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    White Teeth

    White Teeth

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    Channel 4 (ended 2002)
    Zadie Smith's anarchic comedy set in multiracial northwest London comes mind-blowingly to life in a four-part adaptation of her acclaimed first novel. Hailed as "street-smart and learned, sassy and philosophical" by the New York Times and "funny as hell" by Newsweek, Smith wrote White Teeth at the astonishing age of 24. Set in the cultural farrago of Willesden Green, where Smith grew up, White Teeth tells the story of three families in the hippy-to-hiphop era of 1974 to 1992 -- with a nostalgia-inducing soundtrack of popular hits from the period.

    "I wanted to write a book about a man who... lives a good life by accident," Smith says of White Teeth's protagonist, professional envelope-folder Archie Jones (played by Phil Davis), whom she compares to Jimmy Stewart. In British-music-hall fashion, she pairs Archie with a sidekick who is his opposite in nearly every way. Bengali waiter Samad Iqbal (Om Puri) is intellectual where Archie is clueless, a devout Muslim where Archie is a laid-back atheist, and a tormented adulterer where Archie is an oblivious family man. But they have been best friends since an experience involving a fugitive war criminal during World War II -- an incident that comes back to haunt Archie at crucial points in the plot. The story begins on New Year's Eve 1974, when Archie decides to end it all in a carbon monoxide-filled haze. Coincidentally, a nearby commune is celebrating the impending end of the world. Both Archie and the world survive to have some very unusual adventures.

    Smith populates White Teeth with an assortment of curious characters worthy of Dickens himself -- from Archie and Samad's headstrong spouses, lapsed Jehovah's Witness Clara (Naomie Harris) and tart-tongued Bengali Alsana (Archie Panjabi); to Clara's fire-and-brimstone mother, Hortense (Mona Hammond); Samad and Alsana's twin sons, brainy Magid and gang-leader Millat (both played by Christopher Simpson); and Archie and Clara's diffident daughter, Irie (Sarah Ozeke). Then there are the smugly scholarly Malfen family, the militant Keepers of the Eternal and Victorious Islamic Nation (an Islamic sect with an acronym problem), and a crazed animal liberation outfit called Fighting Animal Torture and Exploitation (FATE). All come together for a debacle at a pre-millennium bash for a genetically modified mouse. "White Teeth", the book by Zadie Smith, was commissioned by UK Network Channel 4 in the spring of 2002. Filming began in June of the same year and the first episode of four was aired on 17th September 2002. The show won praise from Film and TV critics and launched the career of one of it's stars Naomie Harris. The show gained healthy viewing figures throughout and peaked at 3.5 Million during the final episode. The Series has now been shown throughout the world and was aired in Australia, Sweden and most recently the USA to great success.moreless
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    Father Ted

    Father Ted

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    Channel 4 (ended 1998)
    Father Ted is an Irish comedy about 3 parish priests living on Craggy Island - a remote island, off the Irish west coast. The main four characters are Father Ted Crilly (Dermot Morgan), Father Dougal Maguire (Ardal O'Hanlan) and Father Jack Hackett (Frank Kelly) and their housekeeper (who just can't stop making tea) Mrs. Doyle (Pauline McLynn). Ted was put on the island as a punishment for going on holiday to Las Vegas with money intended for a sick child - of course..."The money was just resting in his account"!moreless
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    8 Out of 10 Cats

    8 Out of 10 Cats

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    Channel 4
    Channel 4's topical panel quiz show, see's two teams (made up of the team captain and two celebrity guests), who are then asked questions relating to opinion polls and statistics based on the week's events in the news and media. It's currently airing its seventeenth series.

