BBC One has given the green-light to Stan and Ollie, a 90 minute biopic about Laurel and Hardy. The drama was written by multi-award-winning screenwriter Jeff Pope, whose previous credits include ITV’s Mrs Biggs and Lucan.
Penned by Pope, Stan and Ollie tells the story of the duo’s ill-fated 1953 UK tour, which would be the last performances for both; with Ollie dying after a serious heart attack and, following the death of his partner, Stan never performed again. The 90 minute one-off is being produced by BBC In-House Comedy in association with BBC Worldwide, Lookout Point and The Weinstein Company with Saurabh Kakkar, Simon Vaughan and Harvey Weinstein serving as executive producers. The biopic was commissioned by Danny Cohen, when his was still serving as Controller of BBC One, and Shane Allen, the BBC’s Controller of Comedy Commissioning.
“Stan And Ollie demonstrates the fabulous range of comedy on BBC One”, said Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One. “Written by Jeff Pope, this is a poignant single film about one of Britain’s best loved double-acts.”
While Shane Allen, Controller of BBC Comedy Commissioning, added: “Stan And Ollie is Jeff’s love letter to two pioneers and enduring giants of screen comedy. It beautifully captures the deep emotional bond forged over a lifelong partnership as they reflect on their rollercoaster careers through the prism of this final UK farewell tour. An epic story about the world’s most famous comedy double-act to date, told with great insight and heart.”