Dee sells Lead Balloon to the US

Remake on the cards

For many people, Jack Dee’s Lead Balloon is already British take on US series Curb Your Enthusiasm.

But now an American TV company has brought the ‘format’ of the BBC Two sitcom, in the hope of important a new version back to the States.

In the series, which returns tonight, Dee plays a petty-minded, exaggerated version of himself as a grumpy comedian; a near-identical premise to how Larry David presents himself on the HBO show.

But Dee said today that a US version of Lead Balloon could be on the cards.

‘The format itself is being bought up by an American company that we're talking to at the moment,’ he told Radio 1’s Newsbeat. ‘They want to make a version of it for American networks.

‘That's not an unusual thing to happen with formats, so we'll see what happens, but it's a very nice compliment that they like it so much. It's been quite nicely accepted in the industry over there.’

But Dee says he has no plans to try to crack America personally, as Ricky Gervais and Eddie Izzard have done.

‘I've no intention at all of going over there to try my luck,’ he said. ‘I'm far too old. The thing is with America, it's bloody miles away. I have a family and I don't really want to travel that much.’

His profile may rise among cable viewers after Lead Balloon is shown on BBC America this winter. Meanwhile, the series returns to BBC Two at 10pm tonight.

Published: 13 Nov 2008

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