Stories Of Care founder, Sophie Willan is set to film her first sitcom series for BBC Two from April 26 2021, ready to air Autumn 2021.
The show was picked up for a series, following the unequivocal success of the pilot episode, which gained over one million viewers in the first week, trended on Twitter and was met by huge critical and audience acclaim.
BBC commissioner Shane Allen said, “Alma’s Not Normal landed so wonderfully formed with its distinctiveness, heart on sleeve charm, sparky humour and knockout cast. Sophie’s raw honesty, eye for characterisation and comedic insouciance have resulted in a cracking show bursting with potential. We just couldn’t resist a series!”
BBC Two controller Patrick Holland says, “BBC Two has always been the home of the most exciting comic talents and the most brilliantly conceived worlds. Sophie Willan’s Alma’s Not Normal is one of the freshest voices in years.”
Through Alma’s Not Normal, Sophie continues to develop the core missions of Stories Of Care; by offering a bitingly funny and unflinching take on class, sexuality, mental health and substance abuse. She celebrates Working Class women, Care Leavers and Sex Workers, and shows complex female characters, dealing with the hands they’ve been dealt while doggedly pursing their dreams.
But Alma’s Not Normal doesn’t just follow the values of Stories Of Care on-screen, the work is also happening off-screen….
The Alma’s Not Normal team are running a paid training programme for Care Experienced young people to work in specific departments across the programme including producing, art, costume, makeup, camera, location and production.
They have also worked with Back Up North West, paying the charity, which works with and for homeless young people, to film on their premises and inviting their young residents to watch the filming – and have delivered an extensive open-audition process, with Catherine Willis Casting, in order to recruit working class actors from Bolton.
In an interview about the pilot, Willan spoke about diversity on screen, in terms of both regional and working-class voice. She said, “It’s about time we saw complex, funny, female-lead stories, outside of London and/or the middle/upper class. I’m not saying those shows don’t have a place too – they do. In fact, Fleabag is one of my favourite sitcoms of all time, but we need variety. We need to represent more people.”