BBC Three announces assisted-suicide sitcom
BBC Three has now officially announced Way To Go, a black comedy series about three ordinary guys who find themselves forced by an extraordinary set of circumstances into setting up an assisted-suicide business.
The six-part sitcom will feature The Inbetweeners star Blake Harrison, Marc Wootton (La La Land, Nativity) and newcomer Ben Heathcote.
The comedy is based around brothers Scott (Harrison) and Joey (Heathcote) and their friend Cozzo (Wootton). After Scott is moved by a terminally ill neighbour's request to die - and at the same time faced with a predatory female employer, a split from his girlfriend, and a desperate life or death need for cash to pay off his brother Joey's gambling debts - he and his best mate Cozzo stumble towards what they think is their only solution: an assisted-suicide machine. A deeply illegal situation about which they will have to keep very, very quiet.
Along the way, the 20-something mates find love in the strangest ways, fall out with each other and are touched by some of the people they come across. But it's their own inadequacies and personal circumstances that most often lead to comedy in the darkest of situations.
The series will also star Laura Aikman (Lemon La Vida Loca, Teenage Kicks) and Hannah Job (Coming Of Age, Pixelface) as potential love interests for Scott and Joey, and Sinéad Matthews (Ideal, Vera Drake) as Cozzo's policewoman wife Debbie. Guest actors include Warren Clarke, Tom Georgeson and Derek Griffiths.
Way To Go has been in development for some time, with Mathew Horne playing the role of Scott in a non-broadcast pilot filmed earlier this year.
The show has been created by US-based comedy writer Bob Kushell whose CV includes work on popular sitcoms including The Simpsons, 3rd Rock From The Sun and Anger Management.
Kushell says: "As someone who was weaned on great British comedy, including Monty Python, Blackadder and Fawlty Towers, there has been no bigger thrill in my life than to have a show on the BBC (narrowly edging out the birth of my son and trouncing my wedding day by a landslide). In over 20 years of writing comedy, I've never worked with a better cast and crew."
Although created by Kushell, the show will be team-written like many American sitcoms, with British writer Brian Dooley (The Smoking Room) and US writers Russell Arch (Anytime with Bob Kushell) and Jeff Greenstein (Desperate Housewives, Will & Grace) also working on scripts.
The show will be produced in-house by the BBC, with Justin Davies - the producer behind shows including Psychovile and new BBC Three sitcom Some Girls - overseeing the project. Ab Fab and Twenty Twelve Executive Producer Jon Plowman is also attached.
Jon Plowman says: "Way To Go is a show about a current and difficult issue but it treats its serious subject in the same way that Arsenic And Old Lace dealt with old lady poisoners or Kind Hearts And Coronets dealt with aristocratic murders. Working with a really great US creator and a transatlantic writing team also brings us just a whiff of the way in which their shows find a different tone for mixing comedy, drama and death."
BBC Three channel controller Zai Bennett adds: "Bob Kushell's scripts are in turn dark, poignant, absurd, moving and brilliant. But mostly they are very, very funny. I'm thrilled that Way To Go is coming to BBC Three."
The six episodes will be shot on location and at Pinewood Studios, for broadcast on BBC Three in 2013.
The cast has been announced for Richard Marsh: Cardboard Heart, a new Radio 4 sitcom about a man who writes poetry for a greetings card company.
Jessica Hynes's suffragette sitcom Up The Women will not return for a third series, the BBC has confirmed today.
Holly Willoughby has signed up to present Play To The Whistle, a new comedy panel show for ITV focused on the world of sport.
The character Keith Lemon is to star in a one-off special on ITV2 celebrating the 30th anniversary of the first Back To The Future film.
Russell Howard's Stand Up Central, which launches in April, will feature guests including Doc Brown, Katherine Ryan and Joe Wilkinson.
Charlie Brooker will return to BBC Two in the run-up to the May General Election with a new Wipe special focusing on the political campaign.
Profiles of the six comedians who will take part in the 2015 Musical Comedy Awards 2015 final in London in April. Read
The latest episode of the political panel show podcast. It includes a discussion about what satire is. Listen
The Barbican has invited eight stars from the world of comedy to select their favourite classic comedy films. Read
Ray Peacock explains why he has decided to open up about his suicide attempt in his latest stand-up show. Read
A speech by TV executive Huw Wheldon revealed that the BBC nearly didn't make the Dad's Army series. Read
Graham Fellows will celebrate his 30th year as John Shuttleworth with a big gig - but could it be his last hurrah? Read
Laura Aikman talks about joining the cast of Bluestone 42, and how she was 'liquid sweat' filming the show. Read