BBC Three bomb unit drama Bluestone 42 recommissioned for second series


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The Independent Culture

A BBC comedy about a bomb disposal unit in Afghanistan has been recommissioned for a second series.

Bluestone 42 attracted controversy before it even aired on BBC3, with one MP asking if it was "in the best of taste."

But the drama's first series, which ends tonight, has attracted audiences of around two million.

BBC3 Controller Zai Bennett said: "I'm incredibly proud of this bold, brave and hugely funny comedy drama series which has been enjoying big audiences on BBC3.

"The cast, crew and writers have played an absolute blinder in this important series which completes and complements BBC3's already extensive coverage of the war in Afghanistan."

Bluestone 42 was penned by Richard Hurst and James Cary, who co-wrote hit sitcom Miranda, and stars Green Wing actor Oliver Chris and Hustle actress Kelly Adams.

Conservative MP Patrick Mercer, a former Army colonel, was quoted as saying of the sitcom about a fictional bomb squad: "I wonder if a comedy based in Afghanistan, considering the war is ongoing, is in the best of taste."

But former Captain Liam Fitzgerald-Finch, who acted as one of the military advisers to the production and has disposed devices in Iraq and Afghanistan, recently defended the comedy, saying: "Bomb disposal is something the public has had almost zero exposure to, so I thought it was a good medium for a comedy.

"Within any small military team, banter is one way of cementing relationships. Soldiers use humour to cope in a high-stress environment, and keep a positive outlook.

"It'll certainly develop some audience understanding of another side to military life - but unless you're actually in Helmand, you'll never truly understand what's going on."

Bluestone 42, which was filmed in South Africa, has attracted audiences of around two million for each episode, including repeats and iPlayer viewing.