BBC One has ordered The Cleaner, a six episode comedy series about a crime scene cleaner that hails from Greg Davies (Man Down, Taskmaster).
The Cleaner tells the story of Paul ‘Wicky’ Wickstead (Greg Davies), who is a state-certified cleaning technician with a very special field of work: as a crime scene cleaner he is responsible for the removal of any signs of death. Wicky works for Shropshire-based cleaning contractors Lausen.
He is usually found, together with his baby-blue pickup truck, at crime scenes after the police have concluded their detective work. Armed with chemicals, scrubbing brushes and cleaning rags, Wicky removes the gruesome mess at the scene of the crime. When carrying out his duties, he stumbles across the strangest of people: from the victim’s relatives, employers, neighbours and acquaintances, to occasionally even the murderers themselves. And because he’s a sociable type, he sometimes gossips more than he cleans.
The comedy series is based on the long-running German comedy series Der Tatortreiniger (Crime Scene Cleaner) that was created by Ingrid Lausund. Davies penned the UK adaptation, which is being produced by Studio Hamburg UK. The Executive Producer for Studio Hamburg UK is Vivien Muller-Rommel and the Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Ben Caudell. The Cleaner was commissioned by the BBC’s Controller of Comedy Commissioning Shane Allen and the BBC’s Director of Content Charlotte Moore.
“As a young man I told a careers adviser that I wanted to mop blood up for a living or be a comedian. He told me with a giggle that neither were real jobs and I should consider learning a trade. Well he’s not laughing now is he?!*”, Greg Davies said in a statement. “*Sadly, he’s dead. I’m thrilled to be adapting this wonderful show with Studio Hamburg UK for BBC One and can’t wait to get cleaning.”
“Greg has done a knockout job of repositioning this hit sitcom for the UK audience. Wicky is a thoroughly decent everyman whose differing work situation each week brims with comic flourishes and opportunities to test his moral fibre”, commented Shane Allen. “As with Ghosts and The Goes Wrong Show we’re keen to back distinctive ideas that play with form and tone for a mainstream BBC One audience and take the sitcom in to unexpected new settings.”
While Vivien Muller-Rommel, Managing Director of Studio Hamburg UK, added: “We are very excited to be partnering with the BBC, the Holy Grail of British comedy, on this show. Greg Davies has always been our top choice to portray our charmingly chatty protagonist, and we couldn’t be more delighted that he’s also writing the series. In times of a global pandemic, we all need more comedies. Fortunately our protagonist already wears a mask by profession.”