Simon Amstell sitcom Grandma's House to return
The British Comedy Guide has learnt that Grandma's House, Simon Amstell's semi-autobiographical sitcom, has been commissioned for a second run on BBC Two. The BCG understands that Amstell and co-writer Dan Swimer are currently working on six new scripts, which will be filmed towards the end of 2011.
It is expected that Linda Bassett (Grandma), Rebecca Front (Tanya), Samantha Spiro (Auntie Liz) and James Smith (Clive) will all return for the second series, but sadly the character of Simon's grandfather will be written out due to the death of actor Geoffrey Hutchings. The first series of Grandma's House, which premiered on BBC Two in August 2010, was notable for being the final television appearance of Hutchings - also known to viewers as Mel in ITV's Benidorm - as the comic actor passed away on the 1st of July, just a month before Grandma's House made its screen debut.
Grandma's House was initially met with mainly negative press reviews, with Amstell's acting ability drawing widespread criticism. Portraying a more awkward version of himself, Amstell was labelled as a poor actor by many newspaper critics. At the British Comedy Awards, Jonathan Ross joked that it was "a performance so wooden Ray Mears tried to build a canoe out of him."
However, as the show progressed through its six weeks, many reviewers began to start changing their mind, and the sitcom received many positive reviews by the end of its run. The show was nominated alongside The Trip and Miranda for 'Best New British TV Comedy' in the British Comedy Awards, but lost to Miranda. However, Samantha Spiro, who plays Simon's dowdy auntie, was awarded the prize for 'Best Female Comedy Breakthrough Artist' for her role in the show.
American television channel USA Network has commissioned a full series adaptation of Channel 4's 2011 comedy drama, Sirens.
Actor Paul Shane, best remembered for his lead role in sitcom Hi-De-Hi!, has died at the age of 72.
Ben Miller, David Tennant and Billy Connolly are amongst the cast set to star in new film What We Did On Our Holiday, from the writers of Outnumbered.
Channel 4 has commissioned No Offence, a Victorian police comedy from Shameless creator Paul Abbott. It will also stage further Stand Up To Cancer events.
Isy Suttie has won the gold award in the comedy category at the Sony Radio Academy Awards 2013 for her Radio 4 show Pearl And Dave.
The cast of hit CBBC sketch show Horrible Histories are to star in Bill, a new comedy film about William Shakespeare.