When lockdown kicked in back in March, many TV productions were forced to lockdown too as everyone tried their best to keep to the social distancing rules.
And Staged raised the bar in terms of what could be achieved under certain limitations. It’s the brainchild of Simon Evans and Phin Glynn and features fictionalised versions of Michael Sheen and David Tennant.
Tennant and Sheen’s real-life partners, Georgia Tennant and Anna Lundberg, feature as themselves too, while the first run also included cameos from some very famous faces including Samuel L Jackson and Judi Dench.
The episodes were all filmed by the cast themselves using their laptops or mobile phones, with the footage later pieced together by a professional editor.
“It was odd filming with my wife in our own kitchen, pretending to be a slightly pathetic version of myself,” claimed Tennant. “But I have to say I loved it. I may never leave the house again.
“The guest cast have been a real treat too, and the advantage of nobody having to leave their front room to be involved means you can dial in some pretty surprising callers.”
Georgia is also one of the producers alongside Glynn and his father, renowned film and TV producer Victor Glynn. Now the same gang has teamed up again for a second series, adding comedian Ben Schwartz of Parks And Recreation fame to the roster as the assistant to Michael and David’s US agent.
The story begins in disappointing fashion for the duo when they discover that somebody they admire is not a fan of their work. They also have to deal with the frustration of being forced to alter their plans due to some new travel rules. Michael Palin and Romesh Ranganathan make guest appearances.
Michael Sheen said: “It’s been so great to see how much people enjoyed the first series. Seemed like the laughs were much appreciated. It made us really excited about taking it further and going in some surprising and hopefully enjoyable directions this time.”
“The prospect of getting my husband back into employment alongside the divine Ben Schwartz and the hairy, Welsh legend that is Michael Sheen all makes me very happy to be back for series two!” added Georgia.
The BBC has also given the new run a big thumbs up. Charlotte Moore, the corporation’s director of content, said: “It’s vital that the BBC provides moments of light relief and this mischievous idea shows what great sports Michael and David are in sending themselves up.”
Staged, BBC 1, Monday, 9.45pm
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