A whole new batch of Comedy Feeds have recently been released on BBC iPlayer with an abundance of bright new comedy talent being given the chance to create short comedy pilots for the television and online. And with an elite list of writers including the likes of Dane Baptiste, Greg James and Fern Brady, this series was set to be as strong as previous years from the get go.
Every new series of Comedy Feeds proves itself to be accessible to plenty, with actors and comedy stars from every corner of the industry. There’s a recognisable face in every episode, whether that be Michael Smiley popping up as Uncle Les in Fishbowl or Jarred Christmas in Dead Air playing the role of an irritating radio DJ from New Zealand (or was it Australia?).
Radges is a particularly strong episode; written by Fern Brady and starring an array of young and talented actresses who may not be familiar to most, including Lauren Lyle, Lois Chimimba and Samantha Foley. Set in a teenage referral unit, the premise is reasonably dark, perhaps, but the atmosphere is not a downbeat one. This is a direct result of Brady’s sharp writing, which deserves commending here as she successfully avoids dragging out narrative or relying on clichés for laughs, which is a hard feat for sitcom writers these days as the tropes of comedy plots often seem to lead in the same direction, reaching the same destination. There are brilliant character dynamics crafted, expertly cemented by the addition of the group’s session leader, Miranda‘s Sarah Hadland, who gets some of the best lines.
Another entertaining comedy short is Fishbowl, written by Boy Meets Girl co-writer Andrew Mettam and starring Katherine Rose Morely, Mark Benton and Sally Lindsay. This episode again borders on the sinister, with nineteen-year-old Hattie being brought back home by her suffocating parents after just two months at university, and there is certainly potential for this to develop into something brilliant if given the chance.
It is fantastic for television platforms to be able to give so many creative individuals a chance to experiment with their comedy pilots because the results are not only as unique as they are impressive, but they also have so much time and enthusiasm invested into making them forthcoming pieces of excellent comedy.