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Britain's 7 best new comedies


We kick off our sitcom competition with words from the people behind the most exciting British shows...

1. Moone boy

Chris O’Dowd, actor/writer

“I wrote Moone Boy with a friend, Nick Murphy, which was a great way to write. We didn’t write in the same room, rather we passed the script back and forth. It’s about a kid growing up in his own little world and his sisters who live to torture him – that was essentially my life. I wrote a short for Sky, which did well, and then they asked if I had any ideas for a sitcom, so I just used the same idea. Shows such as Roseanne and The Simpsons were touchstones.”

Moone Boy starts on Sky 1 HD on 14 September.

2. Toast of London

Matt Berry, actor/writer

“We’ve just done the pilot so far. We [Berry and Father Ted writer Arthur Mathews] are writing more episodes, so we’ll see. It’s about an actor [Steven Toast, played by Berry] who’s reached that age men get to where they’re quicker to irritate. “Our writing process isn’t structured. Arthur and I are like correspondents sending each other stuff. My advice [to aspiring sitcom writers] is to jot down anything funny straight away. I’m obsessed with funny names, I text Arthur whenever I think of one. ‘Carey Lineker’ – no relation to Gary – didn’t make it on to the show. Neither did ‘Dan Widdecombe’.”

Toast Of London by Objective Productions is now on 4oD and part of C4’s Funny Fortnight, continuing until 27 August

3. Hebburn

Chris Ramsey, actor

“Hebburn is a family sitcom about a guy who’s unwillingly going back to

his roots. It’s inspired by events that happened in my mate Jason’s [Cook – writer/actor] life. Weirdly, I’ve ended up playing the part based on him and he’s played the character based on me. So, it ended up getting confusing during filming [laughs]. “I’m used to doing stand-up, so making a sitcom with no studio audience was really interesting because you don’t get that immediate feedback from the crowd. “Vic Reeves is in the show too – he was amazing to work with. There’s a scene where his character is trying to get some food off my character’s plate. I think it must have taken us three hours to film it because I couldn’t stop laughing. In the end, I had to say to the director, ‘Look – it’s Vic Reeves. How can I not laugh at him?’”

Hebburn begins on BBC Two at the end of 2012

4. Bad Education

Sarah Solemani, actor

“Bad Education centres on Alfie (Jack Whitehall), a bad teacher at a comprehensive. He’s a bigger kid than the pupils. I play Miss Gulliver – a biology teacher Alfie fancies. “I’ve also written a show called Aphrodite Fry, which will be on Sky next year, about a promiscuous mural artist. “I believe in taking a ‘breath’ between writing – you can’t just lock yourself away. Go out and breathe in some life, that’s where you get inspiration.”

Bad Education is on BBC Three, Tuesdays at 10pm

5. Cuckoo

Andy Samberg, actor

“I found the script [for Cuckoo] hilarious. The character I play [new age, dreadlocked hippie Cuckoo] reminded me of people who annoyed me when I was growing up in Berkeley, California. “The way the show is shot is slick. The director steered away from the hand-held style made famous in The Office, now used in a lot of US shows. “I’ve always enjoyed British comedy – from Fawlty Towers to The Mighty Boosh and Brass Eye. I love Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace too – that’s the f*cking best. I’d love to work with Richard Ayoade.”

Cuckoo begins on BBC Three in late September

6. Fresh meat

Tony Roche, writer

“The second series of Fresh Meat is set during the second and third terms. We [the writers] felt there was more to be mined from the fact that they’re still newbies.

“I mine my student days for scripts, but don’t use things wholesale. It’s fun to steal details from friends but I wouldn’t want them to be uncomfortable, as if it’s some weird attack because they didn’t do the washing up 20 years ago. “Something that funnelled into our writing this year was a site [Fresh Meat creator] Sam Bain sent me called Look At My F*cking Red Trousers – photos of posh guys in red chinos. It’s perfect for JP [Jack Whitehall, left] so there’s a line [inspired] by that.”

The second series of Fresh Meat will be on Channel 4 in October

7. Threesome

Tom MacRae, writer

“A lot of humour in the show is from my friends and social life. With comedy, write what you know. The further away an idea is, the more you have to push it to be funny. “The second series of Threesome starts a couple of weeks after the first ended – we’re picking up how the characters deal with looking after a baby. “My advice is use what’s around you. I just walked past the stage door of Les Miserables in London and saw three guys dressed as French revolutionaries from the waist up, but wearing football shorts and socks. That’ll probably

find its way into the show.”

Series 2 of Threesome begins on Comedy Central this autumn


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