Hit Phoebe Waller-Bridge comedy Fleabag is almost certain to return for a second series.
According to BBC sources, both the Corporation and the writer and star herself are keen to make a second season of the show which aired first on BBC3 and finished its BBC2 run at the end of last month.
“Although a second series isn’t officially commissioned yet, we are in discussions and there is a real desire of both sides for it to return, we’re just not sure exactly when,” said a senior BBC source.
Series one of the darkly comic tale of a mischievous and troubled young woman ended with Waller-Bridge’s eponymous Fleabag still at a crossroads in her life following a startling revelation concerning her late friend and business partner Boo (Jenny Rainsford).
Other characters in the acclaimed comedy included Fleabag’s uptight sister Claire (Sian Clifford), her emotionally needy ex-boyfriend played by Hugh Skinner, her ambivalent dad (Bill Paterson) and her passive-aggressive step-mum (Olivia Colman).
Speaking before the broadcast of the comedy, Waller-Bridge intimated that the show was written with a second series in mind.
“We cracked it open so that she would be able to have a life beyond it and also there are so many more stories and story strands and character strands come out of this series,” she said.
Fleabag originated from a one-woman stage show of the same name which Waller-Bridge is bringing back to London’s Soho Theatre later this autumn.
David Tennant and Olivia Colman have joined a campaign to raise awareness of brain tumours in children. Order the Brain Tumour Bandana HERE and take an imaginative photo before sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will edit it and put it online.
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I have added pictures of Olivia at the Emmy’s to the gallery click the picture below to see them:
Channel 4’s eccentric comedy Flowers will bloom again.
A second series of the dark comedy will see the return of Olivia Colman’s Deborah and her depressed husband Maurice (Julian Barratt), the broadcaster has announced.
The six-part run will look at a new era of their marriage and whether they can survive the challenges laid bare in series one, including Maurice’s suicide attempt and Deborah’s infidelity.
The Flowers’ twins Donald (Daniel Rigby, Black Mirror, Eric and Ernie) and Amy (Sophia di Martino, The Darkest Universe, Friday Night Dinner) will also be back, as will the character of Shun, the Flowers’ Japanese factotum played by the writer Will Sharpe.
The recommission is a sign of Channel 4’s faith in the show: it opened in April with 710,000 viewers for episode one. Overnight ratings dropped to 400,000 in the middle of the run before rallying to 680,000 for the series finale.
The show’s consolidated viewing was an average of 1m viewers per episode across the five episodes.
Deputy Head of Comedy Nerys Evans, who commissioned the show for Channel 4 said: “Covering deeply complex issues like fidelity, mental health, sexuality and fraying family bonds, Will Sharpe’s hilariously awkward and heart-breaking show offers another unmissable look at the Flowers’ messed up world.
“Will’s scripts and the show’s perfect cast are so brilliant at making you wail with laughter one minute, and well up the next. I couldn’t be more excited for the family’s return to Channel 4.”
Olivia Colman turned heads earlier this year with her performance as Angela Burr, the steely spy in The Night Manager. The BBC’s adaptation of the John le Carré novel gripped the Sunday night audience across the country, and was the most expensive BBC production to date, with each episode costing about £3m to make.
Ever since it ended, people have been asking if there’ll be a second series. According to Hugh Laurie, who played the villainous David Roper, the only way this could happen would be if le Carré were to write a sequel.
On whether she’d do another stint as Burr, Colman said: “You’d have to be a complete idiot to say no. I think that if they called we’d all say yes.”
In an interview with Deadline, she added that her husband compared Burr’s character to a zebra who’s not afraid of lions – the lions being Tom Hiddleston’s Pine and Hugh Laurie’s Roper.
After The Night Manager there was also a lot of chatter on Twitter about Colman being the next Bond. Colman dismissed this as “sort of a comedy tweet” and said she would prefer Hiddleston as Ian Fleming’s 007: “I mean, he would be perfect wouldn’t he? He’s the perfect specimen for Bond.”
