The BBC has announced a host of new comedy shows, while hit ongoing series Bad Education, Avoidance, Mandy, Peacock and Ellie & Natasia will all be returning.


Speaking at the BBC's comedy festival in Cardiff, director of comedy Jon Petrie said: “The BBC remains the biggest single investor in original comedy content in the UK. We’re so proud of the depth and range of our offerings which champion British creativity and I’m delighted to announce five brand new shows and five much-loved returning series."

One of the new series announced is Ludwig, a six-part series starring David Mitchell as John 'Ludwig' Taylor, a man who assumed the identity of his twin brother, DCI James Taylor, when he goes missing. Using the position to help discover his brother's whereabouts, Ludwig – a recluse who designs puzzles for a living – must crack the biggest puzzle of his life.

Meanwhile, Michelle de Swarte will star in six-part series Spent, as a former catwalk model who is on the run, broke and homeless. Despite humble beginnings she has become accustomed to the finer things in life, but her lifestyle choices don’t carry much currency now she's pushing 40 and permanently sofa surfing.

De Swarte also wrote the series and said that having her first commission as a writer for the BBC "seems like some sort of fever dream".

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Another new series, Mammoth, has been created by and stars Mike Bubbins, while it is co-written with Paul Doolan. It is about a man of his time called Tony Mammoth (Bubbins), a PE teacher who is presumed to have been killed in an avalanche on a school trip in 1979.

However, when his body is discovered decades later in the present day, Mammoth is miraculously brought back from the dead and has to try and rebuild his life as a PE teacher in modern-day Cardiff. Bubbins has promised "big laughs, from a big character. With quite a big moustache.”

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Dinosaur, a new series from creators Matilda Curtis and Ashley Storrie, and stars Storrie as Nina, an autistic woman in her 30s who grapples with a big change in her life when her sister and best friend Evie rushes into an engagement after only six weeks and makes Nina her maid of honour.

Finally, Things You Should Have Done comes from creator and writer Lucia Keskin, who also stars in the family sitcom as Chi, a self-confessed ‘stay-at-home-daughter'.

When her parents unexpectedly die, Chi is suddenly forced to fend for herself, although she finds she will inherit the house on the condition she completes a list of 'Things You Should Have Done' left by her parents. Meanwhile, Chi’s Auntie Karen (Selin Hizli) wants nothing to do with her her, but feels the house is rightfully hers.

Keskin has said she is "so grateful to fulfil a dream with such a great team of people".

Diane Morgan in Mandy
Diane Morgan in Mandy. BBC/Richard Harrison

Meanwhile, when it comes to returning series, Bad Education will be back for a fifth season with Layton Williams, Charlie Wernham, Vicki Pepperdine, Mathew Horne and the rest of the cast all returning.

It joins Romesh Ranganathan's Avoidance, which is back for a second season about "falling in love, messy reconciliation and a baby" and Diane Morgan's Mandy, which is back for a third season.

Morgan said: "Bigger hair! Longer cigarettes! Mintier pig! Expect all this and more in the third epic season of Mandy. Now in 3D (where available) – you’ll believe you’re actually inside Mandy’s small back bedroom! Get your free goggles in the Radio Times."

Peacock, the series from People Just Do Nothing's Allan ‘Seapa’ Mustafa and Steve Stamp is also back, this time for a full six-part run, while Ellie & Natasia is also returning for a second season.

Ellie White and Natasia Demetriou, who created and star in the series, said: "When the BBC came crawling on their knees begging us for a series 2 we didn’t have it in our hearts to say no. It is our pleasure to provide our stunning and excellent sketches and characters to help out the darling little BBC – it’s God’s work and someone has to do it."

Check out more of our Comedy coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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