Video Nasty comedy drama coming to BBC Three next year

Thursday 21st March 2024, 11:52am by Jay Richardson

Hugh Travers

BBC Three has ordered a comedy drama about the 1980s "video nasties" moral panic.

Production on Video Nasty starts next month in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, with the series, which is set to air early next year, described as "a deadly, deadpan comedy with a raucous, racy, retro flavour" but also "an 80s throwback that is all about the hysterical world we live in today".

Video Nasty is written and created by Finding Joy scribe Hugh Travers (pictured), who attracted some controversy in 2015 when it emerged that he was developing a comedy for Channel 4, Hungry, set during the Irish famine. However, the prospective show never made it to screen.

Set in 1985, with the home video revolution in full analogue swing, Video Nasty's six 30-minute episodes tell the story of three mostly-normal-but-kind-of-weird teenagers who go on a epic quest to complete a cult VHS collection.

Instead, they get mixed up in a murder investigation, becoming chief suspects and public enemies.

Directed by Christopher Smith (Get Santa), who appeared in the 2010 documentary Video Nasties about the phenomenon of violent and sexually explicit films which were blamed for corrupting teenagers by Margaret Thatcher's government, and Megan K Fox, whose credits include EastEnders, Video Nasty will air on BBC Three, BBC Northern Ireland and iPlayer, as well as on Virgin Media Television in Ireland and WDR in Germany.

A co-production between Canadian company Boat Rocker and Ireland's Deadpan Pictures, the series is produced by Ailish McElmeel (Women On The Verge) and Julie Baines (Triangle) and made with Screen Ireland. The executive producers are Travers, McElmeel, David Fortier, Ivan Schneeberg, Nick Nantell, Erik Pack, Eddie Doyle, Raphaëlle Oloan, Frank Tönsmann, Nada Cirjanic, Paul Donovan and Marc Lorber.

"With a perfect mix of 80s nostalgia, dark humour and murder mystery, this coming of age story takes a very exciting approach to issues more relevant today than ever before. As funny as it is suspense filled, this story of three 'mostly normal' Irish teens is anything but normal and Virgin Media Television are delighted to be on board to bring it to Irish audiences" said Sinéad Stimpfig, head of commissioning & acquisitions for Virgin Media Television.

McElmeel added: "Deadpan are delighted to work with Hugh Travers and Julie Baines again and with veteran director Christopher Smith at the helm, Video Nasty is sure to be a horror-filled treat for BBC, Virgin Media Television and WDR audiences early next year".

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