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16 April 2014
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My Hero

George and Janet

First aired in 2000, My Hero saw popular Irish stand-up Ardal O'Hanlon make the transition from simpleton priest Dougal in Father Ted, to simpleton superhero Thermoman - an alien from the planet Ultron.

The series adopted the well-mined 'alien adapting to life on Earth' device featured in American comedies such as 3rd Rock From The Sun, The Coneheads and Mork and Mindy. 

Thermoman's alter ego is George Sunday, the proprietor of a health food shop.  In spite of his numerous superhero powers, George is a lovable buffoon whose ignorance of human life leads to frequent misunderstandings with (mildly) amusing consequences. 

Ardal O'Hanlon as Thermoman

At the beginning of Series One, Thermoman/George falls in love with Nurse Janet Dawkins after he saves her life while she is on holiday in America.  After George tracks her down Janet falls for him too, despite some initial reservations about the whole Superhero, secret identity thing.

The show's six series see the couple marry and have babies Ollie and Cassie - super-babies who can speak from birth and have full sets of teeth, thanks to some rather unconvincing special effects.

This is all much to the dismay of George's disapproving mother-in-law Ella and her down-trodden husband, Stanley, who would prefer to have Janet's fame-obsessed boss Doctor Piers Crispin as their son-in-law. 

Mrs Raven and Piers

Fortunately, whilst Piers is in love with Janet, he is too busy with his doomed image-boosting schemes to act on his feelings.  Adding to his pain and everyone else's is Crispin's sadistic receptionist Mrs Raven.

Luckily, George has Tyler, his Scouse hippy neighbour on his side, whose bizarre ideas often exceed George's in their stupidity.  George's other confidante is fellow Ultronian and former superhero Uncle Arnie, who runs a diner in Brooklyn.

This quaint family sitcom was created by Paul Mendelson (So Haunt Me, and May To September) and proved popular amongst family audiences.

In the sixth and final series George's role was taken over by James Dreyfus (Gimme Gimme Gimme) after he loses his former human identity in a game of poker.  Despite Dreyfus's valiant efforts without the charm of Ardal O'Hanlon to carry it, ratings fell dramatically and the show was cancelled.

Cast

Ardal O'Hanlon
George Sunday/Thermoman
Emily Joyce
Janet Dawkins
Geraldine McNulty
Mrs Raven
Hugh Dennis
Dr Piers Crispin
Lou Hirsch
Uncle Arnie
Lill Roughley
Ella Dawkins
Tim Wylton
Stanley Dawkins
Philip Whitchurch
Tyler
James Dreyfus
George Sunday/Thermoman

Crew

Paul Mendelson
writer
Paul Mayhew-Archer
writer
Paul Alexander
writer
Simon Braithwaite
writer
Gary Lawson
writer
John Phelps
writer
Ian Brown
writer
James Hendrie
writer
John Stroud
director
Marcus Mortimer
producer
John Stroud John Stroud
producer
John Stroud
producer
Jamie Rix
producer
Geoffrey Perkins
executive producer
Sophie Clarke-Jervoise
executive producer
Paul Mendelson
creator

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