UKTV has announced the three new scripted comedies for its comedy channel, Gold.
Henry IX, Marley's Ghosts and Bull are the first of five scripted comedy shows for the channel, which is seeking to balance its slate of classic British sitcoms with new programming.
In an interview with the Royal Television Society's Television magazine earlier this year, UKTV's Director of Commissioning Richard Watsham admitted the move to creating content was risky: "Gold is filled with some of the best British comedy there's ever been, so for us to try and create our own, in some ways, seems utter madness. But at the same time, we need to offer our audiences new things."
Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, best known for writing hits including Porridge, The Likely Lads and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, have penned Henry IX, about a middle-aged man feeling trapped in his life, who happens to also be King of the United Kingdom.
Quirky studio comedy Bull, created by first-time sitcom writers Gareth Gwynn and John-Luke Roberts, follows an antiques shop owner who is helped and hindered in equal measure by his dysfunctional staff.
Marley's Ghosts, written by Daniel Peacock, is an ensemble piece about a woman with an unusual gift: she can speak to the dead, who sadly –and awkwardly- include her husband and lover.
Production has not yet started on the series, which will each consist of three 30-minute episodes.