BBC orders Martin Clunes sitcom | Playing a driving instructor called Warren © BBC

BBC orders Martin Clunes sitcom

Playing a driving instructor called Warren

The BBC has commissioned Martin Clunes’s  sitcom comeback, Warren, following a successful pilot.

The show, about an irascible driving instructor who thinks the world is against him, is expected to air on BBC One later this year

Doc Martin star Clunes plays the lead, called Warren Thompson, who is unhappy about having to make the move from the South to Preston when his partner Anne’s father falls ill.

The BBC says: ‘Warren suddenly finds himself living in an area he doesn’t like, doing a job he’s not emotionally cut out for and looking after two teenage stepsons he never wanted... He has a way of speaking his mind that leads to conflict, chaos and disaster.’

It is the Men Behaving Badly star’s first sitcom role since starring in the remake of Reggie Perrin in 2009-2010.

He said: ‘I had kind of told myself I didn’t want to do another sitcom [but] the script is so funny, I didn’t want anyone else to do it.’

The pilot was shot in Cardiff in November, loosely based on a 2015 short from writer Jimmy Donny Cosgrove entitled Warren Thompson Driving School, as Chortle reported at the time.

BBC comedy chief Shane Allen said: ‘'BBC One mainstream comedy is our highest priority and the toughest nut to crack. We have enormous faith in Warren as the pilot displayed the perfect alchemy of well-drawn characters, punchy funny lines, a terrific ensemble cast and in Martin Clunes a heavyweight comedy champion who we’re delighted to see step back into the ring of a BBC One sitcom.’

Former stand-up Cosgrove is writing the show with Paul McKenna, who previously created the sitcom Brotherhood on Comedy Central. 

Six half-hour episodes have been commissioned from Have I Got News For You producers Hat Trick. Further casting and broadcast details will be announced later.

Published: 18 Jan 2018

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