Holly Burn and David Mills pilot "big, bold, brash" sitcom Those Two

ExclusiveWednesday 22nd June 2022, 9:02am by Jay Richardson

Those Two. Image shows from L to R: Holly (Holly Burn), David (David Mills)

Holly Burn and David Mills are piloting a "big, bold, brash, slapstick and fun" houseshare sitcom, British Comedy Guide can exclusively reveal.

A screening of Those Two, in which the comics play a pair of ridiculous housemates, is being held at The Garden Cinema in Covent Garden, London on Monday.

Co-starring fellow comics Luke McQueen and Sam Fletcher, alongside former EastEnders star Linda Marlowe, the 22-minute non-broadcast taster is written by Burn and Mills and was directed by Joe & Tim, aka Joe Patrick and Tim Bunn, whose credits include a short film for the charity Shelter starring the late Sean Lock as a rogue landlord and HIV: The Musical for Christian Aid, starring Martin Freeman and Julian Barratt.

Those Two also features Birthday Girls' Rose Johnson and YouTuber comic and Sneakerhead star Lucia Keskin.

Striking images from the set show character comic Burn, Mills and McQueen in grotesque prosthetics, which took four and five hours respectively to apply, "so that was our biggest outlay, but worth it for the photos" Burn told BCG.

Those Two. Image shows from L to R: David (David Mills), Holly (Holly Burn)
Those Two. Plastic Surgeon (Luke McQueen)

Rejecting the vogue for "trauma-driven comedy", the "heightened, extreme characters" of Those Two were inspired by "big, bold, broad comedies" like Absolutely Fabulous, Gimme Gimme Gimme and Schitt's Creek explains London-based US stand-up Mills, whose screen credits include Mandy.

He and Burn play Holly and David, who are "a bit stuck" says Bad Bridesmaid star Burn, "entering middle-age and not sure where they fit in life. They're trying but they're not really getting anywhere in life, they're going round in circles."

Holly is an influencer and David is a "toast sculptor". Neither is particularly successful and neither want to get proper jobs.

"They're entitled and don't want to work that hard but all of a sudden their house is under threat" says Mills. "They have to earn some money or get a housemate but they hate people and they hate working. So how are they supposed to live this fabulous life if they have to make compromises?"

Those Two. Grandmother (Linda Marlowe)

Marlowe plays Holly's grandmother, who's allowed the pair to live rent-free in a house she owns for five years. But at the beginning of the pilot, she FaceTimes them to inform them they need to start financially contributing, as she's given all of her money to QAnon.

Those Two. Plastic Surgeon (Luke McQueen)

In an outlandish wig and contact lenses, stunt comic McQueen plays "a sort of Kim Kardashian-esque plastic surgery conman with hyperreal Instagrammer vibes".

Those Two. Ventriloquist (Sam Fletcher)

Meanwhile while Fletcher portrays a ventriloquist with a dummy that the pair interview as a prospective housemate.

Those Two. Image shows from L to R: Holly (Holly Burn), Flat Viewer (Rose Johnson), David (David Mills)
Those Two. Flat Viewer (Lucia Keskin)

Johnson and Keskin also come to view the house.

"Of course, Holly and I don't want a housemate, so we find any outrageous reason to reject them, a lot of the humour comes from that" reflects Mills.

Written over lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic and self-funded by the stars and their directors, the group sought to skip developing the sitcom - for which they've written a six-episode narrative arc - through the conventional process of working with a production company, which has allowed them to complete it quicker, retain more creative control and improvise more during filming.

"So many of those bits and pieces made it into the final cut" Mills recalls. "We would never have found those if we'd just submitted a script. Hopefully now we can get a reaction from it, get industry into the screening and have meetings, meetings, meetings!"

He and Burn are long-established friends from the comedy circuit who "enjoy bouncing off each other". They previously collaborated with Joe & Tim on two Holly & David sketch shorts, released at the beginning of lockdown in March 2020, the first of which you can watch here:

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