Filming starts on Sophie Willan's sitcom pilot Alma’s Not Normal | As Jayde Adams joins the cast © Steve Ullathorne

Filming starts on Sophie Willan's sitcom pilot Alma’s Not Normal

As Jayde Adams joins the cast

Filming has started on the new BBC Two comedy pilot, Alma’s Not Normal, created by comedian Sophie Willan.

Set and shot in her home town of Bolton, the series stars Willan as wild-child, Alma Nuthall amid a family of eccentric, unruly women.

Fellow comic Jayde Adams has also joined the cast as Alma’s best friend, Leanne

Siobhan Finneran, from Happy Valley, plays Alma’s heroin-addicted mum Lin; Lorraine Ashbourne (Barbara Castle in The Crown) is her vampish nan Joan, and James Baxter, Leroy in Still Open All Hours is Anthony, Alma’s ex boyfriend.

The 30-minute pilot, based on Willan’s own unusual life,  is being made for the New On Two strand of pilots by Expectation.

Nerys Evans, the company’s creative director of comedy, said: ‘It’s testament to the quality of Sophie’s writing that we’ve managed to attract such a strong cast to play alongside her. In the wonderfully skilled hands of Producer Gill Isles, and director Andrew Chaplin, this feels like a very special show in the making.’

Willan, who won the BBC’s inaugural Caroline Aherne Bursary Award in 2018 a year after being nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award, is a series regular in Still Open All Hours and is the voice of The Circle 

Alma’s Not Normal production credits

Made by: Expectation for BBC Two
Written by: Sophie Willan
Executive producers: Nerys Evans, Sophie Willan
Commissioning editor for the BBC: Kate Daughton
Directed by: Andrew Chaplin
Produced by: Gill Isles 

Published: 13 Feb 2020

What do you think?

Today's comedy-on demand picks

LA PRINCESA DE WOKING

Emma Sidi has taken great care to replicate the authentic feel of 1980s Spanish-language telenovelas in this spot-on parody, set in contemporary small-town England and which she describes as 'a bit Acorn Antiques, bit Garth Marenghi'.

At her mother's untimely funeral, Becky Hello (a typical British millennial as imagined by Mexican writers who have never been to the UK) discovers she has inherited a fortune. But it isn't long before nefarious family members begin to circle, and Becky must keep her wits about her if she is to avoid the same fate as her mother.

Click for more suggestions

... including a series of six films of Ross Noble on tour and Beef House, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim's absurd take on the 1990s sitcom.

We see you are using AdBlocker software. Chortle relies on advertisers to fund this website so it’s free for you, so we would ask that you disable it for this site. Our ads are non-intrusive and relevant. Help keep Chortle viable.