BAFTA Wins Bolster British Comedy ‘Stath Lets Flats’; Could Jamie Demetriou’s Series Become Sleeper Hit On HBO Max?

Channel 4

British comedy Stath Lets Flats is the little show that could. The Channel 4 comedy has had a pretty good few weeks – beating Fleabag twice at the BAFTA TV Awards on Friday.

The show follows an incompetent rental agent, played by creator Jamie Demetriou, who runs a Greek-Cypriot letting agency in London, owned by his father. It has echoes of the original BBC version of The Office or Steve Coogan’s Alan Partridge character.

Demetriou, who played the bus suitor with big teeth in Fleabag’s first season, picked up a craft award for best comedy writing earlier this month, beating his former boss Phoebe Waller-Bridge among others, and on Friday he picked up best male performance in a comedy performance and best scripted comedy.

In the acting category, he beat out Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa, Man Like Mobeen’s Guz Khan and Home’s Yousse Kerkour, while in the scripted comedy category, Stath Lets Flats beat Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney’s Channel 4 and Amazon series Catastrophe, Channel 4’s Derry Girls and Fleabag.

The show has just launched on HBO Max in the U.S., and the major awards wins could help it become a sleeper hit in the States.

Michael Quigley, EVP Content Acquisitions at WarnerMedia Entertainment, congratulated Demetriou on his wins and called the show a “brilliant” and “very deserving” comedy. “HBO Max is proud to bring outstanding, award-winning programming from around the world to U.S. audiences and to champion unique artistic voices,” Quigley told Deadline.

Stath Lets Flats originally launched on Channel 4 in 2018 and its second season premiered in August 2019. It also stars Demetriou’s sister Natasia Demetriou, best known for FX’s What We Do In The Shadows. Jamie Demetriou wrote the first three episodes of the show with Friday Night Dinner creator Robert Popper, and the series is produced by Roughcut Television, the company run by Ash Atalla — who shepherded Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s The Office to British screens.

“Everyone on the show on the surface is very stupid, but I think it’s trying to capture a general goodness and sweetness about a lot of people I grew up with, people I went to school with, people who sort of I don’t know — it’s more just like general personality types you see over and over again and you see, they’re generally seen as flawed but it’s kind of like tapping into the goodness of them,” Demetriou said at a recent virtual BAFTA event.

“My character, for example, just does everything wrong but assumes it’s fine because he’s him,” he added. “It’s like, ‘I wouldn’t do something wrong, would I?’ Surely not, even though that thing’s broken and got black liquid dripping out of it, like I swear that’s fine because it’s me sort of thing. Deep down that comes from a place of self-confidence and maybe he was bullied at school and all these things, and when you tap into those things, you know he loves his dad and sister.”

He admits that the character went through a bit of a change from Season 1 to Season 2. He said Stath is an “arsehole” in Season 1, but over the course of 12 episodes, you realize he has a good heart.

He said that he was influenced by his father. “I suppose my dad [was] probably a kind of the origin point,” Demetriou said. “So much mad stuff would go on in our house that would sort of resemble story structure that you’d go, ‘Oh, I can tell these stories to people at school and they just work,’ I didn’t have to add anything to them. My dad used to run a greasy spoon café, and he once came home like, ‘Jamie, look at the internet and find out what was the name of the ship in the film Titanic.’ And he thought the internet was a room full of people in our house. I was like, ‘Are you joking? It’s the Titanic,’ and he was like, ‘Ah, I bet 15 pounds it’s the Mary Rose.’ I kind of think stuff like that, me and my sister would just die laughing. That’s objectively funny; there’s no strings to that we’ve got to do something with that.”

Demetriou certainly has done something with that, and it will be interesting to see what he comes up with next – whether that’s a third season of Stath Lets Flats or another project.

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