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28 October 2014

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Benton, Reeves and Mortimer in sitcom Catterick

Unhinged, dark, mystifying and bizarre, Catterick gave full range to the oddball antics of Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer.

Exactly hitting upon the experimental remit of BBC THREE, this was Reeves and Mortimer unleashed and the results were certainly unique.

Chris and Carl are formerly estranged brothers, who reunite on what becomes a dark and bizarre road movie in an attempt to track down Carl's son.

Bob Mortimer and Vic Reeves in Catterick

The place name Catterick might be real, but everything else around this piece has a defiantly surreal aura: with Vic's obviously false facial hair and the bizarre diction of a number of the characters spinning out reams of oddness.

The central duo managed to recruit a Who's Who of contemporary comic talent to augment their ranks: Little Britain's Matt Lucas as an eccentric hotel manager whose penis is kept in a jar (it was lopped off after an accident involving the till); Absolutely's Morwenna Banks as his incredulous and long suffering girlfriend Tess; Mark Benton as the hotel's harassed dogsbody Mark; Charlie Higson as bad tempered barman Pat and best of all, a splendid Reece Shearsmith as a raving psychopath.

Matt Lucas in Catterick

Reeves, Lucas and Mortimer also double up as the deluded DI Fowler, his sidekick Webster and down-and-out Derek respectively.

After the relatively straightforward (well, compared to this anyway) Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) remake, this was Reeves and Mortimer's attempt to crowbar their flights of fancy into some form of narrative.

Whether it was wholly successful or not is debatable (silly voices and deliberate mispronunciation of words can seem childish and self indulgent rather than funny if you're in the wrong mood), but a further run might have cemented it as a cult classic.

Tepid ratings, however, seem to indicate that the show won't be back.

One to file under love it or loathe it.


Morwenna Banks
Reece Shearsmith
Vic Reeves
Chris Palmer, DI Fowler
Bob Mortimer
Carl Palmer
Matt Lucas
Roy Oates, Dan the Shellfish man, Webster
Charlie Higson
Pat the barman
Mark Benton
Frank Jarvis
Tim Healy


Vic Reeves
Bob Mortimer
Matt Lipsey
Lisa Clarke
Mark Freeland
executive producer
Alan Marke
executive producer

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