Charlie Brooker to write crime drama spoof

Friday 26th August 2011, 3:20pm

How TV Ruined Your Life. Charlie Brooker. Copyright: Zeppotron

Charlie Brooker (pictured) has created a one-off crime detective spoof for Sky1.

A Touch of Cloth is described as "an all-encompassing parody of every police procedural ever written." The show stars New Street Law and Rebus actor John Hannah as DCI Jack Cloth - a maverick, heavy drinking loner who has thrown himself into his work following the mysterious death of his wife. The deliberately clichéd plot sees the damaged and haunted Cloth team up with plucky no-nonsense sidekick DC Anne Oldman (Coronation Street's Suranne Jones) and together the pair investigate a series of increasingly grisly murders and find themselves on the trail of a devious killer.

The case leads Cloth and Oldman from leafy forests to sinister lock-ups, from the luxury home of an arrogant TV chef to the cold dissection rooms of vampish forensic pathologist Natasha Sachet, packing in as many jokes as humanly possible along the way. Their boss, A.C.C. Tom Boss (played by Green Wing star Julian Rhind-Tutt) repeatedly demands results, fast.

Based on a story by Messiah writer Boris Starling, the screenplay for A Touch of Cloth has been written by Charlie Brooker, alongside Daniel Maier (TV Burp, new sitcom pilot The Function Room).

Other cast members include Navin Chowdhry and Adrian Bower (both of whom starred in Teachers); Daisy Beaumont (Star Stories); and Raquel Cassidy (Lead Balloon). The show is being produced by Adam Tandy, whose previous work includes Come Fly With Me and The Thick Of It.

The programme has been commissioned by Sky's Head Of Comedy Lucy Lumsden, as the satellite broadcaster continues to spend the new yearly budget of £600 million it is investing in British programmes. Lumsden says: "Witty, naughty and unashamedly silly - Charlie Brooker gives the British TV Detective genre a right good comedy kicking with this one-off special for Sky1."

Charlie Brooker says: "After you've seen A Touch of Cloth you'll never be able to watch another detective show again. Not because it's a devastating pisstake, but because you'll have smashed your TV to pieces in a disappointed fury."

Brooker's co-writer Daniel Maier adds: "It's like Airplane! for a detective series except for not being Police Squad."

Annabel Jones, Executive Producer for production company Zeppotron, added: "Having tackled zombies in Dead Set, A Touch of Cloth is a very funny and reliably corpse-strewn homage to the best of British cop shows. We're delighted to have such a wonderful cast and such a great detective in John Hannah, who we're sure will get to the bottom of things. But not too quickly, or the final 15 minutes will consist of awkward whistling."

The two-hour comedy is in production now, and is expected to be screened on TV towards the end of the year.

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