Andrew Dipper

BBC announce new Valentine’s comedy shorts

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A host of top comedy names are set to appear in new BBC iPlayer comedy shorts.

On Friday 13 February, nine original comedy shorts will go live on the iPlayer to mark Valentine’s Day, featuring the likes of Bill Bailey, Matt Berry, Romesh Ranganathan, Sara Pascoe, Limmy, Nick Helm, Modern Toss, Russ Abbott and Katy Wix.

Each comedian has each created a short Funny Valentine to bring their unique take on the international day of love.

Speaking about the commissions, Victoria Jaye, Head of TV Content for BBC iPlayer says: “BBC iPlayer presents a huge creative opportunity to push the boundaries of storytelling and engage audiences in new ways.

“Our exclusive content for 2015 demonstrates how established and emerging British artists, along with cultural organisations, are seizing this opportunity to create bold, original new work.

“This is a glimpse of iPlayer’s next wave of innovation.”

Bill Bailey re-imagines one of his most popular songs in a spoof music video poking fun at the earnestness of romantic rock. In Love Song, a solitary, obsessive loner’s life is turned upside down by a beautiful, mysterious woman, played by Emma Thompson. She opens his eyes to a whole new world and for a brief moment, he is in paradise.

Wild Love is the Sequel to Matt Berry’s maverick wildlife ‘documentary’ Lone Wolf. Berry voices spectacular wildlife photography and explores some of the world’s most exotic and extraordinary beasts and the courtships and mating rituals they endure, in their pursuit of sex.

First dates don’t come with user instructions and it’s hard to know how best to conduct one’s self in the hunt for love. Luckily for Romesh Ranganathan in A Tale of 2 Roms his alter ego is around and on hand to tear apart his seduction techniques and offer some dubious advice. A Tale of 2 Roms also stars Aisling Bea.

In Music Lovers, established Norwegian band Monozygotic is launching a new album ‘Funny Valentines’ in the UK. This promo features extracts from their music videos and interviews with the band members. As the promo unfolds, we realize that all the band members have been romantically involved with each other and these experiences have influenced their sometimes rather bizarre song lyrics. Starring Sara Pascoe, who talks to Giggle Beats about the comedy short here.

Brian Limond, AKA Limmy, creates a brand-new character in A Wee Video For The Lassies. Limmy plays a nervous romantic filming his clip for a dating website. He’s single, looking for love and eager to open up and tell you a bit about himself. He’s got a twinkle in his eye, a good sense of humour and a grisly, violent backstory.

Modern Toss presents The Lady And The Fly, an emotionally charged and lavish six-minute animation with the epic sweep of a classic romantic melodrama. In this groundbreaking tale of inter-species heartbreak, a lovestruck fly falls for the woman of his dreams, only to find himself bound in a web of his own deluded nightmare. Voiced by Mackenzie Crook and Paul Kaye, this Valentine’s Day treat will lift you up where you belong, on the wings of a soaring fly.

Dear Jean-Pierre is the story of a relationship in decline as Katy Wix decides to put pen to paper to tell the glamorous Frenchman who stole her heart that it’s over. This unconventional love story begins with a romantic meeting, but it’s not long before the cracks start to appear and, through a series of flashbacks, we see exactly where things went wrong.

Written by and starring Nick Helm (Uncle) and Esther Smith (Cuckoo), Elephant sees two best friends while away a skint afternoon together walking around the backstreets of Brighton, trying to avoid what’s staring them both in the face. Why would they let the fact that they’ve fallen in love get in the way of them talking nonsense to each other? And what’s so wrong with settling for second best if it avoids an awkward conversation?

In Last Chance by Roy Clarke, Russ Abbot plays Morris Roebuck, a man whose wife has left him and he’s had enough. He’s recording his ex-wife one final message as a goodbye and he ruminates on their life, God and Isobel from over the road who has been a ‘big comfort’ to him.