Matt Berry to star in Victorian cop comedy on Channel 4

The IT Crowd actor Matt Berry will star in a new police comedy inspired by the chaos of Victorian London, Channel 4 has announced.

The new six-part series, called The Year Of The Rabbit, will follow the Toast Of London star’s Detective Inspector Rabbit, a hardened booze-hound who’s seen it all, and his new, hapless, by-the-books partner, played by Freddie Fox.

Freddie Fox is also fighting crime in The Year Of The Rabbit (Yui Mok/PA)

While they’re investigating a local murder, the lewd but insightful adoptive daughter of the chief of police, played by Chewing Gum star Susan Wokoma, joins them, becoming the country’s first female officer.

Together, the trio must fight crime while rubbing shoulders with street gangs, crooked politicians, Bulgarian princes, spiritualists, music hall stars and the Elephant Man.

Berry said: “I’m very much looking forward to working with Channel 4 again, and IFC for the first time, as I’m equally looking forward to stepping back in time to fight crime in the same significant year which bought us Van Gogh’s Sunflowers, The Elephant Man and of course Jack The Ripper.”

Fiona McDermott, head of comedy at Channel 4, added: “Imagine The Sweeney in Victorian England and you’re getting close to the heady, misguided machismo that runs rife in this series.

“It’s an amazing vehicle for Matt’s talents and together with Susan and Freddie and the wealth of talent off-camera, we are thrilled to have it on the channel.”

The Year Of The Rabbit is set to begin shooting later this year and is expected to air in 2019.

The channel also announced that W1A actor Rufus Jones will write and star in a new six-part comedy series.

Rufus Jones (right) is to star in Home (Matt Crossick/PA)

Home is described as a “deftly surprising modern sitcom which gets to the very essence of home and family”.

Jones stars as Peter, who goes on his first family holiday to France with new partner Katy and her son John.

Their plan is to bring back a tan, a few happy memories and six crates of vintage champagne but instead they return with Sami, a Syrian refugee who enters Britain illegally to claim asylum.

Jones said: “I’m made up that Channel 4 have allowed me to tell this story, alongside a very special cast and crew.

“It has become something of a passion project. If you’re only going to invite one refugee into your house this year, make it this one. Actually, make it a real one, then this one. Thanks.”

Ms McDermott added: “Home got us with it’s heart and conviction to tell an important story about family, strangers, identity and the fragile ties that both bind us and pull us apart.

“It’s full of warmth, boldness and characters we hope viewers will really take to their hearts. We’re delighted to have it on Channel 4.”

- Press Association

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