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BBC starts shooting Dickens-era comedy

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LONDON, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- The BBC says it has begun production of the new comedy adventure "The Bleak Old Shop of Stuff," which will be aired in Britain over the Christmas holidays.

The Victorian-period mini-series stars Stephen Fry and the comedy duo Robert Webb and David Mitchell, and will debut as a 1-hour Christmas special followed by three 30-minute episodes.

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BBC Two said the show will take place in a Dickensian world and will mark the bicentenary of Charles Dickens' birth. The chief writer is Mark Evans, who wrote a popular Victorian-era comedy on Radio 4 called "Bleak Expectations," The Daily Telegraph noted.

"Mark Evans's already well-loved Victorian comic world is a wonderful way to celebrate the bicentenary of Dickens' birth," said Mark Freeland, who heads up development of comedies for BBC Two. "He probably wouldn't have agreed, but I am very excited."

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