The Wright Way. Image shows from L to R: Gerald Wright (David Haig), Malika Maha (Mina Anwar), Bernard Stanning (Toby Longworth). Image credit: Phil McIntyre Entertainment.

The Wright Way

Sitcom written by Ben Elton, set in a council's health and safety department. Stars David Haig

Slings And Arrows (Working Title)
2013  (BBC One)
6 (1 series)
David Haig, Mina Anwar, Luke Gell, Toby Longworth, Kacey Ainsworth, Joanne Matthews, Beattie Edmondson, Brenda Edwards, Robert Daws
Ben Elton
Phil McIntyre Entertainment

Gerald Wright runs the Baselricky Council Health & Safety Department with a team of misfits who, despite their best efforts, seem to cause as much chaos as humanly possible in their mission to make Britain safer.

Few Council Officers take their commitment to the health and safety of the public more seriously than Gerald Wright. A man dedicated to the minimisation of risk, even where no actual risk exists. If only Gerald were able to control his own life with the same benevolent despotism with which he regulates other peoples'. Sadly he can't.

A recently separated and newly single dad, Gerald's personal life is just one long struggle against the petty irritations and inconvenience which bedevil all our lives. Those 21st century slings and arrows of outrageous fortune against which Gerald's lengthy rule book is no defence at all.

The show's writer, Ben Elton, says: "All my happiest television memories concern BBC comedy and in particular BBC sitcoms. It's an honour and a privilege to get the chance to be a part of that tradition again and I'm as excited today as I was when The Young Ones was commissioned 30 years ago."

Our Review: Some seventeen years since their last endeavour together, The Wright Way sees David Haig reunited with writer Ben Elton - and this new sitcom is very much in the same vein comedy and style wise as their mid-1990s sitcom, The Thin Blue Line, in which Haig co-starred as DI Derek Grim.

As with the earlier show, critics have been quick to pour scorn upon this broad, largely family-friendly sitcom. How the public will take to the series remains to be seen, but we here at BCG - fans of The Thin Blue Line - enjoyed the first episode quite a lot.

The Wright Way may not yet be up to quite the same standards as its predecessor, and the workplace scenes seem notably stronger than the home-based ones, but its silly, playful charm is hard not to smile at.

For fans of The Thin Blue Line, The Wright Way is likely to deliver a pleasing half-hour. Its detractors, however, would probably be better not to bother.