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Chris Lilley of 'Summer Heights High' is making a new comedy series for Netflix

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Alex Finnis
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Chris Lilley of 'Summer Heights High' is making a new comedy series for Netflix

Chris Lilley, the controversial Australian comedian behind Summer Heights High, Ja’mie: Private School Girl and Jonah from Tonga, is getting his own ten-part Netflix comedy series.

Further details about the project, including its name and any information about the subject matter are being kept strictly under wraps, but we know that it will film between March and June in Queensland, Australia.

The series was announced not by Netflix, but by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. She announced on Monday: “I am delighted to have enticed Chris Lilley and producer Laura Waters to Queensland.

“The series will employ up to 250 Queensland cast and extras, plus around 100 Queensland crew. The project will also support two local screen practitioners, who will have the opportunity to work on the series to further develop their professional skills.”

Lilley is famous for creating the characters Mr G, Ja’mie and Jonah for his school-based Aussie comedy shows, but has drawn criticism in the past for his use of racial humour in Summer Heights High spin-off Angry Boys.

Characters he played in the show used racist language, most notably Ruth ‘Gren’ Sims, but Lilley defended this by claiming it is obvious that what she is saying is clearly wrong.

He said back in 2011: “To me it’s very clear [that Ruth] is from another generation and is getting away with horrific things. Her behaviour is not appropriate. To me, that’s so blatantly obvious that it’s really funny.”

While being very Australian in their humour, Brits will be familiar with Lilley, with many of his more recent shows, including Jonah the Tongan, airing on BBC Two.

Summer Heights High, Ja’mie: Private School Girl and Jonah the Tongan’s short single-season runs turned them into cult favourites, but this Netflix deal will bring Lilley’s work to a wider audience.

(Image: Princess Pictures)

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Alex Finnis

Alex is the Editor of ShortList.com

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