Greg Davies reveals 'candid anonymous chats' with psychotherapists for new comedy

Gemma Peplow, arts and entertainment reporter

Greg Davies has revealed details of a new planned comedy show about a "dysfunctional psychotherapist", saying he had some "candid chats" with those in the profession for his research - anonymously, of course.

The actor and stand-up, best known for his role as teacher Mr Gilbert in The Inbetweeners and as the long-running host of comedy challenge show Taskmaster, has written a pilot for new series Safe Space, which is due to launch on Sky.

In the show, Davies will play a small-time psychotherapist "heading nowhere fast", until fate intervenes in the form of a new client - his rising star local MP.

A dark web of revelations leads to a serious breach of client confidentially, and takes Davies' character in "a direction he wouldn't have expected".

Speaking to Sky News at Sky's Up Next launch event to showcase new shows announced for 2020, Davies said he couldn't give too much away.

However, he did speak about his research for the story.

"I suppose our starting point for the show was that everybody presumes that psychotherapists have got themselves together," he said.

"We thought it'd be an interesting starting point to have a psychotherapist who isn't as together as his patients might want him to be.

"We have had some very interesting chats with psychotherapists. When they're anonymous… they're very candid about their job and about some of the people that they treat. It's a really fascinating world, I think."

Safe Space is "an ambitious project" which "starts small and gets ridiculously big, is our plan", Davies said.

"There's twists to come and I don't want to spoil it, but we're excited developing it. Fingers crossed it all comes out the way I'm hoping it will."

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One question Davies said he wanted to get to the bottom of is whether psychotherapists ever get bored by their patients' problems.

"I asked a lot of the people I spoke to whether they get bored by some of their patients," he said. "They're all very reluctant to answer that question. I'm just intrigued by that because some of it must be boring.

"I wouldn't want to betray any confidences, but I had some very interesting chats about the job and how they perceive the role."

Davies will co-write Safe Space with Stephen Morrison (Man Down) and the show will be produced by Avalon (Taskmaster, Breeders, Catastrophe, The Russell Howard Hour, and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver).

It is one of several new shows announced by Sky for 2020, along with Redknapps' Weekend Warm Up (working title), which sees father and son duo Harry and Jamie Redknapp teaming up for their first TV project together alongside comedian Tom Davis, and paramedic comedy Bloods, starring Jane Horrocks and Samson Kayo.

Political drama Cobra and comedy Brassic, which have been big hits for Sky in the past 12 months, have also been confirmed for more series.