Sky Commissions New Comedies ‘The Queen and I’ starring David Walliams & ‘Hitmen’ starring Mel & Sue
Sky has announced a pile of new and returning comedies including ‘The Queen and I’ starring David Walliams, ‘Hitmen’ starring Mel & Sue and a 2nd Season of Idris Elba’s ‘In the Long Run‘.
‘The Queen and I’ is a one-off 90min special, based on a novel by Sue Townsend, which stars David Walliams, Samantha Bond and Johnny Vegas arriving this Christmas. The show is set as the People’s Republican Party is elected to power and the monarchy is dismantled by the unfathomably popular Prime Minister Jack Barker (Walliams). This sees the Royal Family and the dethroned Queen (Bond) evicted from Buckingham Palace and forced to lead normal lives as citizens of a republic. ‘The Queen and I’ began filming last week, with Walliams and Bond being joined by a star cast including Amanda Abbington, Francis Barber and Johnny Vegas.
“‘The Queen and I’ is a truly unique, feature-length adaptation of the late Sue Townsend’s original novel and we at King Bert are so proud to be bringing her incredible work to the screen,” commented Jo Sargent, Head of King Bert Productions, who are producing the comedy. “Our wonderful cast, led by Samantha Bond and our very own David Walliams bring the storyline to life in the way that only they can. We’re delighted to be working with Sky One, which is such a natural home for comedy of the highest quality, and I can’t wait for viewers to see the show when it airs later this year/next year.”
‘Hitmen’ sees Sue Perkins and Mel Giedroyc star as two best friends trying to make their way in the world with only each other to rely on… They also just happen to kill people for a living…
Having stumbled into a career in contract killing, misfits Fran and Jamie (Perkins and Giedroyc) are not your typical killers for hire. Working out of their scruffy van, each episode follows the hapless duo as they try to carry out their latest hit, inevitably derailed by incompetence, bickering, and inane antics. As each hit goes south, our (anti)heroes are thrown into one bizarre misadventure after another, each full of oddball characters and unexpected dilemmas.
Across the series, as the mishaps – and bodies – rack up, Fran and Jamie’s friendship is put through the wringer: while affable goof Jamie seems content to spend her days hanging out with her best mate, the more sensitive Fran starts to question whether it’s really the life she wants. Will their friendship survive their trials and tribulations? More to the point, as the jobs get increasingly dangerous, will they even survive?
“It’s THIRTY YEARS AGO that I met Sue Perkins, and we had happy times together playing ridiculous characters, then spent hours in a fetid van in order to release them around the country,” commented Giedroyc. “Essentially nothing has changed in the Mel/Sue collective. And that’s a great comfort.”
“I’m delighted to be part of this project, I can’t wait to sit for months on end in a hot van with my old, flatulent, double act partner,” adds Perkins.
Sky also announced that Idris Elba and Bill Bailey are set to return to our screens as Sky One in a 2nd series of the award-winning, comedy ‘In The Long Run’. The story will continue to follow the adventures of Walter, Agnes, Valentine and their neighbours Bagpipes and Kirsty. The series, created and produced by Idris Elba of Green Door Pictures and produced with Gina Carter of Sprout Pictures, is loosely based on Elba’s own childhood and explores life growing up on an estate in 1980s London. With a warm roster of returning actors on hand including Madeline Appiah, Jimmy Akingbola and Kellie Shirley, the 2nd series promises to inject a dose of 80s nostalgia as audiences settle in for Autumn 2019 line-up.
In addition to those comedies, Sky has also commisioned 7 comedy shorts, with a cast including Alex Brooker, Lee Ridley (aka Lost Voice Guy), Jonny Pelham, Kris Marshall, Samson Kayo, Susan Wokoma, and Sindhu Vee. This list of established and emerging comedy performers will be given the opportunity to show comedy fans around the country something fresh and different – from a train passenger dealing with an overzealous guard to one man facing a life-changing operation – and so much more.
All seven shorts will be available on demand on Sky from 25 September 2018, followed by a linear transmission on Sky Arts beginning 10 October 2018.