Stream On: Shane Allen The Head of Comedy Programming at the BBC

Coming Soon To BritBox

My first memories of BBC comedy came as a kid watching the slapstick of Benny Hill and then later as a teenager never missing an episode of the groundbreaking work of Monty Python Flying Circus. Over the years I have enjoyed so many wonderful shows that range in scope from As Time Goes By, with the brilliant Judi Dench and of course the amazing Ricky Gervais, who brought us The Office.

On this week’s edition of Stream On with Jim Williams, my guest is Shane Allen, who serves as the Controller of BBC Comedy Commissioning. He is the man who oversees what comedy programs the network airs and who doesn’t make the cut.

Listen to “Shane Allen of the BBC talks about a “New Age,” of comedy at the network” on Spreaker.

Allen more than anyone understands the rich history of the BBC and their tradition of groundbreaking comedy. He is very pleased with the range of programming now at the network and the fact that viewers in the United States can enjoy these shows on the streaming service BritBox.

One area that Allen loves is in the BBC’s diversity with shows that have taken a risk on new talent while letting them tell their stories set in their world. Each program has a unique and diverse element at their core – multi-award winners like This Country, Fleabag, The Young Offenders and People Just Do Nothing.

Meanwhile, Allen is also committed to the network’s more traditional star related shows like John Cleese return to television after 30 years last year with Hold the Sunset and Mum who is entering the sixth and final season.

We had a great conversation about a new show soon to be streaming on BritBox called Living The Dream. It is a show that will be of interest to the nearly million or so former residents of the United Kingdom now living in Central Florida.

The show follows the Pembertons, a British family who relocate from rain-soaked England to sunny Florida to take ownership of a fledgling RV park in Kissimmee

They soon learn the American dream is not all it’s cracked up to be and that the Florida sun can sometimes scorch. Starring: Philip Glenister (Life On Mars, Ashes to Ashes and Outcast); Lesley Sharp (The Full Monty, Vera Drake); Kim Fields (The Facts of Life, Living Single); Kevin Nash (Magic Mike, John Wick) and Leslie Jordan (The Cool Kids, Will & Grace).

Allen is excited that people in the United States can now see through BritBox – BBC comedy’s some of the classic shows as well as these new programs that will have some say in what will be successful on a global basis.


*We will have the cast of Living the Dream on an upcoming edition of Stream On. We will preview the show before it drops in the not too distant future.

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Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.