New Sky original series Funny Woman is set to land on our screens this February.


The new comedy is set in 1960s Blackpool and follows Barbara Parker, a woman who may not have an exact plan but has a dream of reinventing herself and finding her voice in the male-dominated world of 60s sitcoms. Transporting us back to the swinging '60s era, the series stars Gemma Arterton in the lead role.

Based on the bestselling 2016 novel Funny Girl by Nick Hornby, the show is set to chronicle an iconic time in the comedy world.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about Funny Woman.

Funny Woman release date

Gemma Arterton in Funny Woman
Funny Woman: Gemma Arterton as Barbara and Tom Bateman as Clive. Sky

The six-part series will air on Sky Max and NOW from Thursday 9th February.

Funny Woman cast

Funny Woman
Funny Woman: Gemma Arterton as Barbara and Arsher Ali as Dennis. Sky

The cast of this Sky comedy series is a stellar one, with many a familiar face. Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace) leads the cast as Barbara Parker, who comes to be known as Sophie.

Arterton is also an executive producer of the series and, speaking about her new role, said: "It’s a heart-warming story of an ambitious woman with a dream of making people laugh – it’s going to be something special. It’s an honour to be working with such an incredible team and be reunited with my first ever director, Oliver Parker."

Tom Bateman (Behind Her Eyes) stars as Clive, Arsher Ali (Informer, The Missing) plays Dennis and Rupert Everett (My Policeman) plays theatrical agent Brian Debehnam. David Threlfall (Shameless) plays George, Barbara's father, while Matthew Beard (Vienna Blood) plays Bill and Leo Bill (Becoming Elizabeth) plays Tony.

Alexa Davies (White House Farm, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!) plays one of Barbara's close friends Marjorie, while Clare-Hope Ashitey (Riviera, Top Boy) stars as Diane, a young journalist and friend of Barbara's.

Funny Woman
Funny Woman: Claire-Hope Ashitey as Diane Lewis. Sky

Alistair Petrie (Sex Education) is Ted Sargent, a "prime antagonist in many ways" and powerful man in the series. Morwenna Banks (Miss You Already) is the series creator and writer, but also stars as Patsy in the series.

The full list of the cast of Funny Woman is as follows.

  • Gemma Arterton as Barbara Parker
  • Tom Bateman as Clive
  • Clare-Hope Ashitey as Diane
  • Alexa Davies as Marjorie
  • Rupert Everett as Brian Debehnam
  • Arsher Ali as Dennis
  • Leo Bill as Tony
  • Matthew Beard as Bill
  • Alistair Petrie as Ted Sergeant
  • David Threlfall as George Parker
  • Emily Bevan as Edith
  • Olivia Williams as Gloria
  • Rosie Cavaliero as Aunty Marie
  • Morwenna Banks as Patsy

Funny Woman plot

Funny Woman
Funny Woman: Rupert Everett as Brian and Morwenna Banks as Patsy. Sky

The series is almost a sitcom within a comedy, chronicling the journey that Barbara takes in order to become an understood woman in the world of comedy. Set in a time when women were expected to be "flirty, fabulous and fertile " and not funny, Barbara Parker sees herself as different.

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As per the synopsis: "It’s the height of the swinging 60s and Barbara Parker has just been crowned Miss Blackpool – but there’s got to be more to life than being a beauty queen in a seaside town, right? She wants to be… someone. The bright lights of London are calling, and our determined hero sets off to find out who that someone is.

"The London she encounters is not as quite as swinging as the one she’d read about and seen on TV. However, after a series of setbacks Barbara finds herself in unfamiliar territory - an audition for a TV comedy show. Barbara’s uncompromising northern wit proves to be the X factor that the show has been missing. She gets the part and becomes part of a ground-breaking new sitcom which will have an impact on British comedy for decades to come."

It continues: "Being a woman in a largely male environment has its own challenges, but as Barbara ‘finds her funny’ she re-defines the prevailing attitude to funny women and in the process, reinvents herself."

Funny Woman is based on Nick Hornby’s bestselling 2016 novel Funny Girl, which follows Barbara as she goes from being a young woman working in a Blackpool rock factory to one that sets off for London without a plan but with a dream.

She embarks on a mission to reinvent herself and find her voice in the male-dominated world of the 1960s sitcom. However, as the synopsis states, "the road to stardom is paved with banana skins and she has many a pratfall before she achieves her goal".

Is there a trailer for Funny Woman?

There is! In it, we get a taste of what's to come in the series – moments of comedy, laugh-out-loud remarks and infuriating sexist remarks. We see how Barbara is trying her hardest to go from being Miss Blackpool to someone people know about in the English capital – but will she succeed?

Watch it below.

Funny Woman is coming to Sky Max and NOW from Thursday 9th February - find out more about how to sign up for Sky TV.

Take a look at the rest of our Drama coverage, or find out what else is on with our TV Guide and Streaming Guide.


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