Thursday, June 27, 2019


Marc Wootton makes hidden camera show in the US
With Sacha Baron Cohen

Marc Wootton is piloting an improvised hidden camera show with Sacha Baron Cohen, Chortle can reveal.

Currently filming in Los Angeles, Gooseberry has been conceived as an anthology series of action comedies that play out entirely in the real world and is described as 'an audacious collision of comic thriller and immersive theatre'.

Baron Cohen is executive producer on the show, which is being made for Comedy Central in the US through his production company Four By Two Films. Lionsgate, makers of Orange Is The New Black, are co-producers.

The pilot has been created and written by Wootton with director and longtime collaborator Misha Manson-Smith, who previously directed him in 2010's La La Land, another LA-set prank show which co-starred Julian Barrett and aired on Showtime in the US and BBC Three in the UK.

Wootton and Manson-Smith also worked together on the BBC Three  comedies High Spirits With Shirley Ghostman and My New Best Friend, both of which involved pranking members of the public.

Dan Swimer, long-time writing partner of Simon Amstell also executive produces alongside Kara Welker, producer of The Whitest Kids U'Know sketch show, and Manson-Smith.

Manson-Smith posted an Instagram photo of himself with Wootton in Venice, California during filming.

Speaking to the New York Times about La La Land in 2010, Manson-Smith said that Los Angeles was perfect for Wootton's pushy, over-confident creations because 'it’s a mecca for real people who would be as exciting as Marc’s characters'.

Wootton's first television appearance was on Channel 4's The 11 O'Clock Show after Baron Cohen had left the programme to make Da Ali G Show. 

Some reviewers criticised La La Land, which featured Wootton's best known creation, fake psychic Shirley Ghostman, alongside wannabe actor Gary Garner and documentary filmmaker Brendan Allen, as a pale imitation of Baron Cohen's work after his Stateside success with Borat and Bruno.

Wootton’s last series was the scripted High And Dry, about plane crash survivors on a desert island, for Channel 4.

- by Jay Richardson 


Huge thanks to Pascale Lane for these fabulous photos of her with Marc taken yesterday at the Museum of Comedy in London. 

Tuesday, March 05, 2019


Catch Brand new Marc on BBC Radio 4 11pm tonight...

Episode 1

Date Night

Semi-improvised comedy show written and performed by Marc Wootton with Catherine Tate, Monica Dolan, Katherine Parkinson, Hammed Animashaun, Ellie White and Jamie Demetriou. Together they portray a series of couples all embracing the modern phenomenon of date night.

DATE NIGHT, noun: A pre-arranged occasion when a couple who have been together for a long time commit to a regular night out in order to keep their relationship alive.

The series follows a collection of couples who are desperately trying to keep their relationship functioning by creating a weekly date night intervention. For some, the relationship is already broken, for others it's their pre-emptive strike in the hope of new-found longevity. More often than not, the stakes are high, involving children, careers and homes.

Date Night is written and created by Marc Wootton whose previous credits include High & Dry (Ch4), La La Land (Showtime), Shirley Ghostman (BBC) and My New Best Friend (Ch4).

Richard/Barry/Patrick/Terry ….. Marc Wootton
Maddy ….. Katherine Parkinson
Rita ….. Ellie White
Carol ….. Monica Dolan
Terri ….. Catherine Tate
Narrator ...... Fi Glover

Sound Designers: David Chilton and Lucinda Mason Brown
Assistant Producer: James Peak
Producer: Anna Madley

A Black Hat production for BBC Radio 4

Monday, December 17, 2018


Looking For Oil Drum Lane

If you missed it listen again now: HERE

Looking for Oil Drum Lane Drama A dramatisation of Ray Galton and Alan Simpson's comedy writing partnership - from Tony Hancock's departure to striking gold with Steptoe and Son. Starring Marc Wootton, Phil Cornwell, Barry Castagnola, James Hurn and Toby Longworth. 