    8 out of 10 Cats is presented by Jimmy Carr, with team captains Sean Lock and Jon Richardson. The voice of John Pohlhammer introduces the panel at the beginning of each episode. Originally Dave Spikey was the team captain against Lock for the first four series, he was then replaced with Jason Manford from series 5 to 10 who was replaced by Richardson from series 11. Air days:
    • Monday (Series 17–present)
    • Friday (Series 1–6, 8–13, 15–16)
    • Monday (Series 14)
    • Thursday (Series 7)moreless
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    The IT Crowd

    The IT Crowd

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    Channel 4 (ended 2013)
    At the UK company Reynholm Industries, their corporate high-rise towers are full of beautiful happy people with one success story after another. Well, except for the employees that work in the basement - the IT department. While their colleagues work in fantastic surroundings, Jen, Roy and Moss must work below ground in the dark and horrible basement, struggling to make it into normal society. Jen (Katherine Parkinson) is a career person who is looking to climb the corporate ladder. Unfortunately, due to fibbing on her CV (resume), she finds herself the manager of the IT Department. The problem is, she knows nothing about technology! Roy (Chris O'Dowd) and Moss (Richard Ayoade) make up the IT Department and share a love of technology, science fiction and not having to work if at all possible. What they don't like is the idea of being supervised by someone who knows nothing about computers. Seeing that Roy and Moss may know a lot about computers, but very little about working with people, Jen takes on the role of "Relationship Manager" to help the guys and help herself in the process. The IT Crowd is a playful and somewhat surreal look at what it's really like to be the underof every company - the IT Department. In 2008, The IT Crowd won the Rose D'Or for Best Comedy.moreless
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    Phoenix Nights

    Phoenix Nights

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    Channel 4 (ended 2002)
    Award-winning comedy. Peter Kay plays Legendary social club owner Brian Potter and his hapless band of staff and regulars are determined to make the Phoenix Club a success no matter what.moreless
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    Black Books

    Black Books

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    Channel 4 (ended 2004)
    Black Books is a second-hand bookshop in London run by an Irishman named Bernard Black. He is probably the planet's least-suited person to run such an establishment: he makes no effort to sell, closes at strange hours on a whim, is in a perpetual alcoholic stupor, abhors his customers (sometimes physically abusing them) and is often comatose at his desk. Help comes in the lumpy shape of Manny Bianco, a hairy, bumbling individual who becomes Bernard's assistant. Manny is not exactly great at the job either but he is a million times better than Bernard. Next door is Fran, an anxious, frustrated woman who runs a sort of new-age shop selling the most unlikely bits of arty junk. Fran is friends with Bernard and, through him, with Manny; together the trio become embroiled in escapades that are sometimes extreme, fantastically ludicrous, and always bizarre. The show has won two BAFTA awards and one Bronze Rose award.moreless
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    8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown

    8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown

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    Channel 4
    Jimmy Carr hosts 8 Out of 10 Cats and Countdown, while Sean Lock and Jon Richardson compete against one another in this bizarre British quiz show.
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    Peep Show

    Peep Show

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    Channel 4
    Essentially, a take on The Odd Couple, Peep Show revolves around the lives of Mark Corrigan and Jeremy Osbourne; two twenty-somethings who share a flat. Mark works in an office and has a bleak outlook on life; he's infatuated with his colleague, Sophie Chapman. Jeremy, in contrast, is a lazy, shallow man trying to make it in the music industry. A unique twist that immediately sets the show apart form other sitcoms is the use of the first person view point [the original show title was POV], where we get to see from the characters own eyes. We also get to hear internal thoughts and opinions which reveals things they wouldn't say out loud.moreless
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    Whose Line Is It Anyway? (UK)

    Whose Line Is It Anyway? (UK)

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    Channel 4 (ended 1998)
    The funniest improvisational show to hit UK (and later on US) screens. The show features four contestants playing games, with suggestions sometimes taken from the studio audience. The games include: Scenes From a Hat, Party Quirks, Hoedown, and Let's Make A Date. Whose Line is it Anyway? began as a radio show on BBC Radio 4 in 1987. It was moved to television a year later in 1988. Both shows were hosted by Clive Anderson. During the first season, the show featured one regular contestant (John Sessions) and three guest contestants. From the second season onward, the contestants rotated from episode to episode and have included Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, Greg Proops, Tony Slattery, Josie Lawrence, and Brad Sherwood, just to name a few. In 1998, episodes of the show were filmed in Hollywood to celebrate the show's 10th anniversary. Episodes of the show were also filmed in New York in 1991 and 1992. Beginning in 1998, a US version of the show was made for the ABC Television Network. The original ran on Comedy Central for many years. On April 3, 2006, Whose Line returned to American television on BBC America. Whose Line is It Anyway? currently airs on BBC America in the US. It also airs on The Comedy Channel in Australia. Here is a list of some of the people who appeared on the radio show but never made it on the TV show: Lenny Henry Dawn French Nonny Williams Hugh Laurie Kate Robbins Colin Sell (music)moreless
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    Fresh Meat

