BBC One announces the cast for brand new family comedy The Kennedys

BBC One has announced the cast of the brand new family comedy, The Kennedys, which starts filming today.

Published: 6 March 2015
The series is a joyful and nostalgic reflection on growing up in a time of innocence and double denim.
— Myfanwy Moore, Controller, UK Comedy Production, BBC

The six-part aspirational family comedy set in the 1970s is created and written by actress, writer and TV presenter Emma Kennedy, and will star BAFTA award-winning actress Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd, The Honourable Woman), Dan Skinner (Shooting Stars, House of Fools), Lucy Hutchison (The Politician's Husband), Harry Peacock (Toast of London) and Emma Pierson (Up The Women).

The Kennedys is a multi-generation family comedy loosely based on Emma’s memoirs ‘The Tent, The Bucket and Me.’ Each episode is introduced by Emma Kennedy played by Lucy Hutchison, a 10-year-old Star Wars obsessed tom-boy who is happy to tag along with her much-loved parents, Brenda and Tony Kennedy played by Katherine Parkinson and Dan Skinner.

The Kennedy family have just moved into a new estate in Stevenage, New Town and arrive to a concrete maze of identical houses. Delighted and enthused at the fact they are now on the cusp of being considered middle class, they quickly embrace community spirit and organise activities for the whole neighbourhood to get involved in. In each episode, The Kennedys pursue every opportunity they can to climb the social ladder from organising an ‘Opportunity Knocks’ style talent show to hosting the estate’s first ever dinner party.

The Kennedys best friends are an unmarried couple, Tim the 70s alpha-male played by Harry Peacock, and the young yet traditional Jenny played by Emma Pierson. Shola Adewusi and Clive Rowe also feature in the series and play The Kennedys unassuming and often confused neighbours, Dee and David.

Emma Kennedy, creator and writer of The Kennedys said, “I grew up on a council estate when they were places of aspirational wonder. Social housing was simply the greatest start in life a young family could have, and in The Kennedys I hope I have delivered a series that reflects that hope and joy. It’s been a sharp thrill from start to finish.”

Myfanwy Moore, Controller of UK Comedy Production at BBC said, “The series is a joyful and nostalgic reflection on growing up in a time of innocence and double denim. Warm family life is punctuated by anarchic fun and silliness, as portrayed by a wonderfully funny cast.”

The Kennedys (6x30’) was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Controller of BBC One and Shane Allen, Controller of Comedy Commissioning. The series is written by Emma Kennedy and will be produced by Emma Strain (Miranda), directed by Christine Gernon (Gavin & Stacey) and executive produced by Myfanwy Moore and Richard Webb.

The Kennedys will air on BBC One later this year.

Notes to Editors

BBC In-house Comedy is the biggest producer of comedy in the UK and prides itself on working with the very best in comedy talent - established and new - both on and behind the screen, and is responsible for some of the country's most-watched and loved comedies across radio, online and all four BBC TV channels. In the last few months alone, the department has won 14 prestigious awards including BAFTAs, Rockies, RTS Awards and National Television Awards.

Recent BBC One hits include the multi-award-winning Mrs Brown's Boys and Miranda which played to huge audiences over Christmas. A second series of David Walliams' Big School went out last autumn as did the third series of Adil Ray's Citizen Khan which returns for a fourth series this autumn. After hugely successful Christmas Specials in 2013 and 2014, a brand-new series of Still Open All Hours aired to huge audiences in the new year starring David Jason as Granville. An adaptation of David Walliams' children's book The Boy In The Dress also played out over Christmas, following hugely popular previous adaptations of Mr Stink and Gangsta Granny. The Kennedys is currently in production for BBC One and it’s just been announced that Tracey Ullman will be returning to BBC One after a 30 year absence in The Tracey Ullman Sketch Show.

The success story continues on BBC Two following the hugely anticipated second series last year of the award-winning The Wrong Mans written by and starring James Corden and Mat Baynton. W1A written by and directed John Morton and starring Hugh Bonneville and Jessica Hynes; Inside No 9, written by and starring Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton, and House Of Fools with Vic & Bob all return this spring. And Nurse, written by and starring Paul Whitehouse, based on his radio show goes out in spring. BBC Two is also home to the brilliant Stewart Lee. The Life Of Rock With Brian Pern and Up The Women returned for second series and The Javone Prince Show is currently filming as is a new series of Two Doors Down.

BBC In-house comedy also provides home grown programmes for BBC Three including Bluestone 42 and this winter two brand-new series Crims and Nick Helm's Heavy Entertainment. BBC Four last autumn saw Puppy Love on screen, written by and starring Vicki Pepperdine and Jo Scanlan. Coming this spring is In And Out Of The Kitchen with Miles Jupp.

BBC Radio Comedy goes from strength to strength with many stand-out shows being adapted for TV, including In And Out Of The Kitchen. Ever popular long-running shows such as BBC Radio 4's The News Quiz and The Now Show continue to delight audiences and Radio 4's Just A Minute will this year celebrate its 900th episode - with the same host Nicholas Parsons.

Our emphasis on supporting new talent can be seen in The BBC Radio New Comedy Award which seeks out the brightest new comedy stars ever year. This year has also seen BBC Radio Comedy nominated for the prestigious Rose d'Or Awards; and an example of the continuing popularity of comedy podcasts can be seen in the fact that there has been over 90million downloads of Radio 4 Friday Night Comedy since its September 2007 launch.