The BBC has acquired comedy series Austin – which stars Ben Miller and Sally Phillips and was originally made for Australian TV.


Created by Miller along with Darren Ashton, Joe Tucker and Lloyd Wolf, the eight-part show stars the former as much-loved children's author Julian Hartswood, whose career appears to be at an end after he inadvertently causes a social media storm.

However, things take a turn when Austin, the neurodivergent son that Julian never knew existed, turns up out of the blue.

The role of Austin is played by first-time actor Michael Theo, who is known for his appearances in hit reality series Love on the Spectrum, while Phillips plays Julian's illustrator wife Ingrid – who is also caught up in the online brouhaha brought about by her husband.

The official synopsis teases: "Could embracing this modern nuclear family be Julian’s route back from cancellation? Will Ingrid ever forgive him? One thing is for certain: if Julian thinks Austin is going to be a pushover, he's in for a rude awakening."

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The BBC's head of programme acquisition Sue Deeks described the comedy as "irresistibly charming, humorous and heart-warming" and promised that BBC viewers "are sure to find Austin a sheer delight from start to finish".

Meanwhile, Catherine Nebauer – the head of scripted TV at the show's production company Northern Pictures – said that the comedy included a "clever blend of British and Australian humour" and described the BBC as the "perfect platform" for the show.

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She added: "With a stellar cast and production team, Austin has already proven to be a hit on ABC with local audiences and we can't wait to share it with the world."

The series aired in Australia earlier in 2024, where it was met with a mostly positive reception from critics.

Alongside Miller, Phillips and Theo, the cast for the show also includes Gia Carides (My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Big Little Lies) and Roy Billing (Jack Irish, Underbelly).

Austin will air on BBC iPlayer and BBC TV channels later this year.


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