Fresh Meat 10th Anniversary

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of this iconic and award-winning Channel 4 comedy we’re delighted to welcome cast Jack Whitehall, Zawe Ashton, Joe Thomas, Kimberley Nixon, Greg McHugh and Charlotte Ritchie, as well as the writer-creators Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain in conversation with your host Beth Webb.

From its first episode, Fresh Meat broke new ground thanks to its cripplingly self-aware yet heartfelt portrayal of university life, shaped loosely by Armstrong and Bain’s own experiences together in Manchester. Bolstered by the combined talent of six then-burgeoning comedy actors, whose collective bond stands firm today, the show, produced by Objective for Channel 4, went on to win several awards and was successful in many territories worldwide.

Through conversation and archive clips, the Fresh Meat alumni will celebrate their time together on this formative show and its lasting legacy.

Jack Whitehall is an actor, award-winning comedian, presenter and writer. His recent film credits include co-starring in Disney’s Jungle Cruise alongside Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt (summer 2021) and co-starring in Paramount’s Clifford The Big Red Dog (winter 2021). Jack’s TV credits include the role of JP in C4’s critically acclaimed Fresh Meat, five series of hit Netflix show Travels with my Father, co-starring in the BBC adaption of Decline and Fall, as well as writing and staring in three series of Bad Education for the BBC.

In addition, Jack has appeared three times on the Royal Variety Performance, including becoming the youngest ever host in 2015 and he has also hosted numerous prestigious awards including the Brit Awards, the British Fashion Awards and the GQ Awards. An acclaimed comedian, in 2019/20 Jack toured his fifth and biggest ever stand up show, Stood Up, around arenas in the UK, Australia and Dubai, which was also filmed for Netflix.

Zawe Ashton is a British actress, playwright, author and director. Her portrayal of Vod in Channel 4’s Fresh Meat won her a cult following. She recently wrapped production on The Marvels, the Marvel Studios feature film sequel to Captain Marvel starring opposite Brie Larson and Teyonah Parris and directed by Nia DeCosta. Zawe can next be seen in the Universal Pictures feature film Mr. Malcolm’s List. Zawe recently starred on both the West End and Broadway in the critically acclaimed revival of Betrayal directed by Jamie Lloyd. Other credits include the BBC/Netflix TV series Wanderlust and the Netflix feature film Velvet Buzzsaw.

Zawe is also an award-winning writer, producer and director. Her debut play Harm’s Way was nominated for a Verity Bargate Award in 2007. Her directorial debut Happy Toys was nominated for Best British Short at the Raindance Film Festival in 2014. Zawe’s novel, Character Breakdown, was published by Penguin Books in 2019.

Joe Thomas is an actor, writer and stand-up best known for playing Simon in the BAFTA-award winning The Inbetweeners, and Kingsley in the critical lauded Fresh Meat.

In 2021 Joe took his debut stand-up show, the award-nominated Trying Not To Panic to the Edinburgh festival. He has also just finished filming a one-off special for Dave entitled We Are Not Alone.

Kimberley Nixon is a BAFTA Award-winning actress, best known for her roles in Channel 4’s Fresh Meat and The Accident, as well as The Tuckers, Salisbury Poisonings and Critical. Feature films include Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, Wild Child, East Virtue, Offender and Cherrybomb. Theatre credits include the eponymous role in Girl with a Pearl Earring at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and the one woman play Original Death Rabbit directed by Hannah Joss at the Jermyn Street theatre.

Greg McHugh is an award winning actor, and writer. He is known to many as ‘Howard’ the dressing gowned, socially awkward oddball in the hit Channel 4 series Fresh Meat and most recently as Eddie, in BBC One’s ground breaking show about Autism – The A Word (2016-2020). Greg is also the creator of Gary: Tank Commander the Scottish BAFTA winning character with which he starred and wrote three series for the BBC.

Greg’s other numerous TV credits include: Tank Commander (2006), Gary’s Work (2008), The Incredible Will and Greg (2008), Delta Forever (2008), Not Safe for Work (2009), Gary’s War (2008), Rab C. Nesbitt (2010), How Not to Live Your Life (2010), Bob Servant Independent (2013), Dates (2013), Bad Education Christmas special (2013), Two Doors Down (2013), Marvellous (2014), Gary Goes to Hollywood (2018) A Discovery of Witches (2018), Traitors (2019), Guilt (2021) and The Cockfields (2021).

McHugh appeared on Red Nose Day 2011 reporting the fund-raising going on throughout Scotland for Comic Relief.

Charlotte Ritchie’s television credits include: Grantchester (ITV), Feel Good, Series 1&2 (Channel 4 and Netflix), Ghosts, Series 1-3 (BBC), The Other One (BBC), Stath Lets Flats (Channel 4), Dead Pixels, Series 1&2 (Channel 4), Doctor Who (BBC), Death in Paradise (BBC), Call the Midwife (BBC), Siblings, Series 1&2 (BBC), Fresh Meat, Series 1-4 (Objective Productions/Channel 4), Raised by Wolves (Big Talk Productions/Channel 4), Undercover (Baby Cow Productions), Life of Riley (BBC).

Film credits include: Wonka; Repeat; Jolene the Indie Folk Movie; The Portrait (Short – BFI); The Open Doors (Short – Open Door Films Ltd).

Theatre includes: The Philanthropist (Trafalgar Studios), Ricky Whittington & His Cat (New Diorama Theatre), One night in November (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry), Private Lives, (UK Tour-ATG).

Jesse Armstrong is the creator, writer and executive producer of the BAFTA and Emmy winning show Succession for HBO/Sky Atlantic. Previous television credits include: the Black Mirror episode ‘The Entire History of You’ and co-creating and writing the Channel 4 comedy series Fresh Meat, Peep Show and Babylon. His previous film credits include co-writing the feature Four Lions for Warp and Film 4 and co-writing In the Loop, directed by Armando Iannucci for BBC Films.

Sam Bain co-created and co-wrote nine seasons of the BAFTA-winning Channel 4 TV sitcom Peep Show, and four seasons of the RTS Award-winning comedy-drama Fresh Meat, both for Channel 4. He also co-wrote the BAFTA-winning film Four Lions. His debut stage play, The Retreat, had a sold out run at the Park Theatre in 2017.

Since moving to the US, Sam has had two original feature films produced - Corporate Animals starring Demi Moore, which premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and The Stand-In starring Drew Barrymore, which was selected for the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival and reached #2 on the US Netflix film chart in April 2021.

Host: Beth Webb is a film and TV journalist and broadcaster. She writes for Empire Magazine, and appears weekly on the Pilot TV podcast.

Fresh Meat 10th Anniversary: Q&A with cast and creatives
Sat 15 Jan 18:15
Mark Kermode Live in 3D at the BFI
Mon 17 Jan 18:10
Preview: The Souvenir Part II + Q&A with writer-director Joanna Hogg
Mon 17 Jan 20:30
Woman with a Movie Camera Preview: Amulet + Q&A with writer-director Romola Garai
Fri 21 Jan 18:00
African Odysseys presents: UK Premiere: A Bruddah’s Mind Cabeça de Nego + Q&A with director Déo Cardoso
Sat 22 Jan 14:00
Silent Cinema presents: South: Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Glorious Epic of the Antarctic + live score
Thu 27 Jan 19:00

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Programme notes and credits compiled by the BFI Documentation Unit
Notes may be edited or abridged
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