BBC pilots spoof cops show

TV comeback for Jack Docherty

BBC Scotland is to launch a a semi-improvised, spoof cop show starring Jack Docherty in his first major TV comedy in more than a decade.

Scot Squad is a send-up of ‘blue light’ reality shows like Police, Camera, Action!, shot with a hand-held camera in rural and urban locations across Scotland.

Doherty plays the head of Scotland’s first unified police force in his first significant onscreen role since advertising sitcom The Creatives ended in 2000.

The former Perrier nominee is best known for Channel 4 sketch show Absolutely, and for hosting Channel 5’s early, five-nights-a-week chat show – which launched the talk-show career of his stand-in, Graham Norton.

More recently, he’s served as the producer of Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong’s The Old Guys for BBC One, in which he had a guest role, and as a writer, co-scripting the 2008 BBC Two series The Cup, featuring Steve Edge, with fellow Absolutely alumni Moray Hunter.

Produced by The Comedy Unit, which also makes Rab C Nesbitt, Limmy’s Show, Burnistoun and Gary: Tank Commander, the Scot Squad was devised by stand-up Joe Hullait, who develops and nurtures new talent for the Glasgow-based company. Having written a bare outline for the plot, he invited the cast to workshop their characters without a script and create their own dialogue during shooting – in a similar way that Curb Your Enthusiasm is shot.

Also starring in the pilot, which will air on BBC One Scotland in the next month, are 2010 So You Think You’re Funny winner James Kirk as a community support officer, and his colleague from sketch group How Do I Get Up There?, Chris Forbes, playing a countryside copper.

Former Rab C Nesbitt and Legit actor Jordan Young patrols an urban beat, while stand-ups ML Stone and Darren Connell appear as a phone operative and ‘habitual visitor to the police station’ respectively. Gary: Tank Commander and Burnistoun’s Iain Davidson directs.

Docherty is also about to star in a new, self-penned Radio 4 sitcom. Stop/Start focuses on three couples in various stages of their relationships, who are able to suddenly stop the action, explain their actions to the audience, then resume the story. Recording takes place in London next week.

- by Jay Richardson

Published: 14 May 2012

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