|How good is the content?|
|How good is the concept?|
|How good are the presenters?||Not applicable|
|How does it compare to similar programmes?||Outstanding|
|Is it funny?||Hilarious|
|How good are the characters?||Outstanding|
What is it all about?The Little Britain series is basically a collection of short sketches, which feature the same characters from one week to the next. Each character creation is very unique and you soon get to know their peculiarities and catchphrases. It is these individual characters which make the programme what it is, as it is these people that you soon grow to love.
Little Britain works as an alternative comedy series because it is very politically incorrect. In an age where most programme makers would prefer to tread on eggshells, Little Britain takes it to the extreme, covering issues and creating humour based around such taboo subjects as racism, homosexuality, transvestism, the overweight and the disabled.In between the main sketches there are a few shorter clips, which are usually introduced by some witty comment from Tom Baker (of Dr Who fame) who narrates the series in a very deliberate posh BBC English style voiceover.
So Let's Meet the Main Characters:The scriptwriters Matt Lucas and David Walliams play all of the major characters.
Daffyd Thomas - Played by Matt Lucas. Daffyd is (or at least he thinks he is) the only gay in the village of Llandewi Brefi. He wears tight PVC pants and is very OTT on the camp front.
He drinks at the Miners Arms pub where most of his scenes are set.
The irony of his character is the fact that there are dozens of other equally outrageous homosexuals all around him, but he is too blind to see them, choosing instead to repeat over and over again his catchphrase "I'm the only gay in the village." When he does come into contact with any of these other gay characters he adopts a very homophobic attitude.
Matt Lucas's portrayal of Daffyd is little short of pure genius.
Vicky Pollard - Played by Matt Lucas. Vicky is a spotty faced, bad mouthed teenager who has attitude with a capital "A". She is a single mother and her scenes are often set at the social security or on one occasion in a courtroom where she is up in front of the judge on a shoplifting charge.
Vicky chews gums and does not listen to anybody except herself. Her catchphrase is "Yeah but, no but, yeah but no…" which she manages to fit into most sentences.
Emily Howard - Played by David Walliams. Emily is the world's least convincing transvestite who wears a long brown curly wig and old fashioned ladies flowing dresses. She believes that she is totally convincing and frequently repeats her catchphrase "I'm a laydeee" as she skips down the street.Denis Waterman - Played by David Walliams. This is a bit of a hit n miss character. Dennis Waterman is portrayed as a tiny little man sat in front of his agent's desk (the agent being played by Matt Lucas). The humour in these scenes is based around the fact that everything around him is gigantic because he is so small.
Lou and Andy - Lou is played by David Walliams, Andy by Matt Lucas. Andy is wheelchair bound and Lou is his carer, doting on his every need. The humour here is based around the fact that whenever Lou turns his back Andy jumps out of the wheelchair and runs around, climbing trees and being generally mischievous, whilst Andy is totally unaware.
Lou has a speech impediment and a very obvious lisp. Lou always ends up going out his way to do something for Andy who then turns round and says "I don't like it, I wanted the other one."
Dame Sally Markham - Played by Matt Lucas. Dame Sally is an ageing romantic novelist, with more than a passing resemblance to Barbara Cartland, she dictates her work to her secretary who types out the words on an old fashioned typewriter.
She waffles on talking gibberish and filling the pages with absolute drivel.
Series One: Episode By Episode - At A GlancePilot Episode - Several of these sketches re-occur in later episodes, some in their original format, and some after being slightly re-worked. Highlights include Vicky Pollard being arrested for shoplifting. Tragic Transvestite Emily Howard visiting the local swimming baths. Marjorie Dawes welcoming her members to her new fitness class and Daffyd Thomas proclaiming to be the only gay in the village.
Episode one - Highlights include Vicky Pollard being in trouble for not handing in her essay on time. Emily Howard visiting the local pub for a "Ladies half for a lady." Lou and Andy deciding which West End show to go and see for Andy's birthday and Marjorie Dawes holding a competition at her fat fighters club where the aim of the game is to guess the weight of the other members.Episode two - Highlights include Lou and Andy going to a posh dinner, Andy decides that he wants to go in fancy dress and goes as a smurf. Daffyd goes to the shop to buy a copy of the gay Times only to find that it has been bought by the blacksmith, and Vicky Pollard is in trouble at the swimming baths for pushing another girl into the pool.
Episode three - Highlights include Vicky Pollard being refused getting served in the local pub for being underage. Lou decides to buy Andy an ice cream. At the fat fighters Marjorie Dawes tests her members on which foods are high and low in fat. Daffyd is down in the dumps so Myfanwy, the barmaid introduces him to a gay Star Trek meeting, and Emily Howard takes in a lodger.Episode four - Highlights include Daffyd Thomas going to the hairdressers. Emily Howard going for an X-Ray at the hospital where she utters the classic line "But I don't have testicles, I'm a lady, well maybe little lady testicles…" Vicky Pollard is in court for shoplifting and Marjorie Dawes visits her sick mother in hospital.
Episode five - Highlights include Vicky Pollard being summoned to the Governor's office at Borstal. Daffyd Thomas visiting a Sexual Health Clinic and Lou and Andy feature in three different scenes, in the first one they buy a pet snake, in the second one they buy a book on Chinese history and in the third scene Lou takes Andy to see his new girlfriend, Maria.Episode six - Highlights include Emily Howard buying flowers on the promenade. Lou and Andy plan a holiday, and Vicky Pollard finds out she is pregnant.
Episode seven - Highlights include Vicky Pollard having a visit from her social worker. Daffyd Thomas holding a gay night at the Miners Arms. Lou and Andy test out a new wheelchair, and Jason and Gary visit his Nan for a bit of toe sucking.Episode eight - Highlights include Emily Howard helping to fix the ice cream van which has broken down. Vicky Pollard gives a speech to her old classmates. Lou and Andy have a bonfire, and fat fighters receives a visit from the head woman.
So What is next for Little Britain?On the 19th October 2004 BBC2 screened the first of six episodes in the second series of Little Britain. This followed on from where the first series left off, but there was the addition of several new characters ,including the superb Bubbles De Vere, an ageing woman with a supposedly rich husband who has lived at a health farm for years and never paid her bills. Matt Lucas plays this character dressed in a huge wrinkly body suit, and Bubbles offers sexual favours in return for not paying her debts.
However since this review is based mainly on series one I will leave it there before some of you fall asleep.Conclusion
If you have never seen Little Britain be sure to check it out. I find it hilarious but I am sure that it is not everybody's cup of tea.
Filming is already well under way for series three so fingers crossed that there will be lots more new original characters for us to grow to love.
And if that is not enough a national tour begins in the Autumn, but alas unless you've already got your ticket I'm afraid it's totally sold out.
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