Tracey Ullman's Show

Tracey Ullman's Show is a British sketch comedy television series starring Tracey Ullman. Tracey Ullman's Show premiered on BBC One on 11 January 2016.[1] The programme marks her first project for the broadcaster in over thirty years, and her first original project for British television in twenty-two years.[2][3]

The BBC announced that the programme had been recommissioned for a second series on 5 March 2016.[4] Following a "best bits" Christmas special in December 2016,[5] the show's second series premiered on 3 February 2017.[6] It comprises 6 episodes.

On 26 May 2017, the BBC announced that it had ordered a new topical half hour Tracey Ullman special, Tracey Breaks the News for BBC One. The show is inspired by the 2017 United Kingdom general election[7] and aired on 23 June 2017.[8][9] After the success of the 2017 Tracey Breaks the News special, the BBC officially commissioned a series, subsequently replacing the original show.[10]

On 30 August, HBO announced that Tracey Ullman's Show would return for a third series starting 28 September 2018. The third series utilises material produced for Ullman's follow-up show Tracey Breaks the News.[11] Furthermore, the aforementioned show has been recut and sold internationally under the Tracey Ullman's Show banner.

Tracey Ullman's Show
Tracey Ullman's Show title card
GenreSketch comedy
Written byTracey Ullman (devised by)
StarringTracey Ullman
Composer(s)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series3
No. of episodes19 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)Caroline Norris
Cinematography
  • Martin Hawkins (2016, 2018)
  • Pete Rowe (2017)
  • Greg Duffield (2018)
Editor(s)
  • Nigel Williams (2016, 2018)
  • Mark Everson (2017)
  • Adam Windmill (2017)
Running time30 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorDRG (Worldwide)
Release
Original network
Picture format16:9 (1080i HDTV)
Audio formatStereo
Original release11 January 2016 –
present
Chronology
Followed byTracey Breaks the News
External links
Website

Premise

Each episode offers a glimpse of British life, from dusk till dawn, for many of its inhabitants (the everyday and the very famous).[12] Locals, tourists, even those smuggling themselves into the country are included. A typical episode consists of sketches ranging from one to three minutes with one sketch's storyline acting as the spine of the episode. Each show features an original song penned by Ullman and composer Richard Thomas (Jerry Springer: The Opera).[13]

For series 3, the show shifted from its "a day in the life" premise set in Great Britain to the world stage in a post-Brexit world along with a more topical format. Impersonations of world leaders are now the show's main focus.

Development

In late 2014, whilst promoting the film Into the Woods, Tracey Ullman revealed plans to write something new for television in the following year. "Every five years it comes to me to sort of do what I do again and I throw a load of stuff at the wall, and some of it works and some of it obviously doesn't, but that's the nature of television. I love TV."[14] Her American Showtime series, Tracey Ullman's State of the Union ran for three seasons, concluding in 2010. It was a departure and a return of sorts. Instead of playing just original characters (a staple of Ullman's comedy) the show saw her imitating real people (celebrities, politicians, etc.) something she hadn't done since her early days at the BBC with Three of a Kind, the show that made her a household name in Great Britain.

In 2014, Ullman was invited BBC One controller Charlotte Moore and head of comedy production Myfanwy Moore to discuss the possibility of working on a new project together for the broadcaster.[15] The trio hit it off and came up with a concept: a multi-camera show in which Ullman plays "a multitude of diverse and distinct characters living in, or visiting, the busy global hub that is the UK."[16]

Whilst visiting, Ullman noted the vast number of women now heading the corporation, a stark contrast to her early days at the BBC. "When I was there years and years ago, it was five men in bowties who talked about the war and The Goons...it was so male dominated."[15] However, some things remained the same: "The important things haven't changed, though. The BBC still provides an environment that allows you the freedom to create the best shows possible."[2]

Ullman revealed her long-held desire to return to British television in 2015. "I have lived in America for a really long time, but I was never away from England. I was always there, I just didn't work there. I wasn't offered anything there really. So when the BBC called me last year, I was really thrilled. I mean, I wanted to do something England. The last thing I'd done was with Michael Palin. We did [Tracey Ullman: A Class Act] in 1992, I think. We did a show about the class system in Britain and it was just wonderful fun. And from that HBO picked that up and I did [Tracey Takes On]. So it started from a British show."[17]

