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Brassic: ‘Peter Kay’s a fan – it would be great to get him in the show’

Brassic writer Danny Brocklehurst has told Sky News he would love Peter Kay to play a part in the show.

The comedy series, which returns this week and has a third season already in the works, was a huge hit when it launched on Sky in 2019.

Co-created with star Joe Gilgun, Brassic follows the exploits of a gang of mates who are on the rob in the fictitious rural Lancashire town of Hawley – balancing the laughs with tackling serious issues such as mental health, alcoholism and sexual harassment.

Danny Brocklehurst poses for a portrait at the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Awards 2020 in January 2020
Image: Writer Danny Brocklehurst won a BAFTA for his work on hit comedy Shameless

Behind the scenes on Brassic, series two. Pic: Sky UK
Image: The series is based on semi-autobiographical stories from star Joe Gilgun. Pic: Sky UK

Following the huge success of the first series, season two has already had rave reviews from critics, and sees cameos from British comedy greats John Thomson (The Fast Show, Cold Feet) and Bill Paterson (The Witches, Fleabag).

Brocklehurst, who won a BAFTA for writing Shameless and most recently worked on Netflix thriller The Stranger, says he is not interested in getting famous faces into Brassic for the sake of it.

However, he says Kay, who recently made his TV comeback for the BBC’s Big Night In, was a fan of series one, and would be a great addition to the cast.

“I know Peter Kay loved the show, season one, so it’d be amazing if we could get him in it,” he says.

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“There’s so many people it would be good fun to have in. In season two, we’ve got John Thomson and Bill Paterson coming in just to do one-episode turns and they are two people who genuinely I have wanted to work with for a long time, I think they’re both really brilliant comedy actors.

“I don’t ever want it to become the sort of show where it’s just chock full of famous people coming in and doing a funny thing, because I think that can become a bit over the top.

“But sometimes if you get somebody and you really see them for the part – like, we knew that John would be great for his role – when they agree to do it, it’s brilliant.”

Brocklehurst says the reaction to series one, which was the best performing launch for a Sky original comedy in seven years, was “amazing”.

“You put a TV show out there and it’s always kind of a nerve-wracking experience. So for people to take it to their hearts so warmly… the response was phenomenal. It was great.”

The second series keeps the spirit of the first, he says, but is more ambitious “in terms of some of the antics that the gang get up to and I’ve pushed the humour a bit further”.

Brocklehurst created the show with Gilgun, who stars as Vinnie, with many of the storylines based on things that have happened in the actor’s life. To what degree, Brocklehurst won’t tell.

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“This whole show came from Joe’s imagination in the first place because he’d experienced certain things as a younger man, and he thought they were funny and wanted to put them on a TV screen,” he says. “So we crafted the show together. It’s a collaboration.

“It started off… well, certain things that were used in series one were very, very, very autobiographical. We had to almost be, you know, change the names to protect… all that. But as it moves on, inevitably you start inventing new stuff and thinking of different ideas.”

The first episode of season two involves the robbery of a circus and the character of Erin, played by Michelle Keegan (Coronation Street, Our Girl) having to get very close to a lion.

“The circus idea was loosely based on something that did really happen,” Brocklehurst says. “I mean, obviously not in the same way.

Michelle Keegan in Brassic series two. Pic: Sky UK
Image: The new series sees Michelle Keegan’s character Erin have a close encounter with a lion. Pic: Sky UK

Brassic returns for series two. Pic: Sky UK

“That’s what happens with some of the stuff. We talk and talk and talk and then Joe’ll say something like, ‘Oh, I remember that time when such and such robbed a thing from…’ and it inspires ideas. So I think even if it’s just the kernel of an idea, it sometimes takes us somewhere quite interesting.”

Like the end of season one, which – spoiler alert – saw Vinnie faking his own death, this series also ends on a cliffhanger.

Brocklehurst is already working on season three, but isn’t giving anything away.

“Hopefully people will like series two,” he says. “We ended the first series on quite a big cliffhanger and we end the second series on quite a big cliffhanger. Season three picks up from that and again, takes us forward.

“I don’t want this to be stale, I don’t want us tread water or do the same thing over and over again. I want it to be the same enjoyable world but you’ve got to keep moving it on a little bit.”

And who knows, maybe we’ll see that Peter Kay cameo? If he’s reading, Brocklehurst promises it won’t be hard work.

“I think people watch [the show] and like it and then they’re happy to come in,” he says. “It’s only a couple of days work, it’s not taking any great time, so it’s a fun thing to do.”

Watch all episodes of Brassic series two on Sky One and NOW TV from Thursday 7 May

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