As a fan of Eddie Izzard, my initial interest in watching '40' was in him. Not long into the dvd I was hooked by the affective performances of the quality, ensemble cast--I cannot know if this was contributed to by most being unfamiliar (my being in the US).
'40' blends dark comedy with deep pathos, and soap-opera theatrics with stark reality. The revelations of particular characters shadowed me long after the show had ended. I've read that there are no new stories, only new ways to tell the old ones. The old story '40' tells in a new way, I believe, is that there are no absolutes--everyone has a portion of angel and a portion of devil and it is rarely readily apparent which is greater.