When it comes to comedy, few companies have as wonderful a pedigree as Hartswood Films.
Its executive producer is none other than Beryl Vertue, a legendary figure in showbusiness thanks to her work with the likes of Spike Milligan, Eric Sykes, Ray Galton, Alan Simpson and Johnny Speight.
Vertue and Hartswood are also behind Edge of Heaven, a new, six-part sitcom written by Robert Evans, whose previous credits include Stella and Sadie J.
“It is very good news that ITV have started to commission scripted comedy again, and we’ll try to give them a big hit with Edge of Heaven,” says Vertue, who’s the executive producer. “This is Robert Evans’ first original comedy series, and his hilarious scripts have attracted a great cast.”
They have indeed. Camille Coduri, best known for playing Rose’s mum in Doctor Who, plays Judy, a Wham!-loving 1980s throwback who runs a B&B in Margate with her black pudding-enthusiast husband Tandeep (Nitin Kundra).
Her children - recently de-mobbed ex-soldier Ann-Marie (Laura Checkley) and sofa-salesman Alfie - also live there.
The latter is played by Blake Harrison of The Inbetweeners fame, and much of the plot is set to focus on his character.
When we first meet the family, Alfie knows exactly what he wants and has his entire life mapped out - he’s going to marry his fiancée Carly and live happily ever after in Margate.
However, he’s left shattered at the altar when Carly announces that she no longer wants to tie the knot - a quick snog on her hen night has made her think that there might be more for her in the big, wide world.
The course of the series will follow Alfie’s attempts to win back the woman he loves, little realising that somebody perhaps more suitable is waiting patiently in the wings for him - Carly’s best friend Michelle (ex-EastEnder Louisa Lytton), who’s been carrying a torch for him for years.
Myfanwy Moore, ITV’s comedy commissioning editor, says: “We’re delighted to be able to book into the Edge of Heaven B&B alongside such a great ensemble cast of larger-than-life characters. We hope their lives and loves will win them a place in our viewers’ hearts.”
If the show is even only half as compelling as Vertue’s biggest hits, chances are they will.