But When We Dance | Paul Mayhew-Archer comedy drama going into production after three year delay

Paul Mayhew-Archer
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Writer Paul Mayhew-Archer has penned comedy drama But When We Dance based on his own experience of Parkinson’s. Here are the details:

Work has finally started on veteran comedy writer Paul Mayhew-Archer’s next project: But When We Dance, a feature length drama which was meant to go into production for the BBC over three years ago, but the pandemic threw the schedule into chaos.

Johnny Campbell is on board to direct from Mayhew-Archer’s script, while the BBC is currently finalising the cast.

The story “centres on two people with lots in common: a great sense of humour, a love of dance, and Parkinson’s,” according to Deadline.

Mayhew-Archer is probably best known for co-writing every episode of The Vicar Of Dibley with Richard Curtis. He has worked behind the scenes in BBC comedy since the 1980s, script editing shows as diverse as Steven Moffat’s Chalk to Brendan O’Carroll’s hugely successful Mrs Brown’s Boys.

He has also penned a number of comedies of his own, including the terrific An Actor’s Life For Me, a sitcom about a struggling actor which began on the radio them transferred to television in 1991, starring John Gordon Sincair and Gina McKee.

He reunited with Sinclair in 1994 for Nelson’s Column, a sitcom about a newspaper office, before penning the unfortunately timed Office Gossip in 2001, which came out at almost exactly the same time as Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s classic sitcom The Office. He subsequently co-wrote many episodes of My Hero.

In 2011, Mayhew-Archer was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. He used humour to deal with the news, producing the brilliant documentary Parkinson’s: The Funny Side in 2016, which you can watch on BBC iPlayer.

He also wrote and performed a stand-up comedy show entitled Incurable Optimist, which played at the Edinburgh Fringe before touring the UK. In 2020, he was appointed an MBE for services to people with Parkinson’s and cancer.

Mayhew-Archer’s most recent television project was in 2016, when he reunited with Curtis to write an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot, starring Dustin Hoffman and Judi Dench.

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