Casting announced for Channel 4 comedy drama Loaded

Wednesday 26th October 2016, 3:06pm

Image shows from L to R: Jim Howick, Samuel Anderson, Jonny Sweet, Nick Helm.

Jim Howick, Samuel Anderson, Jonny Sweet and Nick Helm will star in Loaded, a TV comedy drama about four tech entrepreneurs who become multi-millionaires.

Due to go into production next month, the comedy drama will air on Channel 4 in 2017.

The eight-part series is based on hit Israeli series Mesudarim. It focuses on the lives of tech entrepreneurs and friends Josh, Leon, Watto and Ewan, who have just sold their start up video-game company for hundreds of millions of pounds - the culmination of a billion man-hours of blood, sweat, toil, coding, shouting, swearing, fighting, hugging, pitching, grinding, and, occasionally, showering. Overnight, the four 30-something friends are transformed from 'people who play games' to 'serious players in the game'.

Jon Brown, who has worked on shows including Fresh Meat, Babylon and Cuban Fury, is adapting the scripts for British audiences.

Channel 4 says: "Amid a raging hurricane of money, excess and 'millionaire's guilt', Loaded is about friendship, ambition, gluttony, the peculiar British distaste for other people's success and how money can put even life-long friendships to the test."

Jim Howick, currently on screen in Yonderland, takes the role of Josh. Fretful and essentially decent, he's the moral compass of the group, the most sensible of them. Riddled with insecurities, his decisions are driven mostly from a deep sense of worry and anxiety. Eternally cautious, he's always anticipating a disaster, scared that his money will get taken away from him at any moment. So instead he focuses all his energies on getting his ex-girlfriend Abi back, which causes problems with his best friend Leon, with whom Abi has a hate/hate relationships.

Samuel Anderson, who plays Daniel in Trollied, will be Leon, the Business Development Director of their company, Idyl Hands. He's in charge of securing investment and is, clearly, very good at it. Deeply charismatic and usually able to get exactly what he wants, Leon believes money will open any door, but is surprised, then disillusioned, when it doesn't. Massively confident, bordering on cocky, this front masks his own insecurities and a sense of pride that can get him into trouble. He is, however, deeply loyal to his friends and won't let anyone else take credit for what they have achieved together.

Jonny Sweet (who has starred in sitcoms such as Together) plays Ewan, Director of the Coding Team and in charge of all the technical aspects of Idyl Hands. A slightly awkward personality, and an innate introvert, he's a delicate soul who suffers from IBS, motion sickness, nosebleeds and feels unrecognised by the wider world after years stuck behind a screen. With his new wealth, and an exciting new relationship, the worm is about to turn - what will the group do when their beta pal makes moves to become the alpha male?

Nick Helm, star of BBC Three sitcom Uncle, takes the role of the eccentric Watto. A talented artist who drew the artwork for their hit game, Watto is recently sober after years of drug and alcohol use. Replacing one compulsive habit with another, he loves the thrill of spending large amounts of cash on flamboyantly useless items but at once suffers a crippling emptiness in the immediate aftermath of a splurge. A flighty character with few roots to keep him grounded, his commitment to his friends and Idyl Hands is the longest of his life and his mates play a big part in his sobriety.

Mary McCormack, who played Kate Harper in The West Wing, also has a key role in the show. She plays Casey, Vice President for Acquisitions at the company that has bought Idyl Hands. On the surface she's a ruthless, immaculate and forthright business executive who refuses to suffer fools gladly. Emotionally distant and with a super tough exterior, she's prone to sudden bursts of feeling when it suits her, which belie a much more vulnerable side.

Channel 4 is funding the show with American network AMC. Phil Clarke from Channel 4 says: "After such a successful collaboration on Humans, we're thrilled to be partnering once again with AMC. Jon Brown is one of the most talented young British writers around, demonstrated by his ability to turn the dream of instant riches into the worst nightmare imaginable. We can't wait to see the brilliant cast bring to life the motley crew at Idyl Hands. We're so excited to be working alongside AMC, Hillbilly Television and Keshet UK on this hilarious, astute and timely comedy drama."

Joel Stillerman from AMC adds: "A smart and somewhat light-hearted look at all of the things that can go wrong when you're suddenly very, very rich felt like a perfect show for our times. We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Channel 4 and Keshet International and to begin a new one with Hillbilly and the very talented writer, Jon Brown, director, Ian Fitzgibbon and this terrific cast."

Producers Kate Norrish and Polly Leys from Hillbilly Television comment: "We're delighted to be partnering with AMC, C4, Keshet UK and the fabulously talented Jon Brown on Loaded. It is a fresh, funny and pertinent take on four friends trying to cling on to the slats of their friendship in the eye of a hurricane of money and excess - and with this cast it's going to be a hell of a ride. Four freshly minted millionaires working alongside people who still have to bring in their lunch from home. An office of haves and have-nots. Like Downtown Abbey with nerds."

Loaded is set to start production in early November 2016 and will air on Channel 4 and AMC later in 2017.

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