Karl Pilkington and Romesh Ranganathan bring a new breed of late-night laughs to Sky 1

Evenings on Sky 1 are about to get seriously funny with two new Sky Original Productions, one from   Karl Pilkington (An Idiot Abroad) and another from Romesh Ranganathan (Asian Provocateur).

As well as starring, Karl and Romesh will each write these often personal (but always funny) stories that will sit in a new 10pm half hour slot that’s dedicated to edgier and more mischievous comedies.

Sick of It is a scripted comedy series that sees Karl Pilkington takes on two roles – himself, and the voice inside his head, as he muddles through the mundane life he may have led if he hadn’t met Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. While The Reluctant Landlord (working title) is a semi-autobiographical sitcom in which Romesh inherits a pub he doesn’t really want.

These new British comedies are joining a line-up of shows on Sky 1 from some of the biggest names including; comedy thriller Bounty Hunters starring Jack Whitehall and Oscar nominee, Rosie Perez; and Sick Note – Rupert Grint and Nick Frost’s tale of a terrible lie that spirals out of control – both of which have already been slated for the 10pm comedy spot later this year.

Karl Pilkington: Sick of It

Sick of It is a scripted series that follows Karl, a middle-aged man recently ditched by his long-term girlfriend, as he muddles through life and attempts to make sense of the modern world.

Now living with his elderly auntie, Karl’s closest companion is the voice in his head, a crotchety, misanthropic alter ego who takes the form of his doppelgänger – it’s the uncensored true version of Karl that says what he really thinks without the risk of offending others.  As Karl attempts to move on from the break up and sort out his life, the voice in his head appears periodically to guide, criticise and dispense his unorthodox philosophy of life.

Karl Pilkington said: “For most people the inner self is there to help make decisions but mine mainly confuses me and pushes me in the wrong direction. I’d say that doing this series was inner self’s idea. I’ve only just realised that I’m playing myself twice but only being paid once. Like I say, my inner self doesn’t really look out for me.”

From the award-winning team behind An Idiot Abroad and The Moaning of Life, Sick of It is created and written by Karl Pilkington and Richard Yee, who also executive produce along with Krishnendu Majumdar. Richard Yee directs. From Me+You Productions and Alrite Productions.

Romesh Ranganathan: The Reluctant Landlord (working title)

Much to his annoyance Romesh is left running the local pub after his mischievous father left it to him in his will. He has never wanted to be a landlord, but his mum feels it is the only way to keep his dad’s legacy alive and his wife and kids are kids are having a ball there.

Starring Sian Gibson ( Peter Kay’s Car Share) as his wife, Natasha, and comedian Seann Walsh as best mate Lemon, this semi-autobiographical sitcom follows Romesh’s misadventures as he tries to offload the pub he doesn’t want, while his family use any amount of emotional blackmail to keep him at the heart of the place.

Romesh Ranganathan said: “ After my father passed away and I was forced to run a pub a few years ago I remember thinking: ‘The best way to turn this into a positive would be to write a sitcom based on the situation for Sky 1.’ I am delighted to finally see this very specific long term plan to fruition. The production team and channel have both been incredibly supportive. I say this both because it’s true and so that they can’t distance themselves from the project if it’s a failure .”

Created by Romesh Ranganathan and executive produced by Claire Whalley for What Larks Productions ( producers of Damned), as well as Jon Mountague and Tilusha Ghelani for Sky 1.

The two new shows were ordered by Adam MacDonald, director Sky 1, and Jon Mountague, head of comedy at Sky.

Talking about the new shows Jon said: “ Working with Karl Pilkington and Romesh Ranganathan is a dream; their shows are shot through with an authenticity that brings a unique, more grown-up comedy edge to Sky1.  

“Evenings are going to be all about laughs on Sky 1 – with our biggest line-up of new comedy coming up, including hour long comedy dramas at 9pm and something a bit more mischievous at 10pm. Coming soon are shows starring Jack Whitehall, Philip Glenister, Lesley Sharp, Rupert Grint and Nick Frost. As a comedy obsessive I’m thrilled to be walking amongst such giants – brilliant talent telling surprising and sometimes challenging comic stories.”

Among the new hour long comedy dramas coming up is Living the Dream, a six-part series from the makers of Cold Feet starring Philip Glenister (Outcast, Mad Dogs) and Lesley Sharp (Scott & Bailey, Paranoid) as an English family attempting to live the American dream.

These new shows follow the recently announced new entertainment shows coming to Sky 1 – Sing: Ultimate A CappellaRevolution and Carmaggedon – alongside new and returning dramas which include Strike Back, a third instalment of Stan Lee’s Lucky Man and new cop drama Bulletproof.

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