Hullraisers sitcom series coming to Channel 4

ExclusiveFriday 2nd July 2021, 9:36am

Lucy Beaumont

Channel 4 has commissioned Hullraisers, a sitcom series co-written by Lucy Beaumont that focuses on three working class women living in Hull, British Comedy Guide can exclusively reveal.

The channel says: "Hullraisers celebrates female talent, both on and off screen in a laugh-out-loud, chaotic comedy that embodies the ups and downs of life, friendship, and family."

The series will centre on three characters - Toni, Rana, and Paula - and will focus on their "dishevelled, messy and joyful lives."

Hull-native Leah Brotherhead, who starred as Kat in Zomboat!, will play Toni. Taj Atwal - recently seen as Elara in Truth Seekers - takes on the role of Rana. Meanwhile Sinead Matthews, perhaps best known to comedy fans as Jenny in Ideal, has signed up to play Paula.

The producers comment: "The series explores the hilarious and agonising reality of what it is to be a working class woman juggling work, kids, demanding friends, family and frustrating parents from the school playground - all whilst trying to have some fun too."

Hullraisers has been adapted from the hit Israeli show Little Mom, which has been recommissioned for its fifth series. The scripts for the UK show have been written by Lucy Beaumont and Anne Marie O'Connor.

Six thirty-minute episodes are in production, produced by Fable Pictures, the production company that previously made 2019 film Wild Rose. Horrible Histories producer Lisa Mitchell is overseeing the project, with Ian FitzGibbon (Raised By Wolves, Moone Boy) as director.

The central characters are described as follows: "Toni is a big-hearted tornado of chaos. She's a self-described actress with no acting jobs (she can currently be found 'auditioning' to hand out cheese samples in a supermarket car park). She adores her 4-year-old daughter Leah and her soulmate Craig, but she still dreams of escaping Hull and craves her old life. Like many of us, she's caught between being the person she once was and the person she's becoming.

"Toni's bestie is Rana, a confident policewoman who's daily life is ruled by her libido. She would rather date the full spectrum of Hull's most disappointing bachelors than think about settling down.

"Completing the trio is Paula, Toni's self-deprecating, down-to-earth matriarchal older sister who married her childhood sweetheart Dane, Rana's big brother. She's always been the polar opposite of Toni: she's never imagined being anywhere other than Hull, she doesn't approve of Rana's irresponsibility, and just can't understand Toni's unsettledness and constant need for more."

Lucy Beaumont says: "It's an absolute privilege and honour to be working with one of the most talented and dynamic production companies in the UK, and Channel 4, who are absolutely killing it with comedy that raises the bar and pushes boundaries. I'm so excited about showing the world these true Hull characters and the city that has moulded them - a city that has kept its talent and attributes hidden for too long!"

Executive producers Hannah Farrell and Faye Ward from Fable Pictures say: "We're so excited to be making this with Lucy and Anne-Marie. Their scripts capture a version of family life we just don't see enough on TV - Hullraisers puts the focus on working class women, their friendships and the lengths they go to to keep the show on the road! And with Lucy being Hull through-and-through, we hope Hullraisers will be a fitting tribute to the city, its people, and their incredible sense of humour. We feel especially lucky to be working with Leah, Sinead and Taj - three comedic powerhouses! - and to have the brilliant Ian FitzGibbon bringing these scripts to life."

Jack Bayles, commissioning editor for Channel 4, adds: "This is a show with huge heart and a joke rate to match the feels. Led by a trio of wonderfully drawn female characters, we really hope viewers will fall in love with them as much as we have across scripting. We're thrilled to be working with Lucy, Anne-Marie and the super-talented gang at Fable - and can't wait to dive into the shoot".

Hullraisers is set to commence filming in Hull and Leeds this summer.

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