Dogtown: The Sunderland inspired BBC comedy that never quite made it

In the year 2006, twin sisters from Sunderland Emma and Beth Kilcoyne gained the extraordinary opportunity to write a comedy series for the BBC based on some live performances they undertaken in Edinburgh.

The series, called DogTown, was based in the North East of England in a fictional town known as Horton-le-Hole, quite explicitly inspired by Sunderland and east Durham mining towns as Seaham and Hetton.

The show sought to portray the lives of a number of eccentrically designed characters in the show in a humorous way, including Eenie Thompson a 73-year-old arsonist dwarf; Bill Taddler, a misguided and overbearing geography teacher; and Denise Taylor, the put-upon librarian with a secret, as well as Carol Gomez, the unusual optician with the domineering fantasy life.

To some extent, the comedy was very much of its time and inspired by similar shows such as Little Britain, albeit not to the same extent of ridiculousness or crassness. Filming locations also featured Sunderland itself, including Southmoor School. The most famous person to cameo on the show was Imelda Staunton.

However, DogTown did not make the grade in terms of popularity and was ultimately cancelled after just one pilot season. The sisters seemingly did not make any effort to revive the series or its characters.