Rhys Thomas

Rhys Thomas

Date of birth: 12-12-1978
Rhys Thomas was discovered by Bob Mortimer and Charlie Higson at the age of 17 when he was a runner on Shooting Stars.

At the end of the series, Rhys gave the pair a copy of some sketches he had written and filmed at 6th Form College with some friends. They were so impressed that within a few months Rhys was writing and performing in The Fast Show, It's Ulrika and the Shooting Stars/Fast Show Live tour

After a stint as one of the regular team writers on The 11 O'Clock Show, appearances in Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) and Bang Bang It's Reeves and Mortimer! and hosting the XFM Breakfast Show, at 21 he became the youngest person ever to write and star in his own sitcom, Fun at the Funeral Parlour which ran for two series on BBC Choice.

Thomas has co-written and starred in two series of the sitcom Swiss Toni for BBC Three, script edited the last two series of Shooting Stars, starred in Nathan Barley and co-written, starred as Gary Bellamy in Radio 4's spoof phone-in Down The Line and created Brian Pern, the pretentious rock star played by Simon Day.

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Rhys Thomas and Lucy Montgomery pen a Dickensian comedy-drama

Comics also star in Dodger, out next year

Comics Rhys Thomas and Lucy Montgomery are writing a new comedy-drama about the Artful Dodger’s life before meeting Oliver Twist.

Christopher Eccleston plays Fagin and David Threlfall will be chief of police, Sir Charles Rowan, in the new ten-part series Dodger, set to air next year on CBBC.

The broadcaster calls the show ‘a funny, optimistic, fast-paced comedy drama full of jeopardy’.

Montgomery appears as Fagin’s landlady, Minnie Bilge, while her husband, Thomas, plays an inept copper PC Duff. His partner PC Blathers is played by fellow comic Javone Prince.

Thomas, star of Down The Line and co-creator of Brian Pern, said: ‘I have always loved Oliver Twist but wasn't so keen on Oliver himself. I preferred the company of Dodger, Fagin and the gang.

‘I thought it would be fun to create a family show with Dodger at its heart and see how he came to be a master criminal in Victorian London.

‘Working with the very best material as a springboard, it’s a total delight to expand Dickens’ rich world of characters and create a few of my own. To top it all, we have an incredible cast who are starring in the show. I can’t wait for families all over the world to see it!’

Billy Jenkins, who played a young Prince Charles in The Crown, takes the title role, with Saira Choudhry as Nancy. The cast also includes Frances Barber   as theatrical dame, Eliza Vestris.

Thomas also directs some of the 45-minute episodes, which are being made by NBCUniversal International Studios, alongside Hildegard Ryan.

And his Fast Show co-star Charlie Higson is guest-writing an episode.

Dodger is one of several CBBC shows announced today. Others include Lagging, a ten-part comedy series about gaming, friendship and growing up, and Still So Awkward, a spin-off  from So Awkward. It follows Lily (Cleo Demetriou) at university with a new gang of friends.

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Published: 5 May 2021

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