After hitting it big in the United States, her star began to wane in Britain. Ullman, who likes to study people for creating characters, says that she's enjoyed the anonymity when living in London. "I can observe people on the tube without them recognising me."[18]

On 4 March 2015, a formal announcement was made, confirming the project, with Ullman saying that it was a 'privilege to be doing this,' and "I still feel as inspired to inhabit people as I did when I was six, standing on the windowsill in my mother's bedroom, putting on a show." Shane Allen, controller of comedy commissioning added: "It's about time the Americans gave her back. Tracey has been the missing gem in the British comedy crown for too long. Talent doesn't come much bigger and the BBC audience is in for a huge treat."[2]

A fan of Armando Iannucci, Ullman assembled a writing team which includes Veep scribes, Georgia Pritchett, Kevin Cecil and Andy Riley, with The League of Gentlemen's Jeremy Dyson acting as both series writer and script supervisor.[15]

The show marks the first time in a long time that Ullman has made a series without her producing partner and husband of thirty years, Allan McKeown, who died in 2013. "Emotionally it was great to get out after having worked with my husband for 30 years." The show is, however, produced by the BBC along with McKeown's production company, Allan McKeown Presents (now run by Ullman[19]) "So he is still presenting me..."[15]

The show's first two series features a laugh track, something Ullman was hesitant about using. "That's a very BBC thing to do. I hate things like that on a show. But when we played it, it kind of worked. It makes it sound like you're connecting with people. Comedy has gotten a bit cold lately, and neurotic and depressed. This is a nice BBC One family show. It's not too arch or bleak." All laughter is genuine and was captured via live screenings before a studio audience at BBC Radio Theatre.[20]

Background

After her breakthrough award-winning performance at the Royal Court Theatre in the improvised play Four in a Million, the BBC offered Ullman her own show.[21] She was quickly cast in A Kick Up the Eighties and Three of a Kind. becoming the first British woman to be offered her own sketch comedy show.[22] Her performance earned her a BAFTA award in 1984.[23] She became a household name with the British media affectionately dubbing her 'Our Trace.'[24] In 1983, she started a successful (and brief) music career, which extended itself across the pond in the United States. In 1985, she teamed with comedians Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders in the sitcom Girls on Top. Ullman's husband, Allan McKeown, a successful television producer, convinced her to take a gamble on a career in America.[25] After turning down due to creative differences, she teamed with famed television and film producer James L. Brooks who had a deal with the yet-to-be launched Fox network.[26] They created and launched a sketch comedy vehicle The Tracey Ullman Show in 1987. Ullman received critical acclaim and was rewarded with a slew of accolades. The show would go on to win the Fox network's first Emmy award.[27][28] The Tracey Ullman Show, while American-based, included Ullman's British sensibility with a variety of British characters created for her to play alongside American. Cartoon bumpers, The Simpsons were featured in the show.[29]

Though the British media continued to follow and exploit her success in the United States throughout the latter part of the 1980s, Ullman's visibility on the small screen in the UK waned until almost 1990 when the BBC finally picked up The Tracey Ullman Show which was winding down its four-year run on Fox. The broadcaster made significant edits to the show, eliminating The Simpsons shorts entirely. Ullman had even attempted to persuade the broadcaster to buy The Simpsons when the characters were spun-off into their own primetime sitcom.[30]

In 1992, Ullman returned to British television with the ITV television comedy special, Tracey Ullman: A Class Act.[31] She was joined by Monty Python alum, Michael Palin. A Class Act took a satirical jab at the British class system. The special proved to be a critical success, garnering the attention of American cable television network, HBO. The network approached Ullman with the idea of doing a special for them, with the caveat that she take on a more American subject. Tracey Ullman Takes On New York was another critical and award-winning success, sparking HBO to offer Ullman her own series. Tracey Takes On... ran for four seasons (1996–1999), raking up numerous accolades and critical praise.[32] It eventually aired on Channel 5 in the UK in 1998.

