Alan Carr is back on screens but in a way that you’ve never seen him before – in a coming-of-age tale about his younger self!
By Charlotte Briggs, Staff Writer
In need of a chuckle-worthy new comedy to binge? Look no further than Alan Carr’s new series Changing Ends. Before he became everyone’s favourite Chatty Man, Carr was worlds away from the bright lights of show business.
Instead, he could be found in Northampton with his brother Gary, mother Christine and father Graham, AKA the manager of local lower-league football club Northampton Town. Carr’s new series is a love letter to his younger self, growing up in a town that wasn’t always the most inclusive.
Written with warmth and wit by Carr and fellow BAFTA-winner Simon Carlyle, Changing Ends explores Carr’s journey of puberty, sexual awakenings and self-discovery against a backdrop of Britain under then-PM Margaret Thatcher.
And the nostalgic series is bound to be a trip down memory lane for anyone growing up in the 1980s, with plenty of nylon windbreakers making an apperance in the trailer below.
Carr steers each episode as the show’s narrator, offering grown-up musings on his memories that are played out on screen by his younger self (Oliver Savell, Belfast). Meanwhile Nancy Sullivan (Call The Midwife), Shaun Dooley (Gentlemen Jack) and Taylor Fay (Shadow And Bone) play his mother, father and brother respectively.
With all six episodes dropping on ITVX on Thursday 1 June, Changing Ends will hit you right in the feels while making you laugh until you cry – in other words, it’s the perfect coming-of-age comedy.
Carr isn’t the only celebrity who’s dipped into their childhood for televisual inspiration. From high school hierarchies to house shares, the good, the bad and the ugly of the adolescent experience are a springboard for some of our favourite shows. Check out these semi-autobiographical series that celebrate their creators and give an insight into how they came to be.
Everybody Hates Chris
Find series 1-4 in Apps & Games > ITVX
Before Chris Rock was hosting the Oscars and making history with Netflix’s first ever live event, he was regaling us with tales of his childhood. The Saturday Night Live alumnus narrates this laugh-out-loud sitcom that sees a nerdy teenage Rock (Tyler James Williams, Dear White People) navigating life in a tough Brooklyn neighbourhood, while attending a predominantly white high school across town. And all under the overbearing eyes of his parents (played by Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Terry Crews and The Neighbourhood’s Tichina Arnold).
Freaks And Geeks
Find season 1 in Apps & Games > ITVX
Hollywood powerhouse Paul Feig was just trying to survive high school as shown in his American cult classic. Based on his own misfit years at the bottom of the food chain, the series about mathletes and burnouts put some future big names on the map including Linda Cardellini (Dead To Me), Seth Rogen (This Is The End), James Franco (Spring Breakers), Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother) and Busy Philipps (Cougar Town). Cruelly cancelled after just one season, its 18 episodes have attained cult status in the years since.
Find seasons 1-2 in On Demand
Bridget Everett’s gut-wrenching experiences of love and loss are transformed into rich material in this comedy drama. The series opens as Sam (Everett) returns to her Kansas hometown following the death of her beloved sister (the actress’ own sister passed away in 2008). Picking up the pieces left while navigating a midlife crisis, Everett gives a moving performance, while reminding viewers that there’s hope in even the most desperate times.
Cradle To Grave
Find series 1 in Apps & Games > ITVX Premium
Broadcaster Danny Baker wasn’t always hanging out with the stars. He came from humble beginnings, growing up in the south London disctrict of Bermondsey with his docker father “Spud” and factory worker mum Betty. Baker is known for telling a mean anecdote, and this autobiographical series is crammed with comedy capers that give us a portrayal of his family life in the 1970s, including Spud’s (Peter Kay, Phoenix Nights) penchant for cooking up harebrained schemes.
Everything I Know About Love
Find series 1 in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer
Award-winning author Dolly Alderton gives viewers a window into her adolescence in this screen adaption of her millennial memoir. And our protagonist is restyled into Maggie (Emma Appleton, Traitors), a twentysomething wildcard who navigates partying, toxic men and a changing relationship with BFF Birdy (Bel Powley, The Morning Show). And all while being totally skint.
Find series 1 in Apps & Games > Channel 4
Playwright Jack Rooke effortlessly spins his formative years into a wholesome comedy that’ll have you reaching for the tissues. You can’t help but root for the shy and closeted Jack (played by Derry Girls’ Dylan Llewellyn), who’s figuring out his identity when he begins university. Between the adorable mother-son relationship of Jack and Peggy (Camille Coduri, Rain Dogs), his newfound friendships and moments of true heartache, the message underpinning the series is that it’s okay to just be yourself.
Find series 1-3 in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer
BAFTA-nominated comedian Liam Williams shares his emotional truth in this coming-of-age series. Delving into his past life as a boisterous schoolboy in Leeds, Williams stars as the show’s on-screen narrator, offering insights into his misspent youth from an adult’s perspective. Meanwhile Wreck’s Oscar Kennedy plays his younger self, who explores the roots of modern-day masculinity with slapstick adventures along the way.
Find series 1 in Apps & Games > Channel 4
It’s well known that The Inbetweeners’ Greg Davies was a teacher before he entered the world of showbiz to play, er, a teacher. Therefore, it’s no surprise that he poked fun at himself by creating a show about his old life. Starring as deadbeat drama teacher Dan – a caricature of himself – the side-splitting series follows his life as he deals with a break-up, a midlife crisis and living at his parent’s house. Don’t give up Dan!
When is Changing Ends on TV?
Changing Ends is available to stream from ITVX on Thursday 1 June.
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