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Lead Balloon : Complete BBC Series 1 [DVD]

4.7 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

Price: £3.73 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Jack Dee, Sean Power, Raquel Cassidy, Anna Crilly, Antonia Campbell-Hughes
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 12 Nov. 2007
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000UX7ASC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,687 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Jack Dee stars as Rick Spleen, a successful but world-weary stand-up comedian who spends too much of his time hosting corporate events in the BBC comedy sitcom, Lead Balloon.

Rick and Marty, his American co-writer, spend their days arguing, drinking too much coffee, and devising work avoidance strategies.

Further distractions are provided by Magda, Rick’s home help, his show-biz agent wife Mel, their teenage daughter Sam and her feckless boyfriend Ben.

Lead Balloon is co-written by Jack Dee and Pete Sinclair. This DVD includes all six episodes in series 1.

Episode 1: "Rubbish" - Rick fronts a lame government TV recycling campaign which backfires spectacularly. He falls out with café-owner Michael over a homemade fruitcake, and has a full-on row with unhinged baby-present shopkeeper Maureen.

Episode 2: "Wayne" - A teaspoon crisis in the Spleen household leads Rick to petty theft. Meanwhile, Rick's sleep is disturbed by the paperboy, Wayne, who is very punctual, very noisy and has a brain the size of a walnut.

Episode 3: "£5,000" - Rick gets in a punch-up at an awards ceremony and ends up with a black eye. Marty is preparing to pitch a programme to the BBC and Michael is delighted that Rick has accidentally sponsored him a small fortune for his Skipathon.

Episode 4: "Allergic" - Rick discovers he may have inadvertently killed one of Britain's best-loved entertainers, but he's preoccupied by a missing shoe-organiser. Meanwhile Rick prepares for upcoming appearance on topical news panel show Bullet in the News.

Episode 5: "Pistachio" - Rick buys himself a scooter but worries that it makes him look gay. Hosting the Air Conditioning and Climate Control Awards goes disastrously, and a trip to the local dry cleaner ends in a heated argument.

Episode 6: "Fatty" - Rick is publicly humiliated on TV by daytime chat-show host Adam Green. He also has an unfortunate encounter with an acquaintance at the gym, and Ben manages to destroy Rick's brand new DVD player by taking the back off.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is British TV comedy at its best, but only if you like this sort of thing! After all, my wife likes Jack Dee but can't stand the excruciating situations in which Rick Spleen finds himself. But I love it... the writing is superb, never overstated, rarely obvious, unlike some of the 'trusty' yet predictable sitcoms the BBC recommissions again and again. Lead Balloon's characters, which all develop nicely in the later series, are a major reason for its success. If you like Fawlty Towers and The Office, you'll probably like Lead Balloon.
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A very charming, funny, and tightly scripted comedy. Initially, I was sceptical about this, as British TV is littered with the corpses of comedians who failed to make the transfer from the stage to the screen (usually it's the other way round)

But this works. Jack Dee plays it deadpan, which has always been his main strength IMO, and the rest of the cast offer some solid support. Michael from the café is suitably annoying, much to Dee's chagrin.
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I might even sue Jack Dee for damage to my ribs with laughing so much!
Very clever, very dry and very black at times - but watchable over and over again.
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By S. Broadbent TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Nov. 2014
Format: DVD
Lead Balloon has to be the most under-rated comedy show on T.V.
I don't understand why it wasn't prime time tele.
Jack Dee is Rick Spleen a jobbing comedian who mostly does the corporate circuit and spends most of his days writing
funny scripts for his next gig with a world weary American writer named Marty (Sean Power).
Every day Rick lunches at the same cafe with its neurotic host Michael (Tony Gardner), and every episode
something always goes wrong for Rick.
At home Rick has a wonderful down to earth wife called Mel (Raquel Cassidy) and an eastern european cleaner called Magda, played brilliantly by Anna Crilly. The set is completed by an annoying neighbour and a teenage daughter who manipulates Rick for money and favours.
This is a gentle show with gentle but clever humour. If not laughing out loud you'll find yourself always smiling as poor, downtrodden Rick desperately tries to win, just once.
I loved this series, without a doubt Jack Dee's finest work. wonderful entertainment.
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Format: DVD
I don't mind Jack Dee but I LOVE this show. I could not believe that it had previously been described as a "5th rate Curb Your Enthusiasm". I am a massive fan of Larry David, have all the Seinfelds & all 5 series of Curb - but honestly get past series 3 & the laughs & plot lines wear pretty thin.

It's easy to look down on Balloon as a poor man's "Curb" if you want to apply some intellectual snobbery but trust me on this - you would be wrong. Sure the show gives Larry & his genius a nod, but the dialogue is razor sharp, the character interplay is witty & well observed. In short it is highly watchable & very funny. An essential gem in any comedy collection. My vote for best new comedy of the year.

Series 2 has a lot to follow.
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By Chunky Monkey TOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Jan. 2016
Format: DVD
Rick Spleen, semi-successful comedian, full time mr grumpy and generally awful person. It's hard to like Jack Dee's character in this because, basically, he's not likeable. His miserable, misanthropic persona, of his stand up, is given full reign here and is also allowed to be selfish and cowardly. It's quite brave of Dee really, because his character is not sympatheic in the least. His warm intelligent, endlessly forgiving partner (Raquel Cassidy), wouldn't be with a man like this, would she?
Anyway, it's beautifully written and acted, particularly the supporting cast who pretty much steal the show. (Magda, the "cleaner" along with his daughter and her boyfriend, and cafe owner, Michael, are great).
I didn't find it laugh out loud funny, but it's wry, witty and clever, with a few "David Brent" moments slong the way. No laughter track. Recommended.
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Format: DVD
This is literally him and his imaginary life in a few episodes. Imagine Jack Dee's life and this is it. Full of dead pan comedy, from house maids not quite linked on to English culture or sarcasm, and daughters with boyfriends cunningly "stealing" Jack's money this is brilliant from start to finish. If you like his stand-up this series will not disappoint.
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Format: DVD
I love Jack Dee's deadpan style. I think its a marmite thing - you either love it or hate it!

I like seeing Jack Dee do something a bit away from his stand up stuff but still with elements of his comedic ways. I also applaud him for trying something different.
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