In the 2000s, Ullman's focus shifted to film, whilst continuing to produce specials for HBO. She launched a fashion internet company and chat show Tracey Ullman's Visible Panty Lines for Oprah Winfrey's Oxygen network in 2001, and in 2008, returned with a new sketch comedy series for Showtime, Tracey Ullman's State of the Union. State of the Union focused primarily on American subjects, however, it also featured Ullman impersonating English celebrities such as Dames Helen Mirren and Judi Dench, JK Rowling, and David Beckham. Despite its potential crossover appeal, Ullman was unable to secure the rights to a television broadcaster in the United Kingdom.[33]

In 2009, Ullman was awarded her second BAFTA, this time the Lifetime Achievement Award.[34]

Opening title sequence

The opening title sequence which features both a young Tracey (played by Ruby MacDonald[35]) performing on a bedroom windowsill along with an adult Tracey is meant as a tribute to Ullman's mother who died in a fire at her retirement flat in early 2015 while the series was in its writing phase. When Ullman was six, her father died of a heart attack and her mother was left to raise her and her sister alone with very little money. In the aftermath of their father's death, Ullman would put on shows in her mother's bedroom on her windowsill in an effort to cheer the family up. "That little scene in the bedroom dancing around that was where everything started for me."[36]

Recurring characters and origins

The following characters have made more than one on-screen appearance. A typical episode of Tracey Ullman's Show consists of both original characters and celebrity impersonations. Celebrity impersonations are recurring whereas original characters are usually one-offs (created for the sole purpose of a single sketch). However, a selection of original characters do make recurring appearances. They are detailed below:

  • Kay Clark: an OAP who lives with her overbearing mother. Ullman on Kay: "She's obviously a virgin who's lived with her mom, who's taught by her mom."[37] "There was actually a [Kay]; she used to work at a bank that I banked at when I was, like, 20 years old. When I moved to Los Angeles, I had to call her once, about my balance. She said, 'Hel-lo, Miss Ullman! How's Hollywood? 'I said, 'Have you ever been here, Kay?' She said, 'Oh, no! But my beloved is Joan Crawford!'"[38]
  • Passing Woman: refuses to help the homeless while passing on the street; reveals why on a sign or series of cards.
  • Masseuse: accident-prone but gets the job done.
  • Hayley: an overzealous zookeeper.
  • Sally Preston: a topless feminist MP. She's decided to serve her time in office topless as a political statement. Ullman on Sally: "In Europe, there are lots of topless protesters and it just seemed like a topless member of British Parliament would be the next thing. So I just played her like a mom going to work."[39] On the subject on the character's prosthetic breasts, Ullman revealed that production asked if she wanted a molding of her actual breasts. "I thought, 'No, no, no!'" Ullman praised the BBC for agreeing not to pixelate the character's nipples.[40] "[I]t was very tough to wear those prosthetic breasts and talk to the crew. You either had the people who stared at your tits — or the ones who are determined to look you in your eyes. My director, bless him, never ever looked at me below neck on those shooting days."[39]
  • Pam Garrity: a self-proclaimed "Northern powerhouse." Everything must be kept in the North of England. She won't go South for anyone or anything. A self-made woman with 38 ½ businesses. Got pregnant at 16, "By that bastard Tony Kelly."
  • Dominic Hindle: (aka White App Guy) Dominic conducts all his (failed) business designing apps from a cafe. Ullman on Dominic: "Ah, poor Dominic. He's one of the disenfranchised white males who are having a really tough time. We've all seen these once-dominant guys having meetings in cafés, threatening Starbucks that they'll go to the other coffee shop if they're not nice to them. On some level, Dominic kind of breaks my heart."[39] "He's that kind of middle-aged fading white man who feels disenfranchised and is scared of women." "My daughter worked for somebody very like him and I just wanted to be that character. Nobody knows it's me. People say, 'Why is that guy suddenly in the middle of the show?'"[38] "My director, Dominic Brigestocke said, 'He has lost his way.' He kept saying about this character — 'He has lost his way.'[37]
  • Margaret McDonald: an ex-Wimbledon line judge with her own series of internet instructional videos that she creates with her son, Edmund.
  • Tour Guide: a stately homes tour guide.
  • Jacki: an American tourist visiting England along with her husband Hal (Michael Brandon). They view the country through rose-coloured glasses. Ullman on Jacki and Hal: "There are those old Americans that come every year and they think everything about England is great."[38]
  • Steph Moore: runs a modeling agency named Isis – "Not that one!"
  • Carla: a British intelligence officer who uses GCHQ resources for personal gain.
  • Barista: A woman who works at a coffee shop and asks what name the customer wants on their cup but usually ends up insulting or offending them.
  • Mabel: an in-office health nut who's always trying a new diet or the latest exercise craze much to the dismay of her co-workers.
  • Regretful Woman: a woman on her deathbed who's filled with regret (not playing enough Candy Crush, not watching reality shows, taking pictures of her lunch and putting them on social media, etc.)
  • Sally Hollister: individual and couple's therapist who can't help but tell her receptionist or patient about a previous patient's session.
  • Inappropriate Woman: a seemingly innocent woman with a knack for wearing inappropriate clothing for conservative occasions (i.e., visiting Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen, a job interview, funeral, etc.).
  • Patricia Hughes: a Christian woman who's constantly discriminated against.
  • Bernice Rubin: a New York City Broadway producer.

