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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it!!
Being from the US and pretty much hating everything on television today I have been looking elsewhere for good decent programming. As a huge long time fan of Red Dwarf and Chris Barrie in particular, I stumbled across Brittas Empire on youtube one day. At first I wasn't sure if I would like it, but after viewing all the way through the first season I was hooked. "The...
Published on 6 April 2009 by Andruff

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great family comedy, bargain price!
Given that I was just six years old when this series began and have only vague recollections of watching repeats on the TV, I was pleased to see I could watch The Brittas Empire Series 1 in its entirety for a bargain price.

The great thing about this series is you don't need an ounce of intelligence or maturity to `get it.' I'm not, of course, saying you're...
Published on 26 Dec 2007 by Lucy Felthouse


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great tv comedy., 16 Mar 2004
This review is from: The Brittas Empire - The Complete Series 1 [1991] [DVD] (DVD)
Although better known as 'Rimmer' in 'Red Dwarf' Chris Barrie excels as the overly caring Gordon Brittas, manager of Whitbury New Town Leisure Centre. Of course, it's because he cares so much that he irritates everyone & messes everything up!
Even if you don't think this series is the best or funniest you've ever seen, stick with it as it does get better!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bureaucracy at its extremes, 11 Sep 2003
By 
K L Woodhams (Aberystwyth, Ceredigion United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Brittas Empire - The Complete Series 1 [1991] [DVD] (DVD)
Mr Brittas runs a health and leisure centre with the help of his staff. Each member of staff brings his or her own problems, but the biggest cause of all the mishaps is surely Mr. Brittas himself. He is ludicrously officious. Mr. Brittas goes by the book and naively expects the same honesty and discipline of staff and public alike.
An extremely funny series, that has not exceeded the bounds of silliness to become idiotic like so many of the latest comedies. As a fan of Red Dwarf, Porridge, Black Adder, Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister, Absolutely Fabulous... I think Brittas Empire holds its own.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable and unique, 16 May 2004
By A Customer
The characters and situations in this show are a little more bizarre than anything likely to happen in the real world. As a general rule I don't like farces but there's some ineffable quality about this series that makes it charming and gives it a few shockingly funny moments in each episode. After having seen a few episodes several years ago I developed a craving to see more.
Living in the USA as I do, I was a bit worried about being able to view this Region 2 DVD set. But when I popped disc 1 into my Windows XP laptop it offered to install DVD viewing software for me and it works quite well.
A great addition to one's comedy collection.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Comedy, 12 Mar 2000
By A Customer
This is a great comedy series, with a great cast. Chris Barrie is perfectly cast as Gordon Brittas, while the best supporting actress, in my opinion, is Julia St. John as the deputy manager Laura. All of the episodes are really funny, but Barrie is the funniest part of the show.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD CLEAN FAMILY FUN, 12 Mar 2004
This review is from: The Brittas Empire - The Complete Series 1 [1991] [DVD] (DVD)
I loved this when it was on TV and videoed a few episodes. Now my sons (8 and 10) can enjoy them - few shows are so funny and completely clean!!!
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36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good comedy from the BBC, 27 May 2007
By 
The Brittas Empire is based around a Leisure centre with a new manager taking over, all seams rosy, but the manager Gordon Brittas has a dream ( Chris Barrie) he wants to use the centre to bring the people together using the centre and it's activities to pursue his goal.

Gordon tries to make a good manager but his attention to detail causes disastrous results as he insist on going by the rules .

He cares about his staff a great deal and tries to help them in the difficulties they face but he just upsets them even more he cannot see the upset he causes with his straight talking.

The first episode will give you a good indication of the way things are .

A receptionist that always seams to be upset because her husband has left her homeless with a baby that she hides in a draw under the counter ( later in the series she has twins the farther works in the centre).

A technical assistant that has more skin dieses than you care to imagine.

Two gay lifeguards.

A secretary that dose the opposite of what Gordon asks for.

An assistant manager that tries to keep the centre running smoothly despite Gordon's interfering antics .

And a wife that is loosing her sanity and is a walking drug store of anti depressants because of Gordon .

I find this funny because I work in a leisure centre and the red tape in the series is very close to the way things are in leisure centres, the writers have done there homework for this series .

No we don't have as many accidents as this I`m glad to say but the innuendos are very similar

I Got in trouble one day for jokingly calling my boss Mr Brittas but he got me back by calling me Colin (the technical assistant)

As good as it is stopping at series seven was the correct decision you can only take a situation so far .

Unlike Allo Allo you get all the episodes ever made and you aren't waiting for what seams like years for the next series to be released.

To sum up a funny series something to laugh at in every episode but not quite as good as allo allo

But to run for seven series the writers must have been doing something right .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic comedy, 24 April 2011
Chris Barrie is the lynchpin around which this series revolves, playing the part of a man with unsquashable self-confidence and complete insensitivity to others.

He MEANS well - he's honest, a hard worker, always lavishes loving compliments on his wife, tries to help his staff achieve their best - but oh lord, oh lord, what a horribly irritating man Gordon Brittas is! Chris Barrie plays this wonderful character rôle to perfection, with superbly irritating gestures and expressions that make him a byword throughout Whitbury.

