Sky unveils major new commitment to UK comedy

Sky today announced a major commitment to original British comedy, with a raft of new shows for its flagship entertainment channel, Sky1.

The line-up features some of the UK’s best loved names including Ruth Jones, Dawn French, Victoria Wood, Catherine Tate, Kathy Burke, Stephen Fry, Bill Bailey and Sally Lindsay.

The new commissions are part of Sky’s ongoing commitment to invest in must-see content which delivers more value to existing customers and creates more reasons to join Sky. Supported by a multi-million pound investment fund, the new productions will complement the success of the Emmy® and Golden Globe® nominated Modern Family and the multi award- winningThe Simpsons.

The first commissions to be announced include:

Stella – the brainchild of Ruth Jones, the co-writer and co-star of the multi-award winning Gavin and Stacey.

Mount Pleasant – a comedy drama following the not-so-perfect life of Mancunian thirty-something Lisa (Sally Lindsay, Coronation Street), and her husband Dan (Daniel Ryan, The Street).

This Is Jinsy – an eccentric comedy written by and starring newcomers Chris Bran andJustin Chubbabout the bizarre residents of the fictional Island of Jinsy.

Little Crackers – a season of autobiographical comic shorts from Britain’s best-loved stars for this Christmas’ schedule. The all-star line-up, many making their debut on Sky, includesDawn French, Catherine Tate, Kathy Burke, Stephen Fry. Victoria Wood and Bill Bailey will also be directing their tales.

These are the first raft of HD comedies to be announced with more to be confirmed in the coming months.

This announcement followsSky1 HD’s commitment to original drama which was unveiled in March 2008. Since then Sky1 HD has received critical and commercial success with BAFTA-winning drama including Martina Cole’s The Take, Skellig, Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal and Chris Ryan’s Strike Back.Over the next year Sky1 HD will also transmit thorne starring David Morrissey and Mad Dogs starring Max Beesley, Philip Glenister, John Simm and Marc Warren.

The new comedy strategy has been overseen Sky’s Head of Comedy, Lucy Lumsden. Together with her former BBC colleague, Stuart Murphy they were responsible for hits includingLittle Britain, Gavin and Stacey, The Mighty Boosh, Early Doors, Pulling, 3 Non Blondes, Monkey Dustand Nighty Night.

Lucy Lumsden, Head Of Comedy, Sky1 HD, Sky 1, Sky 2 and Sky 3, commented: “It’s been an exciting time spreading the good news about Sky’s investment in comedy and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to attract a wealth of comedy talent. Sky’s investment in original comedy is testament to our long-term commitment to original and innovative programming.”

Stuart Murphy, Director of Programmes, Sky1 HD, Sky 1, Sky 2 and Sky 3 added: “It’s great to be working with Lucy again. She is the leader in her field and has made sure that customers benefit from her considerable experience and brilliant sense of humour. This really will be content worth paying for.”


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