Celebrity impersonations and reaction

I wanted to do a series of national treasures, which I think we have in England.
— Tracey Ullman[41]

The show features Ullman playing an array of real-life people aside from a hearty helping of original characters. Impersonations include Theresa May, Judi Dench, Nicola Sturgeon, Maggie Smith, and members of the British Royal Family, Camilla Parker-Bowles and Carole Middleton. Ullman received considerable international attention for her portrayal of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.[42] "I'm fascinated by Angela Merkel, so I wanted to be Angela Merkel. I think they're like Trojan horses, these impersonations. I can dress up like them and make them whatever I want them to be, like putting a personality within them. I didn't want to just do a straight impersonation. I wanted to try and show their lives. I always imagine that Angela Merkel is someone that has to be with men all the time, in these rooms having meetings... And I thought, 'I wonder what she's like when she's with her best friend and they just talk about hair and make-up?'" BBC Director-General Tony Hall paid a visit to the set show and caught Ullman playing Merkel singing jazz and scatting about the state of European affairs. "Tony Hall came down to the set the day I was singing as Merkel. He said: 'Would you please do this on Newsnight with me?'"[43] On 23 June 2017, BBC One's The One Show reached out to Angela Merkel's office for a statement regarding Ullman's impersonation of her:

"Thank you very much for your email requesting a statement from Chancellor Merkel for the hilarious Tracey Ullman. I am very sorry, but due to the Chancellor's extremely busy schedule, she's in Brussels right now, and the G20 summit is just around the corner, she will not be able to send the requested statement."[44]

— Office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Ullman contends that her impersonations are played with great admiration and affection. "I hope they take it in the right spirit!" Judi Dench reacted positively to Ullman portraying as getting away with unethical public behavior because she is a national treasure. Dench's daughter, Finty Williams, posted a clip of Ullman playing her mother on Facebook with the caption, "brilliant, just brilliant."[45] Critics also praised the impersonation, with one writer saying: "Her impersonation of Dench is so spot on that, for a second or two, you can't be sure she is not the real deal. Her performance easily transcends the make-up thanks to her mastery of posture, gesture and facial control as well as pitch- perfect vocals."[46] While filming on location, on-lookers asked if they were filming a James Bond film after catching Ullman in character. At the 36th London Critics' Circle Film Awards, Judi Dench introduced herself as "Tracey Ullman."[47] In April 2017, while speaking to BBC Radio 4's Front Row, Dench commented on Ullman's portrayal, saying that she doted on it, and dubbed Ullman as brilliant. "But I get into trouble now if I go into a shop with a bag over my arm [...] A man came up to me in M&S the other day and said to me, 'I've got my eye on you'."[48] Speaking to the Radio Times, Dench further stated, "It's so anarchic, I love it. It's much more like me than anything else," although she detests being referred to as a "national treasure."[49]

One person Ullman doesn't expect to have the same reaction as Dench is the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker-Bowles. "For Camilla, I don't think I'm going to get any Facebook approval!"[45] In Series One, she plays both grandmothers to the youngest heir to the British royal throne, Camilla Parker-Bowles and Carole Middleton. "It occurred to me that Prince George must get taken to different grandmothers, you know? We just imagined [an earthy] Camilla: Do you want to drown a kitten in a barrel or put your hand up a horse's uterus?"[38]

