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17 April 2020

Award-winning factual producer Brook Lapping, part of Zinc Media, has been commissioned by BBC Arts, to make an in-depth documentary film for BBC Two, exploring one of the greatest comedians of all time. Peter Sellers: A State Of Comic Ecstasy (w/t) (1 x 75 min), uncovers not only his vast talent, but also the endless complexities of his personal life – the multiple marriages, the chronic health problems, the petulant fits of rage, the deep insecurity and the long slow decline in his later years.

Greg Sanderson, Managing Director, Brook Lapping, says: “Brook Lapping has an outstanding track record in investigations and contemporary history, and it’s through this lens that we look at Peter Sellers. We have secured exceptional access to friends and family, colleagues, and critics, many of whom have never spoken before. Forty years on from his death, our film reveals how Peter Sellers could play any role at all, apart from just one – himself. We are delighted to be able to bring so much new insight into the real Peter Sellers.”

This commission builds on Brook Lapping’s reputation for high-end documentaries and biographical portraits. Their portfolio includes: Evita:The Making of a Superstar (BBC Two); The Rise and Fall of Tony Blair and Trump’s First 100 days (both Channel 4); and Lord Lucan: My Husband, The Truth (ITV), amongst many others.

Mark Bell, Director, BBC Arts, says: “BBC Arts brings audiences the very best in arts and culture, and is proud to include profiles of the figures who have shaped the cultural landscape as we know it. Peter Sellers had a profound impact on film and comedy, a genius as a performer but a mercurial personality; this in-depth look offers many revealing insights into his life and times, and I hope will offer an engaging diversion for people in lockdown.”

Peter Sellers: A State Of Comic Ecstasy (w/t) explores the life of this master impressionist, often credited as the greatest comedian of all time, born to vaudeville entertainers in 1925. From his formative years backstage as part of his parents’ itinerant music hall revue group and his years of wartime service in India and Burma, this film charts his meteoric rise to global superstardom, revealing the true man behind the mask.

Peter Sellers: A State Of Comic Ecstasy (w/t) was commissioned by Mark Bell, Commissioning Editor for BBC Arts. It is Exec Produced by Greg Sanderson for Brook Lapping at Zinc Media. John O’Rourke is the Producer-Director.