Could this be the greatest casting story of all time?

Wednesday October 31st 2012


‘The trades’ have been positively replete with Jacobi-based casting stories of late, which is obviously great news for anyone who follows his career as fervently as I do. Last week, this irresistible nugget popped up in Variety:

Derek Jacobi joins Grace of Monaco
King’s Speech thesp added to Grace Kelly biopic

… Jacobi will play Count Fernando D’Aillieres, a flamboyant aristocrat and expert on all-things-Monaco who helped transform Kelly from an American movie star to a refined princess.

Best of all, the film’s being directed by Olivier Dahan, who oversaw the creation of My Own Love Song — perhaps the most spectacular Hollywood disaster in recent memory.

(The big argument scene that opens that trailer remains one of the most astonishing five minutes of cinema I’ve ever seen — “YOU’D JUST STAY IN BED… UNTIL YA DIED!”)

And as if the prospect of Sir Derek camping it up as a flamboyant French aristocrat wasn’t exciting enough, The British Comedy Guide yesterday jumped into the fray with this revelatory morsel:

ITV has commissioned a brand new sitcom starring Sirs Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi, according to reports.

Vicious Old Queens will see the pair, both gay in real life, playing an elderly homosexual couple living together in Covent Garden.

The series of six 30-minute episodes is being lined up for broadcast on ITV1 from April 2013, according to the Star on Sunday, and has been written by Gary Janetti, a former writer and executive producer of hit American sitcoms Will & Grace and Family Guy.

Created by playwright Mark Ravenhill, Vicious Old Queens was originally intended as a one-off for Sky Arts’s Playhouse strand, but is not believed to have progressed beyond script stage at the channel.

I dare you to find a single word among those four paragraphs that points to Vicious Old Queens being anything other than the greatest television programme of our age.

April 2013 can’t come soon enough.