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|Posted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:35 pm Post subject: A funny undertaking...
|David Jason directs funeral directors' sitcom
|Sir David Jason is directing a new BBC comedy pilot about a firm of undertakers.
Filming began in Huddersfield this week, with The Fast Show’s Mark Williams in a starring role.
Pearly Gates has been created by local writer Ben Sweet, who told the Huddersfield Daily Examiner: ‘To pull in a great team like this and have BBC backing is an amazing achievement.
‘I thought of the idea of bringing a classic bit of British humour out of that scenario [death] and creating a dysfunctional family of funeral directors who get up to a load of mischief as they go along.
‘We’ve all got our fingers crossed that the powers that be at the BBC will give us a series.’
Only Fools and Horses producer Gareth Gwenlan – a former head of comedy at the BBC – is also working on the series, which is being pitched for a BBC One slot.
He added: “I’ve confidence in the script, I think Ben has come with a good old fashioned sitcom, which I have a feeling the audience might like.”
It is not the first sitcom based around undertakers, the most notable forerunner being Thora Hird’s Seventies comedy In Loving Memory.
While on the set of Pearly Gates, Sir David, has spoken of how he doubts the Americans can pull off a successful remake of Only Fools And Horses.
The actor – no stranger to flops given the reception of his latest BBC One comedy The Royal Bodyguard – said the ABC pilot currently in development was likely to lose the essence of what made the Peckham-based sitcom so funny.
‘They can do brilliant comedy [in America] but I don't see that they can bring off Fools and Horses,’ the 71-year-old told BBC News. ‘I don't see that it will travel across the pond."
‘It might work but you've got to change it so much that, in the change, in order to Americanise it, do you lose the whole concept? The language will have to change so much. It's so London and so British, [in] its humour.
‘I have no idea what the American equivalent of “plonker” is, for example. Or “dipstick”.’
Sir David suggested Johnny Depp as the ideal Hollywood actor to play Del Boy.
He also admitted that The Royal Bodyguard, had proved a disappointment, saying: ‘You can't get it right all the time... and yeah, perhaps I think we didn't quite bring it off.
Chortle News Bot