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20 April 2014
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Swiss Toni

Cast of Swiss Toni

"Writing about Swiss Toni is very like making love to a beautiful woman", as Toni himself might have said...

Before adding an innuendo-laden explanation involving delicately running your fingers over something touch-sensitive and not worrying about the size of your space bar.

Charlie Higson as Swiss Toni

Swiss Toni is a silver-fox car salesman and would-be master of woo, who believes the key to any woman's heart is fine wines and Belgian chocolates.

Originally created by Higson and Bob Mortimer, Toni first appeared on The Smell of Reeves and Mortimer before making regular appearances on The Fast Show.

Simon Day as Geoff

In his sitcom incarnation, Toni is the self-deluding owner of a car showroom staffed by top salesman and alcoholic Geoff Fowler (a brilliant performance by Simon Day who improvised many of his lines), eager trainee Paul and general Girl Friday and occasional Toni lust-object Miranda.

While outwardly oozing confidence from every pore, underneath Toni is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, half-aware he is an insecure fraud unable to sell a single car.

Ruth and Swiss Toni

At home his timid wife Ruth is condemned to a passionless marriage in which she spends more time mothering Toni than loving him... which is fortunate given his real mum is a harridan whose maternal skills have left her son barely capable of expressing a single emotion.

Launched on BBC3 in 2003, at a time when other sitcoms like The Office and Marian and Geoff were striving for low-key, on-location realism, Swiss Toni bucked the trend by being brightly lit, set-based and recorded in front of an audience.

While series one sometimes relied too heavily on sitcom conventions, the second widened out into often surreal humour, even as Swiss's life descended further into chaos with the break-up of his marriage - something even Belgian chocolates couldn't solve.

Cast

Charlie Higson
Swiss Toni
Matilda Ziegler
Ruth
Simon Day
Geoff Fowler
Rhys Thomas
Paul Jeremy Cruff
Emma Rydal
Miranda Mallet
Elizabeth Spriggs
Mother

Crew

Charlie Higson
writer
Gareth Roberts
writer
Rhys Thomas
writer
Simon Day
writer
Ben Kellett
director
Dominic Brigstocke
director
Charlie Higson
producer
Geoffrey Perkins
producer

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