New TV comedy for Jack Dee

Jack Dee is starring in a new BBC comedy – about a disillusioned, world-weary comedian.

Jack Dee is starring in a new BBC comedy – about a disillusioned, world-weary comedian.

The six-part series, Lead Balloon, has echoes of the US show Curb Your Enthusiasm and was devised by Dee.

Dee stars as the successful but disenchanted stand-up comedian Rick Spleen in the BBC4 show.

The fictional comic spends too much time hosting corporate events such as The Heating and Ventilation Awards.

But the money from the unglamorous gigs allows him to concentrate on his first love, making TV commercials.

The show features Rick, his wife Mel, played by Raquel Cassidy, a showbiz agent who looks after C-list celebrities, the couple’s 17-year-old daughter Sam, the world’s least motivated human being, played by Antonia Campbell-Hughes, and Magda, Rick’s eastern European lodger and daily help.

Lead Balloon, which has just got to the pilot stage, features Marty, Rick’s American co-writer, with whom he drinks too much coffee, devises work avoidance strategies and argues about every subject under the sun.

The cynical comic element of the show bears similarity to Curb Your Enthusiasm, starring comedy writer and performer Larry David.

BBC4 controller Janice Hadlow said: “We are in the throes of commissioning what looks like a great series for us.

“It features Jack Dee as a London comic.

“It’s not quite Jack Dee playing himself. His character is much less successful than the real Jack.

“But it’s a close-run thing to his life. It’s the story of a family man, his friends and the encounters that he has.

“It’s an intimate look at a comic’s life. He ends up doing lots of corporate jobs.”

Dee, who hosts many awards ceremonies himself, co-wrote the show.

He went to the channel after coming up with the idea for the weekly comedy.

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