Filming has started on BBC Two’s new comedy The Bleak Old Shop Of Stuff which will feature Stephen Fry, Robert Webb and David Mitchell along with Celia Imrie, Pauline McLynn and Katherine Parkinson.
BBC Two announces that production is underway on The Bleak Old Shop Of Stuff, a new four-part comedy adventure set in the Dickensian world of Jedrington Secret-Past, the up-standing family man and owner of The Old Shop of Stuff, Victorian London’s most successful purveyor of miscellaneous odd things. The Bleak Old Shop Of Stuff is a BBC In-House production comprising a one-hour Christmas Special followed by three 30-minute episodes to air early next year. It is produced by Gareth Edwards (That Mitchell And Webb Look) and written by Mark Evans, who penned Radio 4 comedy Bleak Expectations, a Victorian adventure about a different set of Dickensian characters.
The series has an impressive ensemble cast led by Robert Webb (That Mitchell And Webb Look) in the role of Jedrington and Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd) who plays his wife Conceptiva. The Christmas special will feature Stephen Fry as the evil lawyer Malifax Skulkingworm alongside David Mitchell (That Mitchell And Webb Look), Celia Imrie (Nanny McPhee), Pauline McLynn (Father Ted) and Johnny Vegas (Ideal). The episode sees Jedrington’s family incarcerated by Skulkingworm in London’s infamous prison The Skint, until they can repay a mysterious and vast debt. Will Jedrington rescue his family in time for Christmas or lose them forever? And is there more to the name Secret-Past than meets the eye?
The rest of the series will feature Tim McInnerny (Blackadder), Kevin Eldon (Nighty Night), Sarah Hadland (Miranda) and Derek Griffiths (West End’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) and sees Jedrington team up with a seemingly charming new business partner Harmswell Grimstone (McInnerny). As the Secret-Past family’s fortunes rise, it looks like they are built on crumbling foundations indeed, especially when it is revealed that Conceptiva too has a secret that turns out to be even darker than Jedrington’s own.
“Mark Evans’s already well-loved Victorian comic world is a wonderful way to celebrate the bicentenary of Dickens’ birth. He probably wouldn’t have agreed, but I am very excited.” – Mark Freeland, Head of In-House Comedy
“I’m really looking forward to working with my all-time hero David Mitchell. Apparently Stephen Fry is in it too, which is nice.” – Robert Webb
The Bleak Old Shop Of Stuff has been commissioned by Cheryl Taylor, Controller of Comedy Commissioning and directed by Ben Gosling Fuller (Ideal).