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BBC iPlayer announces 2019 Comedy Shorts

Staff Editor

Reading time: 6 mins

Four new Comedy Shorts have been announced by the BBC, promising an eclectic mix of comedy genres, tastes and styles.

This year’s shorts are titled Brain In Gear, Lazy Susan, Mandy and Sorry, and hail from talent including Famalam’s Gbemisola Ikumelo, Ghosts’ Lolly Adefope and Philomena Cunk’s Diane Morgan.

Shane Allen, Controller Comedy Commissioning BBC, says: “These shorts are a fast track way to back generation defining comedy talents to experiment with story and form. They also offer the comedy audience a novel way to watch comedy in more readily digestible ways as their attention is being pulled in so many more ways than ever before.”

The short-form comedies will premiere on BBC iPlayer and will also be broadcast on BBC Two. Mandy, Lazy Susan and Sorry will be available on BBC iPlayer from Thursday 25th July. Brain In Gear will be available on BBC iPlayer from Saturday 3rd August.

Here’s the full rundown:

Brain In Gear

Written by and starring Gbemisola Ikumelo (Famalam, The Last Tree) Brain In Gear is a flat-share comedy where the nightmare tenants… are the voices in your head.

They are the voices that tell you to get out there and apply for that job, flirt with that stranger, carpe that diem… And the other one. The one that tells you stay in bed. Caught in the middle is Remi, a perfectly normal, if somewhat anxious single woman in her *cough* late 20s. Remi tries her best to navigate the contradicting advice from her inner selves who refuse to stay “inner”, and have an annoying habit of appearing uninvited in her home. Brain In Gear is a funny, surreal yet relatable, poignant yet puerile take on the conversations we have with ourselves every day.

Gbemisola Ikumelo says: “I talk to myself a lot. As in full blown, animated chats about everything and nothing, and I’ve often wondered what I would look like if someone placed a hidden camera in my home and caught me mid-flow. Brain In Gear is the world getting to see some of the awful things I get up to when I’m alone. Don’t judge me!”

Brain In Gear is a BBC Studios production for BBC iPlayer and is written by and stars Gbemisola Ikumelo. The producer is Inez Gordon and the Executive Producers are Ben Caudell and Sam Ward. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Alex Moody.

Lazy Susan

Fresh from a sell-out, critically acclaimed run at the Edinburgh Fringe and a transfer to London’s Leicester Square Theatre and Melbourne Comedy Festival, comedy duo Lazy Susan – Freya Parker and Celeste Dring – bring their hilarious and twisted world view to the BBC.

The Lazy Susan comedy short will feature new creations along side some of their best-loved characters from their stage shows such as Megan and Michaela who just ‘don’t want any drama tonight’ and Thomas and Sandrine the ‘whimsical French woman, written by a man who’s never met a woman’. Subversive, strangely universal, and most importantly, extremely funny – this is Lazy Susan’s world and we’re all just living in it.

Lazy Susan (Freya and Celeste) say: “This is a really exciting opportunity for us. We’re so glad that Amy Annette and Katie Churchill said yes when we proposed making it with them (on bended knee – as is customary in TV pitching). It’s our best shot at capturing some of the essence of our live shows but reimagining it for telly/the internet. We’ve got a really great team around us – including ace director Jennifer Sheridan – so it really is a shame that we’ve already blown the entire budget on models and jet skis.”

Amy Annette and Katie Churchill, Producers for Tiger Aspect, say: “It’s not everyday a duo like Freya and Celeste come along. We think it’s telling that every comedy fan and comedian who hears we’re making this show gets very excited about it. We’re delighted that, via the BBC, everyone will get a chance to meet Lazy Susan and their smart, silly and darkly funny world.”

Lazy Susan is a Tiger Aspect production for BBC iPlayer and is written by and stars Freya Parker and Celeste Dring. The Producers are Amy Annette and Katie Churchill and the Executive Producer is Myfanwy Moore. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Alex Moody.


Making her Directorial debut, Diane Morgan (Cunk On Britain, Motherland, After Life) also wrote and stars in Mandy, a comedy film about a woman who really wants a sofa.

Have you ever seen a sofa you like in a shop window and really wanted it? Wanted it so much you can’t stop thinking about it? Wanted it so much you feel physically sick? Wanted it so much that nothing else in your life matters and you’d do anything, literally anything to get it, no matter the cost?

Of course you have, we all have. And at long last, someone (Diane Morgan) has made a comedy film about really, really wanting a sofa.

Mandy stars Diane Morgan (Cunk On Britain, Motherland, After Life), Gbemisola Ikumelo (Famalam, The Last Tree), Al Green (Flowers, Stath Lets Flats), Mark Silcox (Man Like Mobeen, Rovers) Rick Edwards (Impossible) and the actual Carol Decker from T’Pau. Mandy is Diane Morgan’s Directorial debut.

We could tell you the sofa is a metaphor for something – happiness maybe, or equality perhaps. But it isn’t. It’s just a really nice sofa.

Diane Morgan says: “As well as writing and performing in this, I also did location scouting, prop-buying, costume and my own hair and make-up. But if it’s no good I can always blame the director. Oh hang on, that was me as well.”

Mandy is a BBC Studios production for BBC iPlayer and was written, directed by and stars Diane Morgan. The Producer is Sam Ward and the Executive Producer is Ben Caudell. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Alex Moody.


Sorry is written by and stars Lolly Adefope (Ghosts, This Time With Alan Partridge, Shrill).

Dolly Adesina, an actress on the verge of super-stardom and a self-described ‘black Jennifer Lawrence’, is on the way to the London premiere of her first Hollywood film. (But don’t worry, she’s just like you. Sure, it’s pretty likely that she’s about to be cast in the next Marvel movie – but she eats pizza and drinks beer and watches Netflix, just like you.) During the journey, she finds out she’s trending on Twitter, but for all the wrong reasons – putting her career in jeopardy…

Sorry explores the ideas of intent, regret and redemption, and asks the question: who gets a second chance?

Lolly Adefope says: “So excited to be making a comedy short for BBC iPlayer, and especially excited by the opportunity to really get out of my zone by playing an actress who gets into trouble for something she tweeted!”

Damian Kavanagh, Executive Producer, says: “The team at Tiger Aspect are beyond excited to be working with the exceptionally talented Lolly on Sorry and helping her to bring her wonderful creation to life for audiences to enjoy.”

Sorry is a Tiger Aspect production for BBC iPlayer and was written by and stars Lolly Adefope. The Producer is Pippa Brown and the Executive Producer is Damian Kavanagh. The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Alex Moody

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