Gold commissions Marley’s Ghosts for a second series

LONDON - Monday 18th April 2016

UKTV, the multi-award-winning media company, has commissioned a second series of Marley's Ghosts (6 x 40') for its comedy channel Gold, continuing its investment in UKTV Original content.

Marley's Ghosts was the second highest rated show on Gold in 2015, with the premiere episode achieving an average audience of 432k, up 337% on slot. Following this success, UKTV has commissioned a further six episodes, including a Christmas special, of the popular show. John Hannah (A Touch of Cloth, Atlantis, Spartacus), Sarah Alexander (Jonathan Creek, Me & Mrs. Jones, Undercover), Jo Joyner (Ordinary Lies, No Angels, Trying Again) and Nicholas Burns (The World's End, Benidorm) return to lead the cast of this scripted comedy, which averaged 351k across the series.

In the first series we discovered Marley's (Sarah Alexander) rare ability that she can talk to the dead, which sadly includes her husband Adam (John Hannah), her lover Michael (Nicholas Burns) and the local Vicar (Jo Joyner). So began a bizarre ménage-a-quatre, with Adam, Michael and the Vicar all moving in, albeit in ghostly form, to Marley's home.

The second series sees magistrate Marley trying to live her life while sharing her house with three ghosts. Marley is put through the minefield of moody teenagers, jealous neighbours, and new romances, while her resident ghosts continue to inflict havoc along the way.  

Ordered by Steve North, General Manager for Gold, and Richard Watsham, UKTV's Director of Commissioning, the series is commissioned by UKTV's Senior Commissioning Editor, Simon Lupton, and co-produced by Objective Fiction, part of Objective Media Group, and John Stanley Productions. The series is written by Daniel Peacock with James Dean series producing and Jonathan Gershfield directing. The Executive Producers are Simon Lupton for UKTV, Objective Fiction's Ben Farrell and Objective Media Group's Layla Smith.

Simon Lupton said,

The pilot run of Marley's Ghosts received an overwhelmingly positive response from our viewers. Launching scripted comedies can be a challenge so we are incredibly proud of this series and its performance and couldn't wait to give Danny Peacock the go ahead to take us back into that world. We are happy to announce that the fantastic cast of Sarah Alexander, John Hannah, Nicholas Burns and Jo Joyner are returning to the series and will be bringing Marley, Adam, Michael and the Vicar back to life (so to speak) for us.

Steve North, General Manager for Gold said,

Marley's Ghosts connected brilliantly with the Gold audience and we are delighted to welcome it back for a full series.  We are all in high spirits to see the superb cast return to our screens later this year.

Layla Smith, Executive Producer said,

We love Marley's Ghosts - a great concept, terrific writing and a wonderful cast. We were just delighted that Gold viewers liked the show too and now we get to make some more.

Matt Lucas, CEO of John Stanley Productions added,

I'm thrilled that this series is returning. The writing is consistently inventive and original and the cast bring it to life brilliantly.

The pilot run of Marley's Ghosts was hugely successful with a series average of 351k, which was 243% up on the slot and a high ABC1 profile of 54%. Launching on Gold later this year, Marley's Ghosts follows the recent announcement of three-part UKTV Original series The Rebel starring Simon Callow, Bill Paterson and Anita Dobson. This is part of UKTV's ongoing strategy to commission short runs of a diverse range of comedies as a way of introducing them to the Gold audience.

  • BARB/TechEdge Adults, (16+) Gold 2015. Consolidated 000's.

Notes to Editors:

For all press enquiries and interview requests please contact;
Jess Molyneux, Assistant Publicist

Kerry Parker, Head of Network Communications

About Gold

Sky 110, Virgin 126, BT and TalkTalk 408 On demand on Sky, Virgin and Now TV Dedicated to celebrating the best of British comedy, Gold is the nation's favourite comedy channel.

Much-loved comedy series such as Only Fools and Horses, The Vicar of Dibley and Outnumbered sit alongside successful commissions including Comic Strip Presents...Red Top and Catherine Tate's Do Not Disturb, and the live broadcast of the final ever performance of the Monty Python Live (mostly): One Down Five to Go stage show which became the highest rating programme in Gold's history in 2014.

The perfect tonic to make you laugh whatever the time of day, Gold shows universally funny content that everyone can enjoy. / @goldtvchannel

About UKTV

UKTV is the biggest multichannel broadcaster in the UK.

The award-winning independent has eleven imaginative brands - UKTV Play, Dave, W, Gold, Alibi, Yesterday, Drama, Really, Home, Eden and Good Food. These include the two most popular non-PSB channels in the UK and account for 9.31% of the British commercial TV market. The company's most recent financial results showed record-breaking year-end revenue of £319m and EBITDA of £82m. It invested £148m in programming and related launches last year, and is becoming an increasingly significant investor in UK creativity.

UKTV has a truly innovative model, curating brand-defining commissions, high-profile acquisitions and the very best of BBC, alongside programmes originally shown on ITV and Channel 4. The network embraces technology to deliver inspired channels to audiences through Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat, Amazon Fire and UKTV Play, and distributes its highly valued original programmes to 200 territories.

Now celebrating its 23rd year at the forefront of digital television, UKTV - an independent commercial joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc. (SNI) - is proud to be the only British television broadcaster in The Sunday Times top 100 companies list. / / @uktv_press

About Objective Media Group Previously independent production company Objective Productions, Objective Media Group excels in Factual Entertainment, Magic, Saturday night Entertainment and Scripted Comedy. It is proud to produce and distribute world class shows like The Cube, Breaking Magic, The Real Hustle and the multi-award winning Peep Show, Fresh Meat and Toast of London.

Part of All3media, it encompasses three core labels - Second Star, Panda Television and Objective Fiction; a regional and international office, and a post production arm.

Current and forthcoming label shows include the fourth season of Fresh Meat, BBC Three's Witless, Life Hacks Hoax, Now You See It, Stupid Man, Smart Phone; and Roisin Conaty's self-penned sitcom GameFace for E4.

About John Stanley Productions John Stanley Productions is a creatively led independent production company working across genres encompassing scripted comedy, comedy entertainment, entertainment and factual entertainment. Specialising in devising unique formats and encouraging courageous scripts, John Stanley Productions excels at working creatively with the best talent, writers and producers to bring quality ideas to life. Recent productions include Pompidou / BBC 2, Bull / UKTV Gold and Relatively Clever / Sky 1.