BBC Two to launch new comedy series The Witchfinder

Thursday 17th October 2019, 9:18am

The Witchfinder. Image shows from L to R: Witchfinder (Tim Key), Witch (Daisy May Cooper). Copyright: Baby Cow Productions.

BBC Two is to launch a new sitcom series created by Alan Partridge writers Neil and Rob Gibbons.

The Witchfinder will star Tim Key and This Country co-creator Daisy May Cooper.

The producers explain: "The Witchfinder is an original new comedy for BBC Two following a witchfinder and his suspect on a road-free road trip through an England gripped by civil war, famine and plague.

"It's the year of our Lord 1647 and fear of witchcraft is rife. Puritanical Christianity, deep-seated superstition and a willingness to scapegoat outsiders have created a tinderbox of suspicion in which few are safe. In this environment, witchfinding has flourished, as self-appointed witch experts achieve hero status by investigating accusations of witchery and extracting confessions.

"A failing witchfinder (Tim Key) transports a suspected witch (Daisy May Cooper) across 1640s East Anglia to a trial that could change his fortunes forever. But his captive is the worst possible travel companion: an inquisitive, uncouth woman whose ability to prick his pomposity and ask uncomfortable questions turns a straightforward journey into a life-changing ordeal."

Daisy May Cooper says: "I cannot wait to be starring in The Witchfinder with the absolutely brilliant Tim Key. I've always wanted to be a witch, my mother says I've got the nose and chin hair for it. I dabbled a bit in witchcraft when I was in my teens and ended up accidentally inviting an incubus into my house. He was an absolute prick."

Tim Key comments: "I'm delighted to be working with the mercurially talented Gibbons brothers again, particularly on something set in 17th century England - which they seem to have a fairly loose grasp of - and am excited to do a road trip but on horses (I can't ride a horse). I love the idea of Daisy May Cooper being a pissed-off witch anyway so the fact that I'm playing her antagonist is the icing on the cake. Can't wait to saddle up."

Kate Daughton, Head of Comedy Commissioning at the BBC, says: "In The Witchfinder, the Gibbons brothers have managed to create a timelessly compelling odd couple, forced together on a journey through one of the most baffling moments of English history. Tim Key and Daisy May Cooper are two of the UK's funniest people and I can't wait to see them tackle gender politics, male privilege and bees ... on horseback."

The comedy is being made by Baby Cow Productions, with Christine Langan and Steve Coogan as executive producers. Langan comments: "Baby Cow is thrilled to be bringing the Gibbons brothers' hysterical-heretical-historical epic The Witchfinder to BBC Two. Rob and Neil have put a truly modern twist on this macabre moment in time, as Daisy May Cooper's 'modern-day' everywoman gets dragged to trial by Tim Key's inept, chauvinist, careerist witchfinder. In Daisy and Tim we have one of the best double-acts in British comedy and we can't wait for you to see them fight their way across East Anglia."

The Witchfinder, which will comprise of six half-hour episodes, will be shown on BBC Two in 2020. Full casting and broadcast information will be announced in due course.


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