Ben Elton pens new sitcom

Health & safety comedy piloted for BBC One

Ben Elton has written a new sitcom, which is being piloted for BBC One.

Slings & Arrows will be set in the health and safety department of a local council ad feature ‘a team of misfits who are hell bent on causing as much chaos as humanly possible’

It will star David Haig – who appeared in Elton’s Nineties sitcom The Thin Blue Line – as the boss, an ‘exasperated everyman’ called Gerald.

If the show is picked up, it will be Elton’s first British sitcom in seven years, since the critically panned Blessed, which ran on BBC One in 2005.

Last year, he tried to launch a new stand-up and sketch show in Australia, where he now lives for much of the year. Despite much fanfare, Ben Elton Live From Planet Earth was axed midway through its six-episode run, in the face of critical brickbats and an audience that plummeted as low as 200,000.

Slings & Arrows is not the first sitcom about health and safety officers to be piloted recently. Last year Vic Reeves and Rhys Darby starred in The Fun Police, which ran as a Channel 4 Comedy Showcase.

The pilot is being rcorded at Teddington Studios on Saturday, and will be directed by sitcom veteran Dewi Humphreys, whose credits include Absolutely Fabulous, The Vicar Of Dibley and 2point4 Children.

Published: 31 Jul 2012

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