Little Britain, big deal

BBC secures Lucas and Walliams for three years

Matt Lucas and David Walliams have signed an exclusive deal to continue working at the BBC - including making a new show.

The duo will make two Little Britain Christmas specials this year, before starting on their new spin-off project.

A BBC spokeswoman said: 'The idea is that it would take some of the Little Britain characters but it would then evolve.'

The title of the show or how many episodes will be made have not been revealed, but BBC One controller Peter Fincham did confirm that the pair have locked into the corporation for the next three years.

The value of the deal has not been disclosed and Fincham refused to be drawn on whether there had been a bidding war with ITV. But he did say: 'They were clear that the BBC was the right place for them to be.'

Recent media reports over the size of Jonathan Ross’s £18 million three-year deal have embarrassed the corporation at the time it is seeking an inflation-busting licence fee rise.

Fincham said it was good news that Lucas and Walliams will continue to make TV. 'Sometimes comedians reach a threshold - they're sometimes lost to television, they go off and do movies,' he said.

The new deal was confirmed at the launch of BBC One’s autumn schedule today. Among the comedy shows, most of which had been previously announced, are:

  • A one-off Royle Family hour-long special
  • Lee Mack’s sitcom Not Going Out
  • The Armstrong And Miller Show, a new series of sketches from the double act after more than five years
  • Berry’s Way, a one-off starring Lenny Henry as a dry cleaner who enrols on an Open University course (the show was previously called Slings And Arrows)
  • The Good Housekeeping Guide, starring Alan Davies as a divorcee who turns to his prostitute neighbour for help in running his house
  • Jam And Jerusalem, a comedy about a WI-style group written by Jennifer Saunders and starring Sue Johnston

 

Published: 18 Jul 2006

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