Lily Allen stars in Sky comedy from Sharon Horgan

ExclusiveFriday 10th June 2022, 9:17am by Jay Richardson

  • Sky has ordered Dreamland, a comedy drama created by Sharon Horgan, featuring Lily Allen in her first television lead role
  • The series is based upon a 2017 Sky Arts short starring Morgana Robinson
  • Horgan has said that the "loss leader" short allowed them "to try out an ensemble cast" and to see if the idea "had legs"
Lily Allen

Lily Allen is to star in a new Sky comedy drama from Sharon Horgan, British Comedy Guide can exclusively reveal.

The singer takes her first lead television role in Dreamland, shooting in London and Kent soon.

Created by Horgan and made by her production company Merman, the series is based upon a 2017 Sky Arts short, Morgana Robinson's Summer, in which Robinson played a woman attending the baby shower of her heavily pregnant sister in Margate, with news of her own yet to reveal.

BCG understands that Robinson is not involved in the series, which is also the television helming debut of Harlots actor Ellie Heydon, who serves as lead director. Clelia Mountford (Motherland) produces.

Horgan wrote the 2017 short but has convened a writers' room for the adaptation. The original co-starred Sheridan Smith as the pregnant Trish, with Gabby Best and Aimee-Ffion Edwards as two further sisters and Frances Barber as their mother. Outwith Allen, the series' casting details have yet to emerge.

Catastrophe star Horgan first talked about revisiting the short in 2019, telling Broadcast magazine that the "loss leader" short allowed Merman "to try out an ensemble cast and see if an idea had legs. Now we're developing it as a series. That was a lot of effort and not much money for a short-form piece, but it has given us a lot more."

Allen, daughter of The Comic Strip's Keith Allen, made her acting debut as "Child in Promo" [sequence] of 1998 episode The Yob, which starred her father.

More recently, she appeared as Elizabeth Taylor in the 2019 film adaptation of Caitlin Moran's semi-autobiographical novel How To Build A Girl, which co-starred her brother, Alfie Allen, as a musician and featured Horgan as Little Women's Jo March.

Currently co-starring with Nicolas Cage in the Hollywood icon's self-referential action-comedy movie The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent, Horgan recently wrapped filming on BBC drama Best Interests, in which she and Michael Sheen play a married couple contesting a doctors' decision that their gravely ill daughter should be allowed to die.

She also writes, stars in and produces the forthcoming Apple TV+ dark comedy thriller Bad Sisters, which features Anne-Marie Duff, Brian Gleeson and Eve Hewson.

Meanwhile, Heydon's rom-com short Pragma, focused on the algorithmic dating of the future, which stars its writer Lucy Heath, Nick Mohammed and his Ted Lasso co-star Phil Dunster, receives its worldwide premiere at the TriBeCa Film Festival in New York today. Trailer

Considered the oldest amusement park in the UK, Dreamland has served as a location for several comedies, most recently the 2020 Sky comedy drama Two Weeks To Live, starring Maisie Adam and Mawaan Rizwan, and the pilot episode of hit BBC One sitcom Here We Go, when it was known as Pandemonium.

The Margate tourist attraction was also the setting for the 1989 Only Fools And Horses Christmas special: The Jolly Boys' Outing and featured in Jellyfish, the 2018 film about a teenage carer-turned-stand-up.

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