Charlie Brooker

Philomena Cunk to search for meaning of life in new BBC mockumentary

Diane Morgan as Philomena Cunk stands in a church while gazing upwards

Cunk's Quest for Meaning will see the fictional "pioneering documentary-maker", played by Morgan, attempt to answer the ultimate question: "What's the point of it all?"

Humans have been searching for the meaning of life since the dawn of consciousness, but amid the growing dangers of the climate crisis and AI, the search has become increasingly desperate.

Charlie Brooker on commandeering Black Mirror, his TV inspiration and why series six won't involve NFTs

Anjana Vasan in Black Mirror episode Demon 79. Credit:Netflix.

At one point in his book Inside Black Mirror, when discussing the inspiration for his global dystopian sci-fi phenomenon, Charlie Brooker credits the “shiny adverts for Apple” that were appearing at the time. He says: “Being a paranoid person, as soon as I see any advert where everyone’s really happy and smiley, I immediately think it’s a bit like a sinister advert in a dystopian movie.… The fact that it looked so happy meant that it couldn’t last.”

Black Mirror to return after four year hiatus

The sixth series, says Netflix, will be "the most unpredictable, unclassifiable and unexpected yet."

Speaking to Tudum, Brooker, who has once again written, created and executive produced the series, explained: "Partly as a challenge, and partly to keep things fresh for both me and the viewer, I began this season by deliberately upending some of my own core assumptions about what to expect.

Philomena Cunk to return to BBC Two with new series Cunk On Earth

Cunk on Earth will see Cunk (played by comedian Diane Morgan) attempt to demystify human civilisation and discover humankind’s greatest achievements.

Cunk will explore the arts and sciences that have enriched the world from the beginning of recorded history: from great inventions like the wheel to masterpieces of art like the Mona Lisa and mind-altering concepts like enlightenment and nuclear power.

She will also be visiting significant sights and asking experts big questions about society’s progress.

Netflix announces Death to 2020 from creators of Black Mirror

Charlie Brooker (credit: BBC)

The mockumentary will have an all-star cast playing fictitious ‘renowned’ historians, looking back at the landmark year of 2020 with real-life archival footage from the past twelve months.

Hugh Grant (The Undoing) will be playing one such historian and will be joined by Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction), Lisa Kudrow (Friends), comedian Leslie Jones (Saturday Night Live) and Kumail Nanjiani (The Lovebirds).

BBC Two announces new comedy slate

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.

Kim Shillinglaw: It’s bloody hard to make great television

Kim Shillinglaw

When Kim Shillinglaw became Controller of BBC Two last year, one of her predecessors took her for a drink. Roly Keating had launched BBC Four, moved on to BBC Two and filled in as temporary boss of BBC One. In a meeting room in New Broadcasting House, Shillinglaw recalls with terrible clarity what he told her.

“He said, ‘You will find BBC Two is the toughest. Let me tell you that now. BBC Four has a lot of individual commissions but not very much money, so there’s a limit to how many things it can commission.