C4 pilots for rising comedy stars

Rubberbandits, Helm, Gittins and Dr Brown

Circuit favourites Dr Brown, Rubberbandits, Nick Helm and Brian Gittins have all landed Channel 4 comedy pilots.

They will each make a half-hour programme for the new 4Funnies strand, which replaces the Comedy Showcase series of pilots. All four of have previously made short online Comedy Blaps for the channel.

The four pilots announced today are:

Brian Gittins – which has the backing of Ricky Gervais as executive producer. Creator David Earl, who also appeared in Gervais’s Derek, has been performing this surreal, downbeat creation on the comedy circuit for several years. In this pilot the character is a cab driver in a small town who tries to connect with his passengers, his daughter Lucy at university, and the cab firm controller, Cheryl. Gervais said: ‘I wanted to make this show because I think that David Earl is one of the most original character comedian's around at the moment.’

Uncle, which stars Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Nick Helm as an out-of work musician, Andy, forced to look after his 11-year-old nephew on the day he was planning to kill himself. The simple task becomes an epic adventure involving a faked injury, a car crash and a visit to a gay club. The show also features Daisy Haggard as Andy’s sister.

Rubberbandits, aka Blindboy Boat Club and Mr. Chrome, are two Irish rappers who wear plastic bags on their heads. Winners of this year’s Chortle Award for best music and variety act, they have racked up more than 25 millions YouTube views for their radio prank calls, DIY sketches and music videos.

Dr Brown the Edinburgh Comedy Award-winning creation of classically trained clown and mime artist Phil Burgers. This pilot mixes mime and dialogue as his creations interact with real people. Executive producer Paul Jackson said: ‘All through my career I've loved finding comic voices and am excited to find another one - albeit sometimes silent - in the form of Dr Brown.’

Channel 4’s acting head of comedy, Nerys Evans, said: ‘We've supported these stars of tomorrow as early as possible in their careers and given a crucial platform to bring them to the wider attention of comedy.’

Published: 8 Nov 2012

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