BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

28 October 2014

BBC Homepage

Contact Us

Bruiser

Bruiser

With its cheerful opening titles, introducing the cast members through a jovial ballroom dancing sequence, Bruiser seems at first glance to be an incongruous name for this short-lived BBC TWO ensemble sketch show.

But throughout each of its six episodes there lay under the surface a sharp, dark edge to its humour.

Martin Freeman with Sparky the puppet in Bruiser

And if the series itself is not widely remembered, it's notable not least for bringing together an immensely talented group of young performers who have since joined the 'A' list of British comedians.

Mixing bizarre characters with send-ups of television genres including satellite channels and BBC schools revision programmes, the quick-fire style never failed to keep viewers guessing what might crop up next.

The recurring gags often worked well, including an appallingly thoughtless American TV reporter and the imagined hit interview series 'Outdoor Wee': a set of mid-urination conversations with the stars, among whom retired cricket umpire Dickie Harold gets somewhat carried away.

A pre-Peep Show Mitchell and Webb led both the cast and writing team and several sketches show early hallmarks of their later TV and radio double act.

David Mitchell and Olivia Colman in Bruiser

They were supported by longstanding collaborator Olivia Colman as well as a fresh-faced Matt Holness and Martin Freeman.

Following a growing trend at the time, Bruiser was broadcast without the addition of a laughter track, which in places suited its jilted humour but offered no hiding place when jokes misfired.

Overall, despite so much talent on screen and a writing team that included Ricky Gervais, the series underachieved and with a surprisingly low count of laugh-out-loud moments it wasn't recommissioned for a second run.

Nonetheless it did sustain a vibrant energy, kept alive by a fresh and gifted team of comic performers learning their craft.

Cast

Martin Freeman
performer
David Mitchell
performer
Robert Webb
performer
Olivia Colman
performer
Matt Holness
performer
Charlotte Hudson
performer

Crew

David Mitchell
writer
Robert Webb
writer
Nick Jones
director
David Tomlinson
producer
Jon Plowman
executive producer

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy