Filming starts on Sky 1’s Gates – with Sue Johnston, Joanna Page and Tom Ellis

Sky today started production on a brand new six part comedy from Feelgood Fiction titled GATES for Sky 1 HD. The series, filming in Enfield, was commissioned by Sky’s Head of Comedy Lucy Lumsden and was co-written by Abigail Wilson (Jam and Jerusalem), Richard Preddy (Green Wing, Harry and Paul), Andrew Collins (Not Going Out), Dan Sefton (Secret Diary of a Call Girl) and award winning stand up Ava Vidal. Episode One was script edited by Jennifer Saunders.

GATES is an ensemble comedy headed by Sue Johnston (The Royle Family, Waking The Dead), Tom Ellis (Miranda, Merlin) and Joanna Page (Gavin and Stacey, Love Actually) set in the all too familiar chaos of the school gates.

Ellis and Page play parents Mark and Helen who’ve recently moved to the South East where their nine-year-old daughter is starting at a new primary school.

And they’re about to discover what happens when your children choose your friends.
Essentially a character comedy, but with a nod to those sketch-like moments of madness which can only ever happen in the playground, GATES casts an eye on how relationships with parents formed during fifteen minutes of a school drop off and pick up can so easily take over your life. The school gates can be an unforgiving, socially exposed political minefield.
GATES boasts a distinguished cast that also includesTony Gardner (Lead Balloon, Moving Wallpaper), Catherine Shepherd (Harry and Paul, The IT Crowd), Nick Mohammed (Reggie Perrin, Horne and Cordon), Adam Deacon (Kidulthood, Being Human), Toby Wharton (Silent Witness, The Bill), Nadine Marshall (The Smoking Room, The Shadow Line) and Ella Kenion (The Catherine Tate Show, Dr Who) and the young headmaster Mr Gould will be played by Will Andrews (Pixelface & Mid Morning Matters with Alan Partridge).

Lucy Lumsden commented: “We wanted a fresh take on familiar settings for our new comedies on Sky 1HD and GATES offers just that. The show has attracted a wonderful cast and given some terrific child actors a chance to shine. I’m thrilled to bring another new series to our customers and show the fruits of our continued investment in original British comedy.”

Laurence Bowen added: “The school drop off and pick up is a world we all know, either as parents or as children. So creating a comedy series out of it has been wonderful fun and should strike a chord with people. Sky commissioned and backed it from inception, and we’re delighted such a wonderful cast have been attracted to the scripts.”

Joanna Page said: “I’m so excited to begin filming with such a fantastic cast on GATES. As soon as I read the scripts I could completely identify with my character Helen, and I’m looking forward to the world of the school run and the politics, games and mayhem that go with it. Tom Ellis is a hunk of a husband to be working opposite and my maternal instincts are being brought out working with my adorable daughter. It should be a great shoot.”

GATES will be filmed in Enfield throughout the summer and will be broadcast on Sky 1 HD in early 2012.