When Famalam came to our screens in 2018, British television was ready and waiting for a high-profile comedic exploration of the contemporary black British experience. It tapped the same vein as Michaela Coel’s Chewing Gum and the 1990s ensemble show The Real McCoy – and another hit sketch show was long overdue.
Michaela doesn’t skirt issues – she goes straight at them.” Executive producer Roberto Troni is talking about Michaela Coel’s fearless new drama I May Destroy You, which explores sexual consent in contemporary London.
The 12-part BBC One/HBO series is, to an extent, based on personal experience – like her character, Arabella, Coel was sexually assaulted after her drink was spiked, an experience she revealed two years ago while giving the MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh International TV Festival.
Lenny Henry’s Race Through Comedy, will chronicle and celebrate British TV comedy over the years and focus on iconic shows that have highlighted Britain’s mix of multiculturalism.
Henry is a fellow of the RTS and has previously been recognised for his work in helping to raise awareness of issues surrounding diversity within the television industry.
RTS Award winner Michaela Coel sits down with us at the RTS Programme Awards 2018 to reflect on two years of success since winning the inaugural RTS Breakthrough Award in 2016.
Chewing Gum won three awards at the 2016 RTS awards, and has since gone on to win Baftas. The show is shown around the world, however it was Michaela's work on the recent series of Charlie Brooker's Black Mirror that really shot her to international attention.
Monday: The Great Indoors
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This new comedy stars Stephen Fry as adventure journalist Joel McHale who must adapt to modern times when he becomes office-bound in a digital department full of millennials.
Written, produced and created by RTS Breakthrough actress Michaela Coel, who also stars in the series as Tracey, is back for a brand-new series on E4.
Chewing Gum follows religious, Beyonce-obsessed 24-year-old Tracey Gordon who is determined to find out about the world and herself. We last saw Tracey at the end of series one having been thrown out of her home, along with her ex-boyfriend Connor having lost his job and her sister Cynthia's wedding day ending in an absolute disaster.
Lynne Parker was that panellist, and the attitude represented in that quote was one of the things that inspired her to found the Funny Women Awards in 2003. Seventy women entered in the first year; this year there were more than 500 entries.
Musical comedian Harriet Braine won the 2016 Funny Women Stage Award and she entertained the RTS audience with songs about Matisse and Pablo Picasso.
BBC Two's Wolf Hall is up against Doctor Foster and Humans in TV Drama this year, whilst RTS Programme Award winner Michaela Cole has been nominated for her show Chewing Gum both in the Comedy category and for The Times Outstanding Achievement Award.
The classic sitcom no longer rules the TV schedules in the way that shows such as Fawlty Towers, Open All Hours and Porridge did in the 1970s. Or does it?
A panel of TV practitioners attempted to tease out the answer last month at an RTS early-evening event, “No laughing matter: how does comedy fight back?” This stimulating debate made one think that we could be living through another golden age of TV comedy without necessarily knowing it.