Stephen Fry, right, is to star in a brand new Victorian comedy. The QI presenter will team up with Peep Show star David Mitchell and Robert Webb for the BBC Two show – entitled The Bleak Old Shop Of Stuff – which is described as a “Dickensian comedy adventure”.
Beginning with a one-hour Christmas special followed by three 30-minute episodes shown in early 2012, Stephen will portray evil lawyer Malifax Skulkingworm, while Robert will take on the role of Jedrington Secret-Past, an upstanding family man and owner of The Old Shop Of Stuff.
Robert said: “I’m really looking forward to working with my all-time hero David Mitchell. Apparently Stephen Fry is in it too, which is nice.”
Also appearing in The Bleak Old Shop Of Stuff are IT Crowd actress Katherine Parkinson – portraying Jedrington’s wife Conceptiva – as well as Celia Imrie, Johnny Vegas and Pauline McLynn.
Mark Freeland, BBC head of in-house comedy, said: “Mark Evans’s already well-loved Victorian comic world is a wonderful way to celebrate the bicentenary of Dickens’ birth. He probably wouldn’t have agreed, but I am very excited.”