This programme is not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Sidekick Stories

A celebration of the TV sidekick.

Narrated by Catherine Tate (Donna Noble to David Tennant's Dr Who), Sidekick Stories looks at the role of the assistant/companion on television, from drama to sitcom, and light entertainment to children's programmes.

What are the literary antecedents of the TV sidekick - and who's the greatest of them all? What's the dramatic function of the game show hostess? Did the That's Life reporters feel emasculated? How do you create a memorable robot? And what's it like playing straight man to a puppet?

We examine the role of the companion in Dr Who (the man with the most sidekicks in TV history) and reveal the hidden talents of the magician's assistant. There's Edward Hardwicke on how to play Dr Watson; Andrew Sachs on the enduring appeal of Manuel, and Isla St Clair on life as 'principal boy' to Larry Grayson's 'dame'.

The show also features Ian Carmichael (Lord Peter Wimsey; Jeeves and Wooster) in his last ever television interview.

1 hour

Last on

Sat 16 Jul 2011 22:30


Role Contributor
NarratorCatherine Tate
ParticipantAndrew Sachs
ParticipantEdward Hardwicke
ParticipantTony Robinson
ParticipantElisabeth Sladen
ParticipantRobert Llewellyn
ParticipantMarshall Lancaster
ParticipantDebbie McGee
ParticipantMatthew Sweet
ParticipantKim Newman
ParticipantDavid Quantick
ParticipantVal McDermid
Executive ProducerJohn Moulson
ProducerRachel Boyd
DirectorRachel Boyd