Has the BBC finally hit upon a successor to Only Fools and Horses, John Sullivan’s much-loved sitcom about Del Boy, Rodders and co?
The broadcaster is developing a new ‘working class’ sitcom called Scaffs, RadioTimes.com can reveal – Scaffs being short for scaffolders.
Written by Rhys Thomas, the voice of Brian Bellamy in Radio 4’s Down the Line and creator of (comedy) rock legend Brian Pern, it’s set in Frinton-on-Sea on the Essex coast.
The writer is not afraid of comparisons with the legendary Peckham comedy for the new show, which has been handed a healthy development budget by the BBC commissioning department.
“The plan is a little bit Only Fools and Horses but set now,” he told RadioTimes.com. “There aren’t many things that really represent working class life on telly. That’s why I want to do it. I t would be quite nice to make something that the whole family could watch that doesn’t have any swearing but isn’t naff.”
It is not the only new show that Thomas is developing with the BBC. He is also working on a comedy drama set in a caravan park full of divorced men.
Closely modelled on the experience of Thomas’s own father, who moved into a caravan site on a temporary basis and stayed for 18 years, Thomas is developing the idea with Fifth Fathoms, the production company behind recent hits Fortitude, Marvellous and The A Word.
He added that he has his eyes on two stars from his comedy Brian Pern to play the lead roles.
“I would love to pair Christopher Eccleston and Michael Kitchen up in it because they are my favourite actors,” he said.
In Brian Pern, Kitchen played the rocker’s unscrupulous agent John Farrow while Eccleston was taciturn “Madchester” rock producer Luke Dunmore who produced Pern’s awful LP Shelf Life.