BBC Comedy

BBC commissions new comedy PRU

Credit: BBC

The series follows a group of tearaway teens who are struggling to adjust to life in a pupil referral unit, a school that is the last resort for excluded children.

The reality of life in a pupil referral unit is one the public seldom sees, and the erratic and volatile nature of the experience will be told through the eyes of four kids who lack inhibitions and often turn to self-destruction.

PRU is produced by Fully Focused, a youth-led production company that focuses on online content creation and champions underrepresented young voices.

BBC Two comedy Mandy announces cast

(credit: BBC)

The comedy series follows Mandy: a woman with huge dreams, namely breeding Doberman Pinchers. From dodgy Airbnb rentals to surviving short-lived employment in the gig economy, she grapples with overcoming the struggles of modern life.

The six-part series will see Morgan joined by a regular cast comprised of Michelle Greenidge (After Life), Alistair Green (Flowers), Mark Silcox (Man Like Mobeen) and Michael Spicer (The Mash Report).

The Young Offenders are back for a third series

Hilary Rose, Chris Walley and Alex Murphy (Credit: BBC)

The Young Offenders tells the story of loveable tearaways Conor (Alex Murphy) and Jock (Chris Walley) growing up in Cork, Ireland, under the watchful eye of their mother Mairéad (Hilary Rose), who tries to keep them in line. 

Created by Peter Foott, Conor and Jock are best friends trying to survive their awkward teenage years and find their place in the world when they are expelled from school.

Jock has recently become a father, introducing baby Star into the unconventional family, and the pair are both excited yet underprepared to support a newborn.

David Tennant and Michael Sheen to star in new BBC comedy series

David Tennant and Michael Sheen (Credit: BBC)

The six-part series is based on an original idea by Simon Evans and Phin Glynn, with the series written and directed by Evans.

Staged follows the cast of a play forced to halt their upcoming West End Production and sent home on furlough.

Classed as some of the best British actors of their generation, the cast try to keep up rehearsals at home during lockdown.

The series finds the comedy and challenges of creating a drama in lockdown both on and off stage.

BBC announces new bursary for comedy writing

Galton and Simpson (credit: BBC)

The bursary has been named after Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, the comedy writing duo who after first meeting in a TB sanatorium back in 1948 went on to create Hancock and Steptoe & Son.

Driven by boredom and alienation as a pair of young men in a sanatorium surrounded by older occupants, Galton and Simpson turned to writing. The duo went on to become one of the best loved and most enduring writing partnerships in comedy history.

US comedy series Shrill heads to BBC Three

Aidy Bryant (Credit:BBC)

The six-part series will become available on BBC iPlayer from the 15th December.

Executive produced by Lorne Michaels and Elizabeth Banks, Shrill stars Aidy Bryant (Saturday Night Live) as Annie, an overweight young woman who wants to change her life, but not her body.

Changing her life won’t be easy though.

As Annie tries to start her career in journalism, she is also dealing with bad boyfriends, a sick parent and a perfectionist boss.

Comedy masterclass with Nerys Evans

Sarah Asante and Nerys Evans (Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

How her career began: "I’m from a very small town in Wales. No-one I knew ever worked in TV. I had no in. I just followed my dream and worked really hard to get my foot in the door.

"I’m not an extraordinary person. I am very lucky to work with some quite extraordinary people. It’s hard to get into telly and it’s getting harder.

"I am a massive comedy fan. I wanted to do something in comedy although I didn’t know what that would be. I read politics at Liverpool’s John Moores University where I joined the student radio station.

BBC comedy king Shane Allen on the importance of new talent

(Credit: BBC)

Both Monty Python’s Flying Circus and W1A – shows produced by the BBC Comedy department five decades apart – featured a gag in which the BBC head of comedy is revealed to be a dour, humourless figure on the brink of clinical depression.

“Yes. And Episodes did a bit of that, as well,” laughs Shane Allen, when the long-running gag about his job is mentioned, thereby establishing that it could not apply to him. The tape of our conversation is fittingly – though, given some of his predecessors, not inevitably – punctuated with his deep laugh.