Maggie Smith is portrayed as an actress who prefers to work from home (or not work at all). Smith's portrayal was inspired by an incident that reportedly took place on the set of Downton Abbey. Ullman: "[...] I heard a rumour that one day she was miserable on the show and they said, 'Maggie, what can we do? What can we do to make you more comfortable?' And she went, [in Smith's voice] 'Write me a death scene.'"[51]

In the show's second series, Ullman portrays current Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon as megalomaniac who is after more than just Scottish Independence. Westminster's youngest MP, Mhairi Black assists Sturgeon in the series opener by torturing a captive JK Rowling. On Sturgeon, Ullman says: "I like her a lot and respect her steeliness. [...] I would love her to meet [Donald Trump] and play golf with him and whup his ass. [My co-writer] Jeremy Dyson imagined her as a Bond villain — we filmed for two days in Chislehurst Caves, it was freezing and I was wearing pink, four-inch high heels. But I felt very powerful, and the crew were very much under my command. I think she will like it — she seems to have a good sense of humour."[52] The portrayal was lauded by viewers and critics alike as well as angering some SNP supporters.[53] Singer Toyah Willcox implored Sturgeon to take the sketch in the right spirit. Ullman had impersonated Willcox back in the early 1980s.[50] Sturgeon took to Twitter to comment on the impersonation: "Great to see my fav Scottish designers @TottyRocksLtd featuring on @TraceyUllmanTV last night ;)"[54] Upon seeing her portrayal, Mhairi Black (impersonated by actress Olivia Morgan) was quoted as saying "It was all right. It was quite a bizarre scenario. But I thought it was quite clever and quite witty."[55] In an interview for the Metro newspaper during the 2017 United Kingdom general election, Nicola Sturgeon was asked about Ullman's impersonation of her. "I've not seen all of them but I had to watch some because I've heard so much about it. I thought it was really funny." When asked if she should her in all the "Brexit drama", Sturgeon responded: "I definitely think she should! She's got the outfit and everything!"[56]

Beginning with the show's 2016 Christmas special, "The Best of Tracey Ullman's Show", Ullman plays a workaholic Clare Balding. "I like Clare. She was captain of the volleyball team at school. I watched her present the Olympics and she's incredible. She's really passionate when talking about horses, and she talks really fast... 'Beautiful filly, beautiful filly...' She never stops, you never feel uncomfortable with her, she knows how to talk to everybody. And I got this feeling that she was like, 'Oh, don't worry, I'll work the Christmas holidays, I can do that show, I'll work Boxing Day as well, nothing like the holidays.' She never stops."[52]

In series 2, Ullman portrays a very bitter Germaine Greer. Greer, who in recent years has come under fire for her controversial transgender views,[57] complains about being silenced by the media to anyone who will listen in the series. "I think Germaine Greer has become intellectually homeless, so I play her at a bus stop looking homeless. [In my version] she was this great sex symbol and she likes to talk about s****ing Martin Amis in the 60s, but what's she done recently? She's constantly blaming old age: 'You try being old! It's the biggest sin of all.'"[52]

Rupert Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth Murdoch came up to Ullman and told her that the family approved and liked what she was doing with the show's sketches about their family. "He's always had a good sense of humour, Rupert." said Ullman to WNYC's Leonard Lopate.[58]

Tracey Breaks the News

On 26 May 2017, the BBC announced that it had ordered a new topical half hour Tracey Ullman special, Tracey Breaks the News for BBC One. The show is inspired by and due to air shortly after the 2017 United Kingdom general election. Impersonations expected are Angela Merkel, Nicola Sturgeon, as well as Ullman's first take on Prime Minister Theresa May and Melania Trump. Like Tracey Ullman's Show, it will feature a mix of famous and everyday people all reacting to the aftermath of the general election along with the anniversary of the Brexit vote. It will include the reaction of not only the UK, but Europeans and Russians. "I'm excited the BBC has asked me to make a show at this time. We've decided to shake it up with a more topical format because things move so fast these days it's like every 10 minutes I'm voting for something. There's never been a better time to be imitating world famous political women, and I admire and thank them all: Angela Merkel, Nicola Sturgeon, and my home girl newbie Theresa May. I can't wait to get stuck in – thanks to the BBC and my brilliant team. It really is a privilege."[7][8]

Cast

Tracey Ullmans Show BBC
(left to right) Ullman as Judi Dench, herself, Angela Merkel

