UKTV is looking to iconic comedy series Porridge for their next original commission. The commercial network, which is a joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, has given the greenlight to Porridge: The Inside Story, a new documentary series for their Gold channel comprising three hour-long specials which will mark the 40th anniversary and tell the real story behind the legendary comedy series.
Porridge: The Inside Story promises to tell the real story of Porridge and its genesis from the pilot episode, to the Christmas specials and the spin-off. Each episode will contain classic sketches alongside rare and unseen material from the archives of the writers and the BBC, as well as forgotten treasures and anecdotes from the remaining cast, crew, advisors, friends, family and genuine Porridge fans. In addition, a handful of as-yet unspecified comedians will create a celebrity fan club, where they will assess and analyse the impact that Porridge has had on British comedy. And in a series finale, viewers will also be able to vote for their favourite moment from Porridge, which will be exclusively revealed to both Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. The documentary series is being produced by Phil McIntyre Television with Lindsay Jex serving as the series producer and Lucy Ansbro as the executive producer.
“Porridge is the sitcom that left an indelible mark on British comedy, and brought together the comic genius of Ronnie Barker, Richard Beckinsale and Sir David Jason”, said UKTV Commissioning Editor Iain Coyle, who commissioned the series. “We’re delighted to bring this series to Gold, and to have exclusive access to both Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais.”
Gold’s General Manager Steve North, who ordered the series, commented: “This series is a real treat both for Porridge aficionados but also those discovering it for the first time and will reveal never been seen before footage. It also complements the channel’s bold commissioning strategy of investing in fresh and unique content and will celebrate one of Britain’s best-loved sitcoms of all time.”
While Executive Producer Lucy Ansbro added: “We’re delighted and privileged to be working with Tarquin Gotch (Serious Comedy), the other Executive Producer, as well as Dick and Ian. We’re excited to be bringing this three part series to Gold, so that viewers can have a chance to be immersed in the world of Porridge, as never before.”