Irish actress Philippa Dunne to star in spin-off of hit BBC sitcom Motherland

Irish actress Philippa Dunne to star in spin-off of hit BBC sitcom Motherland

IRISH actress Philippa Dunne is to appear in a spin-off of hit BBC sitcom Motherland.

Dunne will reprise her role as over-protective Irish mum Anne Flynn, the long-suffering friend of Amanda, played by Lucy Punch.

As well as being familiar to fans of Motherland, Dunne also had a recurring role in Derry Girls as Clare Devlin's mother Geraldine and last year appeared in the BBC's Irish-set mystery drama, The Woman in the Wall.

The new sitcom, entitled Amandaland, will focus on Punch's character as she negotiates life as a mother of two teenagers following her divorce.

Joanna Lumley, who guest starred in Motherland as Amanda's mum Felicity, will also reprise her role.

Like its predecessor, Amandaland will be produced by Merman, co-founded by Irish woman and Motherland creator Sharon Horgan.

"We're delighted to be working with the BBC and with this incredible cast," said Horgan.

"Motherland took off in a way that none of us were expecting and it's just so exciting that we get to continue to make this next chapter of parenthood and friendship.

"We have new parents, a new school and new problems to look forward to.

"We can't wait to get going on it."

'Incredible comedy talent'

The series — written by Horgan’s Motherland co-writers Holly Walsh, Helen Serafinowicz and Barunka O'Shaughnessy — will see Amanda having to downsize and up sticks to South Harlesden following her divorce from husband Johnny.

With her children Manus and Georgie now at secondary school, she has to try and get her head around raising teenagers and dealing with modern motherhood problems including teenage drinking.

The series will explore the slightly unhealthy co-dependent mother-daughter relationship between Felicity and Amanda, which appears to be based on backhanded compliments and veiled snipes about the latter's new home.

Meanwhile, after a brief spell of freedom, Anne is sucked back into being Amanda's minion to help her navigate the social scene with the other parents at the children's new school.

"We're delighted to be bringing Amandaland to the BBC and to share the next chapter of Amanda's story," said Merman co-founder Clelia Mountford.

"Viewers are in for a treat! It's been so rewarding seeing how the complexity of Amanda's character has developed; the relationship with her mother, life as a single parent and her fledgling career.

"It's a joy to be working with such incredible comedy talent such as Lucy, Joanna and Phillipa once more."

Merman will be hoping Amandaland can replicate the success of its predecessor, which won Best Scripted Comedy at the 2022 BAFTAs and landed an International Emmy nomination in 2021.

Viewers were disappointed when Motherland star Diane Morgan revealed in March in an interview with the Times that the series — which last aired in 2022 — had been axed.

While no scheduling information has been announced for Amandaland, the six-episode series will be distributed worldwide by Lionsgate.