Bad education and sleuths get specials as BBC announces comedy investment


The BBC has announced a host of new comedy shows as it promises to invest an additional £10million in the genre over the next two years.

It comes as the broadcaster shared its plans for the future of comedy on the Beeb – and pledged to double the number of half-hour pilot episodes it is making.

The hit sitcom Bad Education will return for a 10-year anniversary, with Jack Whitehall reprising his role as teacher Alfie Wickers.

Jack Whitehall will reprise his role in Bad Education for a 10-year anniversary special (Matt Crossick/PA)

The show, which ran from 2012 to 2014, will also be rebooted with a new cast for a six-part series that will see two former students, Stephen and Mitchell, across the desk as newly appointed teachers. qualified.

Whitehall said he was “so excited” to return to “the show that launched my career”.

The Hollywood actor and comedian, 33, said: “I have such fond memories and it will be great for the fans to check in and find out what Class K has been up to since they left and if Alfie Wickers is still as much a melt as they remember.

“The new rebooted series is so exciting. I’m so old and irrelevant, I decided it was better for me to play more of a producer role with Bad Education, but we brought together a group of young, talented writers led by the brilliant Nathan Bryon, who will carry the torch.”

Bafta-winning comedy Detectorists will also return after a five-year hiatus for a 75-minute special.

The show’s writer and director Mackenzie Crook will return alongside Toby Jones to give fans an update on the lives of metal detecting enthusiasts Lance and Andy later this year.

Crook, 50, said: “I’ve had a story floating around for a while and thought it was worth getting Lance, Andy and the rest of the band together.

“The affection expressed for the Detectors over the years has been incredible and I hope fans of the show enjoy this extended new installment.”

Actor and comedian Mawaan Rizwan’s comedy Juice has been ordered for a six-part series after a successful pilot episode.

The Writers Guild Awards 2019 – London
Mackenzie Crook will return to the Detectorists comedy later this year for a 75-minute special (Ian West/PA)

The show sees Rizwan star as Jamma, who is desperate to be the center of attention but whose family constantly steals her thunder, with Russell Tovey playing her boyfriend Guy.

And comedians Jack Carroll and Tom Gregory have penned a new comedy short titled Mobility for BBC Three.

It will follow three teenagers from Huddersfield who have nothing in common except the mobility bus they take to school.

Popular comedies Jerk, The Cleaner and Guilt have all received further series.

BBC Comedy and BBC Sounds will also work together to order four audio comedy pilots.

Their goal is to “work with new and emerging artists on the creation of characters or comedic characters that have the potential for further development”.

The broadcaster is launching a new production and directing grant to allow creatives to perfect their craft.

New comedy Juice starring Mawaan Rizwan and Russell Tovey has been ordered for a series premiere (WarnerMedia/Liam Daniel/BBC/PA)

It will be part of the BBC Comedy Bursary Collective alongside its existing writing scholarship, with submissions opening later this year.

And the broadcaster will launch BBC Comedy Short Films in June, bringing together their existing short strands.

Speaking at the BBC Comedy Festival in Newcastle, BBC Comedy director Jon Petrie said the department was doing “phenomenaly well” but wanted to invest more in its “development process”.

He said he looks for shows that “connect with our audience – whether big and wide or weird and provocative.”

He said: “The worlds the audience can see themselves in often connect in the deepest way; it’s no coincidence that the family home and workplace have proven to be the most enduring settings for sitcoms.

“Some of the most creative and popular shows of the last two years, like Ghosts and Motherland, have that classic DNA in them, but we get relatively few of those types of shows. So bring us more!


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