British Comedy Guide

Martin Clunes to star in driving instructor sitcom

Thursday 18th January 2018, 10:14am

  • BBC One has commissioned a new sitcom starring Martin Clunes
  • Warren will focus on "a pedantic driving instructor" forced to move up north to Preston
  • The six part series is expected to be broadcast later this year
Warren. Warren Thompson (Martin Clunes). Copyright: Hat Trick Productions.

BBC One has ordered a new sitcom starring Martin Clunes.

Warren, focused on an uptight driving instructor, has been commissioned for a full series following a successful non-broadcast pilot episode, which was filmed at the end of 2017.

Men Behaving Badly and Doc Martin star Clunes will appear in the titular role as "a pedantic driving instructor who thinks the world is against him".

The BBC explain: "Warren is forced to move from the south up to Preston when his partner Anne's father falls ill. Warren suddenly finds himself living in an area he doesn't like, doing a job he's not emotionally cut out for and looking after two teenage stepsons he never wanted.

"Warren loves Anne, and somehow, Anne always sees the good in Warren, but he has a way of knowing best and speaking his mind that inevitably leads to conflict, chaos and disaster for those around him and most especially for himself. Warren is not growing old gracefully, he's very much rooted in the now, with a modern voice and sharp edge. There are no happy endings as he grapples against the problems and misunderstandings of his own making."

The series has been written by Paul McKenna and Jimmy Donny Cosgrove and is being filmed by Outnumbered and Derry Girls producers Hat Trick Productions.

Martin Clunes says: "I had kind of told myself that I didn't want to do another sitcom, but because this came from Hat Trick I thought it was worth a read and the script is just so funny that I didn't want anyone else to do it."

Jimmy Mulville, Managing Director of Hat Trick Productions, says: "Great scripts attract great actors and this was the case with Warren. Martin plays the central role to perfection and is supported by a fantastic cast. We can't wait to make it."

Shane Allen, the BBC's comedy commissioner, adds: "BBC One mainstream comedy is our highest priority and the toughest nut to crack. We have enormous faith in Warren as the pilot displayed the perfect alchemy of well-drawn characters, punchy funny lines, a terrific ensemble cast and in Martin Clunes a heavyweight comedy champion who we're delighted to see step back in to the ring of a BBC One sitcom."

The series is expected to be broadcast in a primetime slot later in 2018.


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