Alison Steadman, John Cleese and Jason Watkins have been cast in Edith, a new BBC One sitcom written by Oscar-nominated writer Charles McKeown.
Steadman plays the title character, a widow for some years now for who life is pretty good. Her children live locally and drop by regularly, and she enjoys daily visits from Phil (Cleese), an old boyfriend who now lives across the road.
Phil dreams of marrying Edith, and the pair of them upping sticks and moving abroad to the sunshine. But after months of turning him down, on the happy day Edith finally says “yes”, there’s a knock on the door – and there on the step, with a large suitcase, is her 50 year old son Roger (Watkins).
He announces that he’s left his wife, his kids and his good job at the bank, and come home in an attempt to find his lost happiness again. And in a blink, to Edith’s dismay and Phil’s fury, all dreams are on hold.
The cast also includes Jessica Hynes as Roger’s abandoned wife Wendy, Anne Reid as the interfering housekeeper Mrs Gale, Rosie Cavaliero as Roger’s money-driven sister Sandra, James Cosmo as Edith’s troublesome ex-boyfriend Bob and Peter Egan as the confrontational local resident Mr Dugdale.
Alison Steadman said: “I’m thrilled to be in Edith and working with such an amazing cast.”
Co-star John Cleese commented: “These are the most enjoyable scripts I’ve been sent in the last 100 years. It will also be particularly nice to work with Alison again since we joined forces in Clockwise all that time ago.”
The show has been commissioned by BBC Comedy Controller Shane Allen, who said: “If you had carte blanche on your fantasy BBC One comedy cast then you’d not be far off the Edith line-up.
“It’s also a huge pleasure to welcome John Cleese back to the land of BBC sitcom – his last one did alright.
“This is the cream of British talent giving the BBC One audience the very best comedy on television.”