The success of The Fast Show
has always relied on the number of sketches devoted to your favourite characters. While this, the last ever series, suffers a little for the loss of Caroline Aherne (presumably busy with The Royle Family
?), and from the fact that those sketches based on a single catch-phrase or joke--Jessie's Diets, "Which was nice", and even the cough-prone Bob Fleming--seem to be running out of steam, the show's more rounded creations are all back and still going strong. Swiss Tony has emerged from therapy a new man, Colin Hunt gets the sack from his beloved office job and Ralph struggles on with his unrequited love for handyman Ted. There are new characters: a ragged, Charlton Heston-like astronaut who runs into different situations screaming, "What year is this? Who is the President?!", and a cynical, middle-aged woman who meets every note of human kindness she encounters with a sarcastic "Hah!", are particular standouts. However, as always, the series works best when the regular characters collide with contemporary phenomena, so here we have Indecisive Dave being phoned by a friend who's appearing on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?
; the "Suits You!" tailors harassing an incognito Johnny Depp; the cheeky criminal stealing a child's Pokémon cards; John Actor playing hard-nosed interior designer Laurence Lewellyn Monkfish in Changing Monkfish
; the send-up of recent gangster Brit flicks A Right Royal Barrel of Cockney Monkeys
(populated entirely by pseudo-cockney public schoolboys); and a sketch in which Channel 9's gardening presenter is assisted by a topless woman. Nice Dimmocks! --Paul Philpott
Actors: Paul Whitehouse, Simon Day, Charlie Higson, John Thomson, Arabella WeirManufacturer: BBC