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Count Arthur Strong

Mon Jul 15, 8.30-9pm, BBC2

Series one, episode two
You can see why ‘Count Arthur Strong’ has been granted a second series already. The Graham Linehan factor. The evidently tight budget, smartly expended. And an edge that tends to be missing from pre-watershed sitcoms. It remains a slippery beast, at once anachronistic (Arthur’s body induces nausea at a life-drawing class) and forward-thinking (Arthur is introduced to the internet, with disastrous results).

Steve Delaney’s word-mangling, monologue-dispensing throwback might have struggled to sustain a TV sitcom alone, but stalwart support from Rory Kinnear (as Michael), among others, adds essential layers to the comedy. And a superbly sustained gag about Michael’s inadvertent racism keeps the chuckles bubbling along, climaxing in a Jack the Ripper tour by ice-cream van that defies easy explanation by a humble TV reviewer. Odd, but undeniably likeable.


Martin Strong
Martin Strong

A promising start for this subtle and gently surreal comedy


This made me want to jump through the nearest window. Absolutely awful. Devoid of anything remotely funny unless, well, there's something wrong with you. WHERE ARE THE LAUGHS?? I've been to funnier funerals. And talking of death, British Comedy. If this is supposed to be it, then it we need Dr. Frankenstein pretty damn quick. He could also lock who ever gave this rubbish a second series in a dungeon for a long, long time.