Last month, TVWise reported that BBC One had ordered a follow up to its successful 2011 Christmas comedy Lapland and that the part of Peter Lewis, which had been portrayed by Stephen Graham in the original 90 minute film, had been recast with Dean Andrews now assuming the role. BBC One made that official today by announcing the commission of Lapland, a new six-part comedy series based on the 2011 film.
Lapland picks up after the events of last years Christmas special and follows the lives of the Lewis family from Birkenhead, Merseyside. The family’s matriarch, Eileen Lewis, find her outlook on life changed by the trip to Lapland (as depicted in the 2011 special) and is determined to live life to the fullest. But life back in Birkenhead is a little less inspiring than the spectacular vistas and Northern lights of Lapland. The series centres on Eileen’s continued struggle to find her own peace and joy in life after Ted, as often confounded by her hilariously self-centred children and loveable but trying grandchildren.
With the exception of Stephen Graham, almost the entire cast of the 2011 special will be reprising their roles with Sue Johnston returning as Eileen Lewis, Julie Graham as Mandy Lewis, Elizabeth Berrington as Paula Lewis and William Ash as Ray Lewis. Dean Andrews will (as previously reported) now fill the role of Peter Lewis. Lapland is being produced by BBC In House Comedy with Pete Thornton serving as executive producer. Production on the six part series will commence later this month in Salford, Manchester, Liverpool and Birkenhead, with BBC One eyeing a 2013 premiere.
Speaking of the commissioning of a full series of Lapland, Mark Freeland, BBC’s Controller of UK Comedy Production, said: “After its rating success last Christmas, it’s exciting that Lapland is coming back as a series. It shows BBC One backs fresh, new, comic writing.”
While executive producer Peter Thornton added: “Michael Wynne has penned a beautifully nuanced, warm hearted Northern comedy featuring a highly original comic family. With the brilliant Sue Johnston leading a stellar cast, we’re thrilled to welcome this hit ensemble back to BBC One.”