Cast revealed for Aisling Bea's comedy This Way Up

Thursday 13th June 2019, 11:53am

This Way Up. Aine (Aisling Bea). Copyright: Merman.

More details and a first look picture have been revealed for This Way Up, a new Channel 4 comedy written by and starring Aisling Bea.

The comedy - which was originally announced as Happy AF - is a six-part sitcom about a whip-smart English-as-a-foreign language (TEFL) teacher trying to pull her life back together after a "teeny little nervous breakdown".

Bea plays the lead role of Aine, with Sharon Horgan as her concerned sister Shona, who not only worries about her younger sibling, but also about her own life choices.

Channel 4 says: "The TEFL school where Aine teaches brings together a room full of characters also trying to find their own hope, direction and happiness in this messy world."

The Daily Show's Aasif Mandvi will co-star as Shona's boyfriend Vish; with Tobias Menzies as Richard, father to one of Aine's students; and Indira Varma playing Shona's colleague and confidante Charlotte.

Other members of the cast include Sorcha Cusack as Aine and Shona's mother; Chris Geere as Aine's ex-boyfriend, Freddie; Kadiff Kirwan as Aine's roommate Bradley; Ricky Grover as Aine's friend Tom; and Ekow Quartey as Aine's boss James.

Pik Sen Lim, Todor Jordanov, Jassem Mougari and Daniela Spataru will play Aine's TEFL students.

Notably, Sen Lim starred as one of the students in 1970s TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) sitcom Mind Your Language.

Aisling Bea says: "After years of scripts and projects that never made it to air, this show is a bit of a dream come true, so I really bloody hope you like it. Sharon and I first played sisters in a TV show that got cancelled about eight years ago [Dead Boss] and we have gone on many drunken nights out across the world together since to stay in character for this project.

"Channel 4 have supported and backed me in many ways for years now, so I am over the moon to have my little baby live with them and to have it go visit its step-mother Hulu in America too."

Fiona McDermott, Head of Comedy at Channel 4, comments: "Already an established stand-up and actor, Aisling has delivered the most fantastically funny yet tender, poignant and surprising show in This Way Up and, with Sharon Horgan playing her sister, we get two of the funniest people on the planet putting their own glorious spin on the sibling thing. We love it."

Clelia Mountford and Sharon Horgan, who have executive produced the show via their production company Merman, say: "'We are so happy to be working with Channel 4 again and to have made Aisling Bea's first self-penned series for them. We're very proud of what Aish has achieved with This Way Up and of the dedicated work from the whole team who worked alongside her. It's a show that we always knew she had in her but what a thrill to see it come to life."

This Way Up, which is directed by Alex Winckler and produced by Gavin O'Grady, will be shown on Channel 4 and Hulu later this year.

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