Alan Carr making Changing Ends sitcom with BBC Studios

ExclusiveThursday 24th February 2022, 3:36pm by Jay Richardson

There's Something About Movies. Alan Carr. Copyright: CPL Productions
  • Alan Carr is developing an autobiographical sitcom with BBC Studios
  • Changing Ends is based on his youth in the 1980s when his father was manager of Northampton Town FC
  • Production on a non-broadcast taster pilot is underway

Alan Carr is developing a semi-autobiographical sitcom with BBC Studios, British Comedy Guide can exclusively reveal.

Changing Ends recreates the comic's life growing up in the 1980s when his father, Graham, was manager of Northampton Town FC, and focuses on the young Carr "starting his journey in this very masculine world of lower league football".

The non-transmission taster is being made by Baby Cow Productions, the company founded by Steve Coogan and Henry Normal, whose credits include Gavin & Stacey and The Mighty Boosh for the BBC, as well as The Witchfinder, starring Tim Key and Daisy May Cooper, which begins on BBC Two next month.

News of Changing Ends' development emerged last year when Baby Cow announced a casting search to find an actor to play the lead role. At that point the title was still under wraps.

Appearing in a video, Carr said: "I've been developing a sitcom based on my life, with Baby Cow, about me growing up in the 80s in Northampton. And, guess what? We need to cast a young Alan. So we're looking for a young boy, 10 to 13. Someone who has my energy, my charisma."

Born in Weymouth, Carr spent most of his childhood in Northampton. In the video, he added that the sitcom will have a realistic tone and not feature a self-caricature: "This is about a young boy on the cusp of puberty starting his journey in this very masculine world of lower league football".

The script provided for the casting call-out appears to be the sitcom's opening voiceover:

"I swear there was a mix up at the hospital. I do! Somewhere in Northampton, there's a hairdresser looking out his patio windows wondering why his son is more interested in playing keep it uppy, than learning how to give a cut and colour. It's what you could call a genetic own goal, no pun intended, my Dad's the local football manager you see. I mean I'm hardly footballer material, have you seen me? Classic pear with a sweet tooth, most boys go up a collar size over the summer holidays but I go up a cup size an all.

"What can I say? I'm a sucker for a flump, it's one of the few pleasures in my life. Well, that and bobbing down WH Smith to get my hands on a brand new Agatha Christie. Betty in Smiths says 'you like a mystery don't you?' I thought 'How you've maintained this job with such bad body odour is the biggest mystery but I bit my tongue and just said 'Give me a quarter of cola cubes my love, and then I'll get out of your hair.'"

Currently making a third series of Alan Carr's Epic Gameshow for ITV, which will see a revival of the 1980s Michael Aspel-hosted format Child's Play added to its line-up, if commissioned for a series Changing Ends will be Carr's first authored sitcom. At the moment it is unclear if he will also have an acting role.

The comic was previously developing a sitcom idea about a dog walker in 2012 but dropped the project when BBC Four commissioned Joanna Scanlan and Vicki Pepperdine to make Puppy Love. However, Carr has had guest roles playing himself in Dave sitcom Meet The Richardsons, Channel 4 drama National Treasure and soap opera Hollyoaks.

Nominated for best broadcast journalist or host in the 2022 British LGBT Awards, a category that sees him up against Joe Lycett, he will also return as host of competition show Interior Design Masters next month when it switches from BBC Two to BBC One.

Also currently touring his Regional Trinket live show around the UK, Carr recently disclosed on his Life's A Beach podcast that he's about to do his first US shows after coming to greater global prominence with his appearances on RuPaul's Drag Race UK and its current UK vs The World series.

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