The Delightful Sausage pilot dark holiday camp sitcom

ExclusiveTuesday 19th July 2022, 11:10am by Jay Richardson

Image shows from L to R: Amy Gledhill, Chris Cantrill, The Delightful Sausage

Double act The Delightful Sausage are piloting a sitcom, "a really messed-up version of Hi-De-Hi!", British Comedy Guide can exclusively reveal.

Loosely based on their Edinburgh Comedy Award-nominated 2019 live show Ginster's Paradise, Amy Gledhill and Chris Cantrill have written a half-hour script for the dark comedy set in a holiday camp and shot a taster, which they are currently shopping around television channels.

"Gary Ginster was the camp's owner, unseen during the live show but fed through via interviews" Cantrill explains. "In the [television] world, Geraldine Ginster is in charge of the camp and me and Amy are the entertainers. But we're within a broader team of people who work at the camp. It's presented like a light, 1980s thing.

"But the twists that happened in the Edinburgh show [are there] like Series 3 reveals. There's this dual reality thing of everything feeling upbeat and fun but there's a dark undertone running through it, the kind of stuff we do in the live shows. Like Agatha Christie-type twists and turns."

With The League Of Gentlemen's Jeremy Dyson helping them as script editor, the taster was originally made for the BBC - from whom Gledhill was awarded the 2018 Caroline Aherne Bursary, which rewards character comedians who "radiate a Northern authenticity" with £5000 and mentoring - but is no longer being developed with the corporation.

Directed by Joe Roberts (Nick Helm, Morning Person) for Various Artists Limited (Dead Pixels, Henpocalypse!), who also made last year's Radio 2 sketch pilot The Delightful Sausage On Staycations, the television pilot is produced by Hannah Moulder (Juice). Moulder is also directing the pair's return to the Edinburgh Fringe with The Delightful Sausage: Nowt But Sea.

With the premise that "Amy and Christopher-Louise are lured, sorry, not lured, invited to the island of elite celebrity agent to the stars Cedric L'Shay" Cantrill explains, the duo's regular collaborator Paul Dunphy is taking a more prominent role in this show to play the superagent. "We think it's going to be an amazing opportunity and we might finally catch our big break. The references for it are Christie once again and Alfred Hitchcock.

"Whenever we've done a bit of telly and needed an extra person, it's always been Paul. But now he's on stage, playing a character and it's really exciting. Because the relationship of our characters is very clear, we've established it over five years. But now there's this new element in the mix, affecting it. The wedge he drives between Chris and Amy is very ambitious, technically. We're currently sweating to pull together a lot of video content and Jake Yapp is making us a big opening song. We've a pool of lovely, very talented, quite odd boys that do amazing stuff for us."

Delightful Sausage. Image shows from L to R: Chris Cantrill, Amy Gledhill

Meanwhile, he and Gledhill are also taking their debut stand-up shows to the festival.

"I did a weird, one-man sketch show in 2015 [Welcome to Tiddleminster] that was critically lauded [one review, five stars] yet very sparsely attended" Cantrill recalls. However, his new hour, The Bad Boy expresses "that I've had a muddled time over the last couple of years.

"When we locked down, I had the brilliant idea to relocate in the middle of a global pandemic and open a bed and breakfast on Hadrian's Wall on the Scottish border. So it's basically about these years and my relationship with my son, which is fractious, as he's told me he doesn't love me. And I've told him he has to love me.

"Well, he say that he loves my wife a million. And he loves me too but only six. So I've hatched a plan to get him back onboard by telling him that I've done serious time in a penitentiary. Which has gone a bit wrong. Now he loves the idea of prison because he loves gangs and hates girls at the minute, so things are getting worse."

Having watched Gledhill's show, The Girl Before The Girl You Marry, in previews, he enthuses that it's "brilliant.

"She describes herself as like a property developer with men" he explains. "She tends to get this dilapidated fixer upper, gets it ready, then moves on and the bloke gets married almost straightaway. It would be heartbreaking if it wasn't so funny."

The Delightful Sausage have just released a recording of the live Ginster's Paradise show, featuring a voiceover by Johnny Vegas, filmed at Chapeltown Picture House in Manchester and available to buy at Go Faster Stripe. And they're already gearing up to film Nowt But Sea in November.

Making the podcast A Lovely Time With Amy Gledhill, in which his double act partner interviews fellow comics about their favourite ways to spend a day, Cantrill's A Lovely Time Productions, which he runs with promoter John Stansfield, have big ambitions, including more live shows, tours and a short film.

"Obviously getting started in a pandemic was sensible" he jokes. "But we've pulled off so much in a year and I'm a real spreadsheet kind of guy. Production is still so London-centric that I'm really keen to be putting more stuff on in Manchester and further afield."

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