100s of titles, one news app for just $10 a month.
Dive Deeper:
Bad Education and Detectorists get specials as BBC announces comedy investment
The BBC has promised to invest an extra £10 million into comedy over the next two years.
Detectorists and Bad Education returning for special one-off episodes
The BBC is promising to invest an extra £10million into comedy over the next ten years
Jack Whitehall's Bad Education returns to BBC for one-off special and spin-off series
Bad Education - which stars Jack Whitehall - will return to BBC Three for a one-off special to mark its…
Bad Education to return with anniversary special and spin-off series
Bad Education is to return for a special 10-year anniversary special followed by a new spin-off series, the BBC has…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
BBC announces new North East partnership to give local comedy talent a platform on TV
As the first BBC Comedy Festival gets under way in Newcastle, a North East Regional Partnership Scheme is unveiled with…
BBC drama Guilt to return for final season in 2022 - everything we know so far
BBC Scotland has announced on Wednesday that popular drama Guilt will be returning to our television screens for a third…
Get all your news in one place
Latest Entertainment news:
Margaret Pomeranz Reviewed Byron Baes & I Cannot Stop Watching Her Rip It To Shreds
"One could be forgiven for seeing these characters as soulless superficial rat humans."
Read news from The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more, with one subscription
Learn More
The Barker/Jenner Kids Gave Us Plebs A Peek Into Travis Kourt’s Third (!!!) Wedding
Watching along online is essentially the Pleb Invite to these things.
The Book That Said the Words I Couldn’t Say
As a teen, I didn’t always know how to express myself. A now-forgotten novel helped me find my voice.
Game On: NASA To Develop Virtual Mars Challenge
The space agency is collaborating with Epic Games to create a metaverse experience on the Red Planet. 
You need to watch Pierce Brosnan’s weirdest sci-fi thriller before it leaves HBO Max next week
In 1992, 'The Lawnmower Man' gained notoriety for its groundbreaking VR effects. But, the actual movie is better than just…
From analysis to good news, read the world’s best news in one place
MAFS Stars Visited Karen’s Diner It Resulted In Leaked DMs Cast Members Blocking Each Other
For Olivia, I'm sure visiting Karen's Diner is like the mothership calling her home.
'Stranger Things' Season 4 review: The Netflix hit recaptures the magic of Season 1
The new season of 'Stranger Things' is both a return to form and a marked maturity that indicates the Netflix…

BBC to invest £10m and double comedy pilots in bid to find next Fleabag

By Nadia Khomami Arts and culture correspondent
Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Fleabag in 2019.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Fleabag in 2019. Photograph: AP

The BBC will double the number of half-hour comedy pilots it makes and invest an extra £10m in the genre in a bid to find the next Fleabag or Motherland.

Sharing plans for the future of comedy at the corporation, the director of BBC Comedy, Jon Petrie, said his department was investing in its “development process”.

“We want relatable British characters with an angle we’ve not seen before, and we want high joke rates,” Petrie said in a speech at the BBC Comedy festival in Newcastle on Wednesday. “We also want shows that talk to younger audiences.”

The Bafta-winning producer behind Stath Lets Flats and People Just Do Nothing said the broadcaster was looking for shows that connected with its audience, “whether they’re big and broad or weird and provocative”.

These audiences, he added, are drawn to worlds that they can see themselves in. “It’s no accident that it’s the family home and the workplace that have proved the most enduring settings for sitcoms,” he said.

“Some of the most creatively brilliant and popular shows of the last couple of years, like Ghosts and Motherland, have that classic DNA in them but we get pitched comparatively few of those kinds of shows. So bring us more!”

Motherland won the award for best scripted comedy at the TV Baftas last weekend. The London-set sitcom, co-written by Sharon Horgan and starring Anna Maxwell Martin, follows a group of parents and their everyday challenges at the school gates.

“Motherland has now reached 25% of the population across its three series to date,” Petrie said. “Then there’s the runaway success, Ghosts, which shows the evergreen quality of comedy, as audiences continue to seek it out on iPlayer. The first episode of series one has been watched by 11.5 million to date.

“But it’s not just viewing figures. iPlayer is full of critical successes like Inside No. 9, In My Skin and Alma’s Not Normal. Authored pieces that empower talent to tell stories they care about and shows I am incredibly proud to inherit.”

Over half of all BBC comedy viewing now comes from iPlayer directly. Last year, iPlayer broadcast over 6bn requests with 538m of those for comedy shows.

Petrie said the new pilots “will be better funded, and they will all be non-TX. We want to show much less of our homework, allowing time and space to fail and for our new series to arrive as fully formed as possible.”

It comes as the BBC announced a host of new comedy programming, including the return of hit sitcom Bad Education, which will see Jack Whitehall reprise his role as teacher Alfie Wickers.

The show, which ran from 2012 to 2014, will be rebooted as a six-part series for its 10th anniversary. Whitehall said he is “so pumped” to return to the “show that launched my career”.

The Bafta-winning comedy Detectorists will also return after a five-year break for a 75-minute special, while actor and comedian Mawaan Rizwan has had a comedy, Juice, commissioned for a six-part series after a successful pilot episode.

Jack Carroll and Tom Gregory have written a new comedy short for BBC Three titled Mobility, and popular comedy shows Jerk, The Cleaner and Guilt have all been given further series.

BBC Comedy and BBC Sounds are also working together to commission four audio comedy pilots.

What is inkl?
The world’s most important news, from 100+ trusted global sources, in one place.
Morning Edition
Your daily
news overview

Morning Edition ensures you start your day well informed.

No paywalls, no clickbait, no ads
Enjoy beautiful reading

Content is only half the story. The world's best news experience is free from distraction: ad-free, clickbait-free, and beautifully designed.

Expert Curation
The news you need to know

Stories are ranked by proprietary algorithms based on importance and curated by real news journalists to ensure that you receive the most important stories as they break.

Dive Deeper:
Bad Education and Detectorists get specials as BBC announces comedy investment
The BBC has promised to invest an extra £10 million into comedy over the next two years.
Detectorists and Bad Education returning for special one-off episodes
The BBC is promising to invest an extra £10million into comedy over the next ten years
Jack Whitehall's Bad Education returns to BBC for one-off special and spin-off series
Bad Education - which stars Jack Whitehall - will return to BBC Three for a one-off special to mark its…
Bad Education to return with anniversary special and spin-off series
Bad Education is to return for a special 10-year anniversary special followed by a new spin-off series, the BBC has…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
BBC announces new North East partnership to give local comedy talent a platform on TV
As the first BBC Comedy Festival gets under way in Newcastle, a North East Regional Partnership Scheme is unveiled with…
BBC drama Guilt to return for final season in 2022 - everything we know so far
BBC Scotland has announced on Wednesday that popular drama Guilt will be returning to our television screens for a third…
Get all your news in one place