Amanda Holden is to star as a circus ringmaster in a new BBC One comedy series called Big Top.

The Britain’s Got Talent judge has begun filming scenes alongside Cold Feet’s John Thompson and Blackadder’s Tony Robinson.

The show also stars Ruth Madoc (Hi-de-Hi!, Little Britain), Bruce Mackinnon (The Office, The Catherine Tate Show) and Sophie Thompson (EastEnders, A Room With A View) as the performers and backstage staff who make up Circus Maestro.

Filmed in front of a live studio audience, Big Top portrays the problems of a dysfunctional traveling circus, including death-defying stunts, sabotage and clashing egos.

Amanda Holden plays Lizzie the Ring Mistress; John Thomson and Sophie Thompson are the clown husband-and-wife team.

Tony Robinson is Erasmus, the cynical soundman; Ruth Madoc plays Georgie, the Grande Dame of Circus Maestro, and Bruce Mackinnon plays Boyco, the dazzlingly talented East European acrobat who is wanted by immigration.

Jay Hunt, Controller, BBC One said: “Big Top is a heart-warming family comedy with real potential to capture the imagination of the BBC One audience. I am delighted it will be part of the new raft of comedies on the channel.”

Lucy Lumsden, Controller, Comedy Commissioning, for the BBC said: “With a great ensemble cast and brilliant scripts from the very talented Daniel Peak, we look forward to seeing the Big Top’s struggling circus troupe take to the floor in this new audience sitcom for BBC One.”

Get exclusive access to your favourite stars. Subscribe to TV Times magazine