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The Nick Revell Show

The Nick Revell Show
Radio 4
Series One 1992 (six episodes)
Series Two 1993 (six episodes)

Billed as a "sitcom for the nineties" -- whatever that might mean -- this was a fresh and funny series written by and starring Nick Revell, who created The Million Pound Radio Show with Andy Hamilton and wrote for countless television projects from the early eighties onwards.  In many ways, the set-up was fairly conventional: the central character (who had Revell's own name, after the fashion of American sitcom) was a struggling North London writer with a selection of dysfunctional friends, a domineering agent, a sympathetic barman, etc, etc.  But what made The Nick Revell Show unique was that Nick also conversed on a regular basis with Vince, a talking geranium who lived in his flat.  (In an interview, Revell once explained the presence of Vince and his potmate Alvin, who also made the odd vocal contribution, in the most prosaic terms, as a mere device to allow Nick to have conversations in his flat without the liability of a flatmate to drag through the storylines; in fact, the geraniums are probably more representative of Revell's penchant for adding surrealist and magic-realist touches.  This tendency also made its presence felt in certain episodes of Drop The Dead Donkey, the Channel 4 TV series cowritten by Andy Hamilton and to which Revell was an occasional contributor, and was given full rein in Revell's most recent radio comedy, The House of the Spirit Levels).

Notable faces among the changing cast were Doon Mackichan and Alistair McGowan as the bickering Dundonians Shona and Craig.  Two series were made.  It might have been considered that the presence of Vince the geranium rendered the show a strictly radio phenomenon, but before long a TV pilot appeared entitled N7 (from the London postal code; the name was changed because Revell did not actually appear, with the 'Nick' role going to actor James Larkin).  No TV series followed, in spite of the magnificent performance of Phil Daniels as Vince.

Commercial releases: Two episodes from the first series were released on the BBC Canned Laughter label.

© JB Sumner 1998-2000. Last modified 9/3/2000