Toast of London star Matt Berry is starring in a new period crime caper for Channel 4 based on a real-life group of Victorian detectives.
The pilot comedy is penned by Veep and Black Books writers Kevin Cecil and Andy Riley and is loosely based on Scotland Yard’s fledgling Murder Squad which was tasked with finding Jack the Ripper among other cases.
In the one-off comedy, which will get a full series if Channel 4 is happy with the result, Berry’s character and his team will be “fighting notorious criminals in London in the 1880s” according to the production company Objective.
The 1880s was the time of Jack the Ripper’s Whitechapel Crimes, and the notorious serial killer is expected to feature in the comedy in some form.
Objective has confirmed the commission of the pilot and said that actors Freddie Fox (Cucumber, Worried about the Boy) and Susan Wokoma (Chewing Gum) will co-star. However it declined to confirm which characters they will be playing, although it is understood that Berry is playing the lead investigator.
Cecil and Riley are a writing team who have worked together on a number of comedy series of the last decade, including Little Britain, The Friday Night Armistice and Spitting Image. They were the lead writers on the Bafta winning comedy Black Books and created and wrote the BBC2 sci-fi sitcom Hyperdrive.
They were also supervising producers and writers on series four of the HBO comedy Veep starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and won the Emmy for Best Comedy Series along with the writing and producing team.
Berry’s comedy Toast of London is not expected to return in the near future, although Berry is still believed to be weighing up the possibility of taking the flamboyant actor to the US, according to C4 sources.