BBC Comedy Shorts 2019 revealed

Tuesday 23rd July 2019, 12:32pm

Lazy Susan. Image shows from L to R: Celeste Dring, Freya Parker. Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions.

The BBC has revealed its 2019 Comedy Shorts offerings.

The shows are titled Brain In Gear, Lazy Susan, Mandy and Sorry.

The 10 and 15 minute programmes follow on from last year's creations, which included The Mind Of Herbert Clunkerdunk by Spencer Jones, and Tim Key's Wonderdate, both of which received BAFTA nominations in the Short Form Content category. The Mind Of Herbert Clunkerdunk has since been commissioned as a series, to launch on BBC Two soon.

Shane Allen, the BBC's controller of comedy commissioning, explains: "These shorts are a fast track way to back generation defining comedy talents to experiment with story and form. They also offer the comedy audience a novel way to watch comedy in more readily digestible ways as their attention is being pulled in so many more ways than ever before."

The short-form comedies will premiere on BBC iPlayer from this week, and be broadcast on BBC Two over the next two Sundays. Details are as follows.


Mandy. Mandy (Diane Morgan).

Making her directorial debut, Cunk On Britain and Motherland star Diane Morgan also writes and stars in this 15 minute comedy about a woman who really wants a sofa.

The BBC say: "Have you ever seen a sofa you like in a shop window and really wanted it? Wanted it so much you can't stop thinking about it? Wanted it so much you feel physically sick? Wanted it so much that nothing else in your life matters and you'd do anything, literally anything to get it, no matter the cost? Of course you have, we all have. And at long last, someone has made a comedy film about really, really wanting a sofa. We could tell you the sofa is a metaphor for something - happiness maybe, or equality perhaps. But it isn't. It's just a really nice sofa."

Diane Morgan says: "As well as writing and performing in this, I also did location scouting, prop-buying, costume and my own hair and make-up. But if it's no good I can always blame the director. Oh hang on, that was me as well."



Sorry. Image shows from L to R: Dan (Joshua McGuire), Dolly (Lolly Adefope), Luke (Phil Dunning), Rosalind (Catherine Shepherd).

Sorry is written by and stars Lolly Adefope.

Dolly Adesina, an actress on the verge of super-stardom and a self-described 'black Jennifer Lawrence', is on the way to the London premiere of her first Hollywood film. During the journey, she finds out she's trending on Twitter, but for all the wrong reasons - putting her career in jeopardy...

Sorry explores the ideas of intent, regret and redemption, and asks the question: 'who gets a second chance?'

Lolly Adefope says: "So excited to be making a comedy short for BBC iPlayer, and especially excited by the opportunity to really get out of my zone by playing an actress who gets into trouble for something she tweeted!"

Executive producer Damian Kavanagh comments: "The team at Tiger Aspect are beyond excited to be working with the exceptionally talented Lolly on Sorry and helping her to bring her wonderful creation to life for audiences to enjoy."


Lazy Susan

Lazy Susan. Image shows from L to R: Celeste Dring, Freya Parker. Copyright: Tiger Aspect Productions.

Sketch duo Lazy Susan - Freya Parker and Celeste Dring - bring their "hilarious and twisted world view" to the television.

Their 10 minute show will feature new creations alongside some of their best-loved characters from their stage shows; such as Megan and Michaela who just 'don't want any drama tonight' and Thomas and Sandrine the 'whimsical French woman, written by a man who's never met a woman'.

The BBC says: "Subversive, strangely universal, and most importantly, extremely funny - this is Lazy Susan's world and we're all just living in it."

Amy Annette and Katie Churchill, the producers for Tiger Aspect say: "It's not every day a duo like Freya and Celeste come along. We think it's telling that every comedy fan and comedian who hears we're making this show gets very excited about it. We're delighted that, via the BBC, everyone will get a chance to meet Lazy Susan and their smart, silly and darkly funny world."

Parker and Dring say: "This is a really exciting opportunity for us. We're so glad that Amy Annette and Katie Churchill said yes when we proposed making it with them (on bended knee - as is customary in TV pitching). It's our best shot at capturing some of the essence of our live shows but reimagining it for telly / the internet. We've got a really great team around us - including ace director Jennifer Sheridan - so it really is a shame that we've already blown the entire budget on models and jet-skis."

Executive producer Myfanwy Moore adds: "Celeste and Freya are brilliantly talented writer-performers, and it is an honour of comic proportions to help them realise their vision on screen."


Brain In Gear

Sunny D. Kadean (Gbemisola Ikumelo). Copyright: BBC.

Written by and starring Famalam's Gbemisola Ikumelo, Brain In Gear is described as "a flat-share comedy where the nightmare tenants... are the voices in your head".

The blurb explains: "They are the voices that tell you to get out there and apply for that job, flirt with that stranger, carpe that diem... And the other one. The one that tells you stay in bed. Caught in the middle is Remi, a perfectly normal, if somewhat anxious single woman in her *cough* late 20s.

"Remi tries her best to navigate the contradicting advice from her inner selves who refuse to stay 'inner', and have an annoying habit of appearing uninvited in her home.

"Brain In Gear is a funny, surreal yet relatable, poignant yet puerile take on the conversations we have with ourselves every day."

Gbemisola Ikumelo, who previously starred in Sunny D as Kadean (pictured), says: "I talk to myself a lot. As in full blown, animated chats about everything and nothing, and I've often wondered what I would look like if someone placed a hidden camera in my home and caught me mid-flow. Brain In Gear is the world getting to see some of the awful things I get up to when I'm alone. Don't judge me!"


Mandy, Lazy Susan and Sorry will be available on BBC iPlayer from Thursday 25th July, with Brain In Gear published on Saturday 3rd August.

Mandy and Sorry will be broadcast on BBC Two on Sunday (28th July) from 10pm, with Lazy Susan and Brain In Gear shown the following week.

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