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The Notebook

Don't Start, Series 2 Episode 1 of 4

What do long term partners really argue about? Sharp new comedy from Frank Skinner returns for a second series. Starring Frank Skinner and Katherine Parkinson.

The first series of Don't Start met with instant critical and audience acclaim: "That he can deliver such a heavy premise for a series with such a lightness of touch is testament to his skills as a writer and, given that the protagonists are both bookworms, he's also permitted to use a flourish of fine words that would be lost in his stand-up routines". Jane Anderson, Radio Times.

"Writing and starring in the four-parter Don't Start (Radio 4) Frank Skinner gives full rein to his sharp but splenetic comedy. He and his co-star Katherine Parkinson play a bickering couple exchanging acerbic ripostes in a cruelly precise dissection of a relationship". Daily Mail

... "a lesson in relationship ping-pong" - Miranda Sawyer, The Observer.
Series 2 follows hard on its heels. Well observed, clever and funny, Don't Start is a scripted comedy with a deceptively simple premise - an argument. Each week, our couple fall out over another apparently trivial flashpoint - the Krankies, toenail trimming and semantics. Each week, the stakes mount as Neil and Kim battle with words. But these are no ordinary arguments. The two outdo each other with increasingly absurd images, unexpected literary references (the Old Testament, Jack Spratt and the first Mrs Rochester, to name a few) and razor sharp analysis of their beloved's weaknesses. Underneath the cutting wit, however, there is an unmistakable tenderness".

Frank says:
"Having established in the first series that Neil and Kim are a childless academic couple who during their numerous arguments, luxuriate in their own and each other's learning and wit, I've tried in the second series to dig a little deeper into their relationship. Love and affection occasionally splutter into view, like a Higgs boson in a big tunnel-thing, but can such emotions ever prevail in a relationship where the couple prefers to wear their brains, rather than their hearts, on their sleeves? Is that too much offal imagery?

Episode 1: The Notebook
Frank's apparently innocent discovery of an old notebook strangely rekindles Kim's former enthusiasm for Frisbee throwing.

Directed and produced by Polly Thomas
An Avalon Production for BBC Radio 4.

Release date:

15 minutes

Last on

Tue 10 Nov 2015 22:30

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Role Contributor
NeilFrank Skinner
KimKatherine Parkinson
DirectorPolly Thomas
ProducerPolly Thomas
WriterFrank Skinner