Entertainment & Arts

Tracey Ullman returns to BBC with own comedy show

Tracey Ullman
Image caption Ullman last appeared regularly on the BBC in the 1980s

Tracey Ullman is to return to the BBC with her own comedy series, some 30 years after she was a regular face on British TV.

The actress, writer and singer, who has enjoyed decades of success in the US, said it was "a privilege" to be back.

Her six-part series, The Tracey Ullman Show, is part of a raft of new comedy commissions announced by the BBC.

Other shows include a Rory Bremner election special and a new series starring Ben Miller.

Ullman last appeared on the BBC in A Kick up the Eighties and Three of a Kind in the early and mid-1980s.

She also starred in ITV sitcom Girls on Top, before emigrating to the United States.

Image caption Her early career included Three of a Kind with David Copperfield (left) and Lenny Henry

She later created The Tracey Ullman Show for the US Fox network, winning several Emmy and Golden Globe awards.

The show famously spawned cartoon series The Simpsons, which started out as short sketches either side of a commercial break.

"It's a privilege to be doing this," said Ullman of her new BBC One series. "I still feel as inspired to inhabit people as I did when I was six, standing on the windowsill in my mother's bedroom, putting on a show.

"The BBC has changed a bit since the last time I worked here, when it was all men in bow ties who had completed National Service.

'Missing gem'

"Now there are a lot more women," she continued. "Great ones. The important things haven't changed, though.

"The BBC still provides an environment that allows you to the freedom to create the best shows possible."

"It's about time the Americans gave her back," said Shane Allen, controller of comedy commissioning. "Tracey has been the missing gem in the British comedy crown for too long.

"Talent doesn't come much bigger and the BBC audience is in for a huge treat."

Ullman, now 55, was recently seen alongside Meryl Streep and James Corden in film musical Into the Woods.

Other comedy commissions announced on Wednesday include I Want My Wife Back, a six-part BBC One series with Ben Miller as a man whose wife walks out on their marriage on her 40th birthday.

BBC Two, meanwhile, will air a one-off programme to celebrate the 25-year comedy partnership of Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse.

Image caption Bremner - seen here impersonating David Cameron - will star in a general election special

The channel will also broadcast Rory Bremner's Election Report, described as a "timely post-election special", and a pilot sketch show for impressionist Morgana Robinson.

In addition, BBC One will host the annual Ronnie Barker Comedy Lecture, named after the Two Ronnies star.

It will given by a key comedy figure "to help inspire others, as well as addressing the present day challenges and opportunities facing the industry".

The inaugural speaker is yet to be announced.

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