Alex Brooker has landed a Channel 4 series about finding new hobbies, which British Comedy Guide can exclusively reveal.
In the four-part series hobby manthe Last Leg star is joined by comedian Joe Wilkinson, Joe Thomas of The Inbetweeners, TV chef Andi Oliver and presenter Scarlett Moffatt for a crash course in hobbies as varied as gliding and knitting .
Done by The Gadget Man production company North One with the Motion Content Group, each hour-long episode will see Brooker and guest try out three hobbies, from the familiar to the obscure, though all will be something viewers can try out for themselves.
Offering a pot story on each activity, covering everything from origins and cost to what you need to get started and the type of people you’re likely to meet, they’ll meet passionate advocates for every hobby in the UK. United, with Brooker pledging to challenge each other like never before. Production is currently underway, with the presenter and Thomas trying out canine agility in Wiltshire earlier this week.
“I realized I’m now in my late thirties and still only like the same things I did when I was 12 – basically football and ghost hunters“, said Brooker. “And while most people used the lock to find new hobbies or pursue their own, I mainly watched children’s television to keep my children happy, so I’m delighted that Channel 4 has made me their hobby man!
“It’s been amazing to travel across Britain with our brilliant guests and get out of my comfort zone trying new hobbies. Learning to knit, brewing my own beer and freaking out 3,000 feet in the air in a glider – it was an experience! I hope the audience enjoys it as much as I do.”
hobby man was commissioned by Clemency Green, Channel 4’s Commissioning Editor for Feature Films and Daytime at Channel 4 and is produced by John Quinn for North One and Melanie Darlaston for Motion Content Group.
“There are so many weird and wonderful things we Brits do in our spare time, and we were eager to put the brilliant Alex Brooker to the test,” said Green. “We are delighted that he has agreed to let us share his undoubtedly unique quest to find a new hobby.”
Quinn added: “It’s a win-win – watching Alex and his mate each week get stuck into some of the huge range of new hobbies on offer was always going to be very entertaining, funny and, no doubt occasionally, less than successful. But if people like the look of what they see, there will be lots of practical information on how they can try it themselves.”
Meanwhile Brooker, who has a prosthetic leg, having had his right leg amputated as a baby and born with hand and arm deformities, has spoken of becoming the first player with a disability to feature in the latest Soccer Aid game for Unicef in June, appearing alongside the likes of Mo Gilligan, Peacock’s Lucien Laviscount and former professional footballers Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher and Patrice Evra.
“I played football as a child, but that’s the only thing that within the realm of my disability I kept trying to play for as a teenager,” Brooker told the Press Association.
“I had leg operations when I was 16/17 and it was just because I wanted to keep playing football. And it was one of those things where when I was about 19 , I realized that actually I’m I won’t be able to do it every week anymore And so, for me, football was the first time that my disability, honestly, I can honestly say, it stopped me to do something and it bothered me… I haven’t played football for a long time, but to be able to come back and be able to play in this area is a very big thing for me.”