Gemma Arterton starring in 1960s comedy based on Nick Hornby’s ‘Funny Girl’

Sky has announced a fun new comedy series set in ’60s London.

Funny Girl is based on About a Boy author Nick Hornby’s 2016 novel of the same name.

The show stars Gemma Arterton (Their Finest) as “a young woman from Blackpool finding her comic voice in the male dominated world of the 1960s sitcom.”

The Black Narcissus star will play the “bold, stylish, and courageous” Barbara Parker, a “force of nature who takes London by storm” as we follow her journey from Blackpool beauty queen to comedy superstar and nation’s sweetheart.

The series will be directed by Oliver Parker, best known for Swimming with Men, The Importance of Being Earnest, Dad’s Army, Dorian Gray, and the St. Trinian’s movies.

Arterton commented: “It’s a heart-warming story of an ambitious woman with a dream of making people laugh – it’s going to be something special. It’s an honour to be working with such an incredible team and be reunited with my first ever director, Oliver Parker.”

The official synopsis reads: “It’s the height of the swinging 60s and Barbara Parker has just been crowned Miss Blackpool – but there’s got to be more to life than being a beauty queen in a seaside town, right?

“She wants to be… someone. The bright lights of London are calling, and our determined hero sets off to find out who that someone is.

“The London she encounters is not as quite as swinging as the one she’d read about and seen on TV. However, after a series of setbacks Barbara finds herself in unfamiliar territory – an audition for a TV comedy show.

“Barbara’s uncompromising northern wit proves to be the X factor that the show has been missing. She gets the part and becomes part of a ground-breaking new sitcom which will have an impact on British comedy for decades to come.

“Being a woman in a largely male environment has its own challenges, but as Barbara ‘finds her funny’ she re-defines the prevailing attitude to funny women and in the process, reinvents herself.”

Funny Girl will premiere in the UK exclusively on Sky and streaming service Now TV in 2022.

Director of Comedy for Sky Studios, Jon Mountague, said: “With Morwenna Banks’ brilliant script, this was the perfect opportunity to bring a contemporary take on this inspiring story.”

He added: “Funny, smart and revealing – exactly what a Sky Original comedy should be, and we can’t wait.”

The cast also includes Clare-Hope Ashitey (Riviera), Arsher Ali (The Missing), and Alexa Davies (White House Farm).

Nick Hornby’s novel Funny Girl is available on Amazon.