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
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  • Classic Scottish Comedy.

    One of the few funniest comedies of all time.

    It gathers typical Scottish humour and takes it one step further into the unknown. It's well written and has on the mark performances by Alan Cumming and Forbes Masson. This team work incredibly well together to combine full of life physical comedy with lighting speed wit.

    Had the whole continued for a second series, I have no doubt that the writing would've developed even further and it would've taken a long time for the series to become one dimensional.

    I remember the first time I ever saw this! So simple and clever! Excellent work!moreless