With filming now underway, Sky has shared a first look image of Gemma Arterton as the charismatic Barbara Parker from the TV adaptation of Nick Hornby’s Funny Girl.
The new Sky comedy drama follows a young woman from Blackpool as she finds her comic voice in the male dominated world of the 1960s sitcom. Arterton stars as Barbara Parker – a force of nature who takes London by storm as she journeys from Blackpool beauty queen to comedy superstar and nation’s sweetheart during the cultural explosion of the 1960s.
Joining Arterton in the cast of the series are Rupert Everett (My Best Friend’s Wedding), David Threlfall (Shameless) and Tom Bateman (Murder on the Orient Express), along with Emily Bevans (Grantchester), Leo Bill (Rare Beasts), Matthew Beard (Avenue 5) and the previously announced Clare-Hope Ashitey (Top Boy), Arsher Ali (The Fear Index) and Alexa Davies (Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again!). The full 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.