender-fluidity has made its way into public consciousness and the programme will explore why this is happening.

Ten young people will live together for a week, with participants from the LGBTQ community and beyond representing 'more traditional' identities, all with strong opinions. During their stay they will take part in activities that will help them explore their differing views.


Channel 4 have also commissioned six-part period thriller Jerusalem (w/t) set in the aftermath of the Second World War, when Britain was struggling to define itself in a new world order.

The series follows Feef Symonds, a bold and ambitious woman in her twenties who joins the Civil Service in 1945. Her ambition to make something of her life, which goes unrecognised by her family, is furthermore complicated by her American lover.

Symonds agrees to spy on her own government for the Americans, who have a hidden agenda in making sure England's ambitions don't play into Soviet hands.

Struggling to work out what she stands for, she must learn to play by her own rules at a time when knowledge becomes power and no one is what they seem.

The series is written and created by Bash Doran (Boardwalk Empire) who said, “I’m so excited and privileged to be able to write this show with Channel 4, 42 and Twenty Twenty. It is my perspective on a defining moment in British history when the nation was divided and there was a fight for Britain’s soul. I left England for America not long after I graduated. This show has always been for me an exploration of why I left and my way of coming home.”

Beth Willis, Head of Drama at Channel 4 said: “Bash's writing is so evocative and immersive you can’t help but to hold on tightly to her extraordinary and diverse cast of characters and never let them go. She has found contemporary resonance in the past at every turn."

Grayson Perry: Rites of Passage

Grayson Perry: Rites of Passage (Credit: Channel 4)

In a new four-part series Rites of Passage (w/t), RTS award winner Grayson Perry will explore the stand-out events in our lives; birth, coming of age, marriage and death, and try to reinvent them for our modern secular society.

Perry be travelling the world, spending time with communities in the Amazon, Indonesia and Japan to understand how they treat these moments.

Perry thinks we are in danger of losing our way when it comes to marking important moments. Religions all have their rituals, but the UK is now one of the most secular countries in the world, so they don’t resonate with everyone.

In this series, he’ll turn his artist's eye on the ways other cultures mark the same moments. The final result will involve a ceremony that Grayson will help the families to design, as well as ritual art objects that Grayson will make.

Hang Ups

Hang Ups is a comedy about an unconventional therapist trying to keep his unconventional life and patients from falling apart. The series is written by Robert Delamere and Stephen Mangan (Episodes) who also stars.

Mangan stars as Dr. Richard Pitt, a therapist with a professional career, who comes to the realisation that his life appears to be falling apart. After the collapse of his previous group therapy practice, Pitt is no longer able to conduct the traditional 50-minute sessions most therapists have.

Instead, he’s developed weekly quick-fire sessions with his patients which take place online through a webcam. However, his patience is stretched to its limit by the daily interruptions of a demanding extended family, errant teenagers and his own troubling past.

Stephen Mangan, writer and star, said: “People are complex and complicated and they lead messy, knotty lives. We’ve tried to put some of that all-too-familiar turmoil onscreen and the result, I think, is chaotic, glorious and disturbing."

Adapted from the series Web Therapy created by Lisa Kudrow, Dan Bucatinsky and Don Roos, the series will begin filming later this year and will air on Channel 4 in 2018.

Friday Night Dinner

Martin, Jonny, Adam and Jackie in Friday Night Dinner (Credit: Channel 4)

Critically-acclaimed comedy written and produced by Robert Popper (The Inbetweeners, The IT Crowd), has been commissioned for a fifth series. The show is one of Channel 4's longest running sitcoms.

We'll see the return of Adam (Simon Bird), Jonny (Tom Rosenthal), Jackie (Tamsin Greig) and Martin (Paul Ritter) as the Goodman family, and odd neighbour Jim (played by Mark Heap).

In the new series the family is not short of dilemmas which include Jackie and Martin getting a hot tub; Jackie organising her own terrible surprise party; Jim going on a date from hell and Horrible Grandma coming back for another dose of horrible.

Robert Popper said: “I’m thrilled to be making a fifth series, and to be taking the show in a completely new, and radical direction. Friday Night Dinner 5 will be shot entirely in black and white, with the family now living and working on a barge in the North Sea. In addition, all actors will have their voices pitch-shifted three octaves higher, with the exception of Mark Wahlberg, whose voice remains the same.”

Simon Bird who plays Adam said: "I'm looking forward to six more weeks of eating squirrel, ingesting so much salt that I develop chronically high blood pressure, and humouring an oddball who seems to be pathologically afraid of his own dog. I can't wait to reunite with my old friends Tamsin Greig, Paul Ritter and Mark Heap. And Tom Rosenthal will be on set also."

The series will start shooting early next year.

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Channel 4 are hungry for more Friday Night Dinner.