BBC One commissions old-age sitcom Grey Mates

Monday 2nd December 2013, 1:37pm

Boomers. Image shows from L to R: John (Russ Abbot), Maureen (Stephanie Beacham), Alan (Philip Jackson), Joyce (Alison Steadman). Copyright: Hat Trick Productions.The BBC has ordered a brand new old-age sitcom entitled Grey Mates from production company Hat Trick.

The single-camera series stars a host of well known comedy actors - Russ Abbot, Stephanie Beacham, Philip Jackson, James Smith, Alison Steadman, June Whitfield and Paula Wilcox - and is due to begin filming in the Spring, following a successful pilot produced in September this year.

Grey Mates (a working title) follows the ups and downs of three couples living in Thurnemouth, "Norfolk's only west-facing resort".

They are Alan (Philip Jackson, Pete Versus Life) and Joyce (Alison Steadman, Gavin & Stacey), who are coming at retirement from very different directions, and John (Russ Abbot, Last Of The Summer Wine) and Maureen (Stephanie Beacham, Dynasty), who live in a gadget-filled dream house and are adventurous in every aspect of their lives, including the bedroom. However, there's a reminder of what's around the corner with Maureen's ever-present Mum, Joan (June Whitfield, Terry & June).

The trio of couples is completed by Trevor (James Smith, The Thick Of It) and Carol (Paula Wilcox, Man About The House) who've got non-communication down to such a fine art that if Carol spent a weekend away, Trevor might not even notice.

The six-part series has been written by Richard Pinto, whose credits include Fresh Meat, Citizen Khan, The Armstrong & Miller Show and Bromwell High. It is being produced by Paul Schlesinger (Twenty Twelve, Citizen Khan, Absolute Power) and will be directed by Adam Miller (Some Girls, Mongrels).

Hat Trick boss Jimmy Mulville, BBC Controller of Comedy Commissiong Shane Allen and Commissioning Editor Gregor Sharp will executive produce the series, which is due to broadcast later in 2014.

Mulville said today: "Richard Pinto has captured exactly what it's like to be 60-something in the 21st Century. It's laugh-out-loud and touching, sometimes in the same moment."

BBC One Controller Charlotte Moore says: "Comedy has a unique ability to make the ordinary extraordinary and Grey Mates delivers that with a big hit of characters. The series follows three newly retired couples who re-discover what it means to have time on their hands, hilariously brought to life by a stellar cast whose relationships are tested in a multitude of ways."

Comedy boss Shane Allen commented: "This is a very modern, affectionate and brutally honest single camera take on a stage of life often stereotyped and outmoded in sitcomworld. Cast perfection on top of a script that glitters with comedy gems."

Paul Schlesinger adds: "I'm delighted we are making this for BBC One - especially as the stories revolve around a group of characters who don't often take centre stage in comedy. Forensically observed relationships with a superb cast which we hope will bring audiences back week after week."

Related Guides

Latest news