As this year's Edinburgh TV Festival gets underway, Channel 4 have announced a raft of new shows including a new Russell T Davies drama, a new series fronted by Mo Gilligan and some recommissions.
BAFTA-winning writer Russell T Davies returns to Channel 4 with The Boys, a new five-part series will follow the story of the 1980s, the story of AIDS, and the story of three boys, Ritchie, Roscoe and Colin, across the decade.
Ritchie, Roscoe and Colin are young lads, strangers at first, leaving home at 18 and heading off to London in 1981 with hope and ambition and joy… and walking straight into a plague that most of the world ignores. Year by year, episode by episode, their lives change, as the mystery of a new virus starts as a rumour, then a threat, then a terror, and then something that binds them together in the fight.
It’s the story of their friends, lovers and families too, especially Jill, the girl who loves them and helps them, and galvanises them in the battles to come. Together they will endure the horror of the epidemic, the pain of rejection and the prejudices that gay men faced throughout the decade.
There are terrible losses and wonderful friendships. And complex families, pushed to the limit and beyond. This is a series that remembers the boys we lost, and celebrates those lives that burned so brightly.
Writer and Executive Producer, Russell T Davies said “I lived through those times, and it’s taken me decades to build up to this. And as time marches on, there’s a danger the story will be forgotten. So it’s an honour to write this for the ones we lost, and the ones who survived.”
Mo's Show is a brand new comedy entertainment series fronted by comedian Mo Gilligan following his hugely successful Coupla Cans UK tour and highly praised co-hosting skills on The Big Narstie Show.
In the new 6-part series, Mo will present his own entertainment show built around his stand up, strands and sketches, filmed in front of a studio audience and the series will launch in 2019 in a 10pm slot.
With his high-energy style and stunning physicality, Mo has already achieved phenomenal success online, creating his own short form comedy content across a range of platforms with huge viewer engagement. His sketches regularly go viral, trend and are endorsed by some of the most famous names in international music including Drake and Stormzy.
Recently named The Funniest Man in Britain by The Times, Mo’s debut live stand up tour has smashed all records selling over 30,000 tickets, with numerous dates selling out in minutes. This new series will harness some of these sketches as well as fun with celebrity guests in a variety of different comedy strands including Mo’s hot takes on pop culture.
The Big Narstie Show
Following a successful first outing, Channel 4 has commissioned a brand new series of The Big Narstie Show, the alternative late night anarchic entertainment show presented by Grime musician Big Narstie and stand-up comedian Mo Gilligan.
The new series will feature more celebrity guests and musical performances alongside straight-talking segments on the news of the week, TV, showbiz, trends and food and laugh out loud sketches.
Previous guests across the first series included Ed Sheeran, David Schwimmer, Thandie Newton, Richard Ayoade, Craig David, Not3s, Giggs, Krept and Konan and Lady Leshurr.
The Big Narstie Show was one of Channel 4’s most popular programmes for young audiences. It was up 94% on share of 16-24 years old viewers, up 129% on share for BAME viewers and up 144% on share for black audiences.
Before the next series, Big Narstie and Mo will be back later this year with a one off Christmas special.
Ackley Bridge will be returning for a third 8-part series in 2019.
The first series was nominated for an RTS Award for Best Drama Series and won Best Drama, Best Actor, Best Director Fiction and Best Music and Use of Music at the RTS Yorkshire Awards. Series two, acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, concluded on Tuesday 21st August.
The idea for Ackley Bridge was inspired by schools in Lancashire and Yorkshire that were set up to integrate the white and Asian communities in some of the most divided towns in the country. It has won praise for the way it explores the lives of pupils and teachers alike with irreverence, wit, close to the knuckle humour and punchy, big hearted stories.
The End of the F***ing World
And Channel 4 has announced that The End of the F***ing World will be returning for a second series.
The first series saw teen outsiders James (Alex Lawther) and Alyssa (Jessica Barden) embark on a road trip which descended into darkly comic chaos.
After finding themselves embroiled in a series of violent events they are soon trailed by two uniquely mismatched police detectives, played by BAFTA-winning Wunmi Mosaku and Gemma Whelan. After a shocking series finale, only one thing is certain…expect the unexpected.
Lee and Dean
Also returning for an extended six-part run will be Lee and Dean as Channel 4 has recommissioned Mark O’Sullivan and Miles Chapman who play the eponymous Stevenage-based builder best mates.
The first series followed the relationship between Lee, Dean and their friends through charity galas, poetry nights, bark rubbing competitions, prison sentences and shockingly eventful stag and hen weekends.
The end of season 1 left us on the edge of our seats as Mrs Bryce-D’Souza announced she was pregnant, Lee and Nikki’s relationship was left in tatters, and Lee and Dean came to blows… But who is the father of Mrs Bryce-D’Souza’s baby? Will Lee and Dean mend their friendship? Will Lee and Nikki get married? And will Dean ever reveal his true feelings for Lee?
Anna Morris, Camille Ucan, Sam Underwood and Ricky Grover (EastEnders, Getting On, Walliams & Friend) also star.