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BBC launches ‘Fly With Me’

Laffer from BBC Worldwide pokes fun at lows in high flying

CANNES — If you liked Vicky Pollard, Computer Says No and The Only Gay in the Village, chances are you’ll also enjoy Omar, owner of Flylo, “Britain’s eighth favorite low-cost airline,” check-in chicks Melody and Keeley, not, of course forgetting Precious Little, the world’s laziest coffee kiosk lady.

These characters are but a handful of the 50 or so grotesques featured in the latest laffer from “Little Britain” creators David Walliams and Matt Lucas, “Come Fly With Me,” a spoof docu set in the cut-price and cut-throat world of budget airlines.

Launched to international buyers at the Mipcom sales mart Oct. 4 by the comic duo during a four-hour lightening visit to the Croisette, distributors BBC Worldwide hope that the show gets airborne and repeats the success of “Little Britain,” which has sold to 134 territories — and lays to rest the flop that was “Little Britain USA.”

“Virtually everyone has experienced how awful air travel can be, whether it’s being delayed at the airport or having your luggage sent to the wrong destination, so we’re confident ‘Come Fly With Me’ possesses genuine international appeal,” said Lucas.

Certainly the six 30-minute shows, which finished filming 10 days ago, feature an impressive pedigree — not only Walliams and Lucas, who wrote the scripts and between them play all 50 characters, but also on board are the same costume and make-up teams that worked on “Little Britain.”

“It took four hours in make-up for me to become Precious Little,” said Lucas.

For another character, a ninetysomething women new to flying, Lucas wears a prosthetic pair of arthritic hands.

Walliams too appears in drag for many of the scenes, most of which were shot on location at Blighty’s Stansted airport.

“We didn’t have the Hollywood-style budget to create our own airport so we filmed at a real airport, because we wanted ‘Come Fly with Me’ to feel as authentic as possible,” explained Walliams.

Two of the show’s most memorable characters look destined to be Simon and Jackie Trent — Walliams plays Jackie — two pilots who happen to be husband and wife.

They fly unhappily together after Simon was caught having a one-night stand during a stop-over; Jackie was a dental nurse before retraining for the flight deck.

“Come Fly With Me” is produced by Little Britain Prods. and the BBC.

Skein will make its debut in the U.K. on BBC1 later this year.

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