Filming commences on David Earl & Chris Hayward written Jim Archer directed comedy Brian & Charles

Jim Archer directed comedy ‘Brian & Charles’


Channel 4

Earl stars in lead role alongside Lynn Hunter, Jamie Michie, Louise Brealey and Nina Sosanya

Filming has commenced on Brian & Charles, the Film4 and BFI-backed feature film starring David Earl (Derek, After Life) in the lead role, written by Earl and Chris Hayward (Cardinal Burns, Trollied). Lynn Hunter (The Personal History of David Copperfield, End of The Fucking World), Louise Brealey (Sherlock, Back), Jamie Michie (Back to Life, Game of Thrones) and Nina Sosanya (Killing Eve, W1A) join Earl in the cast of the comedy, with Jim Archer (The Young Offenders, Down from London) directing his debut film.

Brian & Charles is based on David Earl’s acclaimed comedic alter-ego Brian Gittins, and his unlikely friendship with Charles, a robot. After a particularly harsh winter, Brian (David Earl) goes into a deep depression; completely alone and with no one to talk to, he does what any sane person would do when faced with such a melancholic situation and builds a robot - Charles (Chris Hayward) - for company. While things start off well, tensions begin to rise, particularly as Charles keeps eating Brian’s cabbages.

The wider cast includes Lynn Hunter as ‘Winnie’, Louise Brealey as ‘Hazel’, Jamie Michie as ‘Eddie Tomington’, Lowri Izzard as ‘Katrina’, Mari Izzard as ‘Suki’, Sunil Patel as ‘Phil Rep’, Nina Sosanya as ‘Pam’, Nicholas Asbury as ‘Stu’ and Cara Chase as ‘June’.

Brian & Charles began its life as an award-winning short film in 2017, scooping several accolades upon its release including a Young Director Award, being shortlisted for SXSW’s Narrative Shorts award and picked as Vimeo Staff’s Best of the Month.

The film was developed with and is co-funded by Film4 and the BFI (awarding funds from the National Lottery) and is directed and edited by Jim Archer (who also directed the original short ­­­­film). Producer is Rupert Majendie for mr box. The executive producers are Damian Jones (The Iron Lady, Lady in the Van), Mary Burke for the BFI, and Lauren Dark and Ollie Madden for Film4.

Co-writer and star David Earl said: “We’re delighted to get the show on the road and I’m looking forward to bringing Brian & Charles to the big screen. During the Covid lockdown we wondered if we’d ever be able to make it but here I am stood in North Wales staring at a 7 foot robot.”

Producer Rupert Majendie said: “Having been ready to start cameras rolling in March, it’s great to be underway, and we’re thankful to the local authorities and community. Filmmaking during a global pandemic is a different experience and we’re taking every necessary precaution to ensure we do so safely, but we can’t wait to bring this strange and incredibly heart-warming story to life.”

Brian & Charles is filming in North Wales with strict Covid-19 protocols in place, with the production team receiving permission from the local authority ahead of filming commencing and a Covid-19 marshal on set throughout.

A first look image from the set of Brian & Charles has also been released, featuring Brian (David Earl).


About mr box:

mr box ( is a production company set up in 2014 by producer Rupert Majendie, offering comedians a platform to create and broadcast their own sketches and podcasts.

The company has originated ideas that have gone on to be adapted for other mediums including Romesh Ranganathan’s Hip Hop Saved My Life, and it is currently in production on its first feature film, Brian & Charles, adapted from the award-winning short film. mr box works with a wealth of comedy talent including Tim Key, Cardinal Burns, Lolly Adefope, Natasia Demetriou, Jamie Demetriou and Ellie White.

About the BFI:

The BFI Film Fund invests over £30 million of National Lottery funding a year into developing and supporting filmmakers with diverse, bold and distinctive projects, that have a cultural relevance or progressive ideas, and which reflect people from different backgrounds, as well as a range of activities to increase the opportunities for audiences to enjoy them.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, BFI funds across features and talent development are open and are processing applications and awarding funds as quickly as possible.

The BFI supported eight feature films that premiered at the BFI London Film Festival this year: After Love written and directed by Aleem Khan, also selected for Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival; the Festival’s closing night premiere Ammonite, written and directed by Francis Lee and starring Saorise Ronan and Kate Winslet; Herself directed by Phyllida Lloyd and starring Clare Dunne which world premiered at Sundance; Limbo written and directed by Ben Sharrock; Yemi Bamiro’s feature debut One Man and His Shoes; Supernova, directed by Harry Macqueen starring Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci; Sundance World Documentary Audience winner The Reason I Jump from Jerry Rothwell; and Wildfire written and directed by Cathy Brady.

Also on the BFI slate are Mitch Jenkins’ The Show written by Alan Moore and starring Tom Burke and based on Aneil Karia’s Sundance World Dramatic Competition title Surge which won Ben Whishaw an Audience Award for Acting.

Recent and upcoming releases include: The Roads Not Taken directed by Sally Potter and starring Javier Bardem, Elle Fanning and Salma Hayek which premiered at the Berlinale; Saint Maud, the debut feature from Rose Glass; Rocks from award-winning director Sarah Gavron and producer Faye Ward, which both premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival; the award-winning debut feature Lynn + Lucy directed by Fyza Boulifa; and Eternal Beauty, written and directed by Craig Roberts; Rialto, the sophomore feature from director Peter Mackie Burns and several debut features including Body of Water, from writer/director Lucy Brydon; and Looted from Rene Pannevis and Chino Moya’s Undergods.

Currently in prep, production or post are Ali & Ava directed by Clio Barnard starring Adeel Aktar and Claire Rushbrook; The Souvenir – Part II directed by Joanna Hogg starring Tilda Swinton and Richard Ayoade; True Things, directed by Harry Wootliff and starring Ruth Wilson; Benediction, written and directed by Terence Davies and starring Jack Lowden; Pirates, the feature directorial debut from Reggie Yates; Censor directed by Prano Bailey-Bond starring Niamh Algar; Chasing Chaplin from three-time BAFTA nominees Peter Middleton and James Spinney; and Triangle of Sadness, Ruben Östlund’s English-language debut, starring Woody Harrelson.

The BFI is the UK’s lead organisation for film, television and the moving image. It is a distributor of National Lottery funding and a cultural and education charity that:

Curates and presents the greatest international public programme of world cinema for audiences; in cinemas, at festivals and online

Cares for the BFI National Archive – the most significant film and television archive in the world
Actively seeks out and supports the next generation of filmmakers

Works with Government and industry to make the UK the most creatively exciting and prosperous place to make film internationally

Founded in 1933, the BFI is a registered charity governed by Royal Charter. The Interim Chair of the BFI Board of Governors is Pat Butler.

About the National Lottery

Thanks to National Lottery players, up to £600 million of funding has been made available to support communities across the UK during the Coronavirus crisis.

The National Lottery is playing a critical role in supporting people, projects and communities during these challenging times.

By playing The National Lottery, you are making an amazing contribution to the nationwide-response to combatting the impact of COVID-19 on local communities across the UK.

Source Channel 4

December 1, 2020 5:10am ET by Channel 4  


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