Plus One

What do you do when your girlfriend leaves you to marry Duncan from boyband Blue? You decide to outshine them on their wedding day

Channel 4 Comedy Showcase 2007
Comedy Showcase: Plus One
2007 - 2009  (Channel 4)
6 (pilot + 1 series)
Daniel Mays, Miranda Raison, Duncan James, Ruth Bradley, Nigel Harman, Ingrid Oliver, Steve John Shepherd, Steve Jones
Tim Allsop, Stewart Williams
Kudos Productions

What do you do when your girlfriend leaves you to marry Duncan from boyband Blue? You decide to outshine them on their wedding day, that's what!

Plus One follows the best efforts of Rob Black as he tries to secure a beautiful woman as his date to the wedding in an attempt to get his own back on his ex-girlfriend.

Struggling to restore his self-esteem after his girlfriend Linsey left him and a freak sewage pipe explosion wrecked his flat, Rob can't help comparing Duncan's life to his own miserable existence. Even his family and friends think that Duncan is better than him.

But when he receives an invitation to Duncan and Linsey's wedding, Rob sees an opportunity to get his own back: "I'm single, homeless, sleeping on my sister's couch and everything I own smells of shit, but the invitation says 'plus one'. So, while I'm never going to be as impressive as Duncan from Blue, I'll take a date along who is. I'll be fighting fire with fire. Sexy fire."

Ludicrous as this sounds, Rob strikes gold when his colleague Laura suggests he has a date with her gorgeous flatmate Nicky. Rob takes a purely platonic approach in his mission to secure a beautiful date for the big day, but Nicky's interest in him makes Rob deviate from his original plan: maybe there could be something more there... A disastrous second date nearly ruins everything but Rob reckons that with a bit of top-rank grovelling he could still walk into Linsey's wedding with the most beautiful girl in the world. Unless of course he screws up badly...

Over the five episodes, with the wedding date fast approaching, Rob becomes increasingly desperate to attract a date that will restore his pride.

Our Review: The pilot of this sitcom, which derived most of its humour from farce and fantasy dream-sequences, was a lot of fun. It reminded us a bit of The Worst Week Of My Life, in that the main character unluckily found himself at the centre of some terrible mis-understandings. We particularly laughed at the 'hot chili incident' that occurred during the episode!

There was a flaw with the pilot though... the central character was probably a bit too spiteful and smug to win our affections - as a result we didn't feel as sorry for him as we were probably meant to.

The full series not only has corrected this weakness, but extended the premise into something more rounded by introducing a potential love interest for Rob, in the form of his workmate Laura (Ruth Bradley).

The most noticeable change though was that the lead actor - Rory Kinnear, who played Rob in the pilot - couldn't do the full series (because of commitments at the National Theatre) so Daniel Mays took over the main role.

The real star of the series was the under-used Nigel Harman as Rich's brother though. He stole every scene he was in. Duncan James deserves to be mentioned too for admirably sending himself up, and proving he is more than just an ex-boyband member and "ice skating bastard" (Rob's words).

Despite the poor final episode, Plus One was a very enjoyable series. The writers left the door open for a second series, but Channel 4 have sadly decided not to renew the show. The reason given by C4's head of comedy Shane Allen was: "With so many big shows returning, we needed to make room for new stuff."