The return of Psychoville: Imelda Staunton joins the cast

News Ryan Lambie
10 Aug 2010 - 04:17

The macabre comedy Psychoville is set to return to the BBC in the autumn, with Imelda Staunton one of its stars…

Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton's Psychoville was one of the most grotesquely entertaining series to hit the BBC last year. Introducing a loveably unhinged gallery of characters - many played by Shearsmith and Pemberton themselves - including dishevelled one-handed clown Mr Jelly, blind toy-collecting millionaire Oscar Lomax, and slack-jawed, infantile serial killer David Sowerbutts (catchphrase: "I done a bad murder.")

Following the success of the first seven-episode run, Psychoville is set to return in a one-hour Halloween special later this year, and second series. Imelda Staunton, the actor who recently brought the character of Dolores Umbridge to the big screen in Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, is set to star in the series.

Staunton describes her character as "a cross between Mary Quant and Louise Brooks" and "a little bit Jane Tennison from Prime Suspect", and said of working with Shearsmith and Pemberton, "There's nothing I enjoy more than hanging out with weirdoes, freaks and undesirables, so, of course, I jumped at the chance to work on Psychoville."

The BBC has also confirmed that actors Jason Watkins, Mark Bonnar, Sarah Solemani, David Cann and The IT Crowd's Katherine Parkinson will appear in the next Psychoville, with Jason Tompkins, Daisy Haggard, Lisa Hammond, Dawn French and Christopher Biggins set to return to their respective roles.

Like the equally imaginative The League Of Gentleman, which Shearsmith and Pemberton also co-wrote, Psychoville was made all the more entertaining thanks to its encyclopaedic references to classic horror and suspense movies, and much of its black humour was derived from its manipulation of genre expectations.

The new season of Psychoville is definitely high up on our must-view list of shows this autumn. We just hope its writers can match the inventive brilliance of David And Maureen, the first run's fourth episode that beautifully sent up Alfred Hitchcock's Rope.

The Psychoville Halloween special is set to air later this year (quite near Halloween, we'd wager), with the full second series following on in 2011.

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