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Following the global success of Cunk on Earth, pioneering documentary-maker Philomena Cunk (Diane Morgan) returns with her most ambitious quest to date; venturing right up the universe and everything, to find the definitive answer to the ultimate question – the meaning of life.

“What’s the point of it all?” is a question humans have been asking themselves since the dawn of time.

But as we cling to our dying planet, working round the clock while we’re slowly being replaced by machines, now more than ever, people are desperately looking to make sense of their lives – before someone invents a computer that makes sense of it for them.


In this one-off extended special for BBC Two and BBC iPlayer, Cunk’s Quest for Meaning, Philomena will tackle some of the most complex concepts to have ever been discovered, including Quantum Physics, Existentialism, Nihilism, Hedonism – and at least four other isms – as well as exploring subjects from the big bang to biology,  morals to meditation and art to artificial intelligence.


In her search for answers, she’ll also examine the lives and works of some of history’s foremost thinkers and ground-breaking creatives, from Epicurus to Dostoyevsky, from Sartre to Van Gogh, from Nietzsche to whoever came up with those signs in kitchens that say, ‘Live Laugh Love’.


It’s a journey that will take Philomena further afield than ever before as she visits sites of significance across Europe as well as travelling internationally for the first time to America (subject to visa approval but fingers crossed). Along the way, she’ll be meeting leading experts and academics and not letting them leave until she’s got to the bottom of such questions as: what is life, what’s the point of life, why are we bothering to find out and when’s lunch.

Philomena Cunk says: “To be honest I thought we could cover the meaning of life in a 30-minute episode, but the producers said we might need a bit longer and that I could probably go to America if we did a special. I’m very excited to be going to America for free.”

Charlie Brooker says: “What sort of quote do you want for your press release? I haven’t got time to think about this, I’m late for a Zoom. Oh for God’s sake. Okay, just print something bland like "I’m thrilled Philomena is returning to our screens to help us uncover the meaning of life” - that’ll do. Now go away and leave me alone. I said go away. Go! Leave! Why are you still standing there? You’re freaking me out now. Get out. GO.”

Jon Petrie, BBC Director of Comedy Commissioning says: “Cunk has become a global phenomenon, so it’s fitting that she is travelling further than before to ask some of the brightest people on earth some serious questions. Hopefully, she was clever enough to remember to renew her passport.  Diane Morgan and Charlie Brooker are the dream team, and I’m so glad they’ve teamed up again for more Cunk on the BBC.”

Cunk’s Quest for Meaning will debut on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer later this year and on Netflix outside of the UK and Ireland.

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