I can't say that I am a fan of Rik Mayall's work as a whole, but there are some bits and pieces that have really stuck in my mind as being superb, and this series was amongst them, so I was really pleased when I heard that Network were about to release it on DVD.
Essentially this was a showcase series in the same vein as Seven Faces of Jim, Six Dates with Barker, or even thePaul Merton/Galtona nd Simpson season, where the same actor appears in a selection of unrelated comedy shows. Of course, production companies always hope that these 'pilots' will form the basis of a series, however all these shows seemed to be self contained and complete.
The six shows were spread over two series, where he played such diverse roles as a paranoid TV hose, and uncontrollable liar who pretends to be a gangster and a man on a date who is trapped ina cylce of escalating comic violence. There is a star studded support cast including Amanda Donohoe, Helena Bonham-Carter, Nick Hancock and Lee Evans. The writing throughout was top-notch and the series provided British Comedy at its height.
:: Series 1
Mickey Love is the extremely paranoid TV host whose career takes a catastrophic turn because of some misinterpreted gossip. Originally broadcast on ITV on the 20th May 1993
Briefest Encounter.Greg and Siobhan meet at a party and she takes him back to her bizarre flat. What he thinks is going to be an evening of fantastic love making turns out to be a clash of personalities with disasterous results. Originally broadcast on ITV on the 27th May 1993.
Dancing Queen is the most memorable of the three editions. Neil's stag night party gets out of hand and he finds himself stuck on a train to Yorkshire with his wedding only a few hours away. His only fellow passenger turns out to be Pandora, the stripper who performed at his stag do. Originally broadcast on ITV on the 3rd June 1993.
:: Series 2
The Big One is the story of a small time estate agent with big ideas and a compulsion to lie. His wildest dreams start to come true whe he adopts the identiy fo a dead gangster, but things soon get out of control and he receives unwelcome interest from another gangster intent of recouping some borrowed money. Originally broadcast in ITV on 29th January 1995.
Dirty Old Town. Raymond is a down and out who unwittingly finds success in the film world when a script lands in his lap - literally - and he is mistaken for the writer. Despite attempts to persuade the television executives that he is not Vi Leigh, the writer - they wine and dine and house him. Originally broadcast on ITV on 5th February 1995.
Clair De Lune. The future for struggling minicab driver Toby and his 7 year old daughter Annie looks belak. But a late night encounter with a beautiful strnager is the catalyst for an adventure involving gangsters, stolen diamonds and a new beginning for the hero and his daughter. Originally broadcast on ITV on 12th February 1995.