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Caitlin Moran slams lack of working class comedies

Caitlin Moran has branded the lack of female working class British comedies “shameful” after Channel 4 cancelled her Raised By Wolves sitcom.  

Together with her sister Caroline, The Times columnist has written a third series of the Big Talk-produced show, which was scrapped by the broadcaster earlier this week, and is confident of getting it into production after launching social media campaign #upthewolves.

Moran told Broadcast’s Talking TV podcast: “We were very aware it was the only sitcom about and written by working class women in Britain, which is pretty shameful given that the working classes are the funniest of all of the classes.”

She highlighted the difficulty for working class youngsters to enter the TV industry, compared to the middle classes “whose dads own a production company or work for Channel 4”.

However, she added she had faced bigger challenges than having a show axed.

“The first stage of grieving when you’ve had your sitcom cancelled is to usually go down to Soho House and bitch about it to other people who have had their shows cancelled,” she said.

“But we’re working class girls who have lived in a world where we had to bulk out our bolognese with frozen peas and kill rats in our bedroom with our shoes so the cancellation of a show compared to what we went through in our childhood is actually quite small beer.”

Wolves death

Raised By Wolves was “killed” after two series; the first run averaged a consolidated audience of 1.3m (6.3%) while the second series pulled in 1.2m (6.2%).

It opened in a Monday 10pm slot in March 2015 with 1.8m and is C4’s third most-popular comedy since January 2015, ahead of the likes of Catastrophe and Friday Night Dinner.

Moran said she was told about the decision not to commission a third series last week. “Channel 4 said it hadn’t done as well as they had wanted it to do, which was a surprise to us because in that slot it outperformed everything else.”

The How To Be A Woman author said that she was particularly proud of the show’s mainly female crew, led by producers Kate Crowther and Caroline Norris.

Raised By Wolves tells the semi-autobiographical story of the Midlands upbringing of Moran, with Helen Monks starring as the fictional Germaine Garry.

“Germaine is 16 years old and she’s been horny for about three years, we can’t end the series with her still a virgin, so we fight on to let her lose her cherry,” she added.


Caitlin Moran appears as part of this week’s Talking TV podcast

The full edition will be published later today


Readers' comments (11)


    Well said Caitlin. I'm sure it'll be picked up by someone else. How about it BBC?

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  • Blimey just cos you write a column in the big papers doesn't mean everyone has to think you're the bees knees or are automatically entitled to a recommission.

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  • That podcast is an absolutely hilarious indictment of the middle class myopia at Horseferry Road. Laugh out loud funny.

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  • Hmmm "working class" comedy penned by Times Columnist - that didn't actually rate that well - yet C4 gave it a second series (chance) - which rated slightly worse. So they canned it. Can you really blame them? Of course if any of the other channels think that they can do something with comedy that pulls in 1.2m on a terrestrial channel - then it will all be fine. But I doubt that anyone will - as it looks like C4 gave it their best shot - it just wasn't funny enough...

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    sad times

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  • To be fair to C4, Chewing Gum and My Mad Fat Diary are both female-written and led working class comedies (and both are far funnier than Raised by Wolves). They've also commissioned Roisin Conaty to do more of her Game Face. So Caitlin has been far from a lone voice there.

    The ratings issue is odd though - Raised by Wolves is a hit by C4 comedy standards and is far more popular than, say, Man Down, which has just had a third series.

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  • I get why Caitlin perhaps wants to discount Chewing Gum - it doesn't fit her narrative - but why does the article not question this at all? Chewing Gum is such a glaring example of a 'working class sitcom' written by, and starring, a woman of a working class background?

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  • The very best way Caitlin could stick two MASSIVE fingers up at Channel number four would be to crowd fund it, shoot it using 'new' (probably female skewed) talent, and then internet the shit out of it (but avoiding the empires of Nutflix and Hammyzon). That way, aint no ofcom regs, and cast can be as sweary/gritty/real as she likes.

    She wins, and Channel 4s short sightedness adds another nail in the coffin of TV as we know it.

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  • Also useful to point a finger at the BBC - the new batch of Comedy Feeds have NO female talent attached.

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  • she's a funny print writer and I really wanted to laugh at the show but sadly I didn't find it funny at all. her satire on channel 4 is spot on though.

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