W1A (TV series)

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Alt=Series title over a blank TV screen
Genre Comedy
Written by John Morton
Directed by John Morton
Narrated by David Tennant
Theme music composer Laurie Johnson
Opening theme Las Vegas (from Animal Magic)
Composer(s) Andrew Blaney
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 5 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Jon Plowman
Producer(s) Paul Schlesinger
Cinematography John Sorapure
Running time 30 minutes (2014—)
60 minutes (2015)
Production company(s) BBC
Original channel
Original run 19 March 2014 (2014-03-19) – present
Preceded by Twenty Twelve
External links
BBC website

W1A is a British comedy television series that was first broadcast on BBC Two on 19 March 2014. The four-part series is the follow-up to Twenty Twelve, a BAFTA-winning comedy series by the BBC.[1][2] Its name comes from the postcode prefix of the BBC's headquarters, Broadcasting House (W1A 1AA).[3] Hugh Bonneville and Jessica Hynes reprise their Twenty Twelve roles alongside a new cast, and David Tennant's role as narrator also continues from the earlier series.


Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville), formerly the Head of the Olympic Deliverance Commission, has taken up the position of Head of Values at the BBC. His task is to clarify, define, or re-define the core purpose of the BBC across all its functions and to position it confidently for the future.[4]


Main cast of W1A
  • Hugh Bonneville as Ian Fletcher, Head of Values at the BBC
  • Jessica Hynes as Siobhan Sharpe, Brand Consultant
  • Sarah Parish as Anna Rampton, Head of Output
  • Jason Watkins as Simon Harwood, Director of Strategic Governance
  • Monica Dolan as Tracey Pritchard, Senior Communications Officer
  • David Westhead as Neil Reid, Current Controller of News and Current Affairs
  • Sara Pascoe as Coco Lomax, "Trending Analyst" at Perfect Curve
  • Alex Beckett as Barney Lumsden, "Ideation Architect" at Perfect Curve
  • Joel Fry as Karl Marx, "Viral Concept Designer" at Perfect Curve
  • Nina Sosanya as Lucy Freeman, Producer
  • Rufus Jones as David Wilkes, Entertainment Format Producer
  • Hugh Skinner as Will Humphries, Intern (Series 1), PA to Ian Flectcher
  • Ophelia Lovibond as Izzy Gould, PA to Simon Harwood
  • Jonathan Bailey as Jack Patterson, PA to Anna Rampton
  • Max Olesker as Ben Rosenstern, Digital Strategist
  • Iván Gonzalez as Jerry Guildencrantz, Digital Strategist
Cameo appearances


W1A was commissioned by Janice Hadlow, controller of BBC Two, and Shane Allen, controller of comedy commissioning.[4] Filming began in January 2014.[4][6][7][8] W1A was written and directed by John Morton, who previously worked on Twenty Twelve and People Like Us.[4] The producer is Paul Schlesinger and the executive producer is Jon Plowman.[4][9]

A second series was commissioned in September 2014, with Bonneville's return also confirmed.[10]


Series One[edit]

# Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
1 "Episode 1" John Morton John Morton 19 March 2014 (2014-03-19) 2.47

Fletcher takes up his new job as head of values at the BBC just as accusations of anti-Cornish bias are levelled at the corporation compounded when a Spotlight Southwest presenter, Sally Wingate, goes public in support of the accusations. Producer Lucy Freeman chairs a meeting about forthcoming flagship show Britain's Tastiest Village and the loss of presenter Clare Balding and her replacement by Carol Vorderman.

Featuring as themselves: Carol Vorderman, Alan Yentob, Salman Rushdie
2 "Episode 2" John Morton John Morton 26 March 2014 (2014-03-26) 1.94

Fletcher reluctantly takes the train North to BBC Media City, Salford, for his first big interview in the job by Jenni Murray on Radio 4's Woman's Hour where he hopes to defuse the media storm that has become known as Wingategate. Complications for the Britain's Tastiest Village production team when having wooed and won Carol Vorderman as Clare Balding's replacement to co-present with Alan Titchmarsh, Clare Balding at the last minute is available and turns up at New Broadcasting House as Carol Vorderman is leaving and they have to be kept apart. In Salford Fletcher ignores advisors Sharpe and Pritchard with his own solution to both problems resulting in Alan Titchmarsh pulling out.

