Comedian Schneider directs new magazine-based sitcom

Exclusive: Green Wing production company Talkback Thames is developing a brand new sitcom set in the offices of a Heat-style magazine.

A pilot episode of the comedy, Up Close and Personal, has already been received by ITV2 and it is understood a full series is close to being commissioned.

The pilot episode has been written by Andy Rattenbury, who has written episodes of Teachers and Hotel Babylon. Directed by comedian David Schneider, best known for appearances on Knowing Me, Knowing You… with Alan Partridge and The Day Today, it stars Raquel Cassidy.

A spokeswoman for ITV2 confirmed the broadcaster had seen a pilot, but said no decision on whether a full series will be commissioned had yet been made.

However, ITV2 has publicly stated it intends to increase its comedy output and earlier this month announced its first original sitcom called No Heroics, made by The Vicar of Dibley producer Tiger Aspect.

At this year’s television festival in Edinburgh, ITV2 controller Zai Bennett said comedy would have an increasingly important role to play on the channel and he had invested £10 million in new comedies for next year.

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