Sky picks up new sitcom by Inbetweeners stars

Chickens, with Simon Bird and Joe Thomas, moves from Channel 4 to Sky1

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Sky1 has commissioned a full series of Chickens – a sitcom featuring The Inbetweeners’ Simon Bird and Joe Thomas that piloted on Channel 4 last year. 

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Chickens will star and be written by Bird and Thomas along with fellow comedian Jonny Sweet, who performs with them in the sketch troupe The House of Windsor. Six 30-minute episodes will go into production in December this year for broadcast in mid-2013. 

The series is set at the time of the First World War, but not in the trenches: the three main characters are a conscientious objector (Thomas), an invalid rejected by the army (Bird) and an amoral shirker (Sweet) who have no competition from other men as they chase women in their sleepy English village – but are despised as cowards by all around them.

Channel 4 aired the pilot episode in 2011 as part of its Comedy Showcase season, but declined to show a full series – a surprising move given the massive popularity of The Inbetweeners, and Thomas’s further success in C4’s Fresh Meat.

Bird, Sweet and Thomas said: “We’re delighted to be joining the Sky family to be making a series of our First World War sitcom, Chickens. It was the war to end all wars, and we hope this will be the comedy to end all comedies.”

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The series will be made by Big Talk, the producers of Rev, Him & Her and Friday Night Dinner.