A roll call of film and television stars have been lined up to appear in a BBC One comedy show being made in Hartlepool.
As first revealed by the Mail, Russell Brand is making an appearance in Hospital People, which is being shot in the University Hospital of Hartlepool.
Now the team behind it have announced the cast list for the series, which was commissioned by the BBC after a pilot also made in the town was a success.
Brand is joined by Sally Phillips, who has previously appeared in Miranda, The Bridget Jones films and Smack the Pony, and Sian Gibson, Peter Kay’s co-star and fellow writer of Car Share.
Alex MacQueen, whose work has included The Inbetweeners, The Thick of It and Peep Show, and James Fleet, from the Vicar of Dibley, Four Weddings and a Funeral and Sense and Sensibility, also play parts.
Brand told people he was featured in its cast when he called into Uppal Cutz in Warren Road and chatted to staff and customers, while co-star Mark Williams, who has appeared in the Harry Potter films and The Fast Show, was spotted in town after visiting the Mumbai restaurant for meals.
We could not be more excited about welcoming Tom Binns’ extraordinary collection of Hospital People to BBC One.Alex Moody
The show, being filmed in unused areas of the Holdforth Road site follows the lives of a collection of characters connected to the hospital in some way, each played by writer and comedian Tom Binns.
He appears as Brimlington hospital’s inept DJ Ivan Brackenbury, its ambitious manger, Susan Mitchell, Hospital Porter and spirit medium Ian D Montfort and over-enthusiastic hospital chaplain Father Kenny Mercer.
Series regulars include Amit Shah, a West End theatre actor, as Sunny, Susan’s assistant, Benidorm and One Foot in the Grave’s Janine Duvitski as Mrs Leydon, the chapel assistant, and David Brent: Life On The Road’s Mandeep Dhillon as Shaz, Ivan’s trainee producer.
Alex Moody, who commissioned the show, said: “We could not be more excited about welcoming Tom Binns’ extraordinary collection of Hospital People to BBC One.”
Ash Atalla, managing director of production company Roughcut TV, said: “We’re really happy about our first BBC One series commission.
“Roughcut TV is all grown up and delighted to be making a show for Britain’s most prestigious channel.
“Hospital People is a testament to our talented team. And now we go to work to make this series the very best it can be.”
A spokesman for North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said: “Some filming is taking place within areas at the University Hospital of Hartlepool that are not currently used for clinical work.
“The trust has been approached to offer its available space for filming TV productions. “The trust also did this successfully in 2014 and 2016.
“Please be assured that this has no impact on existing services and patient care that is currently provided.
“We are keen to protect frontline jobs and services, so where we have significant financial savings to make, we are looking at imaginative ways to generate money which will enable us to do this.”
The series is written by Tom, Matt Morgan and Paul Doolan and is the first to be made by Roughcut TV for BBC One.
The company’s past projects have included Cuckoo and People Just Do Nothing for BBC Three.
The series will be executive produced by Ash Atalla and Jon Petrie, produced by Emma Lawson and directed by Paul Murphy.
Hospital People will air on BBC One later this year.