The curse of comedy series 2
Noel Edmonds – behind the beard
A bittersweet drama about Noel Edmonds starring Ant and Dec as Noel was post-modern BBC4 drama at its finest. Following Bunuel’s model Ant and Dec play Noel in different scenes (sometimes both simultaneously) without any other character noticing. Focusing on Noel’s difficult days – the bloke dying on the Late Late Breakfast Show; the failure of Crinkly Bottom theme parks; the overshadowing of his career by Mr Blobby; and the cancellation of Noel’s Christmas Presents – it followed Noel’s second coming with his rise to top telly stardom with Deal or No Deal and the power of cosmic ordering. The guest appearance from Richard Dawkins to give an alternative view of cosmic ordering was a self-conscious echo of a well-known scene from Annie Hall – and the sequence where Dec broke the fourth all to proclaim, “At least we never killed a man” proved controversial on broadcast. A guest appearance by Stephen Merchant as Mr Blobby was much lauded but the casting of Ricky Gervais and Ashley Jensen as Mike Smith and Sarah Greene carried too much baggage for the ordinary viewer.
The drama won Ant and Dec a British comedy award, just ahead of Gervais for his role as CHeggers in the final drama in the series.