The BBC announced in August 2012 that it has commissioned a new 6 part sitcom written by and starring Sue Perkins. You can read more about this project either in this BBC News Entertainment & Arts article or this report by The Comedy Guide. According to The Comedy Guide :
In Heading Out Perkins will play Sara, a vet ‘so skilled she can spay a tortoise one-handed’. Despite her success and popularity, Sara still has a big problem: she’s too scared to tell her parents she’s gay.
The series will follow Sara’s attempt to confront her life and sexuality head-on in order to talk to her family – it’s her 40th birthday and her friends give her an ultimatum: either she tells her parents when they come to visit in six weeks’ time, or they will. To help Sara achieve this goal, they’ve saved up to buy a series of sessions with Toria, an eccentric and mildly-qualified lifestyle coach/therapist.
In addition to Sue Perkins, Dawn French, Jo Scanlan and Nicola have also been cast.
It’s not a ‘lesbian’ sitcom. It’s a sitcom which just happens to have a gay character in it. All I mean is it’s mainstream. For everyone. That’s the point of it/why I wrote it – to put gay characters in a wider world.
This will be the first comedy project for Nicola in over 15 years. The last time she was in a comedy goes back to her Chalk days! (We’re not counting guest roles like Broken News or Being Human.) At the moment, there is no information about the role which Nicola will take on. We’re kind of hoping that the writers and producers will let Nicola play the part of the eccentric and mildly qualified lifestyle coach/therapist. 🙂
Filming will commence in September 2012. This means that Nicola will segue from her gig at the National Theatre (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time) to filming this new series. Sounds like a very busy couple of months coming up for Nicola! The show is expected to air sometime in 2013.
Update : 10 September 2012
Nicola told us recently that she has already started filming this show. “First day of filming, I had four lines and I haven’t been fired yet!” She will play Justine, the lead character’s friend. Jo Scanlan will be playing the lifestyle coach/therapist, “and she’s brilliant!” Nicola told us.
Update : 22 October 2012
From this article in the Huffington Post, we know that June Brown has been added to the cast. There’s been a whole load of tweets today on Twitter about this project, even though the project was first announced over two months ago. It is worrying that in the latest media releases, Nicola is not mentioned as a cast member. Maybe she is no longer associated with the project?
Update : 23 October 2012
Worries over, Nicola is still in this project. The full press release, including full cast list, was posted today in a number of outlets. You can read a short version in the Radio Times or the longer version in TV Wise. Nicola’s character is named “Justine”.
Update : 2 December 2012
TV Wise has news of who has been cast as guest stars in this 6 part comedy.
Tim Downie, Tony Law, Ella Kenion, Graeme Garden and Bekka Bowling are all set to appear in various episodes.
Update : 27 December 2012
Sue Perkins was one of the guests on the French & Saunders radio show on BBC Radio 2 today. During her short interview on air, Sue revealed that Dawn French will play Jo Scanlan’s mother in Heading Out.
Update : 31 December 2012
In its 13 for 2013 article, Radio Times picked 13 TV shows to watch in 2013. Heading Out made the list!
The rest of the cast is top-drawer: Steve Pemberton, Dawn French, Nicola Walker, Shelly Conn, Raquel Cassidy, June Brown (yes, Dot from EastEnders)… and Mel Giedroyc.
Update : 21 January 2013 – Air date announced
Sue Perkins just tweeted that the series will air on 26 February 2013 on BBC 2 at 10 pm. (Thank you, AgentP, for having caught this one 🙂 ).
Update : 28 January 2013
We found these discussions on Twitter from a journalist who has access to preview copies of the show.
Purchase the DVD from Amazon UK
The DVD box set for this show is released on 8 April 2013 and is Region 2 and 4 PAL compatible. A 10 minute Behind the Scenes Featurette is available on the DVD and Nicola appears in a short interview about the show.
Turn the page and go to BBC Media Pack link, Episode Trailers and Episode Guides.