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Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Twenty Twelve (BBC Four)

Take a pinch of The Office, some Green Wing staff, a teaspoonful of The Thick Of It, the hot frumpy one off Spaced and the voice of one Ex-Doctor and what do you get? That's right - new BBC Four comedy "Twenty Twelve", a mockumentary series following the fictional goings on in the offices of those responsible for making sure the 2012 Olympic Games go to plan - "with hilarious consequences".

Starring some of the best comedy actors in Britain, including Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey), Olivia Coleman (Peep Show), Karl Theobald (Green Wing), Jessica Hynes (Spaced), Vincent Franklin (The Thick Of It) and Amelia Bullmore (I'm Alan Partridge) - and with a tongue in cheek voice over from Tenth Doctor David Tennant - Twenty Twelve almost shines as brightly as all of the shows whose cast it seems to have stolen. Almost. But not quite.

Monday's first episode, of six, began rather cautiously. Some of the jokes were signposted so clearly that the laughs just couldn't be tickled out of me, while other laughs came from things I thought should have happened as the episode went on, but didn't. It's something I will definitely stick with - if nothing else, it's another three hours of Theobald and Coleman! That's never something a proud comedy fan should ever turn down.

I have a feeling that, like so many things lately, this one will grow on me as the series progresses. By week five I shall no doubt be singing its praises to all who find themselves unlucky enough to encounter me. But we'll see. It's worth a look. BBC Four, Mondays at 10.30pm, or catch up on iPlayer. Go on! You know you want to!