Weaving comedy archive and newly written scenes, the show follows the tortuous search for Oil Drum Lane, the fictional address of Steptoe and Son. Ray Galton and Alan Simpson met in a tuberculosis sanatorium in 1948. They became friends through a shared passion for radio comedy. To amuse themselves, they broadcast their own sketches over the hospital radio. After sending their material to famous comedy writers of the day Denis Norden and Frank Muir, Alan and Ray were encouraged to post some scripts to the BBC. An unexpectedly positive response left the fledgling writers ecstatic. Soon they became regular sketch writers for the BBC. They met Tony Hancock and rose to the top of their profession. But when Hancock decided to go it alone Galton and Simpson were devastated and left high and dry. The team was then commissioned by the colourful head of light entertainment at the BBC, Tom Sloane, to write ten comedy plays - but the loss of Hancock generated an impenetrable writer's block - until they hammered out a pilot sit-com that became Steptoe and Son. 

Ray Galton........................................Marc Wootton 
Alan Simpson...................................Barry Castagnola
Tony Hancock/Wilfred Brambell......James Hurn 
Harry H Corbett...............................Phil Cornwell 
Tom Sloan........................................Ian Pearce 
Duncan Wood..................................Toby Longworth 

Other parts were played by the cast Written by Ian Pearce Script Editor - Nick Romero Directed and Produced by Andrew McGibbon

Friday, December 14, 2018


Marc was delighted to once again be a guest at the first Great Ormond Street Christmas party the "Snow Ball" in London today as Mr Poppy alongside Spice Girl Emma Bunton, Stephen Mulhern, and Nick Grimshaw and GBBO stars as part of the 12 days of #GoshXmas.

Monday, November 26, 2018


Last night saw a Nighty Night reunion, screening and Q and A at the BFI as part of their BFI comedy season

l-r Marc Wootton Felicity Montagu, Justin Johnson, Ruth Jones, Mark Gatiss, Julia Davis, Kevin Eldon, Angus Deayton

Justin Johnson of the BFI said: 

"Huge standing ovation and such an enjoyable evening reuniting the cast of Nighty Night @bfi with plenty of mashed prawns in their own basket. Thanks to Julia Davis, Mark Gatiss Kevin Eldon Ruth Jones Felicity Montagu Angus Deayton Marc Wootton #BFIComedy"

Monday, November 05, 2018


Marc will be at the BFI again this month for the Nighty Night screening and Q&A.

Some tickets just released for this sold out Nighty Night event on Sun 25th November 2018. 

Guests just announced include Julia Davis, Angus Deayton, Mark Gatiss Kevin Eldon Felicity Montagu

For more info click HERE

BBC-Baby Cow 2004-2005
With Julia Davis, Rebecca Front, Angus Deayton, Ruth Jones
Series 1 168min (plus interval)

"Jill’s husband is very ill. So ill, in fact, that it’s time for her to go out and find a new partner while he selfishly clings on to life in the local hospital. Should it be Glen, a frugal man with a colourful tic, or next door neighbour Don, who meets her criteria but has a wife in tow? In manipulative sociopath Jill Tyrrell, Julia Davis has created a hilariously disruptive character."  J Johnson

Wednesday, October 31, 2018


Throwback to High Spirits with Shirley Ghostman and spooky goings-on with Mrs Jennifer Oxley... 

"Hello Psychic fans, Shirley here.

Again it’s been a storming week and I would love to focus on the phenomenon that is High Spirits with me Shirley Ghostman but sadly the BBC have upheld a complaint from a Mrs. Jennifer Oxley of Newport Gwent and to be honest it’s put a sour taste in my mouth.

She claimed that I read about her husband’s death in the South Wales Echo and then used the information in a reading, which is an unfounded accusation. Especially as I’ve not been abroad in years. I must say though I understand why she’s upset - her deceased husband did say quite a few ugly things about her in his message and misery does have a funny way of showing itself.

This week's show sees me inviting the audience to join me in a ouija-board s√©ance and taking time out to offer careers advice to those less talented than me. I tell you it wasn’t easy, in fact I had to remind some of them that they shouldn’t despair. Remember we all get reincarnated, so if you’re not happy in your job, just end it all and start anew in your next life

...Love and Light, Shirley x"