Peter Kay’s Car Share - the debut sitcom co-written by Midlander Tim Reid - has broken records on BBC’s iPlayer notching up 2.8 million views so far.
The new comedy series, which premiered in full on the iPlayer from 24 to 28 April, saw comedy fans flock in their millions to the BBC’s on demand service.
Car Share made broadcasting history by becoming the first BBC programme to be made available on the iPlayer, before being broadcast on BBC One.
Its 2.8 million views meant Car Share became BBC iPlayer’s most successful series to premiere as a ‘box-set’ to date.
The six-episode series as a whole made it to the iPlayer’s ‘Most Popular’ section over the weekend before reaching the coveted number one spot.
Care Share is Peter Kay’s first sitcom for BBC One, and following its iPlayer premiere the first episode is being broadcast on BBC1 on Wednesday April 29 at 9.30pm.
The premiere was part of BBC iPlayer’s trial to premiere 40 hours of BBC content, following on from a record-breaking year in 2014 which saw 3.5 billion iPlayer TV and radio programme requests.
Car Share features Peter Kay as John Redmond and Sian Gibson as Kayleigh Kitson - two supermarket workers who have been thrown together in a company car share scheme.
It is Mr Reid and Mr Coleman’s first ever sitcom and came to fruition after they contacted Mr Kay for advice. He liked it so much he signed up to star in and direct it.
Mr Reid, from Solihull, and Mr Coleman discovered a shared passion for comedy after working together as business consultants.
Speaking about Car Share’s iPlayer success, Peter Kay said: “I’ve been blown away by the response so far. How could I not be. Here’s hoping the success continues and people enjoy the series.
“I like to binge on series and watch more than one episode at once which I know I lot of people like to do, so I thought it’d be a great to launch the whole series on iPlayer and give viewers a chance to watch them all at once.”
His delight was echoed by Shane Allen, the BBC’s controller of comedy commissioning, who added: “This is a phenomenal reaction which shows how excited audiences are to see Peter in his first scripted comedy for the BBC.
“We’re so proud of the show and it’s heartening that comedy does so well in the new on-demand world.
“All credit to Peter for his innovative approach with this series launch which hopefully gives it a following wind for the primetime launch on BBC One.”
Speaking to the Post about how Peter Kay came to be involved in Car Share, Mr Reid, a former pupil of Solihull School, said: “We were just hoping he would give us some feedback and opinions – whether it was a good idea or not and whether the writing was good enough or not.
“That was our hope – just to get his view on what we had done.
“So it was a real thrill when he came back and said not only did he really like it but wanted to get involved too.
“He loved the idea and asked us if we wanted him to work with us on it and you don’t say no to that.”