It's TV's Party now... | Tom Basden's R4 comedy adapted for small screen

It's TV's Party now...

Tom Basden's R4 comedy adapted for small screen

Radio 4's political sitcom Party is being adapted for television.

Written by and starring Tom Basden with Tim Key, Anna Crilly, Katy Wix and Jonny Sweet, the comedy about a hapless grassroots party trying to save the world has run for three series on the station, after beginning life as a play at the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe.

Chortle understands that the BBC pilot is not for broadcast. But the cast will remain the same, with Sweet as the ineptly scheming, self-appointed leader Jared, Crilly as Mel, Wix as Phoebe, Basden as Simon and Key as perpetual fall guy Duncan.

In the new episode, the party arrive at a studio ahead of their first ever regional TV interview. Jared is determined to do the interview, he just needs to be briefed, which Mel and Phoebe fail to do. They meet Duncan who has, for reasons best known to him and Jared, brought along a baby.

Fresh Meat and An Idiot Abroad's Jamie Jay Johnson will direct.

The prolific Basden, a former Edinburgh Comedy Award best newcomer winner for his 2007 show Won't Say Anything, member of sketch group Cowards and vice-president of the Cambridge Footlights, recently spent six months in China learning Mandarin.

Yet he still found time to appear in and co-write ITV2's Plebs with Sam Leifer, as well as writing for Fresh Meat and penning the Edinburgh play Holes, featuring Wix, Matthew Baynton, Daniel Rigby and Bebe Cave. He also co-starred alongside Baynton and Matthew Corden in their comedy-thriller The Wrong Mans and appeared in Ricky Gervais' Derek.

In 2010, he and Key gave an interview to the What's On Stage website, in which he described Party as 'about a bunch of idiots trying to set up a new political party. It's about the way that politics now is very concerned with appearances and the mechanics of operating. I don't really see it as a satire, in that it's not really an attack on public figures; it's more an attempt to talk about the way that people approach political issues. It's much more of a play and a story than a revue show.'

- by Jay Richardson

Published: 8 Jan 2014

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