Robert Llewellyn to star in Kickstarter-funded British sitcom
It has been announced today that the first British sitcom project has been successfully financed via the Kickstarter crowd funding website.
Kickstarter, a website via which fans can pledge money towards a project they want to see made, has been running in America for a number of years, successfully finding funding for various technological and creative projects. The website launched to UK creators on 31st October, and less than a month later the first British sitcom has emerged fully-funded.
A Brief History Of Time Travel is an audio series based around three people stuck in the past with a broken time machine. It will follow the adventures of Eric Street, a time-displaced accountant; Miles Wanderlust, a mad inventor; and Nina Seventeen, the special agent tasked with bringing them to temporal justice.
Created by James Hunt and Seb Patrick, the six 30-minute episodes will now go into production as the project has passed £4,000. At the time of writing 109 people have pledged an average of £37 towards the project.
The audio shows are expected to be ready by August 2013, at which point they'll be made available to the public to buy. Those that have pledged £1 via Kickstarter will receive the first episode, whilst those that have pledged £5 or more will receive the whole series at no additional cost.
Robert Llewellyn (pictured), well known to sci-fi comedy fans as mechanoid Kryten in Red Dwarf, will narrate the show.
The creators say: "Following a tradition set by British sci-fi sitcoms Red Dwarf and The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, the series sees the characters thrown into a new period each week as they attempt to get home without damaging the timeline."
James Hunt says: "We're genuinely flattered that so many people have already taken a chance on bringing our idea to life, and obviously it doesn't hurt that the very generous Robert Llewellyn agreed to appear. Red Dwarf is definitely one of our primary influences on this project, so we feel unbelievably lucky to have such a direct connection to it."
Seb Patrick adds: "If people are interested in listening to the show then they can still pledge on the Kickstarter page before the shutters come down on November 30th and production begins. All the money is going into the production - James and I are working for free on this because we really believe in the project.
"The series will be available to buy eventually, but all Kickstarter backers will get a free, exclusive prequel episode as well as the opportunity to pledge for other, more tangible rewards, such as a script-book or even a producer credit."
The show's Kickstarter page explains more about the aims of A Brief History Of Time Travel and what fans will get if they pledge money. It also features 'Case File' images giving an overview of the plot and characters.
Below is a five minute audio trailer Hunt and Patrick have produced to give an idea of what A Brief History Of Time Travel will sound like:
BBC radio stations have, until recently, been almost exclusively responsible for original British audio comedy programmes. However, the Kickstarter funding news comes on the same day that Rik Mayall has released a new audio comedy, The Last Hurrah, as an online download.
A number of British comedy projects are now being added to Kickstarter. Others current seeking funding on the site include The Fitzroy, an ambitious live action, black comedy feature-film set in an alternative post-apocalyptic 1950s on a submarine hotel; and The Barstewards, a late-night animated sitcom based around a family who have taken over a bar at a seaside town.
See Also: How to fund your comedy project via Kickstarter
Radio 4 has ordered a second series of Trodd En Bratt Say 'Well Done You', the sketch show written by and starring Lucy Trodd and Ruth Bratt.
Harry Hill is to star in Professor Branestawm, a BBC One family comedy drama adapted by Charlie Higson from Norman Hunter's classic children's books.
Comedy Central UK is to pilot a British re-make of hit American comedy format Drunk History. Jimmy Carr will provide the voice over.
ITV is developing Good Vibrations, a TV comedy based on the autobiography by Ann Summers boss Jacqueline Gold.
Comedian Jason Manford is to host a new ITV comedy game show in which couples will fight to win a holiday.
Hit BBC Three satirical prank show The Revolution Will Be Televised returns to screens in October, and has now taken on the American establishment.
Bernadette Byrne and Victor Victoria - aka EastEnd Cabaret - answer questions about each other. Read
The Women in Comedy Festival - 80+ shows across 16 Manchester venues - is on 11th to 26th October. Read
The political panel show podcast. Featuring guests including Paul Sinha, Suzi Ruffell and Mitch Benn. Listen
Tom Edge, the creator of Channel 4's Scrotal Recall writes about the show. Plus interviews with the key cast. Read
Sarah Campbell talks about getting 'lizard brain' whilst filming undercover on ITV2's Bad Bridesmaid. Read
Interview. Rhod Gilbert talks about taking on Never Mind The Buzzcocks, plus his sitcom plans. Read
Modern Toss are presenting an exhibition celebrating 10 years of 'unique cack-handed drawings'. Read
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