Seaside retreat brings Comic Relief to Curtis

As soon as next Friday's Red Nose Day is over, Richard Curtis - the brains behind Comic Relief ­ - will retreat to his Suffolk hideaway to write a new comedy inspired by where he lives.

As soon as next Friday's Red Nose Day is over, Richard Curtis - the brains behind Comic Relief ­ - will retreat to his Suffolk hideaway to write a new comedy inspired by where he lives.

The UK's most successful scriptwriter, will set the film in the place he loves best, around his house at Walberswick, near Southwold.

The writer and director of hit films including Love Actually, Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral, and the BBC TV series Blackadder, has finished a first draft of the movie, due to be filmed in the region next year.

Emma Freud, daughter of former MP Clement Freud, revealed her partner's new project when she spoke to the EDP about their Comic Relief work. She said he was looking forward to quiet time after Comic Relief to write the film - a comedy - which he hoped to complete by May. Mr Curtis will also direct the movie.

Ms Freud said he could not wait to "make people laugh again" after more serious work, including the TV drama Girl in the Café, which he wrote to coincide with the 2005 G8 summit.

He has recently spent much of his time working with Ms Freud, a former TV presenter and Radio 1 DJ, to organise the Make Poverty History campaign, which staged the Live 8 concerts in 2005, and Comic Relief, which he launched in 1985 after seeing the Ethiopian famine.

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Ms Freud said: "It is hard for Richard to get away and have free time and space to write, but here in Suffolk he can. He has been longing to get back to doing a comedy.

"When Richard writes comedy, he puts himself in a very good mood. When he wrote drama, he put himself in a very bad mood.

"It was lovely for me to see him write this new one because he got to the end of every day in a great mood."

Ms Freud, the chief script editor on all her partner's recent work, said it was sad to say goodbye to The Vicar of Dibley, which has been going as long as her relationship with Mr Curtis. The last episode will be screened on Red Nose Day. She said: "This brought him the most joy. He found it very easy to write."

Emma Freud talks about Comic Relief, helping Africa and meeting the world's most powerful people in EDP2 tomorrow.

Comic Relief: The Big One, is on BBC 1 at 7pm on March 16.