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Joe Lycett's United States Of Birmingham coming to Sky Max

ExclusiveTuesday 23rd April 2024, 9:00pm by Jay Richardson

Joe Lycett
  • Sky has ordered a three-part travel series from Joe Lycett, in which the the "self-appointed" ambassador for the UK's second city aims to visit all of the Birminghams in North America
  • From Canada's Saskatchewan province to the Deep South of the US, Joe Lycett's United States Of Birmingham will explore "collective Brummie cultural commonalities" as he tries to establish an international day for the city
  • The travelogue reunites Lycett with the creative team behind Travel Man on Channel 4

Joe Lycett is spreading his love for Birmingham internationally, with a Sky travel series in which he attempts to visit all of his home city's namesakes in North America, British Comedy Guide can exclusively reveal.

In Joe Lycett's United States Of Birmingham, shooting this summer and coming to Sky Max next year, the "self-appointed" ambassador for the UK's second city has decided that his home is having "a tough time of it". So with the blessing of the Lord Mayor, he's on a mission to "put Birmingham firmly back on the map - in fact, all over the map."

Over the course of the three hour-long episodes, Lycett will attempt to visit no fewer than 18 Birminghams, stretching from Canada's Saskatchewan province, down the East Coast, through the Midwest and into the Deep South.

"I am delighted to be making this show for Sky which will finally secure me enough money to move to London" Lycett said.

He will explore their history, their "collective Brummie cultural commonalities" and form official "Friendship Agreements" with as many US Birminghams as he can. As the climax of the series, Lycett will invite some of his new Brummie friends back to his own Birmingham for "what will doubtless become an annually bostin global event" - the International Day of Birmingham.

The proposed event echoes one the campaigning stand-up previously revealed himself as the mastermind behind in his 2022 live show.

In More, More, More! How Do You Lycett? How Do You Lycett?, he disclosed that he'd spent four years surreptitiously setting up the now established annual queer celebration, Queens Heath Pride, in his home suburb of King's Heath in Birmingham, supposedly to raise the value of his house.

Commemorated in Joe Lycett's Big Pride Party on Channel 4 that same year, a show that also featured Rosie Jones, Mawaan Rizwan, Julian Clary, Jen Ives and Mae Martin among others, the original stand-up show was then broadcast as a special by the channel in 2023.

Indeed, with Joe Lycett's United States Of Birmingham reuniting the comic with producer-director Nicola Silk and production company North One (in a co-production with Lycett's own outfit My Options Were Limited), the creative team that makes the Travel Man travel series for Channel 4, in which Lycett takes another comic on an international city break, the commission is arguably something of a coup for Sky, prising one of the terrestrial channel's most high-profile comedy faces away.

His live Friday night show, Late Night Lycett, is currently airing its second series on Channel 4. And he also fronts its mischievous consumer watchdog show Joe Lycett's Got Your Back.

Joe Lycett's United States Of Birmingham is executive produced by the comedian's manager, Hannah Chambers, and North One's Steve Gowans. The commissioning editor for Sky is Barbara Lee.

Earlier this month, Lycett announced that he was publishing "a colourful, shiny nonsense art book" this autumn.

Joe Lycett's Art Hole, released on the 26th September by Trapeze, features portraits of celebrities such as Harry Styles, Robert Peston, Nadine Dorries and Elaine Paige, and "tells the extraordinary and completely unbelievable stories behind my paintings" he told fans in an email newsletter.

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