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Aiden Monaghan


Sun Jan 27, 6.30-7pm, BBC1

By Gabriel Tate
Series one, episode three
Mistaken identity. Funny foreigners. Sham marriages. Poorly domesticated animals. Class consciousness. Lashings of slapstick. To watch ‘Blandings’ is to realise that PG Wodehouse’s knockabout tales, for better or worse, enshrined many of the rules for the British TV sitcom. And Guy Andrews’s light comedy proves a perfectly charming diversion, bowled along by fine performances (Timothy Spall is superb as the perpetually bamboozled Clarence) and the potential for farce offered by the amorous entanglements of callow young Freddie and Gertrude, this week romancing a Portuguese dancer and oafish Reverend ‘Beefy’ Bingham respectively. Sometimes one does yearn for a character with an IQ over ten (Mark Williams’s wry butler is a little too enigmatic to count), and it’s undeniably slight, but it’s carried off with real charm and craft.

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