Bognor Regis is set to grace our TV screens with a new sitcom set in the town — and with Toby Jones as the star of the show you know you are in for plenty of laughs.
BAFTA nominated actor Toby, who you’ll remember was at his subtly brilliant best in Detectorists, stars as coach driver and single dad Peter Green in Don’t Forget the Driver, a new comedy which begins on BBC Two on Tuesday 9 April at 10pm.
In the show, he leads a rather mundane life of packed lunches on the road and taking tourists of a certain vintage to and from the usual UK tourist attractions. And, as you can imagine, there is plenty of scope for humour here!
Toby’s character has to deal with everyday life in his job with the fact that his daughter Kayla just doesn’t seem to be interested in life while his mother proves a concern as she battles with confusion and fear as she ages.
Then, to enliven the plot, our coach drives finds a body on the shore — and to add to the twists, a passenger boards his coach who is very much in need of help; and that is when real comical chaos ensues.
In their billing the BBC says: “Don’t Forget The Driver follows a group of people struggling with their place in the world, their own sense of identity, and reveals how, in one single moment, even in the most ordinary of lives, an accidental encounter can change the course of everything.”
Toby, meanwhile has his own take on the town in which the series is filmed. In an interview with The Times, he said: “Bognor just hasn’t been gentrified. Director Tim Kirkby, when we first started working on it, took me on a guided tour. It was where he grew up and what he was nostalgic about. There’s one nightclub on the pier — the pier hasn’t been repaired since the end of it blew off in 1964, but it’s still there. At the end of that, I said, ‘I’m definitely on board for this, because it’s not immediately comic, just interesting’.”
The sitcom has won over admirers within the Beeb. Shane Allen, Controller of BBC Comedy Commissioning, said: “This irresistible piece explores big rich themes about identity –both personal and national. It feels very timely in this climate of introspection and transition. Shot through with heart and humour it will deliver poignant, mature and highly resonant comedy drama starring the cream of British comedy writing and acting talent.”
And Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two, said the new show was a superbly knitted together tale of mankind and unforseen consequences, adding: “Comedy can misfire when it takes on the big issues of the age but this series with the unrivalled Toby Jones is so human, so rooted, so warmly funny, that it illuminates, enriching our understanding.”