BBC Two turns focus to humour with new commissions

humour_first team

BBC Two is doubling down on comedy with new commissions and a new look schedule for Thursday nights that focuses on funny.

Beginning in May, Thursday nights on BBC Two will be stacked with back to back comedy.

It kicks-off with the debut of The First Team (main image), which comes from the creators of The Inbetweeners, alongside a new run of QI.

Commissions focus on humour

Then later in the year, the Thursday night comedy line up will feature the second series of the acclaimed What We Do In The Shadows (pictured below) featuring Matt Berry, Natasia Demetriou and Kayvan Novak and the second series of There She Goes, starring David Tennant and Jessica Hynes, who won the Bafta for Best Female Performance in a Comedy Programme for series one.

In addition, BBC Two said it’s also is demonstrating its commitment to new ideas and the best talent with new commissions.

These include two new short-duration series and a one-off special featuring some of the best comedy voices around. These are being made during lockdown; and will air in the next couple of months as an alternative humorous tonic for the audience.

The commissions also include Sophie Willan’s Alma’s Not Normal, which has been booked for a full series. This follows the successful pilot that aired as part of the channel’s New on Two series.

The pilot was watched by over 1 million people and met with huge critical acclaim, the full series is expected in 2021.

Comic talent

Patrick Holland, Controller, BBC Two, said: “BBC Two has always been the home of the most exciting comic talents and the most brilliantly conceived worlds.

“Sophie Willan’s Alma’s Not Normal is one of the freshest voices in years and follows on from the successful piloting of shows like Motherland and The Other One.

“During these challenging times I am delighted to bring Thursday comedy nights back for the audience.”

Brooker’s back: New comedy from sharp wits like charlie Brooker. Picture courtesy of Matt Holyoak.

Charlie Brooker

For the first time since the Bafta-winning 2016 Wipe, Charlie Brooker has been lured out of isolation; he’ll to go into isolation for the one-off Charlie Brooker’s Antiviral Wipe (w/t) (1×30′).

Brooker will be taking a typically sharp look at life in lockdown, in a show made during lockdown.

As well as coverage of the crisis, he’ll look at things people are watching and doing to keep themselves occupied.

The show will also feature Philomena Cunk (Diane Morgan) with her own very special brand of in-depth reporting, alongside Barry Shitpeas (Al Campbell) and other contributors who haven’t been told they’re doing it yet, but have no good excuse not to.

Charlie Brooker said: “The BBC asked me to supply a quote for the press release, which is what you’re reading now.” Well, thanks for that!

Comedians Playing With Themselves

In Comedians Playing With Themselves (6×15′), some of the nation’s favourite comics including Bob Mortimer, Kerry Godliman, Tom Allen, Meera Syal and Sanjeev Bhaskar, Tez Ilyas, Russell Kane, Sally Phillips, Mat Horne, and a whole host of others, will be tasked with entertaining and enlightening the nation in their own unique way.

From coping with stroppy teenagers, to isolating as a couple and avoiding arguments; and from finding new sports to play and perfecting a hit podcast, no topic will be off limits.

Each of the comics will self-shoot their comedy nuggets; helping us all to get through isolation together and having the maximum amount of fun indoors.

humour_matt berry
Berry over Brexit: Matt returns with bold and eclectic take on the world.

Matt Berry

Following the success of last year’s anarchic mockumentary, The Road To Brexit, cult favourite Matt Berry also returns. We’ll get four more episodes that will take on a bold and eclectic selection of new themes.

Co-written by Berry and Arthur Mathews (Father Ted, Toast Of London) each new weekly episode of Squeamish About… will shine a weird and wonderful light onto a different topic.

Presented by Berry in the persona of ‘Michael Squeamish’, every episode will make creative use of archive footage and voiceovers; the aim is to create a unique, authored and surreally comic take on the subject matter.