Noel Fielding stars as Dick Turpin in Apple TV+ comedy

ExclusiveTuesday 12th April 2022, 1:45pm by Jay Richardson

Noel Fielding's Dick Turpin. Dick Turpin (Noel Fielding)
  • Noel Fielding brings Dick Turpin to life in a new period comedy for Apple TV+
  • The Mighty Boosh star plays the legendary robber as a proto-celebrity, with "charm, showmanship and great hair"
  • Fielding has been dubbed "the dandy highwayman of comedy", thanks in part to his Adam Ant obsession

Noel Fielding stars as Dick Turpin in a new comedy for Apple TV+, British Comedy Guide can exclusively reveal.

In the currently untitled and irreverent retelling of the legend, Turpin is the most famous but least likely of highway robbers, with his success defined mostly by his "charm, showmanship and great hair".

An unspecified number of episodes of the period caper shoot this autumn, with Turpin and his gang of loveable rogues riding the highs and lows of celebrity, all while trying to escape the clutches of the Thief Taker General.

The series commission follows a successful pilot shot in and around London in October.

Claire Downes, Stuart Lane and Ian Jarvis (The Outlaws, The Job Lot) write with Fielding, with The League Of Gentlemen's Jeremy Dyson acting as script consultant.

Ben Palmer (Breeders, The Inbetweeners) directs for Big Talk Productions (Back, Friday Night Dinner) and executive produces, along with Fielding, Kenton Allen, Victoria Grew and Matthew Justice.

Noel Fielding's Dick Turpin. Dick Turpin (Noel Fielding)

Fielding was dubbed "the dandy highwayman of comedy" by Radio 4's Museum Of Curiosity when he curated the ninth series in 2016. He also appeared as "Brothel Gent" in the 1999 film Plunkett & Macleane, starring Robert Carlyle and Johnny Miller in the highwaymen title roles.

However, his portrayal of Turpin doubtless owes more to Adam Ant than the real eighteenth century robber.

Speaking in a video interview with music magazine NME in 2014, the comedian revealed that he was "obsessed" with the 1980s new wave singer.

"When I was really young, Adam Ant, I loved, as a concept, and I think Dandy Highwayman or Prince Charming ... Prince Charming was the first album I bought" Fielding said. He has also said that embracing Ant's pop sensibilities felt like a rebellion against the artier rock of David Bowie and Led Zeppelin favoured by his cool parents.

In the 1999 live show Arctic Boosh, and Tundra, a 2004 episode of The Mighty Boosh on BBC Three on which it was based, Fielding and his double-act partner Julian Barratt gave several nods to the singer born Stuart Leslie Goddard.

In the television version, Fielding's zookeeper character Vince Noir dresses up a lion as Adam Ant, while his Arctic exploring outfit has him aping the white strip across his nose that the singer famously sported.

Ant later appeared on a 2014 episode of Never Mind The Buzzcocks when Fielding was a team captain and the pair have become friends, with the comic producing this image of the singer in 2020:

Fielding follows Sharon Horgan, whose comedy Bad Sisters is coming soon to Apple TV+, of being a familiar face on UK screens with an American profile, thanks to The Great British Bake Off's popularity in the US.

The relatively new streaming giant has enjoyed considerable success with its London-set football sitcom Ted Lasso and has recently commissioned a third series of its first UK comedy, the adoption-focused Trying.

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