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Comedy May 2013

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Phil Clarke said: “I’m delighted to have hit the ground running by being able to announce two new series; Trojan Donkey, a new spin on the prank show; and Toast of London starring the glorious Matt Berry and co- written by Arthur Mathews, of Father Ted fame. We’re also hoping to add to the awards mantelpiece with the return of Cardinal Burns, moving to a new home on C4, Friday Night Dinner 3 and a much anticipated The IT Crowd special. It’s exhilarating to be working with such an amazing range of talent here at C4”

Just in case you missed any, here they all are together – we like to make it easy.

Cardinal Burns 2

The award winning E4 sketch show Cardinal Burns, aka duo Seb Cardinal and Dustin Demri-Burns, will return next year to a new home on Channel 4, for a second series. The 6 x 30minute series will be produced by Left Bank Pictures and was commissioned by C4’s Comedy Commissioner Rachel Springett. Sketch shows have been a mainstay of British TV comedy, well for just about forever. But despite the longevity and familiarity of the genre, every now and again, a sketch show comes along that manages to feel fresh, different and - crucially - funny, all at the same time - Cardinal Burns was that show, with their roll call of brilliantly conceived characters and finely-honed comic writing. And we’re not alone in thinking that. The first series has been covered with awards including a British Comedy Award, two Broadcast Awards, a Loaded LAFTA award for Funniest TV Show and a BAFTA Nomination (Sunday May 12, 2013)

Friday Night Dinner 3

Big Talk Productions and Popper Pictures have been commissioned by Nerys Evans to produce a third series of the critically-acclaimed and multi-award winning comedy ‘Friday Night Dinner’ for Channel 4, with Tamsin Greig, Paul Ritter, Simon Bird and Tom Rosenthal returning as the Goodman Family and Mark Heap once again arriving unannounced as Jim. In the new series, Adam gains a new female admirer - an 11-year old girl, Jonny gets the world's worst tattoo, Dad gives the boys a graphic lecture on sex education, Mum practices being a counsellor on her horrified family, Grandma goes back out with the terrifying Mr Morris, Jim accidentally swallows his dog’s sleeping pills, and... there's a wedding.

IT Crowd

The IT Crowd, a Retort production (part of FremantleMedia UK) in association with Delightful Industries, will return to Channel 4 screens later this year in a one-off special. The episode, written and directed by Graham Linehan and produced by Richard Boden, will feature all four stars, Chris O’Dowd, Richard Ayoade, Katherine Parkinson and Matt Berry. Filming of the 45minute special episode will take place in June. Deputy Head of Comedy Nerys Evans said: “Only the power of Graham’s magical writing could bring back together four of the UK’s brightest comedy stars, for an un-missable one off episode special that will screen later in the year on C4. Whether it is the final …. Well we like to say never-say-never.”

Trojan Donkey

Trojan Donkey is a new hidden camera comedy that takes all that’s good in ‘old style’ covert filming to show us how funny life can be when we think no one is watching. With a cast of strange but lovable characters, Trojan Donkey seeks out situations to confuse and engage the public as they go about their everyday lives. It’s a sketch show that the ‘straight man’ doesn’t realise that he/she is participating in and is commissioned by Comedy Assistant Editor, Laura Riseam for Channel 4. Trojan Donkey stars PJ Gallagher, Jim Nugent and Sharon Mannion and is 5 x 30mins, produced by Double Z Enterprises and Waddell Media. The series will transmit over the summer.

Toast of London

Channel 4 has commissioned a 6x30 series of the critically acclaimed ‘Funny Fortnight’ pilot, Toast of London, from Objective Productions. Starring Matt Berry, the series starts filming in June and will TX later this year. The comedy sees Berry play Steven Toast, an eccentric actor with a chequered past who spends more time dealing with problems off stage than performing on it. The pilot was broadcast in August 2012 as part of Channel 4's Funny Fortnight season of comedies marking the channel's 30th birthday. Written by Arthur Mathews (co-creator of Channel 4's iconic, Father Ted) alongside Matt, it garnered rave reviews and featured in Radio Times’ Top 40 shows of 2012 and Heat Magazine said it was the “flat out funniest half hour of TV” in the week the pilot was broadcast.

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