Sue Perkins to star in new BBC Two comedy series
BBC Two has ordered a six-part sitcom written by and starring Sue Perkins.
In Heading Out Perkins will play Sara, a vet 'so skilled she can spay a tortoise one-handed'. Despite her success and popularity, Sara still has a big problem: she's too scared to tell her parents she's gay.
The series will follow Sara's attempt to confront her life and sexuality head-on in order to talk to her family - it's her 40th birthday and her friends give her an ultimatum: either she tells her parents when they come to visit in six weeks' time, or they will. To help Sara achieve this goal, they've saved up to buy a series of sessions with Toria, an eccentric and mildly-qualified lifestyle coach/therapist.
The cast of the show will also include Dawn French (French & Saunders, Psychoville), Joanna Scanlan (Sister Flixter in Getting On and Terri Coverley in The Thick Of It), Nicola Walker (Ruth in Spooks and Kirsty from Inside Men), and Dominic Coleman (Neville in Trollied and the dad from Meet The Parents).
Perkins is perhaps now best known for presenting lifestyle shows including The Great British Bake-Off with comedy partner Mel Giedroyc and The Supersizers alongside Giles Coren, but she does still regularly appear on Radio 4 shows including The News Quiz and Just A Minute. She and Giedroyc first came to prominence in the early 1990s as double-act Mel & Sue performing various shows at the Edinburgh Festival and then moving on to TV presenting, with series like comedy chat show Light Lunch.
Talking about the new TV series, Perkins, who is openly gay in real life, says: "I think once the gnawing terror, sleepless nights and relentless self-doubt has subsided, this might well be the thing that I'm most proud of. It's been a joy to work on, and I hope that joy proves to be infectious."
Executive Producer Nicola Shindler says: "Having known Sue for a number of years, I am familiar with her superb writing ability and natural comedic timing and I have always wanted us to work together. In Heading Out she has written a fantastically original, smart and witty script with engaging characters and pithy dialogue so I am eager for us to get cracking on such an exciting project."
BBC commissioner Kristian Smith adds: "Heading Out is a warm, intelligent and brilliantly funny sitcom. Sue is a fantastic writer, and we're thrilled to have it on BBC Two next year. Audiences can expect a super-sized, well-baked comedy from one of our very finest."
Production will begin on Heading Out in September, and the series will be broadcast next year on BBC Two.
Brian Pern, the comedy series starring Simon Day as an art rocker, has been given a third series by BBC Four.
John Finnemore, the creator of hit sitcom Cabin Pressure, is working on a new series for Radio 4 called The John Finnemore Project.
Miles Jupp will take over from Sandi Toksvig as the new host of The News Quiz.
Joanna Lumley is working on a new show for Sky Television. Few details are currently known, however the working title has been revealed as Harmony.
Radio 4 has given the greenlight for five more lost Hancock's Half Hour episodes to be re-recorded for The Missing Hancocks series.
David Walliams is reportedly working on a sitcom based around a TV talent show, inspired in part by his work as a judge on Britain's Got Talent.
Here's a new podcast series in which James Cary and Dave Cohen talk about the art of sitcom writing. Listen
Series 4 of the insanely silly podcast series has now launched. Check out this funny and surreal sketch show. Listen