Diane Morgan To Reprise Philomena Cunk Role For BBC & Netflix’s ‘Cunk On Earth’

UK comedian Diane Morgan’s beloved Philomena Cunk character is returning to the BBC and Netflix for mockumentary Cunk on Earth.


UK comedian Diane Morgan’s beloved Philomena Cunk character is returning to the BBC and Netflix for a mockumentary unlocking the mystery of human civilization to discover humankind’s greatest achievements.

Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones’ indie Broke & Bones is behind Cunk on Earth, which will see Morgan reprise the role that placed her on the comedy map with BBC2’s Cunk on Britain.

Long-time Brooker collaborator Morgan was most recently seen in Broke & Bones’ Netflix comedy special Death to 2021 and Cunk on Earth is the first time the Motherland star’s show has been co-produced for the BBC and Netflix, with the U.S. streamer taking rights outside of the UK and Ireland.

From virtually nothing to virtual reality, Cunk will comically tell the story of our greatest inventions such as the wheel, the Mona Lisa and nuclear power. Along the way, she will ask experts hard-hitting questions about humanity’s progress, as well as standing near impressive old ruins, or inside museums.

Brooker is co-writing and exec producing, with Ben Caudell, Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris also writing and Jones and Ali Marlow also exec producing. Death To 2021 lead writer Caudell is shortly to take up a Commissioning Editor role in Jon Petrie’s BBC comedy team and had a stint working temporarily in the team last year. Sam Ward is producing and Christian Watt is directing.

“A huge thank you to Diane and the incredibly talented team at Broke & Bones for braving everything from Ancient Rome to the wilds of Silicon Valley in this fantastic new series,” said BBC Head of Comedy Tanya Qureshi, who is commissioning editor on the show.

Source: Diane Morgan To Reprise Philomena Cunk Role For BBC & Netflix’s ‘Cunk On Earth’

Review: Mandy – Diane Morgan’s new creation

Bite-size dramas. Review by Veronica Lee

Mandy started life in the Comedy Shorts season last year, and has now been given a six-part series. Diane Morgan, who has a solid CV in other writers’ work including Philomena Cunk, Motherland and After Life, here writes, directs and stars as the title character, who has a messy beehive, always wears thigh-high boots, has a fag on the go and a face set to permanent grimace.

She’s a walking disaster, finding that her aim in life – to own doberman pinchers – has many hurdles, and we follow them knowing that Mandy will never prosper. But Morgan, while keeping her creation just this side of sympathetic, shows us that Mandy is always – even if unwittingly – the architect of her own disasters. Continue reading

Diane Morgan: ‘It sounds mad that I wrote, directed and star in Mandy. Like I’m Orson Welles’

The motherland star on being showrunner on her new sitcom, working with famous friends – and being distantly related to Bet Lynch

Bolton-born Diane Morgan, 44, went to acting school, then worked in a chip shop and in telesales before trying standup aged 30. She’s now best known for her deadpan portrayal of dimwit TV pundit Philomena Cunk on Charlie Brooker’s Wipe series and the spin-off Cunk mockumentaries. Morgan also appears in parenting sitcom Motherland and Ricky Gervais’s black comedy After Life. She stars in the forthcoming BBC sitcom Mandy, the first show that she has both written and directed.

What inspired Mandy?
She’s based on a real person. I can’t say who she is but I met her and thought, if I ever get the chance, I’d love to play you. I just started impersonating her around the house, so when I got the opportunity to do this 15-minute comedy pilot for the BBC, I went: “I’m going to do that woman!” Her hair, clothes, voice, everything – it’s all exactly the same. Now they’ve given me a whole series, more fool them. I got Mandy’s entire costume off eBay. This woman was having a clear-out, selling her whole wardrobe, and it was all so Mandy. I bought up the lot. It’s quite a handy technique if you want lots of similar clothes for a character.

The show has a distinctive, daft tone. How did that come about?
Most people nowadays are doing downbeat, naturalistic comedy. I wanted to do something mad and silly. I crave silliness. A bit of pure escapism. It’s turned out much weirder than I imagined. It’s quite visual, like a Viz cartoon, but I’m happy with it. And Mandy by Barry Manilow is the theme song. I didn’t think we’d get the rights. I tried to get Jarvis Cocker to sing it but he never got back to me. I was worried we’d have to use the Westlife version instead, so I’m chuffed we got the original.

Each episode has a surprise guest star. How was working with Shaun Ryder from Happy Mondays?
When I was writing, I’d think: “Ooh, I wonder if we could get such-and-such?” Amazingly, they all said yes. I felt like Morecambe and Wise. I asked myself, if Mandy had an ex-husband, who would it be? Mark E Smith’s died, so it had to be Shaun Ryder. He got to fire two guns for this shootout scene and it was his best day out ever. Shaun was like: “I’m not an actor, I hope I’m not shit”, but he was brilliant.