BBC Comedy has commissioned Smoggie Queens, an out and out comedy centred around a gang of friends who are fiercely proud of their North Eastern town of Middlesbrough and their small pocket of the LGBTQ+ community.

Written by Middlesbrough native, Phil Dunning, Smoggie Queens tells the story of volatile Dickie (Dunning) along with drag queen Mam (Mark Benton), self-styled hun Lucinda (Alexandra Mardell), awkward Sal (Patsy Lowe) and newcomer Stewart (Elijah Young) as they navigate love, life and their pride for a town that feels neglected in its own little corner of the UK. It’s an underdog story on two fronts, so expect a few passionate scraps that may send your wig flying!

Phil Dunning, writer and cast says: “I’m absolutely buzzing that the BBC are taking Smoggie Queens to series and I’m so grateful to them for allowing me to write such stupid and weird characters. It’s been a beautiful dream working with Hat Trick, and the incredible cast already feel like my new chosen family. I can’t wait to introduce the sights, sounds and smells of Middlesbrough to the world.”

Chris Jones, Producer at Hat Trick Productions says: “Phil has a brilliantly funny, energetic and well-observed style to his writing. It’s been extremely special to develop this fiercely proud chosen family sitcom with him along with exceptional support from BBC Comedy. We’re so excited to bring these characters to life through our very talented cast and crew.”

Jon Petrie, Director of BBC Comedy says: “Smoggie Queens is a show bursting with jokes and heart. Phil Dunning has concocted a brilliant ensemble piece that we know will refuse to go unnoticed!.”

Jimmy Mulville, Managing Director of Hat Trick Productions, says: “Smoggie Queens is a joy. Phil has created and stars in a show which is introducing us to our new best friends. They‘re the kind of people who look adversity in the eye and laugh! It’s just the tonic we need right now.”

Gayle Woodruffe, Operations Director of North East Screen, says: “Hat Trick Productions have a brilliant record of producing quality, award-winning TV shows with global appeal such as Derry Girls, Trigger Point and Mastermind. We’re thrilled to be supporting their new BBC sitcom, Smoggie Queens, through the North East Production Fund, our Film Office and Skills team, to shine a light on the North East’s LGBTQ+ community, and provide opportunities for our talented local crew, actors and businesses.”

Smoggie Queens (6 x 30) is a Hat Trick production (Derry Girls, Outnumbered, Have I Got News For You and Episodes) for BBC Three and BBC iPlayer, and funding support by North East Screen Industries Partnership delivered by North East Screen with worldwide distribution by Hat Trick International. The series was commissioned by Jon Petrie, Director of BBC Comedy. The producer is Chris Jones (Kate & Koji, Whistle Through The Shamrocks) and the director is Andrew Chaplin (Alma’s Not Normal, The Full Monty). The Commissioning Editor for the BBC is Gregor Sharp.

TX details will be announced in due course.

The cast of Smoggie Queens (Image: Hat Trick Productions/Matt Crockett)
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