The writers of Alan Partridge are returning to the BBC with a new historical sitcom.
Created by Neil and Rob Gibbons (Veep, This Time with Alan Partridge), the six-part series will be executive produced by Steve Coogan.
The Witchfinder will follow a witchfinder and his suspect on a road-free road trip through an England gripped by civil war, famine and plague in the 17th Century.
Cooper said: “I cannot wait to be starring in The Witchfinder with the absolutely brilliant Tim Key. I’ve always wanted to be a witch, my mother says I’ve got the nose and chin hair for it.
“I dabbled a bit in witchcraft when I was in my teens and ended up accidentally inviting an incubus into my house. He was an absolute prick.”
Key added: “I’m delighted to be working with the mercurially talented Gibbons brothers again, particularly on something set in 17th century England – which they seem to have a fairly loose grasp of – and I’m excited to do a road trip but on horses (I can’t ride a horse).
“I love the idea of Daisy May Cooper being a pissed-off witch anyway so the fact that I’m playing her antagonist is the icing on the cake. Can’t wait to saddle up.”
The official synopsis reads: “It’s the year of our Lord 1647 and fear of witchcraft is rife. Puritanical Christianity, deep-seated superstition and a willingness to scapegoat outsiders have created a tinderbox of suspicion in which few are safe. In this environment, witchfinding has flourished, as self-appointed witch experts achieve hero status by investigating accusations of witchery and extracting confessions.
“A failing witchfinder (Tim Key) transports a suspected witch (Daisy May Cooper) across 1640s East Anglia to a trial that could change his fortunes forever. But his captive is the worst possible travel companion: an inquisitive, uncouth woman whose ability to prick his pomposity and ask uncomfortable questions turns a straightforward journey into a life-changing ordeal.”
Kate Daughton, Head of Comedy Commissioning commented: “In The Witchfinder, the Gibbons brothers have managed to create a timelessly compelling odd couple, forced together on a journey through one of the most baffling moments of English history.
“Tim Key and Daisy May Cooper are two of the UK’s funniest people and I can’t wait to see them tackle gender politics, male privilege and bees… on horseback.”
The Witchfinder will air on BBC Two in the UK in 2020.
Alan Partridge: Knowing Me, Knowing You is available on DVD on Amazon.