Top stars announced for Sky Arts 2018 Urban Myths

Monday 12th March 2018, 2:34pm

Urban Myths: The Mysterious Case Of Agatha Christie. Image shows from L to R: Col. Archie Christie (Rob James Collier), Nancy Neele (Celeste Dodwell), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Bill Paterson), Chief Inspector Danders (Adrian Scarborough), Billy (Mark Bonnar).

Sky Arts has announced eight one-off comedy dramas will form its 2018 Urban Myths programme strand.

Four of the episodes have previously been announced, but four are newly revealed today. The shows, which launch on TV in April, will feature acting and comedy stars including Gemma Arteron, Frank Skinner, Jack Whitehall and David Suchet.

Sky says: "Sky Arts' successful series Urban Myths returns to our screens in April 2018 with a new season of mischievous comedies about bizarre tales from the worlds of Hollywood, music, arts and literature which are all fictionalised accounts of mostly true events.

"Among the four new episodes of Urban Myths announced today, we can expect to unravel the mysterious disappearance of Agatha Christie in 1926 and the biggest ever manhunt staged in Britain at that time; go behind the scenes on the set of the iconic film Some Like It Hot; go backstage at Live Aid and sympathise with Johnny Cash and the carnage wrought by a killer ostrich."

The broadcast adds: "Each of the eight episodes takes an inventive look at remarkable events, which are re-imagined with tongue firmly in cheek by some of Britain's most talented writers and directors. A third series of Urban Myths is already in the works featuring a new line up of comedies, which will be announced later this year."

Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts, says: "We are thrilled to be bringing Urban Myths back to Sky Arts in April 2018. With the first season we knew we'd hit comedy gold, mining the madcap worlds of urban folklore and once again viewers will get to see some of Britain's most talented actors, writers and directors bring a selection of terrific tales, mostly true, to life. The episodes will be airing weekly on Sky Arts, but will also all be available on demand, perfect for binge-watching!"

The eight episodes will be available on demand via the Sky and NOW TV platforms from Thursday 12th April, with the episodes broadcasting weekly from that day in a 9pm slot.

The eight shows (listed in broadcast order) are as follows. Click on the "more details" links for further information, including details about the writers, producers and directors.

Marilyn Monroe And Billy Wilder

Urban Myths: Marilyn Monroe & Billy Wilder. Image shows from L to R: Marilyn Monroe (Gemma Arterton), Billy Wilder (James Purefoy). Copyright: Little Rock.

Gemma Arterton stars as Marilyn Monroe in this show that imagines what happened behind-the-scenes when filming the 1959 romantic comedy Some Like It Hot. It is regarded as one of the greatest comedy films of all time but, behind the scenes, America's sweetheart is struggling to deliver a line. Marilyn runs to Arthur Miller and Paula Strasberg for reassurance, leaving Billy Wilder tearing his hair out and Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon making side-bets. On the forty-seventh take, Marilyn nails it: "It's me. Sugar!"

More details

Backstage At Live Aid

Urban Myths: Backstage At Live Aid. Image shows from L to R: Marsha Hunt (Kerry Howard), Bob Geldof (Jonas Armstrong). Copyright: Little Rock.

Live Aid was not only "the day rock 'n' roll changed the world", it was also the source of countless backstage music industry rumours. Backstage At Live Aid is a reimagined story that takes place behind the scenes on that unforgettable summer's afternoon in 1985 as egos clash, hair is sprayed, double denim is completely acceptable and Bob Geldof (played by Jonas Armstrong) and long-time personal assistant Marsha Hunt (Kerry Howard) struggle to keep control of the most famous faces of the 80s.

More details

Johnny Cash And The Ostrich

Urban Myths: Johnny Cash And The Ostrich. Johnny Cash (Frank Skinner). Copyright: Avalon Television.

Comedy written by and starring Frank Skinner.

