With the imminent release of Rose Matefeo’s brand new romcom Starstruck on BBC Three at the end of April, this coming year marks a watershed moment in broadcasting history with most BBC Three comedy either starring, written by or created by women. BBC Three will be the first UK channel to achieve this landmark in female representation with 58% of long-form scripted comedy written by women.
Upcoming titles include Lazy Susan, Starstruck and Ellie and Natasia plus the second series of both In My Skin and Back to Life.
In addition to this, the BBC today announces four new BBC Comedy Slices for BBC Three, all of which are written by and/or star female talent: Ladybaby, Amicable, Dinosaur and Britney, which results in the majority of comedy programmes on BBC Three now being female led.
Kate Daughton, outgoing Head of Comedy at the BBC, says: “Building on the huge success of Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Daisy May Cooper, this marks a monumental achievement and is testament to the fact the most pioneering and exciting new voices in comedy are increasingly female.”
Kate leaves the Comedy Commissioning team today having made a tremendous impact overseeing a raft of female first titles. Since Kate’s arrival in 2017 she has commissioned and nurtured Fleabag, Mum, Ghosts, Gavin & Stacey: Christmas Special (2019), This Time With Alan Partridge, Back to Life, The Goes Wrong Show, Out of Her Mind, Two Doors Down, In My Skin and Man Like Mobeen. Alongside the forthcoming Witchfinder, Alma’s Not Normal and Stephen Merchant series The Offenders (w/t).
Shane Allen, Director of BBC Comedy, says: “Five years ago there were still articles asking where all the funny women were. That hoary old nonsense can finally be dispensed with once and for all. It’s a level playing field with the most vibrant and dynamic work coming through from females writers and writer performers who are elevating the art form of comedy and expanding its horizons. As for Kate Daughton, no longer will she curse at me for loud sneezing in the office. Partly because she’s leaving and mostly because we’ve not been in the office. Truly bereft; in denial that she’s off and we’re lucky to have had her for so long.”
Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer, says: “Kate’s impeccable taste, whip smart comedy brain and beguiling ways with talent have had a transformative impact on the comedy output in her time here. The fact that BBC Three can claim to be the first UK channel with a majority of female led and written scripted comedy is in large part down to her vision and passion for backing genre defining female creatives. She’ll be sorely missed but thankfully leaves behind a terrific legacy of shows ahead.”
Written by Matilda Curtis, Dinosaur features Nina, played by Ashley Storrie.
Nina is Autistic, but has never sought any kind of diagnosis. She’s always felt a little different from other people but she finds happiness in the world thanks to her passion for palaeontology and her friendship with her bubbly younger sister Evie. However, when Evie asks Nina to be her maid of honour, Nina decides to step out of her comfort zone with a challenge: to find herself a date to bring to the wedding.
Dinosaur is a Two Brothers production for BBC Three, commissioned by Shane Allen, Director of Comedy and Fiona Campbell, Controller BBC Three. The Executive Producers are Harry Williams and Jack Williams. Tanya Qureshi takes over as Commissioning Editor from Kate Daughton.
Written by and starring Charly Clive and Ellen Robertson, Britney is based on the sell-out live show. It is the true story of an extraordinary friendship amidst the reality of living with a brain tumour diagnosis (the tumour is fondly named Britney after the one and only icon).
Britney is a Drama Republic production for BBC Three, commissioned by Shane Allen, Director of Comedy and Fiona Campbell, Controller BBC Three. The Executive Producers are Roanna Benn, Jen Kenwood and Mike Bartlett. Tanya Qureshi takes over as Commissioning Editor from Kate Daughton.
Created and written by Kirstie Swain, and made by Kudos (part of Banijay UK)
Ladybaby is a comedy set in Edinburgh about a thirtysomething woman unexpectedly reunited with the daughter she gave up for adoption when she was fifteen.
Ladybaby is a Kudos Film & TV production for BBC Three and BBC Scotland, commissioned by Shane Allen, Director of Comedy and Fiona Campbell, Controller BBC Three. The Executive Producers are Kirstie Swain and Phil Temple. The Commissioning Editors for the BBC are Ben Caudell and Gavin Smith.
Created, written by and starring Jude Mack and Eliot Salt. Made by Avalon.
Ally and Leah have just broken up. As modern feminists and mature, evolved queer legends, they are determined for it to be problem-free and above all, amicable.
Amicable is a ‘will they/won’t they/should they’ comedy, with a joyful, hilarious and utterly disastrous couple at its heart.
Amicable is an Avalon production for BBC Three, commissioned by Shane Allen, Director of Comedy and Fiona Campbell, Controller BBC Three. The Executive Producer is Rob Aslett. Gregor Sharp takes over as Commissioning Editor from Kate Daughton.