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‘I thought you said you were a bee keeper?’ ‘No, a beak keeper. I collect beaks.’ That’s the opening exchange of this six-part sitcom by ‘Father Ted’ co-creator Arthur Mathews and Matt Berry, in which Berry plays hapless middle-aged actor Steven Toast, surrounded by a cast of oddball friends and colleagues.
Fans of last August’s pilot – shown during the Funny Fortnight season – will remember the utterly bizarre situations Toast finds himself in, and there’s no change here, from that opening encounter with a beak-loving psychopath, to a houseguest who’s been made to look like ‘Generation Game’-era Bruce Forsyth by a rival actor-turned-plastic surgeon.
Berry – complete with a Mallard streak, bushy ’tache and permanently puzzled expression – is perfect, and if the whole feels like a series of sketches knitted together to form an utterly ridiculous narrative, that’s no bad thing; years after its demise, we all still have favourite ‘Father Ted’ scenes, and this warm-hearted series promises to give us lots more.