Kylie Minogue to star in Sky Arts comedy drama

Thursday 17th January 2013, 1:54am

Hey Diddly Dee. Image shows from L to R: Bibbi (Kylie Minogue), Roger (Peter Serafinowicz). Copyright: Sprout Pictures.Kylie Minogue is to star in a British comedy drama based around a group of actors putting on a play about Andy Warhol and his muse Edie Sedgwick.

It is now 25 years since the Australian pop star quit her famous role in the soap opera Neighbours, and she announced at the weekend she was taking a break from singing to take up more acting projects.

Sky Arts has announced that Minogue will star in Hey Diddly Dee, a black comedy drama that will form part of its Playhouse Presents strand.

The show, which will have a 'whodunnit' element to it, has been written by Marc Warren, who is also acting as Director. Warren is currently best known as an actor, having starred in shows including Mad Dogs and Hustle.

Hey Diddly Dee will focus on a group of actors who are putting on a play about pop art artist Andy Warhol and model Edie Sedgwick. Minogue will play Bibi, an actress portraying Warhol's muse, with comic actor Peter Serafinowicz as the actor being Warhol. The comedy will also star David Harewood, who has shot to fame playing David Estes in US drama Homeland.

Other actors on the cast list include Mathew Horne (Bad Education), Paul Kaye (Dennis Pennis, Pulling) and Lee Boardman (Great Night Out).

The one-off show is being made by Sprout Pictures, the production company founded by Stephen Fry and Sandi Toksvig.

Talking about her new role, Minogue says: "When the script was sent to me, I read it and knew instinctively I wanted to be part of this project. In Hey Diddly Dee, Marc has created a beautiful and quirky story. I have also enjoyed many of the Playhouse Presents series and love that they have created a platform for this type of work."

Marc Warren says: "'Writing and directing for Playhouse Presents has been one of the most magical experiences of my career. To give myself the best chance I called in every favour to surround myself with a dream cast and an incredible crew. And then by some miracle, Kylie appeared, and the fate of our film was sealed."

Hey Diddly Dee will be screened on Sky Arts on 14th March.

This new Sky Arts commission is part of 70 hours of new drama ordered by Sky as it continues to invest heavily in original home-grown content in a bid to attract more subscribers.

Comedies previously aired in the Playhouse Presents strand include Nellie And Melba, Walking The Dogs and A Young Doctor's Notebook. The sketch show Psychobitches, which is currently in production for a full series which will begin on the 23rd May, also started life as a Playhouse Presents comedy.

James Hunt, Channel Director of Sky Arts, commented: "The reception to the first series of Playhouse Presents, most recently with A Young Doctor's Notebook starring Jon Hamm and Daniel Radcliffe, was nothing short of phenomenal. As a result, we've had the most extraordinary array of talent to choose from for round two. We are passionate about bringing the very best comedy and drama on Sky Arts to our customers, and we have no doubt that this outstanding cast, in the hands of these award-winning production companies, will do just that."

Announcing their new season, Sky Arts also confirmed other comedy dramas for the strand:

Snodgrass: A comedy drama written by David Quantick, based on the novella by Ian R. McLeod. A 50 year old John Lennon (Ian Hart) sits in a dingy kitchen, smoking a roll up, unemployed and on his uppers. This is the John Lennon who walked out on the Beatles in 1962, before the hits, before they changed music for ever.

Union Square: A disturbance at Union Square leads to some strange encounters for two policemen in this funny and poignant portrait of loneliness in the city. The cast list includes Vanessa Redgrave and Samantha Bond.

Mr Understood: A programme described as a 'deeply personal and comic drama'. Co-created by eccentric Turner Prize winning artist Grayson Perry, the one-off comedy drama follows a young transvestite, Gary, as he battles with self-doubt. Gary has decided to emerge from years of isolation by attending a weekend convention for transvestites. An encounter with another older transvestite helps Gary to explore questions of self-acceptance and happiness.

Stage Door Johnnies: A comedy about five excitable theatre fans who will stop at nothing to let their idols know how they truly feel... Even if it means causing a little accidental grievous bodily harm along the way. Starring Suranne Jones, Alex MacQueen, Jonny Sweet, Elizabeth Berrington and Steve Evets.

Ragged: Starring Ricky Tomlinson, this story is based on The Royle Family actor's true experiences campaigning for justice in an effort to overturn a verdict which sent him to jail for 2 years in the early 1970s. The drama will be directed by Johnny Vegas.

Here is a video of Kylie Minogue presenting an award to The Inbetweeners at the 2011 British Comedy Awards:

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