TV

Goodness Gracious Me (BBC One, Nina Wadia, Meera Syal)


Goodness Gracious Me: Goodness Gracious Me is a BBC English language sketch comedy show originally aired on BBC Radio 4 from 1996 to 1998 and later televised on BBC Two from 1998 to 2001. The ensemble cast were four British Indian actors, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Kulvinder Ghir, Meera Syal and Nina Wadia. The show explored the conflict and integration between traditional Indian culture and modern British life. Some sketches reversed the roles to view the British from an Indian perspective, and others poked fun at Indian stereotypes. In the television series most of the white characters were played by Dave Lamb and Fiona Allen; in the radio series those parts were played by the cast themselves.

The show’s title and theme tune is a bhangra rearrangement of a hit comedy song of the same name. The original was performed by Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren reprising their characters from the 1960 film The Millionairess. The show’s original working title was “Peter Sellers is Dead”, but was changed because the cast generally liked Peter Sellers. In her 1996 novel Anita and Me, Syal had referred to British parodies of Asian speech as “a goodness-gracious-me accent”.

One of the more famous sketches featured the cast “going out for an English” after a few lassis. They mispronounce the waiter’s name, order the blandest thing on the menu and ask for twenty-four plates of chips. The sketch parodies often-drunk English people “going out for an Indian”, ordering chicken phall and too many papadums. This sketch was voted the 6th Greatest Comedy Sketch on a Channel 4 list show.

CAST
Nina Wadia
Meera Syal
Kulvinder Ghir
Sanjeev Bhaskar
Konnie Huq

CREW
Producer Jon Plowman

UK / BBC One / 22×25 minute episodes / Broadcast 1996-07-05 – 2001-03-16

TV

Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned (ITV, David Baddiel, Frank Skinner)

Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned: Baddiel and Skinner unplanned was a free-form talk show hosted by British comedians/personalities David Baddiel and Frank Skinner and produced by Avalon Television. Its concept was developed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and had a run in the West End at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 2001.

The show features the two hosts sitting on a couch on-stage and responding to questions from the audience — at times rather seriously, but usually with bizarre digressions into satirical comedy. An audience member is chosen as “Secretary” and has the job of keeping a note of the topics covered on a white board. In practice, the personality of the secretary will also prompt many jokes — usually at his or her expense. At the end of the show, Skinner asks either the secretary or the audience to choose between two song books, and to pick a page number between 1 and 20. This process determines which song is performed by the duo, sung by Skinner with Baddiel accompanying him on piano.

Topics of discussion are wholly mandated by the audience and have ranged from discussions of the war against Iraq and other political events to comments on the latest plot twists of popular soap operas and the Atkins diet. Skinner’s Catholicism and Baddiel’s Jewish faith are also occasional targets of humour.

CAST
David Baddiel
Frank Skinner

UK / ITV / 61×30 minute episodes / Premiere Date: 2000-05-28 / Ended: 2005-09-14

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TV

Vanity Fair (ITV, Olivia Cooke, Tom Bateman)

Picture from Vanity Fair.

Vanity Fair: In a world where everyone is striving for what is not worth having, no one is more determined to climb to the heights of English society than Becky Sharp.

CAST
Olivia Cooke Becky Sharp
Tom Bateman Rawdon Crawley
Claudia Jessie Amelia Sedley
Johnny Flynn William Dobbin
Michael Palin William Makepeace Thackeray
Frances de la Tour Lady Matilda Crawley
Sian Clifford Martha Crawley
Martin Clunes Sir Pitt Crawley

CREW
Creators Gwyneth Hughes
Director James Strong
Director Jonathan Entwistle
Writer Gwyneth Hughes
Novel William Makepeace Thackeray
Producer Julia Stannard
Original Music Composer Isobel Waller-Bridge

UK / ITV / 7×48 minute episodes / Premiere Date: 2018-09-02 / Ended: 2018-10-07

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TV

The Long Song (BBC One, Tamara Lawrance, Hayley Atwell)

Picture from The Long Song.

The Long Song: Set during the final days of slavery in 19th century Jamaica, we follow the trials, tribulations and survival of plantation slave July and her odious mistress Caroline.

CAST
Tamara Lawrance July
Hayley Atwell Caroline Mortimer
Jack Lowden Robert
Leo Bill John Howarth
Doña Croll July
Lenny Henry Godfrey
Jo Martin Hannah
Ayesha Antoine Molly

CREW
Creators
Novel Andrea Levy
Director of Photography Chloë Thomson



UK / BBC One / 3×180 minute episodes / Premiere Date: 2018-12-18 / Ended: 2018-12-20

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