The High Life

BBC Two (ended 1995)


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The High Life

Show Summary

Set aboard a plane for the fictitious Scottish airline, Air Scotia, The High Life was a vehicle for the up-and-coming young Scottish commedians Alan Cumming (now best known for his turns in Goldeneye, X-Men II and musical theatre) and Forbes Masson. The show mixed very camp humour with ludicrous situations and bizarre dance routines to great effect.

The series span out of a pilot made for the series "Comic Asides" (this still exists and has been made available on the Region 0 DVD distributed by Network Videos) but sadly only one series of six episodes was made before the series was cancelled. Alan Cumming started taking higher profile movie roles whilst Forbes Masson returned to the theatre where he has gained much critical acclaim as a playwright.

The show never really struck a chord with a wide audience, although it does still have a cult fanbase, but it was equally praised and derided for its breakneck pace and energy and for its use of Scots. At a time when comedy was seemingly either formulaic or archaic "The High Life" bridged the gap by taking a traditional sitcom set-up but injecting many of the trappings of alternative comedy.

The pilot episode aired on January 9, 1994.moreless