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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 November, 2003, 15:51 GMT
Entertainer Vegas signs BBC deal
Johnny Vegas
Vegas appears as a pannelist on Shooting Stars
Comedian Johnny Vegas has signed a deal to develop a comedy series for the BBC.

Vegas is teaming up with British director Shane Meadows and writer Paul Fraser to produce a pilot for BBC Two.

The producer of the award-winning Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights, Mark Herbert, will also be involved in the untitled series due to be filmed in Manchester.

St Helens-born Vegas said: "I'm chuffed to be working with such established and original folk - and proud to spearhead an idea that focuses on northern talent."

Vegas, best known for his guest role on Shooting Stars and his ITV Digital monkey ads, has become one of TV and comedy's hottest properties.


He and Meadows, who has directed TwentyFourSeven and Once Upon a Time in the Midlands, are currently using improvised workshops to generate ideas for the series, due to begin production in the spring.

The pilot show will be the first project from the BBC's newly-launched Manchester comedy unit.

The BBC's comedy editor, Kenton Allen, said: "I am thrilled that Johnny has committed himself to the BBC and that Shane and Paul will be making their TV debut with us.

"They are both highly original and individual artists working at the peak of their creative powers."

Vegas won the 2001 best comedy newcomer at the Comedy Awards for his role in the series Happiness.

Vegas recently split with his wife Kitty Donnelly, a little over a year after the pair wed following a whirlwind romance.

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