New sitcom likened to classic BBC shows

HEBBURN SENT ... Jason Cook is delighted with the response to his sitcom, Hebburn.

HEBBURN SENT ... Jason Cook is delighted with the response to his sitcom, Hebburn.

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WHEN he woke up this morning, comedian Jason Cook thought it was all a dream.

Last night his sitcom Hebburn – written about his hometown – aired on BBC2 to rave reviews.

As well as positive feedback from critics, fans of the programme took to social network sites Twitter and Facebook to applaud his creation.

The 38-year-old stand-up star has spent the last three years working on the show and was delighted to see his work finally on the small screen.

Cook, originally from Hebburn but now living in Manchester, watched the first episode ‘Welcome to Hebburn, Pet’ at home.

He said: “It was really surreal. I’ve watched it on my telly so many times but watching it and knowing it was on in millions of other houses in the country was weird.

“It was like a school project being shown to the rest of the nation. I think I held my breath for half an hour when it was on.”

And the dad-of-one was keeping a keen eye on the conversations about the show that were happening on the internet while it was on.

He added: “Almost all of the comments were positive. There were some people from Hebburn really going for it and there were about 100 people saying that they were proud to be from Hebburn, which is great. Suddenly, three years of hard work was worth it.

“When you’re writing something you want everyone to like it, but like everything there’s always going to be some people who don’t. I’m overwhelmed with the reaction – when I woke up this morning I just hoped it was all real! People have been comparing it to The Royle Family and Gavin and Stacey. They are both great programmes, so I’ll take that.”

Some of the negative comments about the show said there were too many Geordie stereotypes but Cook pleaded with viewers to stick with it.

He said: “Some of the characters appear to be stereotypes – the slapper, the fat bloke – but they will develop over the series.

“One of the things I wanted to do was to put those in and make them grow. So by the end of the series, you see these characters win – I wanted to add some colour and depth to the how the country usually sees the typical Geordie men and women.”

Episode two of Hebburn will be on BBC2 at 10pm on Thursday. The first episode is repeated on BBC2 at 11.30pm on Sunday.

Twitter: @shieldsgazette