E4 to make new backpacking comedy created by Plebs writer Tom Basden

The broadcaster has greenlit comedy-drama Foreign Bodies about a group of gap-year travellers

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Plebs co-writer and star Tom Basden has gathered a writing team including Rev creator James Wood to make a new E4 comedy drama about a pair of British backpackers.

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Foreign Bodies follows two young British men on a gap year and has a star roster of writers including creator Tom Basden (Plebs), plus Charlie Covell (Banana), actor/comedian Tim Key and Jonny Sweet (Together). Wood, who penned the BBC2 ecclesiastical comedy Rev starring Tom Hollander, is also on board.

Central to the as-yet-uncast drama are Brits Sean and Dylan who meet American girls May and Ashley in Beijing and opt to undergo the first leg of their travels together.

All the characters have a personal quest that’s brought them halfway round the world to walk The Great Wall of China, wade through jungles in Malaysia and rub shoulders with ex-pats in Singapore. May wants to meet her extended family in China while Dylan is keen to track down and win back his ex-girlfriend.

“None of them get what they hoped for, but all gain something better, as they learn that no matter how far you go and how hard you try, you can’t take a holiday from yourself,” said E4 of the new show, which is expected to air at the end of the year.

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Piers Wenger, C4’s head of drama, said the “script captures perfectly the pleasures and the pain of the gap year backpacker as he follows the experiences of five young travellers on an epic and hilarious quest to find paradise while also trying to find themselves.”