For the comedy fans that are just tired of all that ‘noise’ that hits their screens regularly, a new sitcom is in the pipeline that could offer a nice quiet alternative.
Comedian Matt Lucas (best known for his work alongside David Walliams in sketch series Little Britain and Come Fly With Me) has revealed details of his latest project with the BBC, taking inspiration from classic silent comedy series such as Laurel & Hardy and Mr. Bean to create new show Pompidou.
Lucas is believed to have ‘a passion’ for classic silent comedy, and lists Charlie Chaplin and the stars of the above-mentioned shows as some of his biggest idols, summarising of his attempt to join the greats of silent humour: “I’m delighted to be back at the BBC with another show full of new characters – however, unlike Little Britain and Come Fly With Me, this one has no dialogue at all. I’ve been working for a while with two great writers – Julian Dutton and Ashley Blaker – to create a bunch of new faces which we hope will appeal to audiences in Britain and beyond. At the centre of it is Pompidou himself, an elderly aristocratic English oddball who has fallen on hard times but who remains upbeat and resourceful.”
Pompidou is set to air in ‘late 2014′ under the classic British comedy ‘tradition’ of a 6-episode series, and was greenlighted by BBC One channel controller Danny Cohen and incoming BBC ‘head of comedy’ Shane Allen, the latter if whom noted: “Matt is one of a handful of performers in the whole world who could pull this off. It’s a sleep-deprivingly exciting project.”
Two people who might not be as pleased at the new series are ITV presenters Ant & Dec, who were rumoured to be looking into creating a silent comedy series of their own, and while their plans still might happen, the effect of a ‘groundbreaking new show’ would obviously be lost once someone else has attempted it.
So for the time being, the pair will have to make do with a surprisingly revitalised music career, after a revival of their aliases ‘PJ & Duncan’ (performed at the end of last weekend’s episode of Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway to fit in with a themed performance from The Big Reunion), that would appear to most viewers as a one-off joke has inspired enough people to download their hit song “Let’s Get Ready To Rhumble” (which spent one week at #9 in the UK music charts in 1994) and catapult the pair to #1 in the UK iTunes chart in less than two days, much to their embarrassment (but also profit).
So while they continue to dream of taking the Saturday Night Takeaway format to America (as recently suggested by Ant), the pair will have to make do with a bitter-sweet success in the UK music industry for the time being, dealing with the obligatory ‘then and now’ of their song like the one below. Even music experts would probably say it’s still better than most of the alternatives on the chart right now: