Jon Petrie, the Director of Comedy, made an exciting announcement at the BBC Comedy Festival in Cardiff. He revealed the launch of eleven brand new BBC Comedy Short Films that will be available on BBC iPlayer and BBC Three. The initiative aims to provide a platform for both emerging and established talent to showcase their original and experimental concepts.
To capture the best ideas from across the UK, BBC Comedy collaborated with teams in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Petrie expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “It’s been exciting to create a space for comedy creatives to flex their funny bones, and we’re particularly proud to have given 11 new writers and 6 new directors their first BBC Comedy credit. We can’t wait to see them go out.”
The BBC Comedy Shorts will be accessible on BBC iPlayer starting Friday, May 26 and will also be aired on BBC Three in the coming months. Viewers can catch a glimpse of the hilarity in the BBC Comedy Shorts trailer, available here.
One of the short films, titled “A Better Place,” revolves around an oddball trio who inherit their failing family funeral business after their father’s passing. Led by hapless son Archie, they devise a plan to rescue their funeral home from the clutches of rival businesswoman Eileen. Book of Jam, the creators and writers of the film, expressed their delight in presenting their “fly on the wall, dead-pan style” to the audience.
“Birdsong,” a short film by Uncle Shortbread, explores the perils of sleep deprivation, the harsh reality of the music industry, and the power of Iggy Pop’s hip thrust. Starring Colin Hoult, the film delves into the comedic aspects of these themes. Uncle Shortbread expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to collaborate with Hat Trick and the BBC, stating that their experience was like a dream come true.
Another film, “Calamity James,” is a slapstick comedy centred around a young man cursed with ‘acute misfortune syndrome.’ After being kicked out by his mother for accidentally setting their house on fire, James attempts to reconnect with his father. Chronic bad luck and unbelievable circumstances ensue in this comedic adventure, starring Mark Bonnar and Dylan Blore.
The Funboys’ Fun Club takes centre stage in the film “Funboys.” Two emotionally-unassembled lads from Northern Ireland, Callum and Jordan, create a playgroup where grown men can indulge in wholesome mucking about. However, when a juice party goes awry, the Funboys are forced to find a new headquarters. Their encounter with a catatonically depressed 60-year-old named Marty may just bring joy back into their lives. The film, based on the creators’ own experiences, promises a unique blend of comedy.
“Jobless,” a sitcom, focuses on the Adenugas, a British Nigerian middle-class family residing in Milton Keynes. The story revolves around 16-year-old twins Kehinde (Kenny) and Taiwo (Tai), who are eager to leave their mark on the world. However, living at home with their parents poses challenges, particularly in the context of Milton Keynes. The creator and writer, Thara Popoola, expressed her excitement in introducing the Adenuga twins to the world.
“Man Eater,” a comedy written by Angela Nesi and Anna Brook-Mitchell, explores the idea of embracing one’s inner beast. The film humorously portrays the consequences of wolfing down a group of peculiar men. Nesi and Brook-Mitchell were thrilled to collaborate with a talented team and expressed gratitude to the BBC Comedy team for providing opportunities for female comedy writers.
“Mobility” features Jack Carroll in a comedy about three friends embarking on their first day of sixth form via the mobility bus. The film follows their journey as they attempt to reach school without driving each other crazy. Carroll, who also co-wrote the film, described it as a lifelong ambition fulfilled.
“Pobl Bachyn” is a comedy-horror film set on a farm in Ynys Môn, exploring Welsh folklore, encounters with English tourists, and the aftermath of a hangover. Directed by Kiri Pritchard-McLean, the film brings together an ensemble of comedic talent.
“This Is Gay” is a mockumentary-sketch show hybrid that attempts to answer questions about the gay community. Through various stops, including Renaissance Italy, modern-day London, a Welsh parish, and even a fridge, the show aims to shed light on aspects often overlooked in mainstream media.
“Where It Ends” tells the story of Jack, an actor who joins a panto tour of care homes and confronts the reality of mortality. With a stellar cast including Jack Robertson, Lauren Pattison, Charlie Hardwick, and Dave Johns, the comedy highlights the absurdities of life and death. Robertson, the writer of the film, revealed that the story is inspired by a personal experience.
“7 Minutes” presents a chance encounter between two individuals with similar intentions on a desolate train track. Starring Joe Wilkinson and Seroca Davis, the comedy explores the awkwardness of the situation. Writers Harry Carlile and Jonathan Parramint expressed their pride and excitement in bringing their film to life.
The BBC Comedy Short Films promise to deliver an array of comedic stories, showcasing the talents of both emerging and established writers, directors, and actors. With a range of themes and styles, these films are set to provide laughter and entertainment to audiences on BBC iPlayer and BBC Three.