Prepare for a scare: the BBC has announced anthology comedy Inside No 9 will return this October for a special live Halloween edition.


Although the plot details are yet to be unveiled, the BBC have said both Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith will appear in “a twisted tale which will aim to surprise, delight, unnerve and amuse in equal measure”.

The broadcaster has also unveiled plans for a show celebrating the 60th birthday of comedian Sir Lenny Henry. Hosted by Sir Trevor McDonald, the one-hour special, filmed in front of a studio audience, will take a light-hearted look at Henry’s career with the man himself.

And not only will the show revisit characters from smooth-crooning Theophilus P Wildebeeste to shopkeeper Mister Lister, but there'll be new sketches featuring a number of unannounced special guests.

“This is a great honour. I’m very chuffed to have my comedy work celebrated like this,” said Henry. “One of the reasons I became a comedy performer was because of the rich and varied palette of comedy broadcast on the BBC throughout my childhood.

“I’m a comedy consumer now, but my teens were marked by my family’s tendency to sit round the television and watch everything. So big up Auntie Beeb – you’re the reason I’m here…”

The special will air on BBC1 later this year.

And there’s good news for Motherland fans, too: alpha mums will be back (in the café) soon. The exact date hasn’t been revealed, but we now know a few plot details. The new series will see Julia struggle to sort out her childcare as a new school term beckons, with her husband training for an Iron Man contest. Meanwhile, Liz will master “the art of not giving a f***”, and is going back to bed".

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Liz (Diane Morgan), Julia (Anna Maxwell-Martin), Kevin (Paul Ready) in motherland (BBC, TL)
Liz (Diane Morgan), Julia (Anna Maxwell-Martin), Kevin (Paul Ready) in Motherland (BBC, TL) Channel 4

Alongside the new commissions, BBC Comedy have also announced the second year of its bursary for BAME writers. The Felix Dexter Initiative, a six-month bursary, will be awarded to an aspiring comedy writer to develop their skills while gaining experience on a range of BBC comedies across radio and TV.


You can find out more information about how to apply here.

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