She did, however, admit that she’d like to play the head of MI6: “I like M. I’d love to be M one day. Well, maybe when Ralph Fiennes doesn’t want to do it anymore, maybe he’ll give me a ring.”
Watch this space.
Amazon’s comedy line-up for the coming month is kind of insane. Today, they debut the full series of “One Mississippi,” the semi-autobiographical comedy from stand-up Tig Notaro and “Juno” Oscar-winner Diablo Cody. In a couple of weeks, they’ll premiere the third season of the wildly acclaimed “Transparent,” and at the end of the month, they have the first TV series from none other than Woody Allen, “Crisis In Six Scenes.”
But could it be that the best of the bunch is the least known? Next Friday will see the release on the streaming service of all six episodes of “Fleabag,” a BBC/Amazon co-production that’s already won rave reviews in the U.K. Based on the one-woman show by writer/actor Phoebe Waller-Bridge(“Broadchurch,” “The Iron Lady”), it’s best described as a fourth-wall breaking UK spin on “Girls,” following a young London twenty-something as she navigates sex, grief and life.
It’s got a strong cast, including national treasure Olivia Colman and U.S. scene-stealer Brett Gelman, and reviews from the U.K. have been ecstatic. Could this become a word-of-mouth hit like fellow Amazon UK import “Catastrophe” became? You can get your first glimpse of the show below with a just-released trailer, and check it out on Amazon from next Friday, October 16th.
LONDON: Channel 4, Lupus Films and Walker Productions have brought Olivia Colman, Pam Ferris, Mark Williams and Michael Rosen on board the voice cast for the animated special We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.
Colman (Broadchurch, The Night Manager) has signed on to voice Mum, while Ferris (Matilda, Call the Midwife) will portray Grandma and Williams (Harry Potter, Father Brown) will provide the voice for Dad. Rosen, who wrote the best-selling book on which the half-hour film is based, will play the bear. The film is slated to air on Channel 4 this Christmas.
The story follows the adventures of a group of siblings and their dog Rufus as they set out on an adventure in search of bears. The kids encounter many obstacles such as snowstorms, oozing mud and dark forests, but the real challenge begins when the group is separated. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt is produced by Lupus Films in association with Bear Hunt Films, Walker Productions and Herrick Entertainment for Channel 4. It is distributed internationally by Union Media.
Piers Wenger, the head of drama for Channel 4, said, “We’re delighted to welcome Olivia, Mark and Pam on board this fantastic family adventure, and Michael playing the bear is an inspired touch. It’s a brilliant cast for a brilliant, classic story; I can’t wait for Christmas.”
Camilla Deakin, producer for Lupus Films, commented, “We are thrilled to have attracted the services of such a high-caliber cast to bring our grown-up characters to life. Olivia Colman, Pam Ferris and Mark Williams are wonderful actors with highly distinctive styles and we’re delighted that they are joining us for this timeless adventure, along with Michael Rosen, who makes a very convincing bear!”
Colman added: “What appealed to me about the story is the bond the family have—they care for and look after each other. Another wonderful aspect of the story is that it’s kids enjoying a natural adventure with their imaginations, fresh air and the wilderness. I love that they commit to their adventure…I would like to go with them!”
“Watership Down,” the 1972 Richard Adams novel that was adapted into an animated film just six years later, will be adapted once again for a computer-animated mini-series produced by Netflix and the BBC.
“The thing about Watership Down is that it’s an epic adventure story,” Rory Aitken, executive producer, told The Telegraph U.K.
A tale about displaced rabbits looking for a new home, “Watership Down” has become well known for its brutal violence over the years, but that will change somewhat with the new series.
“It’s not a terrifying, brutal story,” said Aitken. “I think that in a way we want to restore the reputation that the book should have as one of the great adventure stories of all time. It’s grown this reputation for being scarring and horrific and brutal, and actually that’s not what the essence of the story is. While we won’t shy away from the darkness in the book, visually it won’t be as brutal and scarring.”
The anthropomorphized rabbits of the adventure story will be voiced by Sir Ben Kingsley, who will play General Woundwort, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult, and “Star Wars” star John Boyega.