Episodes

SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
1611 January 201615 February 2016
Special25 December 2016
263 February 201717 March 2017
3628 September 20182 November 2018

International distribution

HBO has picked up the American rights to the show; the first season began airing 28 October 2016.[59] The network began broadcasting the show's second season 20 October 2017.[60] On 30 August, American HBO announced that it would begin airing a third season of the show on 28 September 2018.[61] It made its international premiere in the United States prior to its HBO launch at the 2018 Tribeca TV Festival. The event was held on 21 September 2018, with Ullman taking part in a Q&A session hosted by actress Meryl Streep.[62] Aside from HBO in the United States, the show's international distributor, the UK-based DRG, announced that it had also sold the show's third season to HBO Europe and ITV Choice in Asia as of September 2018.[63]

Country Broadcasters
Afghanistan Afghanistan ITV Choice
Algeria Algeria ITV Choice
Bahrain Bahrain ITV Choice
Canada Canada HBO Canada
Germany Germany NDR, ZDF
Iceland Iceland RÚV
South Korea South Korea ITV Choice
Taiwan Taiwan ITV Choice
United Kingdom United Kingdom ITV Choice
United States United States HBO

Home media

Series Release dates Bonus features
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1 22 February 2016 1 February 2017 Photo Gallery[64]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Recipient(s)/Nominee(s) Result Ref(s)
2016 Royal Television Society Awards Make Up Design – Entertainment & Non Drama Vanessa White, Floris Schuller & Neill Gorton Won [65]
2017 British Academy Television Craft Awards Make Up & Hair Design Vanessa White, Floris Schuller, Neill Gorton Nominated [66]
Rockie Awards Music, Performance, Arts & Variety Tracey Ullman's Show Won [67]
69th Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Variety Sketch Series Tracey Ullman's Show Nominated [68]
2018 70th Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Costumes for a Variety, Nonfiction, or Reality Programming Helen Woolfenden, Emma Burnand, Claudia Bassi (for "Episode 1") Nominated [69]
Outstanding Variety Sketch Series Tracey Ullman's Show Nominated

References

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  4. ^ "BBC One's Tracey Ullman's Show to return for second series – Media Centre" (Press release). BBC. 5 March 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
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  8. ^ a b "BBC-Tracey Breaks The News-Media Centre". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Tracey Ullman unveils Theresa May impression ahead of new BBC show". Radio Times. Retrieved 23 June 2017.
  10. ^ "BBC One commits to more satire from Tracey Ullman". BBC.co.uk. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
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  32. ^ Ullman 1998, p. xv
  33. ^ "Brit comedienne Tracey Ullman can't crack the UK". Daily Express. Express.co.uk. Retrieved 25 August 2016.
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  42. ^ „True total hottie Frau“: Die bislang beste Merkel-Parodie kommt von der BBC, Buzzer, 21.01.2016.
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External links

All Def Comedy

All Def Comedy is an American television series featuring stand-up comedy airing on HBO. It is produced by Russell Simmons and a continuation of Def Comedy Jam, Simmons' stand-up series on HBO airing from 1992 to 1997.

A special aired on November 12, 2016, and a six-episode season will premiere on December 1, 2017. The series is hosted by Tony Rock.

Allan McKeown Presents

Allan McKeown Presents Ltd is a television, film, and theatre production company that was created and founded in 2007 by British television and stage producer Allan McKeown, the late husband of actress Tracey Ullman. It has produced projects for American, British, and Indian television.Since McKeown's death in 2013, Tracey Ullman has taken over as chairwoman of the company in her husband's absence.

Andy Riley

Andy Riley (born 27 April 1970) is a British author, cartoonist, and Emmy-winning screenwriter for TV and film.

Riley has written and drawn many best-selling cartoon books, including The Book of Bunny Suicides (2003) and its sequels, and Great Lies To Tell Small Kids (2005). From 2002 until February 2010 he drew a weekly comic strip called Roasted in The Observer Magazine, a collection of which was released in book form in 2007. Riley also publishes the King Flashypants series of children's books.

