Ricky Gervais‘s comedy writing partner Stephen Merchant (The Office, Extras) is going it alone in his new sitcom Hello Ladies on Sky Atlantic HD.

Stephen writes, directs and stars in the show as Stuart, an awkward Englishman in Los Angeles searching for the woman of his dreams.

Described by Sky as: “Half as charming – and twice as desperate – as he thinks he is, he’s obsessed with infiltrating the glamorous world of beautiful people, who won’t let him in.”

The eight-part comedy also stars Christine Woods and Nate Torrence, with the US Office writers Lee Eisenberg and Gene Supnitsky on board for several episodes.

Hello Ladies premiers on 16 October at 10pm on Sky Atlantic HD. Customers with connected boxes will be able to see the show first On Demand from 10 October.

It will be followed at 10.30pm by the second season of Armando Iannucci’s Emmy-winning comedy Veep, which stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus. British favourite Sally Phillips (I’m Alan Partridge, Smack The Pony) is among the guest stars this series.