UKTV's scripted comedy offering continues to grow with the re-commission of Sandylands (3x40') for the nation's favourite comedy channel Gold.
The new series, produced by King Bert Productions, starts filming today and sees the return of Sanjeev Bhaskar (Unforgotten, Porters) as the one-and-only Les Vegas, and Natalie Dew (Roadkill) as Emily Verma. This series also welcomes Tracy-Ann Oberman (Friday Night Dinner, Toast of London) as Donna Vegas, Emily's estranged mother and diva extraordinaire.
Other returning cast include David Walliams (After Ever After, The Midnight Gang) and Sophie Thompson (Feel Good, Coronation Street) as oddball next door neighbours Derek and Jeannie Swallows, plus Simon Bird (Friday Night Dinner, Inbetweeners) as police officer Nathan Wild and Craig Parkinson (Line of Duty, The English Game) as local nightclub owner Terry Chino. Harriet Webb (I May Destroy You, The Split) also steps back into the role of Emily's BFF, Tina Taylor.
Writers Martin Collins and Alex Finch said: "We are so excited to be back in Sandylands and working with the brilliant team at UKTV. We can't wait for everyone to see what we've got in store for our incredible cast and are absolutely delighted to be welcoming some amazing new faces on a return trip to the beautiful British seaside."
Series one of Sandylands closed on Les (Bhaskar) once again taking to the high seas in a pedalo, this time accompanied by his long-suffering daughter Emily (Dew), who he was hoping would be doing most of the pedalling in a bid to escape the clutches of the vindictive and mysterious One Eyed Man (played by Hugh Bonneville). After what feels like an eternity at sea, series two sees our heroic but also law-breaking duo marooned on a beach that could be literally anywhere but turns out to actually still be in Sandylands.
A relieved Les and Emily return home only to discover that Emily's estranged mother Donna Vegas (Oberman), is back in town and standing, cocktail in hand, in Les's Egyptian themed lounge. With a hefty insurance pay-out on the horizon and yet another unreliable person roped in to keep their secret, only one question remains - will Emily ever escape the clutches of her bickering parents and her seaside hometown?
Sandylands is commissioned for UKTV by Pete Thornton, head of scripted, and ordered by Gerald Casey, channel director for Gold. Steve North is genre general manager for comedy and entertainment and Richard Watsham is director of commissioning. The series is written by Martin Collins and Alex Finch (writers for sketch group This Glorious Monster) and directed by Michael Cumming (Brass Eye, Toast of London).
Pete Thornton said: "Sandylands is a special place for me, and I'm really pleased to finally be returning to it after the long winter months of lockdown. Series one introduced us to a clutch of highly original characters played by an extraordinarily talented cast, and I know the Gold audience will be looking forward to their further adventures, as imagined by two of our most original comic minds, Alex Finch and Martin Collins."
Gerald Casey said: "We're thrilled to see the return of this fresh and funny comedy on Gold. It's such a fantastic line-up and the characters are so expertly crafted by Collins and Finch. I can't wait to see more!"
Jo Sargent, exec producer for King Bert, added: "We're delighted to be returning to sunny Sandylands for another season and to have Tracy-Ann Oberman joining our illustrious cast. Martin and Alex have outdone themselves with brilliantly funny scripts that will see Les's estranged 'widow' Donna returning home to stake her claim to the Les Vegas business empire and her daughter ... in that order! Thank you to the team at UKTV and Gold, the perfect home for this show."