Outnumbered. Image shows from L to R: Ben (Daniel Roche), Pete (Hugh Dennis), Jake (Tyger Drew-Honey), Karen (Ramona Marquez), Sue (Claire Skinner). Image credit: Hat Trick Productions.

Repeat Scheduled:
  Mon 11th (9:30pm)

Outnumbered

A semi-improvised sitcom based around a young family in London, starring Hugh Dennis and Claire Skinner

Genre:
Sitcom
Broadcast:
2007 - 2014  (BBC One)
Episodes:
35 (5 series)
Starring:
Hugh Dennis, Claire Skinner, Tyger Drew-Honey, Daniel Roche, Ramona Marquez, Samantha Bond, David Ryall, Lorraine Pilkington
Writers:
Guy Jenkin, Andy Hamilton
Production:
Hat Trick Productions

Outnumbered is a semi-improvised sitcom based around a couple and their three young children.

Pete and Sue, the parents, are 'outnumbered' by their three children. The comedy follows the daily chaos of their life as they are locked in an un-equal contest with their three kids.

The kids are Karen, a regal young girl with a talent for interrogation; Ben, a boy who could out-fib Jeffrey Archer; and intelligent but moody teenager Jake.

The series observes the well-meaning parental incompetence that happens in most homes, as a beleaguered mum and dad attempt to raise their kids with the minimum of emotional damage for all concerned.

Our Review: Despite the experimental scheduling of the first series, Outnumbered still managed to become a massive smash-hit for BBC One, to the extent it has racked up a string of award nominations (and wins) over the last few years.

This website received more emails about Outnumbered than any other comedy in 2007; most of the correspondence was from parents saying how much they enjoyed the show - particularly the talents of the three young stars: Tyger Drew-Honey, Daniel Roche and the delightful Ramona Marquez.

It should be noted not everyone is a fan though, some have said they find it 'stressful to watch' and comment that the improvisation is 'just an excuse for it not being funny'.

However, we think the show is absolutely fantastic, and it is all thanks to the fact that the children aren't overly scripted or directed - this allows Outnumbered to really capture middle-class British family life better than any other recent TV series we've seen. Family life is essentially funny - especially the questions that kids ask their parents.

That all said, the most recent series didn't quite feel as natural as those before. Has the show run its course, as some commentators have suggested, or is it becoming something a little different?