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Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Barry Humphries and Sally Philips to guest in Sky1 comedy


Sky 1 HD today (26th March 2013) announces the brand new cast additions on upcoming comedy CHICKENS. Written by and starring Simon Bird, Jonny Sweet and Joe Thomas, CHICKENS is a First World War sitcom about three young men left behind in a world of women as the Nation’s heroes are fighting the good fight on foreign soil.

Barry Humphries, the creator of legendary comic characters Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson, will make a return to British television in a recurring guest role as Mr Armstrong, the headmaster at the local school. Mr Armstrong thinks George (Thomas), Cecil (Bird) and Bert (Sweet) are beneath contempt but, with no other men to talk to, he takes great joy in letting them know just how pathetic he thinks they are.

Barry Humphries says, “This is a wonderful opportunity for three of the funniest and most talented men in the Northern hemisphere to work with me.I am very proud of my young supporting cast, whose names I cannot remember at the moment…”

In addition, Sally Phillips (Miranda) will guest star as Miss Trimble, the village outcast who George invites for dinner much to the disgust of Cecil and Bert.

Meanwhile, George struggles to keep his engagement to Winky (Sarah Daykin,Dead Boss) alive as she tries to deal with the embarrassment of dating someone who should be doing his duty, and Bert’s brief encounter with Cecil’s sister, Agnes (Emerald Fennell,Anna Karenina), has left him wanting more, while she treats him with total disdain.

Also amongst Agnes’ gang are Gracie (Louise Ford, Misfits), Agnes’ best friend, Dot (Amy Dawson, Game of Thrones), the barmaid at The Cock and Bull, Hesta (Vicki Pepperdine, Getting On) the matriarch of the village and Gladys (Eileen Davies, Sightseers), a foul-mouthed OAP who lives in the woods.

As the entire village continues to scorn George, Cecil and Bert, including young mother Nellie (Emma Fryer, Phone Shop), we see whether they can gradually claw themselves back into the good books and be accepted back into society.

Simon Bird, Jonny Sweet and Joe Thomas commented: “We’re incredibly excited to be making Chickens for Sky 1 HD.  It’s a privilege to work alongside such a brilliantly funny cast and hugely talented crew.”

Sky 1 HD’s CHICKENS is part of Sky’s commitment to increase its investment in original British content by 50% by 2014 when Sky expects to invest £600 million a year in British programmes across its portfolio of channels.

This commitment follows the success of home-grown content such as entertainment hits GOT TO DANCE and A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN, dramas such as STRIKE BACK and MAD DOGS, comedies such as TROLLIED, SPY and STELLA and factual shows such as AN IDIOT ABROAD and the BAFTA-winning documentary FLYING MONSTERS 3D.  

The 6x30’ series was commissioned by Sky’s Head of Comedy, Lucy Lumsden,and will be produced by Big Talk Productions. The executive producers are Kenton Allen and Caroline Leddy for Big Talk Productions and Lucy Lumsden for Sky. The director is Ben Palmer (The Inbetweeners) and the producer is John Rushton (The Royle Family, Hunderby). Filming began earlier this month and will be shot in studio and on location in Essex.

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