    Fresh Meat

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    Channel 4
    Six freshers and Howard attending Manchester Medlock University must live in a house off campus after submitting their housing applications late.
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    The Book Group

    The Book Group

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    Channel 4 (ended 2003)
    Who says good reading is good for you? American Claire has just moved to Glasgow and is extremely keen to meet some new and interesting people. She decides to start a book group. To her utter dismay, those who turn up for the first session are not the friends she had hoped for. There's Kenny, a handsome ex-climber in a wheelchair, Janice the frustrated wife of a famous Scottish footballer, and eccentric student Barney who Claire actually does fancy. The Book Group is about this intriguing cast of characters, who are all trying to make new friends, new lives and new versions of themselves. But pretty soon things get complicated. A little education can be a dangerous thing. Bad News! Channel 4 did confirm a third series was in the works due for broadcast mid 2004, However, I received an email from Annie Griffin (Creator of the show) explaining that no third series was in production for 2004, nor had she even yet written a third series due to commitments towards other projects, "...but perhaps some time in the future they'll be back" Currently I shall leave the status of the show as on hiatus, for it may return.moreless
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    You Have Been Watching

    You Have Been Watching

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    Channel 4 (ended 2010)
    This comedy panel quiz show, presented by Screenwipe's Charlie Brooker, looks back at TV past and present. Brooker is accompanied by a three celebrity guests each week, and, before recording, the panellists watch selected episodes of currently airing television shows to discuss. They may then be asked to suggest hypothetical improvements to the format, critically assess it, or to answer quiz questions on the content.moreless
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    Jam

    Jam

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    Channel 4 (ended 2000)
    British sketch comedy show
  • 14
    V Graham Norton

    V Graham Norton

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    Channel 4 (ended 2003)
    The very witty and extremely outrageous Graham Norton presents a new weeknight edition of his adult-themed chat show. Mixing the once-famous with the now-famous, the strange and the unknown, Graham incorporates a whole variety of tasteless humour and wacky games to bring an enjoyable and amusing half-hour to our screens each night.moreless
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    Boyz Unlimited

    Boyz Unlimited

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    Channel 4 (ended 1999)
    Before Matt Lucas and David Walliams made the amazing series "Little Britain" they teamed up to create this 6 episode series that spoofed the whole "boy band" phenomenon. They had all the cliche' parts. The talented fat kid who of course would never be allowed on stage. The cute one, the even more cute one and the still even more cute one to make sure they got the attention of every pre-teen girl on the planet.moreless
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    The Corner House

    The Corner House

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    Channel 4 (ended 1987)
    British sitcom
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    Spaced

