Love Island narrator Iain Stirling has said his new comedy series, Buffering, is based around his own experience on children’s television.
The six-part series, which was created, written by and stars the Bafta-winning comedian, centres around a children’s TV presenter with a dislike of children, who is in an unstable relationship with a TV producer.
Stirling used to be a presenter on children’s channel CBBC alongside puppet animals, as well as on CBBC shows Help! My Supply Teacher’s Magic, 12 Again, and All Over The Place.
Talking about his character, the 33-year-old said: “On paper, his life is quite good.
“But there’s something deep down inside that’s bothering him, that doesn’t feel quite right, and I don’t think he’s got the social tools to articulate that discomfort, and that misery, in a way.
“And because he hasn’t got the tools to articulate that, they sort of manifest themselves in bizarre behaviours.
“So it’s basically me, but younger, and now, because of lockdown, me younger and thinner.”
The comedian said he previously did a stand-up show in Edinburgh about his time on children’s TV, including a story about having to spend a few days with Jedward after breaking up with his girlfriend of four years a week before Christmas.
He later joined forces with comedian and writer Steve Bugeja and it evolved into a sitcom series.
Bugeja, who is the show’s co-creator, said: “We wanted to articulate that bit in life where you’re in your late 20s, you’re sort of too old to be going out partying and be carefree, but you’re not rich or old enough to get a mortgage and settle down and you haven’t really found the right job or the right relationship, and you’re sort of stuck in limbo a bit.
“We’ve got six main cast who are all in different bits of that limbo, but they’re all trying to work out how to be adults and they’re surrounded by social media telling them that everyone else is having the perfect life and they feel like they’re messing up all the time.”
Stirling, who has been the narrator of ITV’s Love Island since 2015, said his character in Buffering goes through experiences that both he and Bugeja have been through.
He said: “I’ve sort of grown up in this world of stand-up where you’ve got to stand by what you do and what you’re telling is a story of your life, and then social media where you’re conveying your life to other people.
“So it’s quite nice to have this weird world where no-one actually knows, did it happen to me, did it happen to someone else?
“It’s quite nice to keep people guessing, which I like.”
Buffering premieres with a double episode on ITV2 at 10pm on Thursday August 5. All episodes will then be available on ITV Hub.
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