BBC Three to broadcast bomb disposal comedy drama
BBC Three has announced it is to screen a comedy drama series focussing on a British army bomb disposal squad serving in Afghanistan.
Bluestone 42 - which recently completed filming in South Africa - will be an eight-part comic drama following a group of British soldiers tasked with defusing bombs in the middle of the Afghanistan conflict.
The BBC describes the show as follows: "It's a series about a bunch of soldiers who love being soldiers and the camaraderie, bonds and banter they share, even though they are risking their lives diffusing hidden bombs."
Bluestone 42, which has been filmed in single-camera style, has been created by writers James Cary (Hut 33, Think The Unthinkable) and Richard Hurst (Secret Diary Of A Call Girl). The duo have previously worked together on scripts for the hit BBC sitcom Miranda.
The BBC emphasise that the series has been carefully researched and informed by serving and former members of the armed forces and military experts, and that the show will "take the audience through authentic, compelling, surprising and funny stories about how heroes pass their time in between saving lives."
The comedy will focus on the members of the Counter-IED unit Bluestone 42 (pronounced Bluestone Four Two, like an army call sign). The show stars Oliver Chris (Green Wing) as Nick, with Stephen Wight (Threesome, Whites) playing Simon, Kelly Adams (Hustle) as Mary and Tony Gardner (Fresh Meat, Last Tango In Halifax) as the Lieutenant Colonel of the unit.
Also, Katie Lyons (Green Wing) is Bird, Scott Hoatson (Case Histories) plays Rocket, Jamie Quinn (Still Game) will be Mac, and Gary Carr (Death in Paradise) plays Millsy.
Bluestone 42 initially started out as a pilot project commission in 2011 under the title IED. Its quality impressed bosses such that seven further scripts were ordered, without a pilot episode actually being produced.
Commissioned by BBC Three Controller Zai Bennett, the series has been produced in-house by the BBC, with Michelle Farr (Two Pints, Whites) as producer, Iain B MacDonald (Great Night Out, White Van Man) as the director and Stephen McCrum (Mrs Brown's Boys, Mongrels) as the Executive Producer.
A broadcast date has not yet been set for Bluestone 42, but it is expected to begin on BBC Three in early March.
Hit BBC Three satirical prank show The Revolution Will Be Televised returns to screens in October, and has now taken on the American establishment.
Alex Horne and Greg Davies will star in Taskmaster, a new show for channel Dave in which comedian guests have to undertake various challenges.
A newspaper report suggests Peter Kay will play the father in Danny Baker's Cradle To Grave comedy drama.
Matt Berry's Channel 4 sitcom Toast Of London has won the sitcom award at the prestigious international Rose d'Or Awards. Bridget Christie won in the radio category.
Alexander Armstrong, Kevin Eldon and Dave Lamb will voice the new series of Danger Mouse, due on CBBC next year.
TV channel Dave has announced it has ordered Undercover, a new sitcom about a covert police officer. Daniel Rigby will take the lead role.
Ryan Sampson - aka Grumio from Plebs - talks about how Bulgaria doesn't understand bare bums. Read
London Hughes describes how she had to turn herself into a horrid diva for ITV2 show Bad Bridesmaid. Read
Musical comedy group Axis of Awesome talk about their UK tour, and their elaborate YouTube series. Read
In this video, double-act Cardinal Burns offer insight and tips on how to create a sketch show. Watch
The cast of The Job Lot talk about the second series of the sitcom set around a Job Centre. Read
The search for the next British comedy talent is underway. Do you have what it takes to win? Read