    Spaced

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    Channel 4 (ended 2001)
    Spaced is a sitcom like no other. The premise is simple enough: Daisy (Jessica Stevenson) and Tim (Simon Pegg) are out of luck and love, so pretend to be a couple in order to rent a flat together. Downstairs neighbour and eccentric painter Brian suspects someone's fibbing, and almost blows their cover with their lecherous lush of a landlady, Marsha. Fortunately he soon falls for Daisy's health-freak friend Twist, while Daisy herself goes ga-ga for pet dog Colin. Tim remains happily platonic with lifemate Mike; a sweet-at-heart guns 'n' ammo obsessive. The series is chock-full of pop culture references. In fact, each episode is themed after at least one movie, with nods to The Shining and Close Encounters of the Third Kind proving especially hilarious. Hardly five minutes goes by without a Star Wars reference, and every second of screen time from Bill Bailey as owner of the comic shop where Tim works is comedic gold. The look of the series is its other outstanding element, with slam-zooms, dizzying montages, and inspired lighting effects (often paying homage to the Evil Dead movies). It's an affectionate fantasy on the life of the twenty-something that's uncomfortably close to the truth. The second series finds the gang at 23 Meteor Street a little older, but definitely none the wiser. Tim's career is hampered by severe hang-ups over The Phantom Menace. Daisy's career is just plain non-existent. There is still a spark of sexual tension between them, but it's overshadowed by Brian and Twist getting it on. Propelling the seven-episode series arc is the threat of Marsha discovering that none of the relationships are what they seem, Mike's increasing jealousy and a new love interest for Tim. That's the basis for a never-ending stream of in-jokes and references that easily match the quality of the first series. Tim has a Return of the Jedi flashback, then déjà vu in reliving the end of The Empire Strikes Back. There are spoofs of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Robocop, The Sixth Sense and comedy rival The Royle Family. There are guest spots from Bill Bailey, Peter (voice of Darth Maul) Serafinowicz and The League of Gentlemen's Mark Gatiss and Reece Shearsmith. Every episode is packed with highlights, but this series' guaranteed geek pant-wetting moments have to be the mock gun battles, slagging off Babylon 5 and learning that "The second rule of Robot Club is: no smoking." If you loved Shaun Of The Dead you'll love this.moreless
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    Green Wing

    Green Wing

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    Channel 4
    Set in a hospital and from the production team behind Smack The Pony, Green Wing has been described as "part surreal soap, part innovative comedy drama" and follows the sometimes strange, and often amusing, antics of its staff.

    There's new doctor Caroline Todd whose first day on the job is far from perfect. Then there's Dr. Alan Statham, the boring Consultant Radiologist who is constantly being outsmarted by his juniors and who is having a secret affair with hot tempered and no-nonsense Head of Human Resources Joanne Clore.

    To help the staff with any of their problems there is Staff Liaison Office Sue White (who is more likely to laugh at, then help solve, your troubles) and the object of her affection, smooth talking surgeon Dr. "Mac" Macartney who spends most of his time making stupid competitive bets with Anaesthetist Guy "I'm God's gift to women" Secretan.

    Senior Paediatrics Register Dr. Angela Hunter has very little problems, except trying to get that kink out of her boyfriend's ‘perfect' nose, while the girls in admin Kim, Harriet, Naughty Rachel and Karen spend more time talking about their sex lives than actually doing any work.

    And then there are the junior doctors; the confident and sarcastic Boyce and the drippy, useless Dr. Martin Dear who is hated by the patients and desperate for a woman, preferably Dr. Todd if he can manage it.

    Green Wing was devised and produced by Victoria Pile.moreless
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    Garth Marenghi's Darkplace

    Garth Marenghi's Darkplace

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    Channel 4 (ended 2004)
    Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is the brainchild of celebrated horror writer and self-styled "fabulist" Garth Marenghi, author of such genre classics as Afterbirth (a mutated placenta attacks Bristol) and Crab! ("One of the three best horror books about crabs I've ever read" - Hard Gore Magazine). Back in the 1980s, he branched out into television production, writing and starring in a series so radical, so scary and so downright crazy that when the bosses of Channel 4 saw what they had on their hands, they ran away screaming, like little girls. Only now, twenty years on and amid the worst programming drought in television history, have the station finally allowed the show on the air. Intercut with new interviews with Marenghi himself and his co-stars Dean Learner and Todd Rivers, Garth Marenghi's Darkplace is perhaps the most disturbing vision of hospital life ever broadcast.moreless
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    Sugar Rush

    Sugar Rush

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    Channel 4 (ended 2006)
    Sugar Rush explores the world of Kim and her earth-shattering lust for the gorgeous and sassy Maria Sweet, otherwise known as Sugar. And if Sugar wasn't enough to blow Kim's mind, there's also her dysfunctional, embarrassing family - a mini-freak for a brother, an obsessively house-proud dad and a mum who's behaving as if she's the one who's 15 years old. Each episode is a different journey inside Kim's world as her wry observations take us into the mind of a screwed up, loved up, lustful adolescent experiencing the bright lights of Brighton and the rush of forbidden love for the first time.moreless
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