Television comedy was never the same after The Young Ones portrayed the anarchic antics of a group of undergraduates. Now Channel 4 is revisiting university life with a sitcom, set in a student household, from the creators of the hit series Peep Show.
Writers Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong, who shared a student house at Manchester University, have chosen the city as the setting for Fresh Meat, which follows six freshers as they learn the painful truths of student life.
The cast includes stand-up comedian Jack Whitehall as PJ, a public schoolboy with an inflated sense of entitlement, and Joe Thomas, from Channel 4 comedy The Inbetweeners, as Kingsley, an insecure indie-kid. Ben Elton and Rik Mayall, co-writers of The Young Ones, which first aired on BBC2 in 1982, also met as Manchester University students. Like its controversial predecessor, Fresh Meat is unashamed in its depiction of sex, drug-taking and the sheer squalor of life in a shared student house.
Bain, who co-wrote the Chris Morris film Four Lions with Armstrong, said: "It's such a great time of life, such a ripe area, we were surprised no one had revisited this in comedy form since The Young Ones."
Channel 4 hopes that Fresh Meat, made in partnership with the company behind Hollyoaks, will repeat the success of The Inbetweeners, now a successful film. However Channel 4's university-based comedy Campus was cancelled this year after poor ratings.
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