The first series begins with Brittas taking up a new managerial position as manager of Whitbury New Town Leisure Centre, and his staff quickly come to realise that he is one of nature's natural irritants. He is obsessed with red tape, just doesn't listen to others (although he's convinced he is an ideal listener), and has the knack of saying exactly the wrong thing - again, he is convinced the trouble is with everyone else, not with himself. One the first day at the Leisure Centre, more than half the staff resign. The construction workers at the centre can hardly believe Brittas' behaviour, and an uproar ensues. It's all quite manic and surreal... and the stalwart few staff members who remain are all fascinating characters in their own right.

There's Gavin, a pleasant attendant who is later led to have managerial aspirations; there's Tim, younger and inclined to jealousy (the two are clearly in a homosexual relationship, although this is treated in an understated way and Brittas never seems to realise); there's Linda, young and a bit naïve, who is later shown to have an elderly boyfriend and to have been accepted for theological college; there's Carole, the permanently weeping receptionist who lurches from one disaster to another and who keeps her newborn in a drawer behind the reception desk (later in a cupboard); there's Colin, the boil-infested deputy manager who suffers from every known disease and whose reasons for being late to staff meetings are always hilarious; there's Laura, the "real" deputy manager, who is the only sane character (beautifully played with warm charm by Julia St John) - Laura finds Brittas frustrating because she can see he really cares about things, has wonderful intentions, but in actually dealing with people, he is a DISASTER!; and of course Helen, Brittas' pill-swallowing unstable wife who not only has a fragile self-esteem but also has to cope with actually being married to such an irritating man - she becomes quite manic if she perceives a slight against her children, and has other minor issues such as a history of shop-lifting, having affairs (with ridiculous excuses which Gordon absolutely believes - he trusts her completely), and assaulting teachers who don't give her son full marks.

A little later the team is joined by Julie, the "I'm busy" secretary who refuses to do a thing Brittas says with wonderful northern intransigence, and who is also behind the sending of Brittas to Coventry when something he does tries his staff just that bit too far.

The ensemble cast is wonderful; the stories are gems of clever hilarity, and Gordon Brittas is one of those characters whom one grows to love in spite of hating. (He reminds me a little of Basil Fawlty, another brilliant character built on the idea of utter irritation).

I thought the series went badly downhill after season 5, when the original writers left and the character of Laura also departed. There were some good moments in seasons 6 and 7, but nothing of the standard of 1-5.

Some of my favourite episodes include "Bye Bye Baby" in which Carole's baby goes missing, her estranged husband finds the wrong baby in a drawer, and a guest speaker on stress management is driven past breaking point by Brittas' annoying behaviour; "Stop Thief" in which Brittas mistakenly assumes that a staff member has been stealing and sets up elaborate plans to find the culprit, and also in which Helen Brittas is trying to convince her new doctor that she cannot cope without pills; "An Inspector Calls", in which the appalling attendance figures to the Leisure Centre lead Brittas to think he will be fired when a Southern Area inspector visits the centre... Oh, I can't restrict myself to just a few episodes! Watch the series - in the words of Brittas, it's "Eeeeeehhhhxcellent".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More Chris Barrie - Exceeeeelent!, 16 Mar 2004
Chris Barrie is just the perfect annoying man.....at least his tv characters are! I'm convinced that Gordon Brittas would be the most irritating man in the World if he were real & I'm sure most people know someone like him!
But be ready, the best of this series is still to come!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to Whitbury Newtown Leisure Centre..., 17 Mar 2009
By 
Dr. Standen (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Gordon Brittas (Chris Barrie) is a simple soul. In many ways he resembles a modern-day Frank Spencer (Some mothers do 'ave 'em) Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em: The Complete Collection [1973] [DVD] who can easily turn the simplest of problems at the leisure centre into full-blown catastrophe's.

Gordon runs the leisure centre his way and by his rules. His jobs-worth attitude, mannerisms and in fact just about everything he says and does irritates his customers to the point that the centre stands empty most of the time.

On one occasion Gordon's wife attended the doctor for a renewal of her tranquiliser tablets, but the doctor couldn't comprehend why she needed to many and insisted upon meeting her husband. I remember him handing two prescriptions to her saying, "This is your prescription Mrs Brittas and this one is for the really bad days".

The funny thing is that he is oblivious to the problems that he causes and just moves from one disaster to the next.

Gordon will make you cringe, laugh and even cry with some of his antics and I would recommend this DVD set to anyone who was a fan when the series was first shown. Good quality family entertainment that doesn't resort to swearing or crudeness to get laughs.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very well done, 18 Jan 2004
This review is from: The Brittas Empire - The Complete Series 1 [1991] [DVD] (DVD)
These first DVDs are of the series' written by Andrew Norriss and Richard Fegen, and guarantee complex, intelligent, and very funny plots each time. Each member of the leisure centre staff has a well-developed individual character, which most people who've worked in any kind of staff team will empathise with; whether it's Carole the ever-tearful (and ever pregnant) receptionist, Colin the smelly junior manager and caretaker, Laura the competent assistant manager or the always-put-upon gay couple and deft pool attendants Tim and Gavin. Just brilliant!! I wish they'd re-run them on BBC again to give everyone a second chance at seeing these wonderful programmes.
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