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W1A - Hugh Bonneville reprises role in 2012 spinoff

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BBC Two commissions W1A - the follow-up to multi-BAFTA-winning Twenty Twelve

Janice Hadlow, Controller of BBC Two, and Shane Allen, Controller of Comedy Commissioning, have commissioned W1A, John Morton’s follow-up to multi-BAFTA-winning comedy series Twenty Twelve, from BBC In-House Comedy.

Filming starts next month on W1A, which will see Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville), ex Head of the Olympic Deliverance Commission, taking up his next big job – the (fictional) Head of Values at the BBC. His task is to clarify, define, or re-define the core purpose of the BBC across all its functions and to position it confidently for the future, in particular for Licence Fee Renegotiation and Charter Renewal in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Reith was then; this is now. The post is sold to Ian as a chance to influence and shape one of the great British institutions. His job is to think Big Thoughts, but it doesn’t him take long to realise that not only does he not have time to think Big Thoughts, he never has time to think any thoughts at all.

Although not a sequel to Twenty Twelve – W1A features new situations and new characters - it does share some of its DNA with Twenty Twelve and even follows the progress of Siobhan Sharpe (Jessica Hynes), PR guru behind the Twenty Twelve Olympics.

Writer John Morton says: “It isn’t a demolition job on anybody or anything, and it isn’t one giant in-joke, and this isn’t a game of guessing who is supposed to be who. If it is satirical then it’s satirical about an environment, an ethos, and the absurdities of modern corporate life itself. The key principle is to operate at a level of reality just to the left or the right of fact, to create stories that haven’t actually happened but that could happen or might have happened.“

Janice Hadlow, Controller of BBC Two, says: “Twenty Twelve was one of BBC Two’s stand out comedy hits last year and I’m absolutely thrilled that John Morton and the fantastic off-screen team are coming together again as well as some of our most loved characters from the first series.”

Mark Freeland, Head of BBC In-house Comedy, says: “This is a kind of love letter to the BBC. But a letter that gets mislaid, because the remote computer system is not working and Head of Recovery, BBC, is stuck in a blue sky brainstorming session in a meeting room that's been double booked and anyway, the bean bags have gone missing.”

W1A is written and directed by John Morton (Twenty Twelve, People Like Us), produced by Paul Schlesinger and executive produced by Jon Plowman, the team behind the Olympic hit Twenty Twelve. It is a BBC In-House Comedy production commissioned by Janice Hadlow, Controller of BBC Two, and Shane Allen, Controller of Comedy Commissioning. There will be an initial run of 4x30-minute episodes to be screened in 2014 on BBC Two.

A spokesperson for Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC says: “In a divergent, 360 degrees, flexi-content, on-demand marketplace, this is just the kind of connected proposition that the BBC is prioritising…..what is it…??”

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  • 1 month later...

Ughh .... what were they thinking.

Every other character is an annoying and unconvincing (in that they could hold a job or have a career) tosspot.

I love Jessica Stevenson but what they have her doing: WE GET THE FUCKING POINT, now do something interesting with it !!!!!


It's all way to broad, almost like the BRITTAS EMPIRE school of comedy writing.

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Every other character is an annoying and unconvincing (in that they could hold a job or have a career) tosspot.

Never worked in marketing or internal communications dept. in a big business or public sector organisation?

In my experience it's not particularly fantastical.

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Oh I've worked with my share of marketing and PR people. Yes, they might half spout some shite and some of them can be pretty deluded at times, but they are at least half grounded to reality.

Some of those in W1A, less than 10%. Focus on some truisms, not ridiculous caricatures. Some of what they say being like a super short catchphrase, repeated continually.

Next to the The Thick of It, this like a originally comedy series on Sky 1 (circa late 90's): not good enough for the main channels.

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  • 1 year later...

So clearly this didn't get universal praise on the forum then...

I've just been catching up on the end of series 2 on iPlayer before it disappears, and I think its great. The writer has perfected a form of weaponised bullshit bingo that builds to a crescendo in each episode.

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  • 2 years later...
  • 2 years later...

Lol at the tweets :lol:


I really enjoyed both the 2012 and W1A but never caught the third series. Wouldn't mind a rewatch of all of them (plus 2012 again) - are they available anywhere?

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