Sky has announced that Gemma Arterton is set to lead a TV series adaptation of Nick Hornby’s bestselling novel Funny Girl, which follows a young woman from Blackpool finding her comic voice in the male dominated world of the 1960s sitcom.
Funny Girl has been written by multi-award-winning writer Morwenna Banks, with BAFTA nominee Oliver Parker directing, having worked with Arterton back on 2007’s St. Trinians. The official synopsis reads:
It’s the height of the swinging 60s and Barbara Parker has just been crowned Miss Blackpool – but there’s got to be more to life than being a beauty queen in a seaside town, right? She wants to be… someone. The bright lights of London are calling, and our determined hero sets off to find out who that someone is.
The London she encounters is not as quite as swinging as the one she’d read about and seen on TV. However, after a series of setbacks Barbara finds herself in unfamiliar territory – an audition for a TV comedy show. Barbara’s uncompromising northern wit proves to be the X factor that the show has been missing. She gets the part and becomes part of a ground-breaking new sitcom which will have an impact on British comedy for decades to come.
Being a woman in a largely male environment has its own challenges, but as Barbara ‘finds her funny’ she re-defines the prevailing attitude to funny women and in the process, reinvents herself.
“It’s a heart-warming story of an ambitious woman with a dream of making people laugh – it’s going to be something special,” said Arterton. It’s an honour to be working with such an incredible team and be reunited with my first ever director, Oliver Parker.”