Gold

Gold confirms a second series of Sandylands

Credit: UKTV

The new series will see the return of Les Vegas (Sanjeev Bhaskar), Emily Verma (Natalie Dew), and will welcome new character Donna Vegas, Emily’s estranged mother, played by Tracy-Ann Oberman. 

Series one ended with Les running back to the sea, this time with daughter Emily in tow, as they try to evade the ruthless One Eyed Man (Hugh Bonneville).

UKTV announces diverse anthology series and new writers’ initiative for underrepresented talent

Anthology series 

The four-part anthology series will see UKTV team up with TriForce Creative Network, an organisation that works to remove obstacles stopping diverse and emerging talent from progressing in the industry. 

The multi-step process will use TriForce’s WriterSlam platform, which is known for discovering writers from all backgrounds, and ask for writing scripts across a range of topics and genres. 

Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders to reunite for French and Saunders: Funny Women

The iconic duo will pair up once again to film on the set of their classic sketch show to talk about the wealth of female contributions to the comedy landscape across history and across the globe. 

They will discuss the women who were the very first trailblazers in the industry, to those who inspired a young French and Saunders and today’s generation of comedy stars. 

The special will be a fun and eye-opening celebration of the many women in comedy past and present. 

Gold announces new special The Vicar of Dibley: Inside Out

Richard Curtis and Dawn French (Credit: UKTV)

The documentary will reveal never-before-seen footage of rehearsals and what really occurred behind the scenes. 

Produced by Expectation, the special will see Dawn French and Richard Curtis partner talk about their favourite moments from the sitcom with writer Paul Mayhew-Archer, producer Jon Plowman and James Fleet, who played Hugo Horton, and guest stars such as Hugh Bonneville, Kylie and Joanna Lumley. 

Dawn French commented: “It was a total treat to revisit such a happy place and time for this documentary. Part of my heart is still, and forever will be in Dibley.”

Lockdown boosts viewership for UKTV

In 2020, UKTV’s network share grew by 3.2% to achieve 4.63%, reaching over 18 million viewers a week, and grew its SOCI by 4%.

UKTV Play increased direct-to-consumer views by 42%, with shows such as Red Dwarf: The Promised Land, The Bill: The Early Years, Meet The Richardsons, EastEnders and Hypothetical topping the VOD service.

David Walliams heads to the seaside for new Gold comedy

David Walliams in Bear's Mission with David Walliams (Credit: ITV)

The three-part series follows Emily Verma (Dew), a 27-year-old living the high life in London after flying the nest from her seaside hometown, Sandylands.

When Emily hears her father Les Vegas (Bhaskar) is lost at sea, she returns to her childhood home and reconnects with her old best friend Tina (Harriet Webb) and quickly befriends her oddball next door neighbours Derek Swallows (Walliams) and his wife Jeannie (Sophie Thompson).

Gold commissions Isle of Wight comedy The Cockfields

Joe Wilkinson, Diane Morgan and Kim Cattrall star in The Cockfields (Credit: UKTV)

The 3x30’ series is written by David Earl and Joe Wilkinson, with Steve Bendelack (Little Britain, Friday Night Dinner) directing.

Wilkinson stars as Simon who is fast approaching 40. To celebrate the big birthday, Simon takes his girlfriend Donna (Morgan) home to the Isle of Wight for the first time, to mark the occasion back at the Cockfield family home.

The pair try to survive the long weekend as they share the house with Simon’s ever-doting mother Sue, (Sue Johnston) and controlling stepdad Ray (Bobby Ball).

UKTV announces cast of Dad’s Army remake

Robert Bathurst, Kevin R. McNally and Bernard Cribbins (Credit: UKTV/Gold)

Dad’s Army: The Lost Episodes will recreate three episodes of the classic sitcom Dad’s Army that were lost from the archive.

The series will celebrate 50 years since the first broadcast of the original episodes, written by David Croft and Jimmy Perry, who devised the idea for Dad’s Army back in the 1960s.

In the original series, which ran from 1968 until 1977, Arthur Lowe played Captain Mainwaring, the pompous bank manager-turned-leader of the local group of Home Guards during the Second World War.

Jonathan Ross to host new documentary Morecambe & Wise in America

Eric Morcambe and Ernie Wise (Credit: UKTV)

Airing this Christmas on Gold, the three-part documentary will feature over an hour’s worth of footage never seen before in the UK. Ross explores the duo’s working relationship and a series of trips they made to appear on one of the USA’s largest variety shows, The Ed Sullivan Show.

The pair were watched by as many as “60 million people” on The Ed Sullivan Show which was also credited with helping The Beatles crack America.