Over the past two months, TVWise broke the news that Sky Living was developing a new six episode comedy series from Big Talk Productions and writers Hatty Ashdown and Anthony MacMurray, and that the series had recently been greenlit with Chloe Thomas attached to direct. Sky confirmed all of that today while also revealing that the sitcom is about a gang of four girls (and a couple of guys) who work in the world of ‘promotions’. The main cast includes Kerry Howard, Diana Vickers, Miranda Hennessy, Cariad Llloyd and Tracy-Ann Oberman. Sky Living’s press release follows below…
SKY LIVING HD ADDS TO ITS GROWING LINE UP OF ORIGINAL SCRIPTED PROGRAMMING WITH NEW COMEDY “GIVE OUT GIRLS”
London, 2nd May, 2013 – Following on from the success of the multi-award winning Friday Night Dinner, Big Talk Productions once again teams up with Popper Pictures for this brand new comedy, exclusively for Sky Living HD. “GIVE OUT GIRLS” has been commissioned by Lucy Lumsden, Head of Comedy for Sky.
“GIVE OUT GIRLS” is a sharply observed, character led sitcom about a gang of four girls (and a couple of guys) who work in the world of ‘promotions’. Who are those girls out at 7am, dressed as light bulbs, giving you stuff you don’t want? It’s a world that’s instantly recognisable to anyone who’s ever done a job simply to pay the rent. It’s about working hard at avoiding hard work and how your colleagues by default become your mates.
The lynch pin of the group is MARILYN played by Kerry Howard (Laura in Him & Her). She’s breezy, witty and at 29 is getting a bit old for this game. The gang’s motto is ‘what happens on tour stays on tour’. Our group are let loose up and down the country promoting a different product in a different venue each week. Seeking excitement and adventure they inject as much fun and mischief into the day as possible… Also joining the cast is singer, Diana Vickers in her first television role. Vickers plays GEMMA, the baby of the group, who is bright and enthusiastic with a naive view of the world. Fellow promo girls include ZOE (Miranda Hennessy, 30 and Counting), a passive aggressive, self-loving dancer from New Zealand and POPPY (Cariad Llloyd, Cardinal Burns) who has her own unique way of looking at the world, she loves to party and is prone to obsessions when it comes to boys. The team work under DEBBIE, (Tracy-Ann Oberman, Friday Night Dinner, EastEnders) who’s in her mid-40s. She’s a Northern, menopausal trouser-suit wearing, nightmare boss of the company.
Antonia Hurford-Jones, Director Sky Living HD, said: “Give Out Girls is a fantastic addition to what is shaping up to be a really strong offering of original scripted programming on the channel, of which I am hugely proud. With its mix of brilliant characters and the situations they get themselves into, we feel confident this is a series our customers will both enjoy and identify with.”
Written by Tony MacMurray (The Last Chancers) and stand up comedienne Hatty Ashdown. Ashdown used her time spent as a promo girl as inspiration for the series. The series will join a growing list of original comedy commissions on the channel, which includes “The Spa” by “Benidorm’s” Derren Litten, “Love Matters”, a collection of six comic films about love, “Trying Again” written by the award-winning Simon Blackwell and Chris Addison and “Doll & Em”, co-created and starring real life best friends, Emily Mortimer and Dolly Wells.
Lucy Lumsden, Head of Comedy for Sky, added: “We’re delighted to be working with Big Talk and Popper Pictures on Give Out Girls. With brilliantly funny scripts and fabulous cast, we can’t wait to see Sky Living’s latest comedy offering hit our screens.”
Big Talk CEO Kenton Allen commented, “It’s terrific to be working with Robert Popper, Tony & Hatty on this really fresh and funny series. Everyone we talk to seems to have spent a period of their life doing this kind of job and with Hatty’s hilarious first hand experiences informing the scripts, the show’s authenticity shines through. It is remarkable the ridiculous things nice young people are asked to do in the name of a new type of Yoghurt.”
Robert Popper, said; “I’m so thrilled to be working with such an exciting pair of writers, and of course working again with the wonderful Kenton Allen. Altogether it’s one big ‘Hoorah’!”
“GIVE OUT GIRLS” has been commissioned for Sky’s by Head of Comedy, Lucy Lumsden and will be Executive Produced for Sky by Saskia Schuster. It will be Executive Produced for Big Talk by Chief Executive Kenton Allen and Robert Popper. The series will be produced by Jim Poyser (Shameless, Heading Out) and directed by Chloe Thomas (Horrible Histories, Angelo’s).
This latest commission is part of Sky’s commitment to increase its investment in original British content by 50% over the next three years. By 2014, Sky expects to invest £600 million a year in British programmes across its portfolio of channels. This commitment follows the success of home-grown comedies such as THE SPA, MOONE BOY, HUNDERBY, TROLLIED and STELLA, entertainment hits SINGDATE, GOT TO DANCE and A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN, dramas such as STRIKE BACK, BEDLAM and MAD DOGS, and factual shows including ROSS KEMP EXTREME WORLD, AN IDIOT ABROAD and the BAFTA-winning documentary FLYING MONSTERS 3D.
The series starts filming in and around Manchester in May 2013 and is distributed internationally by BBC Worldwide.