Stephen Merchant is “turning up the heat” in the second series of The Outlaws after becoming the BBC’s biggest comedy launch this year.
The comedy-thriller, which Stephen Merchant co-created with American writer and producer Elgin James, follows a group of seven misfits renovating a derelict community centre in Bristol as part of community service for various crimes they have committed.
The inspiration for The Outlaws came from Merchant’s parents who worked for Bristol Community Service and it became the BBC’s biggest comedy launch this year after it was streamed 11 million times.
The second series, which has been filmed and will air in 2022, will see the return of of Academy Award-winning actor Christopher Walken, alongside writer and star Merchant.
Killing Eve star Darren Boyd, former EastEnders actress Clare Perkins and Poldark’s Eleanor Tomlinson were set to return, alongside Gamba Cole and Rhianne Barreto.
Guest stars in the serious include Games Of Thrones actor Ian McElhinney, Julia Davis, Dolly Wells and Claes Bang.
Merchant said: “I am overwhelmed by the wonderful response to The Outlaws.
“Audiences have fallen in love with the characters as much as I have and my Twitter feed is inundated with people asking for updates on series two, so I’m delighted to confirm the entire gang will return for more adventures.
“If we made The Outlaws sweat in series one, we’re really turning the heat up second time round.”
Jon Petrie, director of BBC Comedy, said: “We can’t wait for fans to see what Stephen has in store for this second series as our Outlaws come face to face with the consequences of their actions.”
The second series is a co-production between BBC One and Amazon Studios, commissioned by BBC Comedy and BBC One, produced by Big Talk with Merchant’s Four Eyes.
Chris Mansolillo, director and head of content licensing in the US for Prime Video, said: “Stephen and Elgin’s unlikely band of Outlaws have clearly connected with audiences in the UK, through their compelling storylines, and hilarious and heartfelt performances. We can’t wait to introduce The Outlaws to our Prime Video members next year.”
The series will premiere on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK and on Amazon Prime Video in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Nordics next year.