Matt Berry sitcom Toast Of London set for series
Story update, 10th May: Six-part commission confirmed. Channel 4's Rachel Springett says "We are thrilled to be making a series of Toast Of London with the exceptionally talented Arthur Mathews and Matt Berry. After appearing in The IT Crowd and Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, Matt Berry is ready for his own show; and combined with the comic brilliance of Arthur Matthews, it makes for an exciting and tantalising project - the perfect fit for comedy on Channel 4."
Toast Of London, the Channel 4 pilot starring Matt Berry as a dramatic actor, is reportedly on the brink of being given a full series.
Broadcast Now reports that the network has ordered more scripts from producers Objective Productions and is likely to commission a series of the show based on these.
A Channel 4 spokesperson told the television trade magazine: "Following on from the successful pilot in last year's Funny Fortnight, we have commissioned additional scripts for Toast Of London."
The comedy saw Berry play Steven Toast, a successful TV drama and stage actor who has committed a career faux pas by starring in a controversial new West End play. The production is considered so outrageous that Toast is frequently attacked by appalled members of the British public.
A hint the show may be about to return was first leaked via Twitter, when Times journalist Caitlin Moran posted on Wednesday: "Congratulations on the third funniest man in the world - Matt Berry aka @porksmith - for getting Toast commissioned as a series for C4."
The pilot of Toast Of London was broadcast in August 2012 as part of Channel 4's Funny Fortnight season of comedies marking the channel's 30th birthday. It was written by Matt Berry himself (Garth Marenghi's Darkplace) with Arthur Mathews, co-writer of Channel 4's most successful comedy, Father Ted.
The pilot also starred Robert Bathurst as Toast's friend Ed, Fiona Mollison as his agent Jane and Harry Peacock as rival Ray Purchase.
Scripts are routinely ordered speculatively by television channels before committing to full series commissions. If a full series is indeed ordered, Toast Of London will be the second of the Funny Fortnight pilots to progress. Before broadcast, the network had already ordered a full run of Bad Sugar, a spoof telenovela-style comic melodrama written by the creators of Peep Show. The pilot episode starred Olivia Colman, Julia Davis and Sharon Horgan.
Matt Berry, as he explained in a interview to promote the pilot, is also a painter and musician. He is currently working on a new music album, expected to be released in May.
Below is a clip from the pilot in which Toast meets incarcerated TV producer Cliff Promise (Geoffrey McGivern) in jail to audition for a part as a gay, corrupt police detective.
Gold is to film Bull, a studio audience sitcom about a man who runs an antiques shop.
Gold has ordered Marley's Ghosts, a three-part sitcom about a woman who can speak to the dead.
Porridge writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais have written Henry IX, a new sitcom for UKTV Gold.
BBC Two has decided to end Never Mind The Buzzcocks after 18 years and 28 series on air.
Channel 4 has confirmed it is in talks to bring back Dom Joly's hidden camera comedy format Trigger Happy TV.
BBC One has announced the commission of a third series of Count Arthur Strong. The seven new episodes will be on TV in 2016.
We talk to the comedy booker for Latitude Festival about the event's comedy plans. Read
Comedy giant Greg Davies talks about the second series of his hit Channel 4 sitcom, Man Down. Read
Ebury will publish the autobiography of Peckham businessman Derek 'Del Boy' Trotter in October. Read
The cast of Vicious talk about the return of the sitcom, and how the topic of gay marriage crops up in the show. Read
Omid Djalili discusses his acclaimed war documentary, plus Oliver Reed, tricky Joe Orton plays, bad TV recordings... Read
BBC Radio Comedy has announced the appointment of two new Contract Writers, Sarah Campbell and Liam Beirne. Read
A 15-strong collective of comedians are hoping to raise more than laughs when they tackle Hadrian's Wall. Read
An interview with double act Rob Gotobed and Tony Knight. They provide lots of punchline filled answers. Read