Channel 4 has rounded out the cast of This Way Up (formerly known as Happy AF). Aasif Mandvi, Tobias Menzies, Indira Varma Sorcha Cusack , Chris Geere, Kadiff Kirwan, Ricky Grover, Ekow Quartey and Pik-Sen Lim, Todor Jordanov, Jassem Mougari and Daniela Spataru are set to star opposite Aisling Bea and Sharon Horgan in the six episode comedy series.
This Way Up follows Aine (Bea), a whip smart English-as-a-foreign language (TEFL) teacher trying to pull her life back together after a “teeny little nervous breakdown”, as her sister Shona(Horgan), worries, not only about her younger sibling, but also about her own life choices. The TEFL school where Aine teaches brings together a room full of characters also trying to find their own hope, direction and happiness in this messy world.
Aisling Bea created the series, which originally scored a series order at Channel 4 last May. Hulu has since boarded as the US co-producer and will air the series in the United States. Merman are producing, with Gavin O’Grady serving as the series producer. Alex Winckler is attached to direct. The executive producers are Clelia Mountford, Sharon Horgan and Aisling Bea. It was commissioned by Channel 4’s Head of Comedy Fiona McDermott and Channel 4’s Commissioning Editor for Comedy Jack Bayles.
“After years of scripts and projects that never made it to air, this show is a bit of a dream come true, so I really bloody hope you like it”, series creator and star Aisling Bea said in a statement. “Sharon and I first played sisters in a TV show that got cancelled about eight years ago and we have gone on many drunken nights out across the world together since to stay in character for this project. Channel 4 have supported and backed me in many ways for years now, so I am over the moon to have my little baby live with them and to have it go visit its step-mother Hulu in America too.”
“Already an established stand up and actor, Aisling has delivered the most fantastically funny yet tender, poignant and surprising show in This Way Up and, with Sharon Horgan playing her sister, we get two of the funniest people on the planet putting their own glorious spin on the sibling thing. We love it”, commented Channel 4’s Head of Comedy Fiona McDermott.
While executive producers Clelia Mountford and Sharon Horgan added: “We are so happy to be working with Channel 4 again and to have made Aisling Bea’s first self-penned series for them. We’re very proud of what Aish has achieved with This Way Up and of the dedicated work from the whole team who worked alongside her. It’s a show that we always knew she had in her but what a thrill to see it come to life.”