Sky 1 HD today (Monday 25 July) announce the commission of STARLINGS (8 x 60’), a comedy drama written by and starring Matt King (Peep Show) and Steve Edge (Star Stories). BAFTA® nominees Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey) and Lesley Sharp (Scott & Bailey, The Shadow Line) will also star.
STARLINGS was commissioned by Lucy Lumsden, Head of Comedy, Sky 1 HD. Baby Cow Productions’ founders Henry Normal and Steve Coogan will serve as Executive Producers. Baby Cow’s Alison MacPhail (The Mighty Boosh) will produce the series, while Matt Lipsey (Little Britain) and Tony Dow (Only Fools & Horses) will direct.
Lucy Lumsden commented: “We are completely smitten with the Starling family and can’t wait to introduce them to our customers.”
STARLINGS will follow the lives of the Starling family, a typical working class brood living in Matlock, Derbyshire. Grandad (Alan Williams, Luther, Rome) has recently moved in, following a rabble rousing incident at the old folks’ home. Rather than see him unhappy, his son Terry (Coyle) and wife Jan (Sharp), decide to put him up in their already crammed family home.
Making room for him is Charlie (Finn Atkins, EastEnders), their 16 year old football crazy tomboy daughter; work–shy, reptile enthusiast, Gravy (John Dagleish, Beaver Falls, Larkrise to Candleford) and beautiful Bell (Rebecca Night, Larkrise to Candleford, This September) and her brand new baby, Zac, who arrives bang on time for the first episode.
Then there’s Bell’s ex-boyfriend, Reuben (Ukweli Roach, One Day), desperate to get back together with her. Uncle Loz (King), Grandad’s long lost son, is the artist of the family. Last but not least, Jan’s nephew, Fergie (Edge) who offers to bivouac in the garden, after being made homeless when his long suffering partner chucks him out. And that’s it, the STARLINGS.
Steve Coogan commented: “We are very excited about this smart but accessible new television series which will make people laugh and cry in equal measure for all the right reasons.”
Henry Normal added: “Matt King and Steve Edge have written a brilliant, warm and funny series and we are really excited to be producing it for Sky.”
STARLINGS will go into production in August and will air on Sky 1 HD in 2012. The series is part of Sky’s commitment to increase its investment in original British content by 50% over the next three years.
By 2014, Sky expects to invest £600 million a year in British programmes across its portfolio of channels. This commitment follows the success of home-grown content such as entertainment hits Got To Dance and A League of Their Own, dramas Mad Dogs and Thorne, and the BAFTA-winning documentary Flying Monsters 3D.
STARLINGS is a Baby Cow Production for Sky 1 HD, and will be executive produced by Henry Normal and Steve Coogan for Baby Cow, and produced by Alison MacPhail for Baby Cow.