Saxondale on TV

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  • It must be a novel experience for Steve Coogan to have one of his projects being underrated. He seems to either inspire ridicule (‘Around The World In 80 Days’) or worship (‘I’m Alan Partridge’), yet with its modest ratings and lack of buzz ‘Saxondale’ is not receiving the plaudits it deserves. It’s easily the best-written comedy currently on TV (Coogan shares writing duties with Neil McLennan), and seems to get better and better with each episode. Tonight young Raymond (a brilliantly morose performance by Rasmus Hardiker) pulls and keeps his boss and landlord awake until the early hours, sparking a renewed interest in Magz from Tommy himself.

    But Raymond is soon disillusioned: ‘Why did you split up?’ asks Tommy. ‘She never wants to talk. All she wants to do is have sex,’ comes the reply. ‘Why did you split up?’ This exchange goes to the heart of ‘Saxondale’s’ appeal – the affectionate, almost father-son relationship between Tommy and Raymond gives it a heart, and most of the laughs too. Tommy, meanwhile, is just the right side of being a monster – to Alan Partridge what ‘Extras’s’ Andy Millman was to David Brent.

    Saxondale, Monday 17th, 10pm-10.30pm, BBC2

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