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People Like Us - Series 1 [DVD] [1999]

Chris Langham , John Morton    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
Price: £5.70 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

People Like Us - Series 1 [DVD] [1999] + People Like Us - Series 2 [DVD] + Human Remains [DVD] [2000]
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Product details

  • Actors: Chris Langham
  • Directors: John Morton
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 16 Sep 2002
  • Run Time: 173 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006G9VJ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,328 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

The complete first series of the spoof documentary series. Hapless investigative reporter Roy Mallard (Chris Langham) has an unfortunate knack of being a fly in the ointment rather than a fly on the wall. In 'The Managing Director' Roy looks at the work of a hi-tech business who are currently in the middle of negotiations with a Japanese company. 'The Estate Agent' finds Roy spending a day with a Sussex estate agency where relationships between the staff are more than a little strained. In 'The Police Officer' Roy ends up in hot water when a fairly routine day observing PC David Knight (Tom Goodman-Hill) results in a suicidal rescue mission. In 'The Solicitor' Roy's inimitable style causes trouble for the husband-wife legal team at Broadbent & Broadbent. In 'The Photographer' Roy spends a day getting to know Will Rushmoore (Bill Nighy), a local photographer who hopes to put on an arty exhibition at a big London gallery. Finally, in 'The Head Teacher', Roy stumbles into the internecine warfare that rumbles among the staff of King Edward VII Comprehensive in Ashford.


The spoof documentary has long been a source of television comedy, but few series can claim to have hit the target as accurately as the BBC's People Like Us. The six episodes of the first series offer moment after moment of well observed, thoughtful and hilarious humour. Taking the fly-on-the-wall documentary genre as its inspiration, it focuses on the everyday lives of a range of different people: businessman, teacher, policeman, photographer, estate agent and solicitor. The comedy walks the line between the observational and the absurd (much of the dialogue is similar to that used in The Day Today) but mixes the two to perfection.

The man behind the camera is the hapless Roy Mallard, played by Chris Langham, but he is seldom seen. It was the type of role that Langham was to reprise in the film The Big Tease but for now, People Like Us remains his finest hour. Have fun also spotting the number of actors who would go onto greater things in the likes of Smack the Pony and Rescue Me. --Phil Udell --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite shows 5 Aug 2002
People Like Us follows inept reporter Roy Mallard (Chris Langham) as he explores a different job in each episode. In this, the first season, he visits the manager of a large company, a real estate agent, a police officer, a school master, a photographer, and a lawyer. Written by John Morton and based on the BBC Radio show, People Like Us is a perfect example of how television *should* be. The scripts are superb, John Morton weaves an unbelievable number of jokes throughout the show (pay particular attention to Roy's narration). A good script alone doesn't make a great show, but luckly for People Like Us, it's also blessed with wonderful actors. Chris Langham (Kiss Me Kate), the show's only recurring character, fits the role of Roy Mallard perfectly. The actors who portray Roy's subjects, or should that be victims, are of the highest quality. Look for future stars such as Sarah Alexander (Coupling). This first series of People Like Us- while not a huge hit- won much critic acclaim. The show only got better with the second series, but sadly it looks as if there won't be a third. I heard rumors that Morton wrote a third series which took place in America, but the BBC turned down the show. Buy this DVD, you won't regret it, and maybe the sales of the DVD will send a message to the BBC -We want more People Like Us.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funniest 'Mockumentary' Series Ever 20 Mar 2002
By A Customer
This is really one of the gems of the new style "subtle" comedy of recent years.
The 'fake documentary' format is of a much higher quality than other programmes (such as 'The Office'), and extends to the point that it was advertised and announced as a serious documentary, with the actors and actresses not credited as such. (Their names appear merely in a "With thanks to..." during the ending titles.)
This concept coupled with the typical eighties style theme music and "always unseen" presenter makes for an interesting gimmick, but not necessarily for an interesting programme. Amazingly, however, it is John Morton's script and directing which turns the series from a great idea to a fantastically high quality programme.
With the transfer to television from the radio series Morton has managed to utilise the visual medium to its advantage, most famously with the shyness of the presenter, Roy Mallard (played perfectly by Chris Langham), him not appearing on the camera at all, with only glimpses of his hand and the odd reflection in a window.
But it's not just Chris Langham who is good; *all* of the cast are absolutely excellent, especially as each episode features all new characters, with nearly all of the actors being unknowns. (Though admittedly since being in 'PLU' many, such as Sarah Alexander, are pretty well recognised!)
Think I've rambled on far too much, but the last note should be about the rewatchability of the series. The jokes are spread so thickly and yet discreetly that you can be watching an episode for the fifth time and notice a joke you hadn't spotted before ever, usually because you were laughing so hard from the previous line! Well, happens in my case, anyway.
Oh, forgot to say the sort of subject matter.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comic Genius 1 May 2009
Great mocumentary. A must for spoof fans or fans of the Office.

