BBC Two Orders Sophie Willan Comedy Pilot ‘Alma’s Not Normal’

BBC Two has ordered Alma’s Not Normal – a half-hour comedy pilot written by and starring Sophie Willan, who won the BBC’s inaugural Caroline Aherne Bursary Award in 2018.

Alma’s Not Normal follows Boltonian wild-child, Alma Nuthall and her family of eccentric, unruly women. With no qualifications and a rebellious streak a mile wide, Alma decides to become an escort to support her dreams of becoming a star and leaving Bolton. Meanwhile, Alma’s mother Lin battles with both her addiction to heroin and her troubled relationship with her own mother Joan with the same chaotic fervour.

Having only just discovered feminism and sexual liberation, Alma’s vampish Grandma Joan, must contend with her daughter suddenly moving in with her. Alma’s Not Normal offers a bitingly funny and unflinching take on class, sexuality, mental health and substance abuse. It celebrates women dealing with the hand they were dealt while doggedly pursing their dreams. It explores the darker side of life but with genuine warmth and laugh out loud result.

The pilot has been commissioned for New On Two – the comedy strand that has been used the pilot such projects as Motherland and Home From Home – and is being produced by Expectation. Sophie Willan penned the script, drawing on her own unusual life experiences. Nerys Evans is the executive producer. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Kate Daughton. The pilot order, which was announced at the Edinburgh TV Festival, comes on the heels of BBC Two handing out a six episode series order to a new Sara Pascoe sitcom.