With Kevin Cecil, his friend since they attended Aylesbury Grammar School, he created and wrote the sitcoms The Great Outdoors for BBC Four, Hyperdrive for BBC Two and Slacker Cats for the ABC Family Channel. Their other television work includes Veep (for which they each won an Emmy in 2015 in the Outstanding Comedy Series category), Black Books, the Comic Relief one-off special Robbie the Reindeer, for which he and Cecil won a BAFTA in 2000, Little Britain, Tracey Ullman's Show, Trigger Happy TV, So Graham Norton, Smack the Pony, The Armando Iannucci Shows, Harry and Paul, Big Bad World, Come Fly With Me, and Spitting Image. The Radio Four panel game they wrote with Jon Holmes and Tony Roche, The 99p Challenge, ran for five series from 2000.They wrote for the Miramax animated feature Gnomeo and Juliet, and its forthcoming sequel Gnomeo and Juliet: Sherlock Gnomes.

Riley has co-written two TV adaptations of David Walliams books: Gangsta Granny and The Boy In The Dress.

Riley was educated at Aylesbury Grammar School and Pembroke College, Oxford, where he read Modern History. He is namechecked in the Father Ted Christmas Special as 'Father Andy Riley'.

Emily Atack

Emily Jane Atack (born 18 December 1989) is a British actress. She is best known for her role as Charlotte Hinchcliffe on the E4 comedy series The Inbetweeners. She appears as contestant in fifth series of Dancing on Ice and she also finished in 2nd place in I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! in 2018.

Gareth Edwards (producer)

Gareth Edwards (born 1965) is a radio and television producer and writer. He is the great-grandson of Hollywood pioneer Albert E. Smith, founder of Vitagraph Studios.

Gwen Taylor

Gwen Taylor (born 19 February 1939) is an English actress who has appeared in many British television programmes. She is known for her roles as Amy Pearce in the sitcom Duty Free (1984–86); Barbara Liversidge in the sitcom Barbara (1999–2003); Peggy Armstrong in the drama series Heartbeat (2005–09), and Anne Foster in the soap opera Coronation Street (2011–12). She was nominated for the 1990 BAFTA TV Award for Best Actress for her role as Rita Simcock in the comedy series A Bit of a Do (1989). Her film appearances include Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979) and The Lady in the Van (2015).

Jamie Demetriou

Jamie Demetriou is a British comedian, actor and writer.

Jason Forbes

Jason Forbes (born 27 October 1990) is a British actor, writer and comedian best known for the CITV series Horrible Science; The Mash Report on BBC Two; as PC Peasey in the Professor Branestawm movies on BBC One; and as a member of the award-winning sketch trio 'Daphne'.Forbes is co-creator, star and writer of the BBC Radio 4 series, Daphne Sounds Expensive.

Kay Clark

For the sport shooter, see Kay Clark-Miculek

Kay Clark is a fictional character created and portrayed by Tracey Ullman. She is the character Ullman has portrayed for the longest time, spanning over four decades and three television series. The character was born out of a sketch for a guest appearance on the British television comedy and music show Saturday Live in 1986.

Laurence Rickard

Laurence Carl "Larry" Rickard (born 14 June 1975) is an English actor, writer and comedian one half of the comedy writing/performance duo "Larry and George" with George Sawyer.

List of Tracey Ullman's Show episodes

Tracey Ullman's Show is a British sketch comedy television show devised by and starring Tracey Ullman. The show marks her first project for the BBC in over thirty years. The programme premiered on BBC One 11 January 2016. Series 3 premiered on HBO in the United States on 28 September 2018.

Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

The Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series is an award presented to the best sketch comedy-driven variety show of the year.

In 2015, Outstanding Variety Series was separated into two categories – Outstanding Variety Talk Series and Outstanding Variety Sketch Series.

Ricky Champ

Ricky Champ (born 1 July 1980) is an English actor. He played the character of Paul in the sitcom Him & Her for four series between 2010 and 2013. Since May 2018, he has appeared in BBC One soap opera EastEnders as Stuart Highway.

Champ has also appeared in Crims, Plebs, and the sixth season of HBO series Game of Thrones where he played Gatins.

Samantha Spiro

Samantha Spiro (born 20 June 1968) is an English actress. She is best known for portraying Barbara Windsor in the stage play Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick and the television film Cor, Blimey!, DI Vivien Friend in M.I.T.: Murder Investigation Team, and Melessa Tarly in the HBO series Game of Thrones. She has won two Laurence Olivier Awards.

