Hugh Dennis and the dominatrix | Outnumbered star's saucy new sitcom © Steve Ullathorne

Hugh Dennis and the dominatrix

Outnumbered star's saucy new sitcom

Hugh Dennis is to go from the middle-class family comedy of Outnumbered –  to a sitcom set in a dominatrix's dungeon.

In Slaving Away, he plays the ageing Brigader Cartwight, who regularly goes for S&M sessions featuring a ‘hard spanking’ with his old matron’s wooden ruler, before being trampled on

The script was written by real-life sex worker turned comedian, Miranda Kane, who also stars as 'the other sitcom Miranda'.

Kane used to earn up to £2,000 as Melody, who at more than 21 stone claimed to be Britain's largest escort. She now campaigns for sex workers' rights and performs stand-up, making her Edinburgh debut in 2013 with Coin-Operated Girl.

She said of that show: 'Our clients weren't seedy, sex-obsessed perverts. They were kind, keen, appreciative men who just wanted a moment of luxury, intimacy… to be able to be with the kind of women they could only fantasise about normally.'

Slaving Away is being made by audiobook company Audible, which is moving into Radio 4's traditional sitcom territory.

The Amazon-owned company has ordered its first comedy shows: half-hour test episodes featuring such well-known comedy names as Jon Holmes, Felicity Monagu, Mitch Benn and Kevin Eldon. And it has vowed to make the most popular of them into a series.

All the pilots go live tomorrow here, under the banner This Is Your Pilot Speaking!. The one with the most five-star votes from listeners by the end of the year will be picked up for a full series.

Steve Carsey, who heads Audible Originals in the UK said 'From the moment we first read them, we were very excited by the concepts and quality of writing in each of these sitcoms. The writing just jumps off the page. Watching them to come to life in the studio was thrilling but seeing how the public votes on them will be the really exciting part.'

The shows are:

CATCHING UP WITH THE GIRLS: Written by Bronagh Fegan and starring Louise Ford, Margaret Cabourn-Smith, Carrie Quinlan, Grainne Maguire and Andy Goddard. A comedy set around a reunion of university friends now in their thirties and working out why things didn't entirely go plan for any of them.

THE HUB: Written by Bruce Winwood and starring Susy Kane, Alex Kirk, Howard Gossington, Anjella Macintosh and Joel Morris. This workplace sitcom, described as '24 meets Blackadder' is a madcap comedy set among a hapless team of intelligence experts engaged in the war against terror.

SLAVING AWAY: Written by Miranda Kane and starring Hugh Dennis, Miranda Kane and Jon Holmes. A sitcom about a professional dominatrix who runs a well-appointed dungeon in her flat, and who must 'balance the demands of doing step aerobics in stilettos on the buttocks of retired army officers with the demands of getting on with the neighbours'.

THE UN-CYNICAL CANNIBAL: Written by Dewi Llywelyn and starring Richard Glover, Simon Kane, Daniel Lawrence Taylor, Bobby Mair and Sophie Henderson. A 'gloriously mad' castaway romp described as 'what Robinson Crusoe would have been like if the castaway had found a crop of magic mushrooms growing among the coconuts', the surreal comedy features zombies, walrus pirates, and a talking goldfish called Alfi

WORKING FOR THE BIG MAN: Written by Tom Sears and Rob Sears and starring Kevin Eldon, Felicity Monagu and Mitch Benn. Committed rationalist and atheist Ralph gets an unwelcome surprise when he dies – and discovers that not only does God exist, but He has a job for him…. fixing the world.

Published: 6 Jul 2015

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