Alan Carr surprises child star who will play comedian in new 1980s-set sitcom

Alan Carr has surprised a child star with the news he will play him in a new sitcom about the comedian’s life growing up in Northampton in the 1980s.

The 46-year-old will co-write Changing Ends and play himself in the present day as actor Oliver Savell takes on the role of Carr as a child.

Carr went to the home of Savell, known for Kenneth Branagh’s coming-of-age drama Belfast, to tell him he had been chosen from 500 auditions.

He told Savell: “There was one boy who stood out from the rest.

“I would love you to play me (because) I think you’re brilliant.”

Savell said: “Yes, yes, let’s go. I’m so excited, I can’t wait.”

Carr also said: “Well, if someone had told little old me back…(then) that ITV would give me my own sitcom based on my life I would have choked on my Flumps (a marshmallow sweet).

“Super proud that I can share my story with you – expect lots of giggles, pathos and nostalgia and believe it or not football, who knew?”

The son of a fourth division football manager, Carr grew up as a gay teenager in the East Midlands.

The series will show his daily battle with bullies and navigating the highs and lows of fourth division football against the backdrop of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher being in power.

ITV said it is “about school and family, Kevin Keegan and George Michael, and figuring out who you are when your family are Match of the Day and you’re a bit Miss Marple”.

National Television Awards 2021 – London
Alan Carr attending the National Television Awards 2021 at the O2 Arena, London (Ian West/PA)

Scottish Bafta and Royal Television Society award-winning Simon Carlyle, known for Two Doors Down, will co-write as Steve Coogan’s company produces.

Coogan, Baby Cow’s co-founder and creative director, said: “Changing Ends is the story of who he was before he knew who he was.

“Shot through with his irrepressible wit and charm, it’s an honest, tender and brilliantly funny account of his teenage years that we think is quite special. He’ll go far.”

Changing Ends will start filming in early 2023 and is set to be broadcast later that year.