In addition to toning down the shocking scenes of animal violence seen in the original film, project heads say the new mini-series will feature more prominently the voices and storylines of the work’s female characters.
Gemma Arterton, Olivia Colman, and Anne-Marie Duff will voice Clover, Strawberry, and Hyzenthlay, respectively.
“The idea is to bring it to a wider family audience. While ‘Watership Down’ is never going to be for young children, it will be for the whole family to watch together,” said Aitken.
The mini-series is reportedly being produced in four parts, and has a budget around 20 million pounds, according to the Daily Mail.
The series will premiere on the BBC, and be available on-demand thereafter on Netflix.
Having recently appeared on our screens as The Night Manager’s spy boss, Angela Burr, BAFTA-winning actress Olivia Colman is back – and this time, she’s turning her hand to comedy. Stepping into the shoes of Deborah Flower in Channel 4’s new six-part series, Flowers, she’s a music teacher tasked with trying to keep her dysfunctional family together.
As Deborah’s husband, author of illustrated children’s books, Maurice, fights inner demons and dark secrets, she becomes increasingly suspicious that he’s in a secret homosexual relationship with his Japanese illustrator Shun [Will Sharpe]. But that’s just the half of it – the family live in a creaky, messy, crumbling old house with Maurice’s elderly mother Hattie (Leila Hoffman) and their maladjusted 25-year-old twins, Amy and Donald, who are both competing for the same girl.
Despite living on top of each other, the family will do anything to not communicate, pushing their struggles with love and life to extreme and ridiculous places. Can Deborah hold things together? We’ll be tuning in to find out. But in the meantime, star of the show, Olivia Colman, shed some light on the situation…
Flowers is not what you’d call a traditional sitcom, is it?
No! It goes to darker places than most would go to. A comedy about suicide and mental health is pretty unusual – they’re normally the domain of drama. It’s quite daring, and I like that.
You play Deborah – what’s her story?
Deborah is a woman of love. She loves her family desperately, although is misguided a lot of the time. If she can sense something isn’t right, she doesn’t necessarily try and sort it in the right way. It’s a symptom of the entire family that they don’t really listen to each other. Or they listen but don’t hear, which is where a lot of the comedy comes from. She’s quite eccentric, as they all are. She’s lovely, she loves her family and wants to sort them out – she just gets it a bit wrong.
There’s a very real feeling to a lot of the conversations and reactions in the series. Did you improvise much or was it all laid out in the script?
It was all there in the script. If there was a big group scene, we’d record it as it was written, and then Will would say “Okay, and now we’re going to let rip a bit.” I find that terrifying, but it was actually really quite liberating and fun, and some hilariously weird stuff came out of it.
Looking at your comedy back catalogue, with Sophie in Peep Show and now Deborah in Flowers, your characters aren’t exactly blessed with the greatest luck in love, are they?
No! I don’t know why. Maybe I find that funny. Is that awful of me? I think a good dollop of sadness is quite a useful thing in comedy sometimes. I think if everyone’s happy all the time, it’s a bit dull. It’s like salt and caramel – you wouldn’t imagine they would go well together, but they do. I think watching someone, from the comfort of your own home, doing something awful or wrong – you have the luxury to be able to laugh at it. I think it works.
Flowers and The Night Manager are such different projects – is everything a bit more exaggerated and pronounced in comedy?
Yes and I hadn’t done it for a while, so I felt quite out of my comfort zone doing Flowers. You feel more comfortable as the days go by. I felt like I was doing an awful job, really hamming it up. But then I started to care less and just enjoy it.
You seem to have been very busy for the last few years. Are you someone who feels a need to keep on working? Do you hate to turn good work down?
I do struggle. I really remember what it was like not to work, so it’s hard to willfully say ‘no’. But it also looks like I’ve been working more than I have. Apart from Flowers, I’ve just had nine months off, because I’ve been with my baby. It’s just the luck of the draw that The Night Manager and Flowers are showing fairly close together. My family is my first love and my first priority and I probably have more time at home than people with normal jobs.
