Brenda Blethyn and Jimmy Akingbola head up the cast.

Respected stage and screen actress Blethyn takes on the title role of Kate while British television, theatre and film actor Jimmy Akingbola has been cast as Kolo.

Kate and Kolo focuses on a working-class woman who runs an old-fashioned café in a neglected seaside town as she develops a strong, if sometimes volatile, friendship with an asylum-seeking African doctor.

“ITV is the perfect home for Kate and Kolo, written by two top writers and with two great actors like Brenda and Jimmy, it’s a wonderfully funny and sometimes touching comedy about real people coping with life at the sharp end.” – Jimmy Mulville, MD, Hat Trick Productions

The comedy will air across six thirty-minute slots and is a Hat Trick production for ITV. The scripts are to be written by Guy Jenkin and Andy Hamilton, who will also supervise a trainee writer under the Comedy 50:50 scheme.

“Kate and Kolo will be filmed in front of a live studio audience to air in 2020 on the channel,” says Saskia Schuster, ITV’s Comedy Controller. “Brenda and Jimmy head up a fantastic cast and we have 6 brilliantly written scripts.”

Earlier this year ITV’s Director of Television, Kevin Lygo, opined that the future of the traditional sitcom was “quite bleak” and noted that ITV viewers should increasingly look to the channel’s soaps for their comedy fix.

“We had two series of the Jack Dee sitcom but I don’t think we’re continuing with it now. It’s just very, very hard,” he said. “ITV was never quite the home of sitcom [but] Corrie is genuinely very funny at times.”

The Jack Dee sitcom Lygo refers to is Bad Move which has reportedly been axed by the broadcaster. The future of Birds of a Feather is also said to be in doubt while Benidorm recently came to an end on ITV after 10 years.

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