Tony Gardner

Tony Gardner (born 10 January 1964) is an English actor and doctor. He qualified as a doctor at Guy's Hospital in 1987, then as a general practitioner in 1993. He combined medicine and comedy during the 1990s as half of the award-winning comedy duo Struck Off and Die with Phil Hammond.

He eventually left medicine to become an actor, starring in a number of TV commercials, including that for the Renault Mégane. He reached prominence playing Brian Johnson in CITV's My Parents Are Aliens (episodes of which he also wrote) and Michael, the café owner in Jack Dee's BBC sitcom Lead Balloon. In 2009–10 he starred in three plays directed by Sir Peter Hall. In 2011 he played Professor Tony Shales in the Channel 4 series Fresh Meat.

Between 2012–2016 he played John in four series of the critically acclaimed romantic drama series Last Tango In Halifax. The programme attracted impressive ratings for BBC One, with the third series posting an average of 7.8 million viewers.Between 2013–2015 he appeared as Lieutenant Colonel Phillip Smith in three series of the wartime comedy Bluestone 42, about a British bomb disposal detachment in Afghanistan during Operation Herrick. He appeared as Dan Miller MP in the BBC political comedy The Thick of It. He was a main character of the music video "Giant peach" by Wolf Alice. He appeared in a variety of roles in Tracey Ullman's Show from 2016.

Tracey Breaks the News

Tracey Breaks the News is a British topical comedy series starring Tracey Ullman. The programme premiered on BBC One on 27 October 2017, and following a pilot episode that aired on 23 June.

After the success of the one-off special, on 13 September 2017, the BBC announced that it had ordered three new episodes of Tracey Breaks the News. Like the pilot, the three new shows would "tackle topical stories and current issues in a sketch show written and filmed right up to the day of broadcast." It was also reported that Ullman would impersonate French First Lady Brigitte Macron and Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn.On 15 May 2018, it was formally announced that the show had been picked up for a second series, which began airing in June on BBC One.The show has been re-cut and sold internationally under the Tracey Ullman's Show banner.

Tracey Breaks the News (pilot)

"Tracey Breaks the News" is a one-off British comedy television special as well as the pilot episode of the series of the same name starring comedian Tracey Ullman,

commissioned by the BBC for BBC One. It is thematically inspired by the aftermath 2017 United Kingdom general election, as well as the one year anniversary of the Brexit vote, and was recorded (and expected to air) shortly thereafter. The special is a reformatted version of Tracey Ullman's Show. "Tracey Breaks the News" is the second special Ullman has done for British television; her first since 1993's Tracey Ullman: A Class Act, and her fifth overall. The show aired on 23 June.The success of the special led to the order and creation of the series Tracey Breaks the News.

Tracey Ullman

Tracey Ullman (born 30 December 1959) is an English-born actress, comedian, singer, dancer, screenwriter, producer, director, author, and businesswoman who holds dual British and American citizenship.

Her earliest appearances were on British television sketch comedy shows A Kick Up the Eighties (with Rik Mayall and Miriam Margolyes) and Three of a Kind (with Lenny Henry and David Copperfield). After a brief singing career, she appeared as Candice Valentine in Girls on Top with Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.

She emigrated from the United Kingdom to the United States where she starred in her own network television comedy series, The Tracey Ullman Show, from 1987 until 1990, which also featured the first appearances of the long-running animated media franchise, The Simpsons. She later produced programmes for HBO, including Tracey Takes On... (1996–99), for which she garnered numerous awards. Her sketch comedy series, Tracey Ullman's State of the Union, ran from 2008 to 2010 on Showtime. She has also appeared in several feature films. Ullman was the first British woman to be offered her own television sketch show in both the United Kingdom and the United States.In 2016, she returned to British television with the BBC sketch comedy show Tracey Ullman's Show, her first project for the broadcaster in over thirty years; this led to the creation of the topical comedy series Tracey Breaks the News in 2017.

Ullman is currently the richest British actress and female comedian and the third richest British comedian overall.

Tracey Ullman Show

Tracey Ullman Show may refer to:

For the American 1980s series The Tracey Ullman Show

For the British 2016 series Tracey Ullman's Show

Television series
Television specials
Characters
Studio albums
Singles
Books
See also

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