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article imageThe Inbetweeners return whilst Channel 4 improve their comedies

By Robbie Dove     Oct 30, 2010 in Entertainment
E4 sitcom The Inbetweeners was thought to have come to a finish after the third series ceased airing, however Channel 4 have approved two more special editions to hit our TV screens in the near future.
Additionally, Channel 4 has announced a large amount of comedy commissions for digital channel E4, including comedy shows starring Noel Fielding and Chris Addison.
Rumour had it that E4's third series of the Bafta-winning comedy would come to an end after its third series, which finished earlier this month, however the hit show will return for two one-off specials after an upcoming feature film on the big screen.
Two Inbetweeners actors, Simon Bird and Joe Thomas, will also feature with their comedy partner Jonny Sweet, collectively known as 'The House of Windsor,' in sitcom pilot 'Chickens,' set in a small English village during WWI, part of a new series of Comedy Showcases due to be aired on Channel 4. This is the trio's first commissioned sitcom script.
'Noel Fielding: Boopus' is also due to be shown on Channel 4, starring the 'Mighty Boosh' and 'Never Mind the Buzzcocks' celebrity. This will be Fielding's first solo television project, described as a mixture of art, characters, animation and sketches.
Fielding said he wants to make something "in the spirit of Spike Milligan or the Kenny Everett Show but using modern techniques. If Dali made a show hopefully it would look like this".
Addison, star of 'The Thick of It,' will present comedy 'Show and Tell,' in which three amateur comics will each bring something of variety each week. Channel 4 said it would be a celebration of "storytelling, stand-up and new comedy talent".
Two ex-Channel 4 Comedy Showcase projects are being turned into full series. 'The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret,' starring Sharon Horgan, David Cross and Will Arnett are scheduled to air on More4; while 'Campus,' from the team behind shows 'Green Wing' and 'Smack the Pony,' which is based in the "concrete hotbed of academic, administrative and pastoral tomfoolery" of fictional Kirke University, will run on Channel 4.
Channel 4 said it would invest an extra £5 million in its comedy budget in 2011, to boost viewing figures for the terrestrial channel.
Shane Allen, Channel 4's comedy correspondent, said
The Channel 4 head of comedy, Shane Allen, said: "Channel 4 continues to lead the way in comedy by backing new talent and giving established names the creative freedom to take risks. We are able to give Frankie, Noel and Chris the space to try out new things and want talent to bring their passion projects to us.
"We value our long-term relationships with people of the calibre of Victoria Pile, working with Channel 4 on her first new comedy series since Green Wing, or Graham Linehan, on the fourth series of the IT Crowd, or Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong on their record-breaking seventh series of Peep Show; just as much as we love uncovering new talent like Morgana Robinson and Kayvan Novak.
"Channel 4's investment in comedy has risen sharply in the last two years – 2011 spend will be almost double 2009 levels – and the space Big Brother leaves puts us in the happy position of having even more hours to fill. Just as well because, God knows, we could all do with a laugh at the moment."
Other new comedy programmes across the Channel 4 network include 'Meet the Parents,' a partially-scripted prank show from the makers of 'Star Stories,' in which boyfriends are confronted by a variety of in-laws played by actors, which will air on E4, while sitcom 'Peter Versus Life' will return for a second series on Channel 4.
Jonathan Ross is due to host the 'British Comedy Awards' for the first time in early 2011, who will devote two themed nights over the Christmas period to 'Father Ted' and 'The Peep Show.'
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