TV show with a comedic take on life Up North is back in Sheffield

Dean Sills, centre, filming Up North
Dean Sills, centre, filming Up North
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A sitcom filmed in Sheffield that aims to raise laughs with an offbeat take on local life has reached its second series.

Up North has been penned by first-time writer Dean Sills, who also fills one of the lead roles in a tale of two neighbours and their outlandish exploits across the region.

Dean Sills, Bernie Clifton and Steve Call

Dean Sills, Bernie Clifton and Steve Call

The comedy's first series was originally commissioned by southerners - Essex TV picked it up and commissioned a complete run of episodes that pulled in 100,000 viewers.

Repeats are being shown for the next five weeks from Monday on Sheffield Live, leading up to the broadcast of the second season. The initial series is also available to buy on DVD or watch on demand via Amazon, with more than 98,000 minutes streamed so far.

"We can't believe how far the show has come and we can't wait to do more," said Dean, aged 49, from Bolton-on-Dearne, who started acting in 2012 by working on TV shows such as In The Club, on BBC One.

His fellow lead actors on Up North are Kuljit Singh and Carley Motley. Sheffield actors Keiron Goodwin and Samantha Senior have roles too, and entertainer Bernie Clifton - usually seen riding an unruly puppet ostrich - puts in an appearance too. The show is directed by Steve Call.

"Series one starts with a funny episode all about football which was filmed at Oakwell in Barnsley," said Dean.

"Series two episodes will see a gorilla escape from 'Sheffield Zoo', plus the lads have no money for the pub, so go out doing 'penny for the guy' to try and earn some.

"We only have one more episode of series two to film, which is the Christmas episode, and we have both Bernie Clifton and Billy Pearce in series two as regulars. Sheffield Live will be screening series two from October."

Dean said the pilot was filmed with 'zero budget', and the team had to move creatively to make the subsequent instalments too.

"We work with very little money along with finding locations for free including Barnsley Football Ground, the local pub where all the pub scenes are shot, Clifton Park in Rotherham plus Sheffield Live have let us film in their studio in Sheffield."

He added: "We also have a nice fanbase now. I had a fan contact me the other week asking me to do a birthday video message for his girlfriend as my character, Mick Smith. They were thrilled to bits, especially his girlfriend.

"The pilot episode and series one are now out on DVD and on demand at Amazon Prime. It's doing very well with over 98,000 mins streamed, which is great considering the episodes are not long. I am over the moon the show is now on Sheffield Live, and Steve Call and I are very excited since this is all about Yorkshire folk."

Up North is being screened on Sheffield Live - Freeview channel seven - on Monday nights at 9.30pm.

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