Interviewer: How long have you worked here?
Worker: About 16 years.
Interviewer: And did you imagine you'd be working here for 16 years.
Worker: No, I really have been working here.

Well written and performed brilliantly, it helps cement your faith in British comedy.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deadpan genius 9 Aug 2006
Chris Langham is an understated comedy genius in this series of documentary spoofs. He manages to create a character of depth out of his hapless, largely unseen interviewer which is brilliantly brought out by his subjects. The photographer episode is my firm favourite with Bill Nighy as the fragile ego'd title role. Just buy it if you love things like 'The Day Today' or 'Human Remains' for a classic british comedy full of the self deprecating humour us Brits are masters of.

BUT WHERE,BBC, IS THE SECOND SERIES DVD. Sadly overdue methinks.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roy Rules!! 19 Oct 2003
I was already a massive Alan Partridge/Brass Eye fanatic and couldnt believe my luck when i found something funnier drier and smarter. I have never laughed so much or so often....first time i saw the joy that is Roy Mallard on TV I actually thought it was a real documentary which only reflects its brillance...People Like Us is superb understated and brutally hysterically true ...from the over zealous PA in the Managing Director Epsiode to the folically challenged police big wig in the Police Officer Episode...The memory lapse client in the Solictor Epsiode...the progressive pupil centred teaching in the Headmaster Episode... and not forgetting the postcode hitler in the Estate Agent Episode (my personal favourite). You know someone like that or wish you did..... This is unmissable for anyone with a sense of humour...and will cure anyone else who hasnt....I see something new everytime I watch. I defy you not to want a Roy of your own after seeing this....
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever comedy 17 Jan 2005
By A Customer
Cleverly scripted and brilliantly performed (often by actors little known at the time but who have gone on to make names for themselves), filled with characters so concerned with their own little world they barely notice anyone passing through. This is the kind of programme where you need to concentrate or you'll miss so many of the jokes that are littered about - "I go to the gym on average twice a week, but usually more often than that". Every time you watch it you notice something else you missed last time round...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Funniest mockumentary ive ever seen love these
Funniest mockumentary ive ever seen love these
Published 12 days ago by Mr. D. L. Utton
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the first of two series by Chris Langham ...
This is the first of two series by Chris Langham and it is quite frankly hilarious. Rush out and buy it now.
Published 1 month ago by Pam Pike
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
as described
Published 3 months ago by Mike Blackmun
5.0 out of 5 stars See my review of series 2
All my previous comments are applicable to this. It's a shame, but nut surprising, that the BBC won't be showing repeats of it.
Published 8 months ago by C. G. Hoyland
3.0 out of 5 stars ON THE WHOLE, DISAPPOINTING
Having previously seen 'The Vicar', which I considered hilarious, I ordered the whole series. Apart from 'The Vicar', and possibly the airline pilot episode, it really wasn't what... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mr. E. D. Payne
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless Classic British Dry Humour at it's best..
I remember watching a couple of these years ago when they were on TV and more recently I came across an old recording that brought back the memories to buy both series on DVD... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Marky
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Series
Even though this is now looking a little dated, it's still got some excellent episodes in it and even for those that aren't quite so good, there are great moments in them. Read more
Published 19 months ago by J. Farnhill
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful talent
This is brilliant dry humour that deserves a wider audience. What a wonderful talent that has been lost to the PC brigade
Published 23 months ago by chiswickW4
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely genius mockumentary
Coming along before The Office, The Thick Of It, Twenty Twelve and so on, this series seems almost forgotten, which is a real pity. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars Six Examples of the Spoof Documentary on one DVD
I have just ordered the second series of 'People Like Us' If it's as good as this first series I'm in for a real treat as this is comedy of the very highest order. Read more
Published 23 months ago by ken burnett
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