2018 Channel 4 Comedy Highlights Revealed
It’s been a big year for comedy on Channel 4 – and it’s only March! Following the roaring success of Derry Girls (which was not only Northern Ireland’s biggest ever series but also the biggest comedy launch on Channel 4 since 2004) and Young Sheldon (E4’s best ever comedy launch), we’re excited to highlight four brand new series coming to Channel 4 this year. From the mishaps of two loveable builders to a hapless internet psychiatrist, from an inept north London letting agency to a crash landing (literally) on a tropical paradise, 2018 is set to continue with more brilliant, eclectic and hilarious comedy that explores modern British life with both new and established talent.
Fiona McDermott, Head of Channel 4 Comedy, says: “These five shows are just a slice of what we’ve got coming up this year, but we think they all really capture the tone of what comedy on Channel 4 is all about...original, authored, surprising and packed full of great laughs and all delivered by a real range of comic voices.”
Lee and Dean
Lee and Dean is a brand new 5-part comedy series centring on the lives of Stevenage builders Lee (Miles Chapman) and Dean (Mark O’Sullivan), best buddies since childhood.
The series follows the relationship between Lee, Dean and their friends through charity galas, poetry nights, bark rubbing competitions, prison sentences and shockingly eventful stag and hen weekends. Co-Starring Anna Morris and Camille Ucan alongside established talent including Ricky Grover, Perry Benson, Ramon Tikaram and Tom Bennett, Lee and Dean promises to keep you lCould Iaughing and crying in equal measure.
Lee and Dean by Bingo Productions is written, produced and directed by new comedy team Mark O’Sullivan, Miles Chapman & Sam Underwood, with the added expertise of executive producer Phil Clarke.
High & Dry
In this 6-part comedy, an air steward crash lands into a tropical paradise and puts himself in charge of the palm-fringed island. But remaining survivors won’t be grateful for their lives for too long as they will soon learn they are stranded with the world’s worst human being, Brett Sullivan (Marc Wootton), and not even the blue tropical waters are enough to make him bearable.
Written by and starring Marc Wootton (High Spirits with Shirley Ghostman, La La Land), High & Dry centres around survivors of a plane crash who have washed up on a remote island in the Indian Ocean. Led by overbearing, sociopath air steward Brett Sullivan (Marc Wootton), also self-proclaimed “King of the Island”, the survivors assemble together in the belief they are each other’s best chance of survival, or so they think…. will people show their true colours when survival instincts kick in and will they ever stand a chance of being rescued? Also fastened in for the ride are spaced-out Arnab (Asim Chaudhry - People Just Do Nothing), cautious family man Douglas (Harry Peacock – Toast of London) plain speaking Harriet (Vicki Pepperdine -Getting On) and dutiful Susan (Grace Rex – Master of None).
The series is directed by Dave Lambert (Zapped, Alan Partridge) and is filmed entirely on location on the idyllic beaches of the Seychelles.
Stath Lets Flats (w/t)
A new 6-part comedy following Stath (Jamie Demetriou - Fleabag, Tracey Ullman’s Show, Gap Year), an incompetent lettings agent, on his day to day antics at 'Michael & Eagle Lettings', a dodgy London lettings agency run by Stath's father.
It's a real family affair, as equally inept sister Sophie (Jamie’s real life sister Natasia Demetriou - Morgana Robinson's the Agency), is also employed on continual work experience. Stath has big ambitions to take over the family business one day, but is hampered by his general ability (or lack thereof) and overall personality. In modern, overcrowded London, the business of finding tenants to rent flats should be pretty easy, but Stath makes it a struggle.
The series is also written by 'Friday Night Dinner' creator Robert Popper and stars Katy Wix (The Windsors, Not Going Out), Dustin Demri-Burns (Cardinal Burns, Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa) and Tom Stourton (Siblings, Decline and Fall).
Written by Robert Delamere and Stephen Mangan, who also stars, Hang Ups is a 6-part unconventional comedy about an unconventional therapist trying to keep his unconventional life, and patients, from falling apart.
Stephen Mangan (Episodes, Green Wing, Dirk Gently) stars as Dr. Richard Pitt, a therapist with a chequered professional career, who finds himself at a crossroads in life – a crossroads precipitated by the startling realisation that his life appears to be falling apart at the seams….
After the collapse of his previous group therapy practice, Richard has developed a new form of therapy –weekly quick-fire sessions with his patients which take place online, through a webcam. The few patients on his list present a hilarious and outrageous catalogue of neuroses, phobias, issues, anxieties and psychopathies, but even these short sessions, where he’s confronted by everything from the sublime to the ridiculous, are not his greatest challenge... His patience and temperament are stretched to their limit by the daily interruptions of a demanding extended family, errant teenagers and his own trouble-filled past...
Guest stars Richard E. Grant (The Fear, Game of Thrones), Jessica Hynes (W1A), David Tennant (Broadchurch, Doctor Who), Charles Dance (Game of Thrones), Sarah Hadland (Miranda) and many more.
Fresh from winning the Grand Jury prize at Sundance, Iranian-American filmmaker Desiree Akhavan writes, directs and stars in The Bisexual, a painfully funny 6-part comedy series that explores the differences between dating men and women from the perspective of a person who finds herself doing both.
BAFTA-nominated Maxine Peake (Red Riding, Three Girls, Funny Cow) and Brian Gleeson (Hellboy, Phantom Thread, Stonemouth) will star alongside acclaimed screenwriter, director and actress Desiree Akhavan (The Miseducation of Cameron Post, Appropriate Behaviour).
New Yorker Leila (Akhavan) is feeling lost in London having just left a 10 year relationship with girlfriend and business partner Sadie (Peake). Moving out of their beautiful, shared apartment, Leila ends up renting a room from neurotic novelist Gabe (Gleeson), a man living in constant fear of missing out and dwarfed by the success of his debut novel which came out 13 years ago and has long been forgotten. Leila finds an unlikely wingman in the form of Gabe. He helps her navigate a new life dating men and women – and Leila, in return, introduces wide-eyed Gabe to the queer scene whilst doing her best to help him decipher his unreadable, sort-of-girlfriend Francisca (Guillot). As Leila comes to lean more and more on Gabe she finds herself struggling to come out as bisexual to her gay friends, most importantly her best mate Deniz (Chana).
Taking a candid look at the way people have sex and what that sex reveals about their prejudices however “woke” they think they are, The Bisexual is a raw, funny and unapologetic take on the “last taboo” - bisexuality - and the prejudices, shame and comic misconceptions that surround it.
The cast also includes Eva Birthistle (The Last Kingdom, Brooklyn), John Dagliesh (Justice League, Sunny Afternoon, The Monuments Men), Naomi Ackie (Lady Macbeth, Yardie), Niamh Algar (The Virtues) and newcomers Saskia Chana and Michelle Guillot.
March 29, 2018 5:00am ET by Channel 4