Nic Wright

The Comic Strip Presents to return with new film

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The Comic Strip Presents is to return next year with a one-off programme.

Gold will air Comic Strip Presents… The Red Top in January.

The 75 minute comic fantasy from Peter Richardson will tell the story of a woman who accidentally becomes Chief Executive of News International and soon gets caught up in a press scandal.

The Red Top – the programme’s working title – will brings together a roll call of British comedy stars, alongside new comic talent. Maxine Peake will star alongside Nigel Planer as Rupert Murdoch and Russell Tovey as Andy Coulson. Johnny Vegas, Alexei Sayle, Harry Enfield, James Buckley and John Sessions will also star in the film alongside Eleanor Matsuura as Wendi Deng.

Stephen Mangan will reprise his role as Tony Blair, with creator Peter Richardson making a cameo.

Richardson said: “Like our previous Comic Strip satire – The Hunt For Tony Blair which was set in the sixties, The Red Top lampoons the phone hacking scandal and the world of politics and press proprietors, and is set in a colourful seventies Boogie Nights style parallel universe with a disco soundtrack. I’m thrilled to have such a fantastic cast. It should be huge fun.”

Simon Lupton, Commissioning Editor for UKTV, said: “There’s nothing quite like The Comic Strip anywhere else in the world of comedy and so it’s incredibly exciting to be part of this next chapter. The script is wonderfully hilarious and playful, and as always the cast list is an embarrassment of riches. The Comic Strip history is littered with iconic moments, characters and performances, and I’m confident Peter and his team will be creating some more with this latest

The Red Top will be the second outing of the Comic Strip on Gold, following the 30th anniversary special The Comic Strip Presents… Five Go To Rehab in 2012.

The Comic Strip, a group of British comics and writers, originally came to prominence in the 1980s with their television series The Comic Strip Presents… which was labelled as a pioneering example of alternative comedy. Many of the collective’s core members went on to star in some of the country’s greatest comedy productions, such as Bottom, The Young Ones and French and Saunders.