Baby Cow Productions’ founders Henry Normal and Steve Coogan will serve as Executive Producers, Baby Cow’s Alison MacPhail (The Mighty Boosh) will produce the series, while Matt King (Peep Show) and Steve Edge (Star Stories) will write and star.
BAFTA® nominees Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey) and Lesley Sharp (Scott & Bailey, The Shadow Line) will also star.
Granddad (Alan Williams, Luther, Rome) has recently moved in, following a rabble rousing incident at the old folks’ home. Rather than see him unhappy, his son Terry (Coyle) and wife Jan (Sharp), decide to put him up in their already crammed family home. Making room for him is Charlie (Finn Atkins, EastEnders), their 16 year old football crazy tomboy daughter; work–shy, reptile enthusiast, Gravy (John Dagleish, Beaver Falls, Larkrise to Candleford) and beautiful Bell (Rebecca Night, Larkrise to Candleford, This September) and her brand new baby, Zac, who arrives bang on time for the first episode.
Then there’s Bell’s ex-boyfriend, Reuben (Ukweli Roach), desperate to get back together with her. Uncle Loz (King), Granddad’s long lost son, is the artist of the family. Last but not least, Jan’s nephew, Fergie (Edge) who offers to bivouac in the garden, after being made homeless when his long suffering partner chucks him out.
Producer Steve Coogan commented: “We are very excited about this smart but accessible new television series which will make people laugh and cry in equal measure for all the right reasons.” Henry Normal added: “Matt King and Steve Edge have written a brilliant, warm and funny series and we are really excited to be producing it for Sky.”
ky1 HD’s Head of Comedy Lucy Lumsden commented: “We are completely smitten with the Starling family and can’t wait to introduce them to our customers.” Starlings will follow the lives of the Starling family, a typical working class brood living in Matlock, Derbyshire.
The series is part of Sky’s commitment to increase its investment in original British content by 50% over the next three years. By 2014, Sky expects to invest £600 million a year in British programmes across its portfolio of channels.
Starlings went into production in August 2011 and will air on Sky1 HD in 2012.