Brian Cox to star in BBC sitcom

Scottish icon Bob Servant comes to TV

Hollywood star Brian Cox is shooting a sitcom in his native Dundee.

Bob Servant Independent, a three-part series for BBC Four, will see the veteran actor reprising his role from the Radio 4’s The Bob Servant Emails, about a 64-year-old scourge of internet spammers, ‘former cheeseburger and window cleaning magnate’.

When the sitting MP for the suburb of Broughty Ferry dies, triggering a by-election, the self-aggrandising rogue and wheeler-dealer starts a campaign to get himself elected as ‘a man of the people’.

Based on the Bob Servant books by novelist and journalist Neil Forsyth, who has written the new episodes, the cast includes Greg McHugh, Rufus Jones, Jonathan Watson, Pollyanna McIntosh and Ron Donachie.

Cox said: ‘As a Dundee man I am very excited to be filming a brand new television comedy set in Broughty Ferry. With the comic writing skills of fellow Dundonian, Neil Forsyth, and the audacious spirit of Bob Servant it shouldn’t fail to capture the very essence of the unique East Coast humour.’

Currently employed as an agony uncle for Scottish arts magazine The List, Servant has precious little understanding of politics and perpetually falls out with Frank, his campaign manager, neighbour and long-suffering best friend (Watson).

Shooting begins in Broughty Ferry on Monday for broadcast later in the year.

Forsyth said: ‘It’s hugely exciting that Bob is making it onto the telly, and that Brian is once again involved and leading a brilliant cast. He’s been a supporter of the Bob Servant cause for a long time and I can’t wait to see him stride about Broughty Ferry in character.

‘To be honest, Bob would probably be disappointed that he’s been overlooked to play himself, but even he would reluctantly accept Brian taking up the challenge."

Last year’s The Bob Servant Emails on Radio 4 featured Felix Dexter, Laura Solon, Sanjeev Kohli and Lewis Macleod. But it wasn’t Cox’s first fantastical account of a Scottish icon, as his credits include Braveheart and Rob Roy, as well as high-profile roles in the X-Men, Jason Bourne and Planet of the Apes blockbuster franchises.

This is not Cox’s first sitcom either. He sent up his Shakespearean training to play a medieval English king in Red Dwarf and guest starred in Frasier as Daphne Moon’s father. He and Billy Connolly recently portrayed brothers in The Quest of Donal Q, BBC Radio Scotland’s Christmas Day adaptation of Don Quixote.

Published: 16 Feb 2012

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