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Danny Baker’s autobiography adapted for TV


Comedian Peter Kay and Lucy Speed (The Bill) are to star in new 8-part BBC Two comedy, Cradle to Grave – an adaptation of Danny Baker’s autobiography, Going To Sea In A Sieve.

Co-written by Baker and Jeff Pope, the 1974 set comedy, follows the real-life events of a 15-year-old Danny Baker and his family.

Peter Kay will play Danny’s father, Fred ‘Spud’ Baker, a proud south London docker with a penchant for cheeky scheming. Lucy Speed plays his long-suffering wife Bet Baker, who loves him deeply but longs for the family to go ‘straight’ and play by the rules. Laurie Kynaston will play a young Danny who struggles to get closer to the opposite sex. Alice Sykes takes on the role of eldest daughter Sharon, who is preparing for her looming wedding, and Frankie Wilson plays Danny’s other sibling Michael.

Peter Kay says: “I am thrilled and honoured to be involved in a project of this scale. I’ve never known anything like it before, eight period half-hour episodes, shot as feature films and written to an extremely high standard by Danny Baker and Jeff Pope. It’s an exciting time.”

Danny Baker says: “Well this is weird and there’s no way around that. To see your life played out by actors is always going to be peculiar and also, frankly quite tremendous. I always knew these stories were thunderingly entertaining incidents and that I seemed to be hurtling through a particularly unpredictable, high-velocity life peopled by extraordinary characters. Now here they are. This will be a fantastic, rich voyage back to a boisterous often maligned era, true tales told large – a strong family in a magnificent working class community just getting on with life.”

Co-writer, Jeff Pope says: “The most exciting part of this series is that it all happened. There is nothing funnier or more dramatic than real life and Danny and his family are a treasure trove of wonderful stories. To see Peter Kay take on a cockney character in ‘Spud’, Danny’s late father, is terrifically exciting.”

Shane Allen, Controller of BBC Comedy Commissioning, says: “The talents involved in this series are a powder keg of writing and performing British comedy genius. It’s a raucous and rich world of colourful characters and hilarious stories, and like Danny himself it’s shot through with a big-hearted ebullience.”

Cradle To Grave is due to broadcast on BBC Two later this year.