It's November, 1983. Jean, a hotel manageress in Nottingham (played by Isy Suttie), arrives at work to find there's trouble in room 211, currently occupied by country music legend, Johnny Cash. Eventually persuading him to let her in, they sit amongst the carnage and Cash explains that he has been visited by Waldo, the killer ostrich. In a series of flashbacks, Cash tells Jean how the ostrich attacked him at his theme park, home, The House of Cash, in Tennessee, back in '81 and how that set him on a path of pain-killer addiction and reckless drinking. Now Waldo has turned up in the East Midlands and is aching for revenge.

More details

The Dali And The Cooper

Urban Myths: The Dali And The Cooper. Image shows from L to R: Shep Gordon (Paul Kaye), Alice Cooper (Noel Fielding), Salvador Dali (David Suchet), Gala Dali (Sheila Hancock). Copyright: Me & You Productions.

Facilitated in suitably surreal fashion by Alice Cooper's agent Shep Gordon and Salvador Dali's wife Gala, this is the incredible "true story" of a fascinating and weird few days in 1970s New York between the artist and his new found muse; one which led to the creation an extraordinary work of art involving a chocolate ├ęclair and a brain.

Starring Noel Fielding as Alice Cooper, David Suchet as Salvador Dali, Paul Kaye as Shep Gordon and Sheila Hancock as Gala Dali. More details

David Bowie And Marc Bolan

Urban Myths: When Bowie Met Bolan. Image shows from L to R: David Jones (Luke Treadaway), Mark Feld (Jack Whitehall), Leslie Conn (Adrian Edmondson). Copyright: Lion Television.

It's the swinging 60s and teenagers David Bowie (Luke Treadaway) and Marc Bolan (Jack Whitehall) are yet to hit the big time. In fact, such is their lack of success they are costing their manager Les Conn (Ade Edmondson) money. So in lieu of payment the two spend an afternoon painting Les's Soho office.

More details

Agatha Christie

Urban Myths: The Mysterious Case Of Agatha Christie. Image shows from L to R: Dorothy L. Sayers (Rosie Cavaliero), Agatha Christie (Anna Maxwell Martin).

Comedy about Agatha Christie's mysterious 11 day disappearance in 1926, which gripped the nation and set off one of the biggest manhunts ever mounted. In desperation, Britain's most famous crime writers of the time, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Dorothy L. Sayers are drafted in to help the search.

The cast list features Anna Maxwell Martin (Agatha Christie), Bill Paterson (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), Rosie Cavaliero (Dorothy L. Sayers), Adrian Scarborough (Inspector Danders), Robert James-Collier (Colonel Archie Christie), Celeste Dodwell (Nancy Neele) and Mark Bonnar (Billy). More details

Public Enemy

Urban Myths: Public Enemy (feat. Kev Wells). Image shows from L to R: Kev Wells (Philip Glenister), Flavor Flav (Abdul Salis), Chuck D (Paterson Joseph). Copyright: Happy Tramp Productions.

Multimillionaire rap legends Public Enemy are stranded in an English town when their tour bus leaves without them, and are desperately trying to get to their gig in Sheffield. With time running out, their knight in shining armour arrives in the form of Kev, an unassuming local and huge fan.

With Philip Glenister as Kev, Paterson Joseph as Chuck D and Abdul Salis as Flavor Flav. More details

The Sex Pistols Vs. Bill Grundy

Urban Myths: The Sex Pistols Vs Bill Grundy.

The reimagined story behind The Sex Pistols' infamous appearance on Bill Grundy's show in 1976, a year before their legendary debut album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols was released. The foul-mouthed encounter catapulted The Sex Pistols into the public eye and signalled the arrival of mainstream punk, while simultaneously destroying Grundy's career - and all because of a last minute cancellation by Freddie Mercury.

The cast is Daniel Mays (Mike Housego), Steve Pemberton (Bill Grundy), Kieran Hodgson (Malcolm McLaren), Kayvan Novak (Freddie Mercury), Frankie Fox (Johnny Rotten) and cast members from the National Youth Theatre. More details

Related Guides

Latest news