Filming has begun on the second series of the multi-award winning Fleabag.
Andrew Scott joins a returning cast which includes Olivia Colman (Godmother), Sian Clifford (Claire), Bill Paterson (Dad), Brett Gelman (Martin), Jenny Rainsford (Boo) and Hugh Skinner (Harry).
According to Executive Producer Lydia Hampson, Waller-Bridge began writing the new series in January this year, and the results, promises BBC Comedy boss Shane Allen, are “knockout”.
"The themes of this series are very distinct from the first series which delivers on the challenge Phoebe set herself," Allen added.
Fleabag, which follows the eponymous character’s attempts to navigate London life, has been a hit for creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The first series, which aired in 2016, won Bafta and RTS awards, while Waller-Bridge was named the RTS Breakthrough 2016, following in the footsteps of Chewing Gum creator Michaela Coel.
The success of the show, believes Lydia Hampson is partly down to its blend of comedy and drama. “We were trying to go for the ambition of drama, but not at the expense of the laughs,” she explains. “Phoebe always says, ‘if you can make them laugh, you can make them feel.”
Fleabag’s relationship with the audience was a fundamental part of the show – which evolved from a stage play – however, at the end of the first series that relationship collapsed. Rebuilding that relationship was one of the main challenges posed by series two.
Hampson told the RTS, “Now she’s laid herself completely bare, is she pretending that she hasn’t…? I can’t imagine she’d be totally at ease with the camera in the way she was in episode one where it was smoke and mirrors when she was pretending to be fine but wasn’t.”
Speaking to the RTS in 2017, Wallter-Bridge hinted at an an upcoming series two, saying “I’d always seen it as a one-off. It feels so fragile. I’d hate to ruin it, to extend it longer than it is.”
“In my head, she was only ever looking at the camera because she was desperate to confess,” she explains. “I couldn’t think of a way to recreate the relationship with the audience without it feeling like a bit of a cheat. I think I’ve found a way”
Since Fleabag Waller-Bridge has also created the Emmy-nominated drama Killing Eve and appeared in Star Wars spinoff Solo: A Star Wars Story as android L3-37.
Filming has begun on the new series which is expected to return to BBC Three in 2019.