The BBC has announced 12 new comedy pilot shows including a new animation starring Peaky Blinders co-stars Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley about a gang of friends coping in a world without the internet.
Alongside Javone Prince and Kayvan Novak, Hardy and Riley (who are married in real life) will lend their voice and features to the animated sitcom Sticky, which follows four best friends who attend a college located in London’s mythical borough of Shatford.
Suddenly the internet disappears and the world is thrown into chaos. Can the friends cope offline? Who would kidnap the web and why? The pilot sees the quartet embarking on a thrilling rescue mission to infiltrate the headquarters of the mysterious perpetrators of this web-based crime.
“Although based in reality, the freedom that animation brings allows Sticky to present an unlimited range of diverse characters and epic locations,” says a BBC spokeswoman. “Be prepared for the weird to collide with the epic. Plus Putin and Trump make guest appearances.”
The comedy will be directed and produced by Ed Tracy (Fonejacker, Facejacker) and has been written by a team of writers lead by Steve Burge.
The show is part of a raft of new pilots announced tonight by the BBC across BBC1, BBC2 and BBC3 and which will all air across the coming twelve months.
The other new shows include:
A sitcom Written by Matt Morgan (Hospital People) and starring Spencer Jones (Upstart Crow, Tim Vine Travels Through Time) as Leslie Winner, a well-meaning but hapless man who is prone to accidents. Aimee-Ffion Edwards (Skins, Peaky Blinders) plays his girlfriend while Shaun Williamson (EastEnders, Extras) and Dorothy Atkinson (Call The Midwife, Mum) play his parents Chris and Teresa.
Tim Vine Travels Through Time
Master of the pun Tim Vine steps inside his very special Grandfather clock which allows him to travel back in time. In the pilot he ventures to Sherwood Forest in the days of Robin Hood and his band of merry men as he bids to find a celebrity for the grand opening of his antique shop. Strictly Come Dancing champion Ore Oduba plays Robin in the comedy which Vine describes as “Doctor Who with puns.”
Rob (Rob Beckett) jacks in a job in London to move back in with his parents in their southeast London family home, only to discover they’ve just sold the house and moved to a static caravan park in Margate. His father is played by Phil Davis.
A new comedy sketch show featuring skits ranging from alien encounters in the outer reaches of the galaxy to what happens when a man is left on his own in a house for 10 minutes holding only a phone and a remote. The show stars Vivienne Acheampong (The Aliens), Gbemisola Ikumelo (Sunny D), Roxanne Sternberg (Emerald City), Samson Kayo (Youngers) and Hohn Macmillan (Dark Knight Rises, Chewing Gum).
The Other One
Narrative comedy about two girls called Catherine Walcott. They are sisters who had no idea the other existed until their father drops dead. Stars Siobhan Finneran (Downton Abbey, Happy Valley), Rebecca Front (The Thick of It, War and Peace), Ellie White (Inside No 9, The Windsors), Lauren Socha (Misfits, Catastrophe) and Amit Shah (Hospital People, Stag, W1A).
Amy (Sarah Solemani – Him & Her, Bridget Jones’ Baby) and Andy (Brett Goldstein – Superbob, Derek) play two teenage friends who have made a pact that if they’re both still single aged 35, they’ll marry each other. Amy doesn’t think it’ll ever happen. Andy, who’s secretly in love with Amy, desperately hopes that it will. The action starts when they meet twenty years later…
Sitcom following the escapades of three ‘normal’ Chinese girls – Elizabeth the failed Chinese daughter, Jackie the feisty struggling actress and Fufu the Buddhist princess, fresh off the plane – as they negotiate the trials of modern life in London. Written by new writing talent, Yennis Cheung and Shin-Fei Chen and featuring a guest performance from Felicity Montagu (Alan Partridge).
Hailmakers follows hapless entrepreneurs Saz and Sol. Stars Akemnji Ndifornyen (The Javone Prince Show, Ackee and Saltfish) as Saz, Samson Kayo (Timewasters, Youngers) as Sol, and Jason Barnett (Porridge, PhoneShop) as Diggins.
BAFTA award-winning Kayvan Novak has adapted his Radio 4 comedy, The Celebrity Voicemail Show.
Wannabe stars Lily Brazier (People Just Do Nothing) as Maxine, an aspiring pop star who tries to fashion the new genre of ‘Mum Pop’ in order to hit the big time.
Follows Kazim and Jeremiah – two young entrepreneurs in the early stages of rolling out their home delivery service, Speedi-Kazz. Cast confirmed so far include Kayode Ewumi, Daniel Ezra (Undercover), Ivanno Jeremiah (Humans), and Femi Elufowoju, Jr (Borgen).
Ben has worked as a professional journalist specialising in TV and the arts for nearly twenty years writing for Stage newspaper, Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Times, The Guardian, Evening Standard, Broadcast, Independent and the New Statesman where he wrote a column.