Broadchurch actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge to write and star in her own E4 comedy

The actress who plays steely junior barrister Abby Thompson in the ITV drama will take the lead in her new comedy Crashing about a group of young property guardians

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Broadchurch actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge it to write and star in her own E4 comedy.

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Waller-Bridge, whose character Abby Thompson is currently attempting to clear murder suspect Joe Miller in the ITV drama, will play one of six main characters in Crashing.  

The rest of the cast is yet to be announced, but we do know that the comedy will focus on a group of so-called property guardians in their 20s and 30s – people who house sit for the wealthy to prevent their homes being damaged or invaded by squatters.

The vogue for property guardianship has risen in an age when living space has become increasingly unaffordable for the young but an investment for often absent owners. The characters in Crashing will occupy a large disused hospital. 

“It’s about that time in your life when the reality of being an adult kicks you hard in the crotch,” said a statement from E4. “This time you’re not someone’s kid, you’re not a student, and you’re not fresh out of uni. This time you’re a grown up.

“In an age of unaffordable housing and sky-high rents, becoming a property guardian has never been so appealing, with thousands of people paying as little as £25 a week to live in unoccupied buildings in exchange for ‘protecting’ the property from disrepair. Just imagine waking up every morning in your own historic building in the most exciting city in the world. Even if it is an enormous, creepy, derelict hospital.”

It is the first TV writing commission for Waller-Bridge who has written her own stage plays before. 

She said: ‘It’s an absolute dream to be writing for such a sexy, funny, groundbreaking channel. I’m over the moon that they’ve let this naughty little gang of characters into the fold.”

Channel 4’s comedy commissioning editor Rachel Springett said: “Phoebe is such an extraordinary new writer/performer talent. We are thrilled to be making her first ever sitcom on the channel and we look forward to unleashing her unique voice and humour onto the world.”

Kenton Allen, chief executive at Big Talk Productions (the team behind Rev) which is making the comedy, said: “We’re thrilled to be working with the phenomenally talented Phoebe on her first TV series…. we can’t wait to breathe life into her fabulous scripts.”

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The series will go into production in London over the summer to broadcast in 2016.