Following a successful pilot, Sophie Willan's comedy pilot Alma's Not Normal has deservedly been given a six-episode series.
In 2018, comedian Sophie Willan won the inaugural Caroline Aherne Bursary, which saw her awarded a £5,000 development fund and a mentorship with a BBC Commissioning Editor to develop a comedy script.
That script became Alma's Not Normal and earlier this month more than a million viewers tuned in to see the pilot with the show trending on Twitter and receiving by huge critical and audience acclaim.
Alma's Not Normal follows Boltonian wild-child Alma Nuthall and her family of eccentric, unruly women. After a recent break-up, Alma tries to get her life back on track. But with no job, no qualifications and a rebellious streak a mile wide, it’s not going to be easy.
Meanwhile her mum, who is battling a heroin addiction, has been sectioned for arson, and her vampish Grandma Joan wants nothing to do with it.
Starring alongside Sophie in the pilot were Jayde Adams, Siobhan Finneran, Nicolas Ashbury and Lorraine Ashbourne who are all expected to return for the series although no official announcement has been made yet by the BBC.
Speaking about being given a full series, Sophie said "I’ve been overwhelmed by the fabulous response to the pilot and I'm so excited to be developing the series! I’ve already been using the Lockdown as a chance to get cracking so I'm just pleased to have the official go ahead! I can’t wait to get it made and share the world of Alma with everyone!"
Whilst the BBC's Controller of Comedy Commissioning Shane Allen “Alma’s Not Normal landed so wonderfully formed with its distinctiveness, heart on sleeve charm, sparky humour and knockout cast. Sophie’s raw honesty, eye for characterisation and comedic insouciance have resulted in a cracking show bursting with potential. We just couldn’t resist a series and hope it does the memory and spirit of Caroline Aherne very proud.”
Executive Producer for the show Nerys Evans said "It’s been such a pleasure working with Sophie on Alma’s Not Normal, she’s innately funny and has such a unique outlook on life. Her writing is so authentic and intelligent; in just one episode she has created such a fully formed world."
"Her characters are beautifully observed and often flawed and sometimes challenging, but Sophie’s humour allows her to explore some really difficult subjects. I can’t wait to see how the story unfolds across a series as she’s bursting with brilliant ideas.”
Alma's Not Normal will return on BBC Two