BBC Greenlights Citizen Khan Sitcom


In recent weeks, we”ve talked a number of times about the role of online video in comedy. Two clear trends seem to be emerging. Firstly, the involvement of brands in reviving or extending the careers of established comics (Foster”s and The Fast Show). Secondly, the role of the web in breaking young talent (eg Channel 4”s The Midnight Beast).
This week saw a new example of the second strand when the BBC revealed it had ordered 6 x 30-min. episodes of Citizen Khan, a sitcom based around a character who came to fame via web and radio.
The BBC greenlit the Citizen Khan TV series one week after it was pitched at the Salford Sitcom Showcase. It will be produced by BBC Comedy, shot at MediaCityUK in Salford and air in autumn 2012.
The BBC calls Citizen Khan “a comedy set in the capital of British Pakistan – Sparkhill, Birmingham”. It follows the comic capers of self-appointed Muslim community leader Mr Khan “a larger-than-life character with big dreams and strident opinions.”
Created by Adil Ray (who also plays Mr Khan), the character featured in the Radio Four comedy series Down The Line. Then In 2010, Ray featured in his own web series for the BBC Comedy website with 12 episodes, in which he covered topics such as the general election and cricket. Commenting on the commission, Ray said: “It’;s been an incredible journey working with a great writing team, cast and invaluable support from all at BBC Comedy.”
Cheryl Taylor, Head of Comedy Commissioning, said: “The Salford Sitcom Showcase was designed to encourage more studio sitcoms to be produced and filmed in the North West. We are delighted that within one week of Adil Ray’;s phenomenal performance as Citizen Khan the show has been commissioned as a six-part series for BBC One. It will prove a wonderful companion piece to our other studio sensations – Mrs Brown’;s Boys and Miranda.”
Note: The Salford Sitcom Showcase was an event where indie comedy suppliers and BBC In-House were invited to submit scripts aimed at BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Three audiences. BBC North and BBC Comedy Commissioning chose six scripts from over 80 submitted and these had theatrical presentations from 12-14 October at MediaCityUK.

Share this Article