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The Bathroom

Don't Start, Series 2 Episode 4 of 4

13 minutes
First broadcast:
Wednesday 03 October 2012

Kim calls Neil into the bathroom for an impromptu debate about shaving, the Krankies and Phantom of the Opera - but to what end?

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?"

Neil ..... Frank Skinner
Kim ..... Katherine Parkinson

Directed and Produced by Polly Thomas
Executive Producer: Jon Thoday
An Avalon production for BBC Radio 4.


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