Rhys Thomas and Lucy Montgomery pen a Dickensian comedy-drama | Comics also star in Dodger, out next year

Rhys Thomas and Lucy Montgomery pen a Dickensian comedy-drama

Comics also star in Dodger, out next year

Comics Rhys Thomas and Lucy Montgomery are writing a new comedy-drama about the Artful Dodger’s life before meeting Oliver Twist.

Christopher Eccleston plays Fagin and David Threlfall will be chief of police, Sir Charles Rowan, in the new ten-part series Dodger, set to air next year on CBBC.

The broadcaster calls the show ‘a funny, optimistic, fast-paced comedy drama full of jeopardy’.

Montgomery appears as Fagin’s landlady, Minnie Bilge, while her husband, Thomas, plays an inept copper PC Duff. His partner PC Blathers is played by fellow comic Javone Prince.

Thomas, star of Down The Line and co-creator of Brian Pern, said: ‘I have always loved Oliver Twist but wasn't so keen on Oliver himself. I preferred the company of Dodger, Fagin and the gang.

‘I thought it would be fun to create a family show with Dodger at its heart and see how he came to be a master criminal in Victorian London.

‘Working with the very best material as a springboard, it’s a total delight to expand Dickens’ rich world of characters and create a few of my own. To top it all, we have an incredible cast who are starring in the show. I can’t wait for families all over the world to see it!’

Billy Jenkins, who played a young Prince Charles in The Crown, takes the title role, with Saira Choudhry as Nancy. The cast also includes Frances Barber   as theatrical dame, Eliza Vestris.

Thomas also directs some of the 45-minute episodes, which are being made by NBCUniversal International Studios, alongside Hildegard Ryan.

And his Fast Show co-star Charlie Higson is guest-writing an episode.

Dodger is one of several CBBC shows announced today. Others include Lagging, a ten-part comedy series about gaming, friendship and growing up, and Still So Awkward, a spin-off  from So Awkward. It follows Lily (Cleo Demetriou) at university with a new gang of friends.

Published: 5 May 2021

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