Australian comedian and performer Tim Minchin, who is set to star as Friar Tuck in Lionsgate/Summit Entertainment’s Robin Hood: Origins, is fronting a piano-moving road-trip comedy drama for the UK’s Sky and Australia’s Foxtel.

Minchin stars in Upright, an eight-part series about two misfits, thrown together by chance in the middle of the Australian desert, who forge the unlikeliest of bonds in their quest to get a precious piano from one side of the country to the other. He plays Lucky Flynn, alongside newcomer Milly Alcock in the road-trip adventure, which takes places between Sydney and Perth.

His character Flynn, hasn’t spoken to his family in years and he’s broke, distant and damaged. He’s also a gifted pianist, whose talent for music is matched only by his talent for self-destruction. When he learns that his mother has only days left to live, Lucky sets off in a hire car to drive the 4,000km to say goodbye, taking with him his only cherished possession in the world: a battered and scarred upright piano. He literally runs into Meg, played Alcock, a hilarious, tough-as-nails teenager, who has plenty of scars and secrets of her own.

The series was created by Chris Taylor, who is writing with Minchin, who previously starred in Californication, and writer-actors Kate Mulvany and Leon Ford. It will be directed by Matthew Saville with Minchin writing the music. The series will begin filming in Australia in October.  It will air on Sky and Foxtel in 2019 and is produced by Lingo Pictures with funding from Screen Australia.

Minchin said, “From the moment I heard about the idea for Upright, I knew it was the show I’d been waiting to make. I like stories that make me laugh and think and cry, I adore the landscapes of outback Australia, and I love music, and homecomings, and characters full of flaws. It’s awesome to be writing with this extraordinary team, and I’m looking forward to acting alongside Milly Alcock, who I think is a really special talent.”

Morwenna Gordon, Commissioning Editor Sky Comedy, added, “Sky Comedy is always striving to work with the best talent and on the most surprising, unique and beautifully crafted shows, so we’re delighted to be collaborating with the world class Tim Minchin on Upright. Alongside Milly Alcock (and a battered piano), we’re sure this is a road trip Sky customers will never forget.”