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British shows coming to W.Va. PBS

Jan. 07, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

CHARLESTON -- A no-nonsense detective and a second-rate comedian join the Thursday night lineup on West Virginia PBS beginning Jan. 10.

"DCI Banks" and "Lead Balloon" begin at 9 and 10:30 p.m. respectively and will air through March.

"The popularity of British dramas and comedies on West Virginia public television continues to grow," said Dennis Adkins, executive director of West Virginia Public Broadcasting. "We are glad that new programs are being made available to us from the various distributors so that we can continue to provide fresh programs for our viewers."

"DCI Banks" is based on novels by Peter Robinson and has been well-received by British audiences since 2010. The series stars Stephen Tompkinson as the stubborn and tenacious Chief Inspector Alan Banks and Andrea Lowe as the feisty and headstrong Detective Sergeant Annie Cabbot. In the first program, "DCI Banks: Aftermath," the beauty and tranquility of the Yorkshire Dales provides a striking and contrasting backdrop to a dark, gritty and shocking psychological drama. What begins as a response to a domestic disturbance turns into the crime scene for a series of rapes and murders.

"Lead Balloon" is a 30-minute comedy written by and starring Jack Dee, one of the United Kingdom's most successful stand-up comedians. In this series Dee stars as a stand-up comedian whose career hasn't been what he expected. In addition to hosting corporate events, appearing on second-rate daytime chat shows and fronting cheap sell-through DVDs, this disillusioned comic is stuck with a stage name (Rick Spleen) he chose 20 years ago. Rick has a host of neuroses and petty grievances as well as a propensity for lying. Along for the ride is his American co-writer Marty, his partner Mel and his daughter Sam. Additional nuisances in his life include his housekeeper Magda, Sam's boyfriend Ben and a local café owner named Michael.

West Virginia Public Radio, West Virginia PBS, wvpubcast.org and Ready To Learn are all services of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.