Detectorists and Bad Education returning for special one-off episodes
Hit BBC comedies Detectorists and Bad Education are returning for special one-off episodes. It comes as the broadcaster pledged to invest an extra £10 million into the genre over the next two years.
It says it will double the number of half-hour pilot episodes it makes. Meanwhile popular comedy shows Jerk, The Cleaner and Guilt have all been given further series.
Bad Education is returning for a 10-year anniversary episode, with Jack Whitehall reprising his role as teacher Alfie Wickers. The show, which ran from 2012 to 2014, will also be rebooted with a new cast for a six-part series that will see two former students, Stephen and Mitchell, on the other side of the desk as newly qualified teachers.
Whitehall said he is “so pumped” to return to the “show that launched my career”. He said: “I have such fond memories and it will be great for the fans to check in and find out what class K have been up to since they left and if Alfie Wickers is still as much of a melt as they remember.
“The new rebooted series is so exciting. I’m so old and irrelevant, I’ve decided it’s best I take more of a producer role with Bad Education, but we’ve assembled a young, talented group of writers led by the brilliant Nathan Bryon, who will be carrying the torch.”
The Bafta-winning comedy Detectorists will also return after a five-year break for a 75-minute special. The show’s writer and director Mackenzie Crook will be back to star alongside Toby Jones to offer fans an update on the lives of metal detecting hobbyists, Lance and Andy, later this year.
Crook said: “I’ve had a story percolating for a while and I thought it was worth getting Lance, Andy and the rest of the band back together for. The affection expressed for Detectorists over the years has been incredible and I hope fans of the show will enjoy this new, extended episode.”
Actor and comedian Mawaan Rizwan’s comedy Juice has also been commissioned for a six-part series following a successful pilot episode. The show sees Rizwan star as Jamma, who is desperate to be the centre of attention but whose family are constantly stealing his thunder, with Russell Tovey playing his boyfriend Guy.
And funnymen Jack Carroll and Tom Gregory have written a new comedy short titled Mobility for BBC Three. It will follow three Huddersfield teenagers with nothing in common except for the mobility bus they catch to school.
BBC Comedy and BBC Sounds will also work together to commission four audio comedy pilots. Their aim is to “work with new and emerging performers on crafting comedy characters or personas that have the potential to be developed further”.
The BBC is also launching a new producer and director bursary to allow creatives to hone their crafts. And the broadcaster will launch BBC Comedy Short Films in June, bringing their existing short-form strands together.
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