ITV warms up for World Cup with new animated sitcom about family, football and the passion of being a fan

by Mystical Mike

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Warren United – 6 x 30 min family sitcom for ITV4: kicks off 22nd April 

Simon Nye, the writer of Men Behaving Badly, Baby Cow, the production company behind Uncle, Gavin and Stacey, Mighty Boosh and Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, and leading Canadian animation house, Smiley Guy, have teamed up to bring you this feel-good family comedy just in time for the UEFA Champions League semi-finals on April 22nd and this summer’s World Cup.

Each week, Warren United will follow the fortunes of Warren Kingsley, an overweight kitchen salesman and fervent football fan, as he stumbles through life trying to juggle his two passions – football and family.

There’s only one Warren Kingsley, its loveable but hapless hero. Warren, aged 37 and ½, is a fan for all seasons and a bloke of two halves: both a devoted husband and dad and a diehard fan of Brainsford United, a chronically struggling club, known to its long-suffering fans as “The Meringues.”

Warren is voiced by BAFTA award-winning Darren Boyd, (Spy, Alpha Papa). Nitin Ganatra (EastEnders) voices Dilip, Warren’s best friend, while Morgana Robinson (Vic and Bob’s House of Fools) voices Charlie, Warren’s sulky teenage daughter and Morwenna Banks (voice of Peppa Pig) voices Warren’s young son Harrison. Eleanor Lawrence (Common Ground) is Warren’s Dutch wife Ingrid and Georgie Glen (Waterloo Road) his young-at-heart mum.

Johnny Vegas voices Fat Baz, the manager of Brainsford United, while Jonathan Kydd and Bertie Portal voice two well-spoken but foul-mouthed police horses, who dispense their views on match-day issues.

Warren United is the brainchild of executive producer, Bill Freedman, who has spent no less than eight years bringing it to the screen. Himself a devoted football fan, he was for decades a key figure in West End theatre as a producer and theatre-owner. Warren United marks his TV debut.

“It’s about the two most important f’s in life – family and football,” says Freedman. “This show is also about the passion of being a fan. Yes, supporting Brainsford United often brings Warren more pain than joy but that’s what makes him a true fan.”

Henry Normal, co-founder of Baby Cow productions, is co-executive producer: “New animated narrative series in this country are so rare,” says Normal. “So are comedies about football, while those about fans even rarer. On several counts, therefore, we’re trying something unusual.”

Angela Jain, ITV Director of Digital Channels and Acquisitions, says: “ITV4 fans love their football and boasting a stellar cast, Warren United is aimed squarely at them. It is about the tricky balance of being a committed fan and a family man – which will strike a chord with many football followers.

“The fact it’s an animated comedy series about football makes it distinctive, and we’re hoping viewers will take Warren, his family and his other love – Brainsford United – to their hearts.”

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