Danny Baker gets 8-part BBC comedy drama

Wednesday 2nd July 2014, 7:06pm


The Sitcom Showdown. Danny Baker. Copyright: UMTV.The BBC has reportedly ordered eight episodes of a new comedy drama based on the early life of broadcaster Danny Baker.

The Radio Times reports that pre-production work is now underway on Cradle To Grave.

The show is based on Going To Sea In A Sieve, the first volume of Baker's autobiography, and also the text in the follow-up book - Going To Sea - which will be released later this year.

The TV scripts have been written by Baker, alongside Jeff Pope, a comedy writer whose other credits include The Fattest Man In Britain and the forthcoming BBC Laurel & Hardy special Stan And Ollie.

The BBC have yet to officially announce Cradle To Grave, but Baker has said, in regards to the cast list for the show which is currently under consideration, "we have some extraordinary casting choices."

The magazine comments: "The upbeat comedy will bring Baker's tales of his early 'wheeler-dealery' years in London's Bermondsey to vivid life."

It is thought Cradle To Grave will match BBC executive Danny Cohen's long-standing goal to bring more working-class comedy to the corporation. A source said the show "promises some of the 'vinegary edge and energy' of Only Fools and Horses."

Danny Baker currently hosts a show on Radio 5 Live. Prior to that he ran an award-winning show on BBC London, however the programme was axed in November 2012 leading to Baker sounding off live on air about the decision, a monologue in which he called the station's BBC executives "pinheaded weasels".

Baker, who is familiar to TV viewers having appeared as a guest on shows including Have I Got News For You and as the presenter of various game shows, revealed in 2010 that he had been diagnosed with cancer. In June 2011 he announced his treatment was successful and he had been given the all clear.

Going To Sea In A Sieve was first released in 2012. The sleeve notes for the book say: "Born in 1957 in Deptford, south London, Danny's first job after dropping out of school at the age of 15 was in One Stop Records, a small record shop in London's West End, frequented by Elton John and Mick Jagger, a store rather like the one in High Fidelity. His career in print journalism began in 1976 when he co-founded the fanzine Sniffin' Glue leading to an offer from the New Musical Express, where his first job was as a receptionist. Soon after, Baker was contributing regular astute articles, reviews and later interviews to the publication. Danny then began making 30-minute documentaries at LWT for the cult series 20th Century Box, and appeared in two television commercials: Daz washing powder and Mars Bar chocolate.

"His stellar career on the radio began on BBC GLR in 1989, then moved to BBC Radio 5 where he presented sports shows including the groundbreaking 6-0-6, which still influences the media's approach to criticism of players, managers and referees. He also worked on BBC Radio 1, back to BBC GLR, Talk Radio and later on Virgin Radio."

Cradle To Grave is expected to be officially announced by the BBC later this year.

In March, Danny Baker took part in an amusing interview with Richard Herring, a show in which he talked about his family and his relaxed attitude to earning and spending money. Listen

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