Featuring as themselves: Carol Vorderman, Jenni Murray, Clare Balding
3 "Episode 3" John Morton John Morton 2 April 2014 (2014-04-02) 1.61
Anna Rampton advocates moving Songs of Praise to radio, thus freeing up a prime slot for her own series, Britain's Tastiest Village. The debate about the future of the BBC is not helped when Ian Fletcher's salary comes under intense scrutiny in the press. Neil Reid, current controller of current affairs, is having to deal with the fallout from a blunder in BBC News coverage of the Syrian crisis when a photo of Trudie Styler was used instead of Asma al-Assad. Producer Lucy Freeman goes in to pitch Home Truth, a script she's been developing over several years with writer Dan Shepherd. Siobhan Sharpe and her team at Perfect Curve are asked to refresh the BBC logo and come to the conclusion that the problem with the current logo is that it has too many letters.
4 "Episode 4" John Morton John Morton 9 April 2014 (2014-04-09) 1.64
A national paper has not only published details of Ian Fletcher's salary but followed up with a story of how he took Sally Owen, his PA at the Olympic Deliverance Commission, on holiday to Italy. So the BBC can either stand by their man or get him to pre-empt potential criticism by persuading him to cut his own salary. Meanwhile, a female Newsnight presenter has been accused of wearing clothes that are inappropriately watchable. When her legs get their own Twitter account there is a feeling something should be done about it. Flagship series Britain's Tastiest Village has lost all three of the big-name presenters who were attached to do the show - so the search continues. And brand consultant Siobhan Sharpe and her team unveil their barnstorming idea for a new BBC logo.

Series Two[edit]

On 15 September 2014, it was announced that W1A would return for a second series in 2015.[12][13][14] This will begin with a 60 minute special on 23 April, followed by three 30 minute episodes.

# Title Directed by Written by Original air date UK viewers
5 "Episode 1" John Morton John Morton 23 April 2015 (2015-04-23)
The team prepare for a visit from Prince Charles while dealing with issues surrounding Jeremy Clarkson. Meanwhile, Siobhan comes up with ideas for a "brand mashup" between the BBC and Wimbledon, and Will's security pass has expired. David tries to come up with ideas to impress Lucy with, while Lucy and a TV writer present a new show to the head of BBC Comedy.


  1. ^ Westbrook, Caroline (5 December 2013). "Hugh Bonneville and Jessica Hynes to reunite for Twenty Twelve sequel W1A". Metro. Archived from the original on 2013-12-12. 
  2. ^ Sherwin, Adam (5 December 2013). "Twenty Twelve team returns to satirise life inside BBC Broadcasting House". Independent. Archived from the original on 2013-12-08. 
  3. ^ Plunkett, John (5 December 2013). "BBC's Twenty Twelve sequel to focus on the corporation itself". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 2013-12-06. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "BBC Two commissions W1A - the follow-up to multi-BAFTA-winning Twenty Twelve". BBC. 5 December 2013. Archived from the original on 2014-03-24. 
  5. ^ http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/tv/news/a628664/newsnights-evan-davis-to-cameo-on-bbc-comedy-w1a.html#~p4afnCyfhPctUr
  6. ^ Perry, Keith (17 January 2014). "Filming begins on new comedy W1A which satirises BBC bigwigs". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2014-01-24. 
  7. ^ Smith, Patrick (5 December 2013). "Hugh Bonneville's Twenty Twelve character to return as the BBC's 'Head of Values'". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2014-01-11. 
  8. ^ Lazarus, Susanna (5 December 2013). "Hugh Bonneville and Jessica Hynes return for Twenty Twelve follow-up set in the BBC". Radio Times. Archived from the original on 2013-12-11. 
  9. ^ Creamer, Jon (4 March 2014). "Cast announced for Twenty Twelve follow up". Televisual. Archived from the original on 2014-03-24. 
  10. ^ "BBC News - Hugh Bonneville returning for W1A comedy". BBC News Online. 2014-09-15. Retrieved 2014-09-15. 
  11. ^ a b "BARB Top 30s". 
  12. ^ http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/bbc-two-comedy-w1a-return-4263787
  13. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-29204284
  14. ^ http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/w1a-renewed-for-second-series-on-bbc-9733889.html

External links[edit]