A suggested New Year’s Resolution for Jon Petrie, Director of Comedy at the BBC

Never mind all the usual personal resolutions that nobody ever keeps for more than a day or two, here’s one that should be kept for the benefit of all TV viewers:

Give series orders to three of the best sitcom pilots of 2021:


In this pilot episode, Mike Bubbins, an accomplished actor and stand-up comedian, has created an interesting character in Tony Mammoth. He is a likeable, understanding and sympathetic teacher looking after the interests of his charges despite the best efforts of his head teacher (who probably wasn’t even born when the avalanche happened) to find every reason he can to undermine Mammoth’s position.

Bubbins’ sitcom has some good lines, clever moments and is worthy of developing into a series. Mammoth’s interaction with his peer group, who are now septuagenarians of course, has plenty of scope for development, so too does his conflict with the head teacher, as this latter day Lazarus comes to terms with the PC world in which he now finds himself.
Full review here

Bravo Two Charlies

Billed as a TV pilot of the long-running BBC Radio Wales sitcom, Bravo Two Charlies, made its debut as part of BBC Wales’ Festival of Funny season. At around 11 minutes long it is more of a series of quick sketches than a sitcom but has all the ingredients to be successful in a 30 minute format. There’s plenty of scope for character development, and as it’s been on the radio for years there are no doubt plenty of backstories on which to draw.

Written by Matt Leys and Martin Trenaman, who also stars, it follows the day-to-day lives of the North Wales Traffic Police. In this all too short pilot episode, the force is on a clamp down on illegal vehicles. PC Dennis Babb (Trenaman) and PC Lee Cushion’s (Rhys ap Trefor) day gets disrupted as a  firmware update to the patrol vehicle’s computerised system causes a malfunction,  leaving the officers trapped inside with no apparent means of escape.

There’s enough in this short to leave you wanting more.


Created and written by Charly Clive and Ellen Robertson. Based on the true story of Charly’s diagnosis of a brain tumour. Having graduated from drama school she had been living in New York and was working for a seedy agency, staffed by oddball characters handing out flyers around Times Square, while trying to find work as an actor. On what was meant to be a short trip back to her parent’s home in Oxfordshire, Charly went to see the GP, after not having had a period for a few months. She underwent an MRI scan which found the tumour. The news, received over the telephone, knocked the bottom out of her world. As part of the coping mechanism Charly names the tumour Britney rather than have to call it a tumour.

This may not sound like the basis for a sitcom but the creators manage to wring plenty of humour out of the situation. It’s a part funny, part poignant but nevertheless uplifting story of a longstanding bond between the two girls. A story of a joyous friendship.

Read full review here

2021 has been a great year for new sitcoms with brilliant new shows like Alama’s Not Normal, Starstruck and We Are Lady Parts so come on BBC get 2022 off to a flying start: get your commissioning pen out.

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