Tracey Ullman is coming home to British television after a 30-year absence.
The 55-year-old comedian is bringing The Tracey Ullman Show to BBC1, showcasing an array of new characters “living in, or visiting, the busy global hub that is the UK,” according to the Corporation.
Ullman said of her new series which is expected to air at the end of this year: “It’s a privilege to be doing this. I still feel as inspired to inhabit people as I did when I was six, standing on the windowsill in my mother’s bedroom, putting on a show.
“The BBC has changed a bit since the last time I worked here, when it was all men in bow ties who had completed National Service. Now there are a lot more women. Great ones. The important things haven’t changed, though. The BBC still provides an environment that allows you to the freedom to create the best shows possible.”
BBC controller of comedy commissioning Shane Allen added: “It’s about time the Americans gave her back. Tracey has been the missing gem in the British comedy crown for too long. Talent doesn’t come much bigger and the BBC audience is in for a huge treat.”
Ullman last appeared on the BBC alongside the likes of Robbie Coltrane and Rik Mayall in the sketch show A Kick up the Eighties, which ended in 1984. Her other major BBC sketch show, Three of a Kind, where she appeared with David Copperfield and Lenny Henry, finished in 1983.
Ullman’s last major British TV show was the ITV sitcom Girls on Top, which she made in 1985 before emigrating to the United States. There she worked on an array of shows including The Tracey Ullman Show from 1987 to 1999 and Tracey Ullman’s State of the Union from 2008 to 2010 on Showtime. The Tracey Ullman Show was the first home for The Simpsons.
News of Ullman’s return was announced at a showcase event on Wednesday night co-hosted by BBC director-general Tony Hall and Shane Allen.
Hall said: “People love great comedy. And, at the BBC, it’s in our DNA. Our commitment hasn’t wavered in 80 years. Across BBC radio, television and increasingly online we’re backing new talent and showcasing some of this country’s best performers.”