Executive producer Andy Harries on a school revue's successful graduation to TV.
  • Where did the idea come from?
    My son got involved in a comedy revue show that his school's drama teacher, Laura Lawson, was putting together. I went to see them perform at London's Canal Café and then they got a break at the Edinburgh Fringe. Laura has a flair for finding talented children who are interested in comedy and they'd become a tight troupe. It was weeks later, when I was in LA for the Emmys for Prime Suspect, that I suddenly thought it was an interesting idea for a TV show.

  • How did you pitch it?
    I wasn't sure what I was selling beyond a bunch of talented kids. But once they'd seen them, the BBC got some of the kids onto their variety show Comedy Shuffle last year, which had lots of interest. C4 was looking for pilots and commissioning editor Caroline Leddy loved what she'd seen.

  • How did you set about adapting their show for TV?
    We started from scratch. Their one-hour live show had “big” performances but we wanted more subtle stuff for TV and kept the premise simple: it's kids satirising adult life.

  • What's been the biggest challenge?
    Logistics. They're all at school so we're filming five days throughout the week, during evenings and over weekends. There'll be around 12 kids in the series and we'll try to use a few them over a couple of days, film their bits and rotate them rather than have them stand around all the time.

  • What's most appealed to you about the project?
    These aren't kids who'd been to stage school but who are interested in performing. They're TV-literate and they have nothing to fall back on, so they have to perform by instinct. The excitement of working with younger performers has reawakened my comedy senses - these workshops are really good fun.

  • How do you see it evolving from here?
    The essence is that they're under 16, so if it continues, it'll be a bit like Skins in that we'll move the performers through the ranks to keep it fresh.

E4 has ordered a series of School of Comedy from Left Bank Pictures for next year, following last month's Channel 4 Comedy Lab pilot.