How was learning lines and performing with a small child at home?
It was slightly worse! The learning lines when pregnant wasn’t too bad, but there were a few rewrites and so I might have possibly used it as an excuse to say, “I can’t do it!” But once the baby’s there, it’s quite hard. I had the car journey in the morning to try and cram it in!
Flowers starts on Channel 4 on Monday 25th April.
Olivia Colman is laughing and blushing. “I don’t often get to play the object of lust,” confesses the actress. “I don’t know how to do it. It’s really fun to play and, it turns out, quite embarrassing. I got a bit nervous and giggly.”
Olivia, who has also starred in Broadchurch, The Iron Lady, Rev and The Night Manager, may be one of our most celebrated actresses, but she clearly doesn’t see herself as love-interest material.
But as Deborah in Channel 4 comedy-drama Flowers, a six-part series about a dysfunctional family that will be shown from Monday to Friday next week, she is propositioned by various family friends.
Olivia’s desperate, smiling matriarch Deborah is the glue that holds the family together.
Her husband, children’s author Maurice (The Mighty Boosh’s Julian Barratt), is depressed and suicidal, while their grown-up twins, Amy (Mount Pleasant’s Sophia Di Martino) and Donald (Eric And Ernie’s Daniel Rigby), are maladjusted. Amy is lost and sad, while her brother is a delusional, failed inventor.
Other characters include Aunty Viv, Deborah’s fun-loving sister, played by Anna Chancellor, neighbour Abigail (Murdered By My Boyfriend’s Georgina Campbell) and Shun, Maurice’s illustrator, played by Flowers’ writer and director Will Sharpe, best known as Yuki Reid from Casualty.
Flowers is Will’s first TV project as a writer and director, although he co-wrote and directed the independent film Black Pond.
“Flowers is about how your own state of mind can affect those around you,” says Will, 29. “I also knew that I wanted it to be funny, but not just funny.
I felt like I wanted it to be a bit like a non-sitcom sitcom. Something that while definitely a sitcom, finds its characters breaking the sitcom format by questioning their own identities and archetypes.”
Olivia, 42, says, “Deborah loves her family desperately, although she is misguided a lot of the time. If she can sense something is not right, she doesn’t necessarily try and sort it in the right way. It’s a symptom of the entire family that they don’t really listen to each other – or they listen but don’t hear, which is where a lot of the comedy comes from.”
The surreal feel of Flowers meant the actors, playing larger-than-life characters, had to produce some big performances.
It was a coup for the production to get an actress of Olivia’s stature, given that Will is a TV first-timer. But she says she’s never accepted a role because she thinks a show will be a hit, revealing, “I’ve never picked a project because it’s high profile. I picked Flowers because I liked the scripts and, if I’m enjoying myself, then I’m very lucky.”
Flowers came at a busy time for Olivia, who also filmed The Night Manager and gave birth to her third child last year. She and husband Ed Sinclair are also parents to Finn, 10, and Hal, eight.
Although the scripts must come pouring in, Olivia says that having once been an out-of-work actress, it’s hard to turn down work. “I do struggle. I really remember what it was like not to work, so it’s hard to wilfully say no,” she says.
“But it also looks like I’ve been working more than I have. Apart from Flowers, I’ve just had nine months off, because I’ve been with my baby. It’s just the luck of the draw that
The Night Manager and Flowers are showing fairly close together. My family is my first love and my first priority and I probably have more time at home than people with normal jobs.”
Olivia’s role in Flowers is very different from that of The Night Manager’s clever spy boss Angela Burr. The locations alone were certainly worlds apart but
Olivia says the jobs aren’t very different as life off-camera for actors is usually the same.
“Between scenes, it’s not very different whether you’re on a comedy or a drama,” she says. “We’re doing a job we love and that we want to do. I always try to remember, ‘Take the job seriously, but not yourself’. We’re really lucky.”
Flowers, Monday-Friday, 10PM, Channel 4