Michelle de Swarte pilots comedy drama High End Homeless for Channel 4

ExclusiveFriday 10th June 2022, 3:30pm by Jay Richardson

Michelle De Swarte

Michelle de Swarte is piloting a Channel 4 comedy drama based on her former life as a catwalk model, British Comedy Guide can exclusively reveal.

The stand-up and star of Sky's upcoming horror-comedy The Baby, has written and stars in the loosely autobiographical High End Homeless. After shooting a non-broadcast taster pilot in London earlier this year, she is currently writing more of the series.

It's A Sin's Delroy Brown co-starred in the pilot, along with Joni Ayton-Kent (Don't Forget The Driver), Amanda Wilkin (Finding Alice), Victoria Alcock (People Just Do Nothing), Alaa Habib and Levi Brown.

Directed by commercials director Joe Roberts (Nick Helm: Morning Person) for Various Artists Limited (Dead Pixels, I May Destroy You), the production company founded by Peep Show creators Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong with former Channel 4 commissioners Phil Clarke and Roberto Troni, it was produced by Hannah Moulder (Chewing Gum, Cockroaches).

De Swarte only made her acting debut in 2020, playing the role of Bev, best friend of Katherine Ryan's character Katherine in the Canadian comic's Netflix comedy The Duchess.

However, she stars in The Baby (pictured below), coming to Sky Atlantic next month after airing on HBO in the US, as a woman unexpectedly landed with a newborn that turns out to have violent, manipulative powers.

The Baby

Appearing on the third episode of Amazon Prime's behind-the-scenes stand-up showcase Backstage With Katherine Ryan, de Swarte previously co-devised and presented the short-lived 2011 celebrity gossip panel show Dirty Digest for Channel 4's sister channel E4.

She was scouted by a modelling agency in London at 19 and moved to New York for a decade-long career in fashion, before beginning stand-up and television presenting in the city, returning to London three years ago.

She has talked about her financial struggles, drug issues and the pressure to have cosmetic enhancements put on her by her former modelling agency and is currently performing stand-up about encountering notorious sex offender Jeffrey Epstein during the chaotic aftermath of the September 11th attacks.

"I was quite lucky to start [modelling] at the age that I did" she told fellow comic Kiri Pritchard-McLean on her Who Are You Wearing? podcast. "And I was lucky to start stand-up at the age that I did. It was quite a conscious decision, like I need to do something that's the total opposite of what I have been doing and obviously, you can't model forever.

"Because I never really took it that seriously. I was never that invested in the way I look. That's not to say I'm not vain now ... Now it's nice to look back. But at the time, if you invest in the way you look too much, for your own confidence, it's not going to serve you well later because it's not going to last forever. Now I can look back safely from the sidelines and go 'I like those pictures and it was a fun experience'.

"But at the time, I was quite dismissive of it. Which was probably good for my mental health."

BCG approached Channel 4 for comment on High End Homeless but a spokesperson said: "We are unable to comment on projects on our development slate".

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