From November through to January, BBC Wales will be showing brand new comedy programmes, with some familiar faces, as well as up-and-coming talent across its services. This is part of an ongoing commitment from BBC Wales to support and develop the next generation of comedy writers and performers.
Kicking off the festival on BBC One Wales is comedy-drama pilot Mammoth, written and starring comedian and actor Mike Bubbins (Tourist Trap: The Unexplainers). 42 years after being engulfed by an avalanche on a school skiing trip in 1979, Tony Mammoth (played by Bubbins) is miraculously brought back to life. Playing his best friend is Fresh Prince of Bel Air star Joseph Marcell.
Expect to laugh and cry in equal measure with the second series of BAFTA award-winning comedy drama In My Skin, which follows the story of Bethan (Gabrielle Creevy: The Pact), a Welsh teenager leading a double life as she negotiates a mentally ill mother, an abusive father, friendships, and sexuality.
As well as comedy drama, the sketch show Age of Outrage returns with a six part series that makes light of the frustrations of modern life. And from mid-November, comedian Kiri Pritchard-McLean will be hosting four brand new stand up shows Live From Aberystwyth Pier, showcasing up-and-coming Welsh talent, alongside more established comedians.
Long-running BBC Radio Wales sitcom Bravo 2 Charlies will make its TV debut starring Martin Trenaman (The Inbetweeners), alongside two separate series of short form films Backwashed and Vandullz featuring writers and performers who have previously worked with BBC Sesh – BBC Wales’ platform to help develop creative talent across Wales with content aimed at 18-34 year olds. Golden Cobra, a new animated short film will also be shown.
Based on her experiences of growing up in an Indian family in the south Wales valleys and her relationship with her mother, up-and-coming Welsh comedian Priya Hall has turned a former BBC Radio Wales show into a TV short called Beena and Amrit, with the help of writer Sarah Breese. Priya plays Beena and Meera Syal (Goodness Gracious Me, The Kumars at No.42) plays her mother.
There will be more to look forward to in the New Year with the second series of sitcom The Tuckers, about the close-knit family, determined to survive through any means necessary, starring and written by Steve Speirs, which returns to BBC One Wales.
And to sum up the variety of comedy content, all of the TV programmes will be made available in a Festival of Funny collection on BBC iPlayer.
On BBC Radio Wales, there will be a collection of comedy programmes including a new series of The Leak, a fictional topical show led by comedian Tom Price, an award-winning musical sitcom The Musical Life Of…and a brand new Aberystwyth Stand-Up Show, hosted by Kiri Pritchard McLean.
On BBC Radio Cymru, Welsh language panel show Chwalu Pen with Mari Lövgreen is full of laughs, (now available on BBC Sounds into the New Year), along with Uffern Iaith y Nefoedd, a language based panel show with the linguist Gruffudd Owen, also available on BBC Sounds.
Up-and-coming Welsh comedian Priya Hall, who co-wrote Beena & Amrit says: “I’m so excited to see Beena and Amrit on BBC One Wales this winter as part of the Festival of Funny. Having the chance to adapt a former BBC Radio Wales drama into a TV show was such an awesome experience and to act in it alongside the great Meera Syal was a dream come true. Also, writing the script with Sarah Breese was such a fun process so I hope everyone enjoys watching it!”
Paul Forde, Commissioning Editor for BBC Wales says: “It’s great to be producing comedy again after the pandemic derailed our plans in 2020. I’m really proud of the range of different comedies that we’ve managed to cover in this Festival of Funny season. It demonstrates the wealth of comedy talent that is currently available to us in Wales, both new and established.”