Him & Her's Kerry Howard & Russell Tovey reunite for dark Sky comedy

ExclusiveMonday 4th July 2022, 8:58am by Jay Richardson

Image shows from L to R: Kerry Howard, Russell Tovey

Him & Her stars Kerry Howard and Russell Tovey are reuniting for a dark comedy drama for Sky, British Comedy Guide can exclusively reveal.

The pair have written and star in Both Sides Now, which co-stars Susan Wokoma and is executive produced by Romesh Ranganathan.

The 30-minute comedy is one of several being made by Ranganathan's production company Ranga Bee in co-production with Sky Studios, alongside pilots from comedians Rosie Jones, Jordan Brookes, Jessica Fostekew and Jen Brister, among others.

Having shot a pilot in south-west Wales in February, Howard recently shared an update of her and Tovey in a rehearsal room together with the caption: "Something is cooking! And it smells fucking good!"

Alongside Howard, who is currently appearing with Caroline Quentin in the stage comedy Jack Absolute Flies Again at the National Theatre, written by One Man, Two Guvnors' Richard Bean, and Tovey, who plays the boyfriend of Mawaan Rizwan's character Jamma in the comedian's upcoming BBC Three sitcom Juice, Both Sides Now also features Fanny Sidney (Call My Agent!), Richard Elis (Tourist Trap) and Kelly Wenham (Tales From The Lodge).

Directed by Rebecca Rycroft (Bucket, Gap Year) and produced by Jane Bell (The Reluctant Landlord, Buffering), details of the plot currently remain under wraps.

Tovey and Sarah Solemani starred in four series of BBC Three's cult sleeper hit sitcom Him & Her as feckless young couple Steve and Becky, with most of the episodes set almost exclusively in their messy bedsit.

Him & Her. Image shows from L to R: Becky (Sarah Solemani), Steve (Russell Tovey), Laura (Kerry Howard), Paul (Ricky Champ), Dan (Joe Wilkinson)

Howard was BAFTA-nominated for her portrayal of Laura, Becky's sister, whose marriage to Paul (Ricky Champ) is the focus of the final series, which won a Bafta for best sitcom. Airing from 2010 to 2013, Him & Her launched the television career of writer Stefan Golaszewski, who went on to write and direct the acclaimed Mum and upcoming Marriage.

Meanwhile, Ranga Bee, which Ranganathan runs with Benjamin Green, is piloting several of the comedy shorts that Sky are planning to air later this year. Jones and Brister have teamed up for Past Caring, while Seen comes from 2019 Edinburgh Comedy Award-winner Brookes and is directed by Jack Carrivick. Real Friends is written by and stars Fostekew and is directed by comedian-turned-filmmaker Rachel Stubbings.

The production company currently has the sitcom Avoidance airing on BBC One and recently filmed Romantic Getaway for Sky, both starring Ranganathan, the former with Jessica Knappett and the latter with Katherine Ryan.

The Ranganation. Romesh Ranganathan. Copyright: Zeppotron

Ranga Bee has a first-look deal with Sky Studios. And Ranganathan explained in an interview with Broadcast on Friday that they are hoping to emulate Baby Cow and Merman, whose work has graduated beyond being star vehicles for respective founders Steve Coogan and Sharon Horgan.

"As soon as you hear they have a show coming out, you think, 'Whoever's involved, this is probably going to be good'" he enthused. "I want people to be excited about our shows as this encourages more talent to come work with us."

Emphasising his desire to nurture newer talent, he continued: "I want to give talent authorship, but also the guidance and experience to help them make the show that best showcases them, whether as a writer, an actor or a presenter. You want a show's flavour to come from the person who is at the centre of it all. You don't want to trim off the edges."

Ranga Bee recently made online star Amelia Dimoldenberg's YouTube series Celebrity Rebrand. And he added: "It would be really exciting to get in with somebody really early on and take them through whatever the various stages of their career might be."

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