Amanda Abbington is to star in a Channel 4 comedy short about a family on the verge of being destroyed by online fame.
The comedy, We Are Family, sees Abbington play the mother of the Conway family who have found fame through a hugely popular family dining website.
According to the broadcaster: “As they clocked up the hits the offers flooded in and Conway’s Cook Books, Conway’s Ready Meals, and an Organic shop followed suit. But pretty soon the perfect family had become a fame-hungry, cynical, money-grabbing bunch of hypocrites. But who cares? Provided they can keep up the charade of a happy and successful family, the all-important cash-cow brand will remain intact.”
Abbington is, of course, known for playing Mary Morstan in Sherlock, the unfortunate wife of Martin Freeman’s John Watson who was shot dead in the first episode of the last series. Since her shock departure from the series, she has appeared on the final series of Uncle which concludes this Sunday on BBC3.
Her new 11 minute one-off is part of a new season of Channel 4 online comedy shorts called “Blaps” which will be made available later today. It also stars Tom Goodman-Hill as Abbington’s husband alongside Bebe Cave, Laura Checkley and Misfits star Antonia Thomas. It is written by Will Smith.
If successful it could be developed into a full series, following in the footsteps of other Blaps which had been made into longer-running Channel 4 shows such as Chewing Gum, Game Face and Bad Robot.
Other comedies in the new Blaps season include How to Life, “a fast moving hybrid of narrative, sketch and surrealism” starring comedian Ryan Shelton (The Wrong Girl, Hamish & Andy’s Gap Year). The show sees him turning his life into a series of bizarre life lessons.
Another is The Educatoror [Correct] a 3-part comedy series set at a tough, inner city London girls school written by, starring and directed by Paul G Raymond and Luke Manning.
Vicki Pepperdine and Jessica Knapper star with the role of the Educatoror – an Oxbridge-educated teacher – is played by Arun Jason.
Says Channel 4: “He’s sensitive, artistically high-minded, and thinks he’s Robin Williams in Dead Poet’s Society. He leaves his cushy post at a privileged private school, and takes on a new role at a tough, inner-city London school in Tower Hamlets. Overconfident bordering on smug, Arun quickly realises he is out of his depth; the teenage girls at this school are like nothing he’s ever dealt with before…”
The Reunion is another pilot show for the season. Written in three parts it is set over one extraordinary night at a school reunion and has been written by its stars Max Oleskar and Ivan Gonzalez.
Channel 4’s comedy Blaps are available to watch from February 9 on All 4
Ben has worked as a professional journalist specialising in TV and the arts for nearly twenty years. After a two year stint on local newspapers in the mid 1990s, he spent more than 5 years as the broadcast reporter at the Stage newspaper. Following that he enjoyed staff reporting positions at the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times breaking stories and writing features before settling as a full time freelance writing for an array of newspapers and magazines - but mainly for the Guardian, Evening Standard, Broadcast, Independent and the New Statesman where he wrote a column.