Bursting with flavour, E4 announces tasty new comedy series for 2015
E4 has green-lit a brand new comedy series from multi-talented actor, singer, poet and award-winning playwright Michaela Coel, who also stars as lead.
In Chewing Gum, Coel plays Tracey Gordon, a religious Beyoncé-obsessed 22-year-old who is fast finding out that the more she learns about the world, the less she understands.
Tracey and her mates are in their early twenties, living in an estate in Tower Hamlets, east London. Some of them have full time jobs, some are in uni, some are already parents. But really - they are all stuck. Stuck in their youth and still trying to coast through their days with minimum responsibility. Future plans don’t extend much beyond saving up for the latest pair of trainers, a new car, or a Cambodian Weave. They live in the moment.
Tracey, however, seems capable of more. But growing up in a strict religious environment means she is ‘underdeveloped’ in many areas, and so her path into adulthood has been... interesting. She is wise, but innocent, genuflecting equally to both her idols - Beyoncé and Jesus. Living in a swiftly changing London, we watch as she crashes her way through what she should and shouldn’t be doing.
This autumn Coel will showcase the character of Tracey Gordon, and tease the forthcoming E4 show, via two uniquely authored Comedy Blaps, which can be watched via Channel 4’s dedicated online platform for short form content.
Rachel Springett, Commissioning Editor for Channel 4 Comedy said: “Michaela Coel is a force to be reckoned with. Having seen her perform at the National Theatre I was immediately blown away. Immeasurably talented and brimming with energy and ideas, I’m thrilled to work alongside her, and Retort to bring her unique vision to the E4 audience.”
Jon Rolph, Managing Director of Retort, and Executive Producer of Chewing Gum commented: “We are delighted to be bringing Michaela's debut series to E4. Her vivid, heartfelt writing and brilliant, grounded performance capture a world we all recognise and make it fresh, personal and funny. We can't wait to see it on screen.”
Both the Blap and brand new E4 series are inspired by Coel’s award-winning one-woman play Chewing Gum Dreams. The play premiered at the Yard Theatre in Hackney Wick in 2012 before transferring to the National Theatre in 2014 where it won further acclaim from the press and public alike, with Time Out calling it ‘vital’ and ‘transformative.’ Chewing Gum sees Coel’s characters six years on from the play, having left the innocence of teenage dreams behind to enter a world of adult confusion.
The new 6 x 30 series will air on E4 in 2015 and is commissioned by Rachel Springett. Jon Rolph is Exec Producer and Kelly McGolpin is Producer. Retort is the production company. The Blaps will air this autumn.
Notes to Editors:
Chewing Gum joins Bad Robots as one of the first successful multi-platform transitions - moving from Channel 4’s dedicated online platform for new talent Comedy Blaps to full series for E4.
With 2.6 million views and counting, Comedy Blaps is Channel 4’s dedicated online showcase to help develop new programme ideas and discover tomorrow's comedy stars today. Comedy Blaps: available at http://comedyBlaps.channel4.com/