Common People will comprise ten 11-minute films, tenuously linked by the South London location and by some characters.
The films have been made by Baby Cow – producers of Ideal, Gavin & Stacey and Alan Partridge’s Mid-Morning Matters – and follow the success of Sky 1’s Little Crackers festive shorts.
Common People will air in January as part of Sky Atlantic’s Monday-night comedy strand.
Channel director Elaine Pyke said: ‘Comedy Mondays are proving to be a big hit with Sky Atlantic customers and I’m delighted to add Common People to our incredible comedy slate. Common People is a key show that will further build the channel’s unique voice.’
The shorts are:
SUNSHINE is written by and stars stand-up Tom Davis – who made a Channel 4 Comedy Lab called The Warm Up Guy – and actress Eleanor Lawrence. Davis plays a South London crook, Simon ‘Sunshine’ Wilson, a big fish in a small pond. It co-stars Sean Pertrwee as Mad Mickey Quinn and Downton Abbey’s Brendan Coyle as a policeman.
BAD GRANDAD is written by Mark Warren and Fraser Steele, who have previously worked on Never Mind the Buzzcocks. It stars Charles Dance as a retired rock and roll tour manager who remains a ‘flamboyant, free spirited, party goer’. It also stars Amelia Bullmore as his rather uptight ballet teacher daughter Becky and Hugo Speer as her husband.
THE CHOIR is written by and stars Daniel Lawrence Taylor and Eri Jackson – best known on the comedy circuit as musical double act Ginger and Black – along with Danny Morgan. Taylor plays a former member of the So Solid Crew who spots the singing talent of Nell (played by Jackson), sparking a jealous reaction from her brother (Morgan). One Foot in the Grave’s Annette Crosbie also makes an appearance as a member of the choir who is constantly in denial about her age.
TATT is written by and stars Johnny Vegas with Emmerdale’s Tony Pitts. Vegas plays a man who reluctantly takes over the family tattoo parlour. Stand-up Celia Pacquola plays his Australian girlfriend, while Comedy Store Player Josie Lawrence plays his dad’s girlfriend.
BARRY’S BUCKET LIST features cult comedy character Barry From Watford, who unearths an old ‘bucket list’ of dreams after his wife leaves him and tries to give it another ago. Barry’s creator Alex Lowe co-wrote the show with Fraser Steele, and it guest stars Birds Of A Father’s Linda Robson.
ADVENTURE VENTURE is from sketch duo Totally Tom, in which Tom Palmer and Tom Stourton play ‘terribly posh and terribly bad’ entrepreneurs whose company is going down the pan. Stand-up Brett Goldstein also has a role.
ELEANOR POPPLEWELL is written by and stars Katy Brand as the owner of an organic shop and café that goes out of business, and becomes at risk of being turned into a greasy spoon run by an ‘impossibly passionate’ Mediterranean man called Tony.
POLITICALLY INCORRECT is written by and stars Jessica Hynes and is based on her recent cameo in Sky 1’s Moone Boy as a local councillor who makes terrible work and life decisions but manages to dodge professional bullets with ‘a talent for being somewhere else - both mentally and physically - at exactly the right time’.
SCOUNDRELS, written by and starring Rufus Jones and Dan Skinner, is the story of ex-city banker who has had a mighty fall from grace after being accused of embezzlement, then forced to forced to move in with his brother.