BBC Two announces Summer and Autumn 2011 schedule

Wednesday 22nd June 2011, 2:00pm

BBC Two has announced the shows which will fill its summer and autumn 2011 schedule, with the new sitcom from Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant the main highlight.

Life's Too Short. Image shows from L to R: Stephen (Stephen Merchant), Ricky (Ricky Gervais), Warwick (Warwick Davis). Copyright: BBC

Life's Too Short

Life's Too Short is the highly anticipated new mockumentary sitcom from The Office and Extras creators Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais.

Real-life dwarf actor Warwick Davis plays a fictional version of himself in the show. He is desperate, conniving, fame-hungry and self-centred, but always gets his comeuppance. The story follows Warwick as he runs a talent agency for small people, but is always taking the best jobs for himself. Being a "showbiz dwarf" creates many an unusual situation for Warwick and he is constantly trying to use this to his advantage - it's just a shame that nobody recognises him without his costumes...

Like Extras, the show will feature a mix of cameos from famous names, and 'lower-rung' celebrities. For example, the trailer released today features Keith Chegwin, Les Dennis and Shaun Williamson, all of whom made popular appearances in Extras: Trailer

Rev.. Rev Adam Smallbone (Tom Hollander). Copyright: Big Talk Productions


A second series of the critically acclaimed church-based sitcom starring Tom Hollander will be shown on BBC Two this autumn.

Reverend Adam Smallbone is still trying to negotiate the moral maze of life within his East London parish. Although no longer a newcomer to St Saviour's since his move from rural Suffolk, surviving one winter has by no means made him an experienced urbanite, and now it's time to tackle summer in the city - before he can mark the end of the year by celebrating his first Christmas in London.

Adam continues to endure the 'support' of hopeless volunteers as he navigates the perils of inner-city parish life. Heavy drinking lost soul Colin remains reliably erratic; cassock-chasing Adoha's passion for her priest is reaching fever pitch; and pedantic lay reader Nigel goes out of his way to be no help at all. Of course, they all want something - all the time. Even crackhead Mick needs more than cash now.

As Adam struggles to meet everyone else's demands, his wife Alex's patience is running perilously thin. She needs something too - and what she wants is life-changing. Our Guide

Rab C. Nesbitt. Rab C. Nesbitt (Gregor Fisher). Copyright: The Comedy Unit

Rab C. Nesbitt

The 10th series of the Scottish sitcom will launch with a special Rab C Nesbitt night on BBC Two, which will include a spoof documentary in which John Sergeant travels to Govan to track down the one man who has managed to successfully skive for 20 years between two recessions.

In the new series, age has not mellowed Nesbitt - something Chingford Steel (guest star Richard E Grant) discovers when, as Minister for Work, he knocks on Nesbitt's door. It starts with a whack to the head with a frying pan from Mary Doll and ends up with a full-scale siege.

Elsewhere, Mary and her pal Ella form a "girl" group to enter Govan's Got Talent, featuring a cameo from Scottish superstar Susan Boyle. Meanwhile, Jamesie gains a baby son and almost loses that part of his body most dear to him; and Rab turns the air blue on his local radio station and falls out with everyone from the City council to his local church. Our Guide

Frank Skinner's Opinionated. Frank Skinner. Copyright: Avalon Television

Frank Skinner's Opinionated

Frank Skinner returns for a third series of his topical comedy chat show this autumn. Frank will be joined by a host of guests, a variety of experts and a lively studio audience to discuss the week's events.

As in previous series, Frank Skinner's Opinionated will be filmed in studios across the UK, visiting cities nationwide and inviting the city's residents to put questions to the week's guests and get involved in the topical debate. Our Guide

The Rob Brydon Show. Rob Brydon. Copyright: Arbie

The Rob Brydon Show

Rob Brydon returns to BBC Two for a second series of The Rob Brydon Show, delivering another mix of comedy, chat and music recorded before a live studio audience. In this new series, Rob will meets some of his favourite comedians, including Dame Edna Everage, Matt Lucas and Bill Bailey. Rob will also interview Sir Bruce Forsyth.

There will again be performance with some of Rob's musical heroes, including the reformed Faces, featuring legendary guitarist Ronnie Wood, and Mick Hucknall. And, as before, each show features an up-and-coming stand-up act too. Our Guide

QI. Image shows from L to R: Alan Davies, Stephen Fry. Copyright: TalkbackThames


QI, "the world's most challenging quiz", switches from BBC One in the autumn back to its old home on BBC Two for its 9th series.

Stephen Fry and regular panellist Alan Davies both return and will be joined each week by (mostly) willing guests who try to answer impossibly difficult questions. As before, any "quite interesting" answer may get a point (whether right or wrong), but penalties will be imposed for answers which are obvious, wrong, or (worst of all) obviously wrong. Our Guide

Ruth Jones will be back on BBC Two with another of her seasonal chat shows. In Ruth Jones' Summer Holiday, the Gavin & Stacey star will catch up on the latest goings-on with Jonathan Ross, Sarah Millican and Stephen Mangan.

Also in BBC Two's summer and autumn schedule is All Roads Lead Home, a three-part series which challenges Stephen Mangan, Sue Perkins and Alison Steadman to learn the art of natural navigation; plus Caroline Quentin presents a series called Restoration Home. Elsewhere in the schedule The Culture Show will travel to Edinburgh to the cover comedy and arts at the Fringe Festival; the Arena documentary strand looks at the life of humorist Sir Jonathan Miller; and Stephen Fry dissects language in all its guises in a new series called Fry's Planet Word.

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