Twenty Twelve - In The Press

Main News Stories About 'Twenty Twelve':

The spin-off is likely to see dithering Ian Fletcher taking on another major project and hiring his old colleagues to help out.

Written by Nicola Methven. The Daily Mirror, 11th May 2013

Written by Jason Deans. The Guardian, 12th March 2013

At times this faux fly-on the wall documentary seemed like an actual fly-on-the-wall documentary as the hapless personnel on the Olympic Deliverance Committee lurched from one crisis to the next in ways that mirrored their real-life counterparts. Hugh Bonneville has never been better than as the charming, well-meaning boss Ian Fletcher and Jessica Hynes was brilliantly awful as dead-eyed, pin-headed PR officer Siobhan with her memorably daft ideas - like combining the Olympics with the Diamond Jubilee. Jubilympics, anyone?

Alison Graham, Radio Times, 28th December 2012

This was the year of Olympic memories - Danny Boyle's opening ceremony, the Queen ad-libbing with James Bond, a cascade of British Gold - but John Morton's comedy supplied the biggest laughs week after week. It was, in the words of Ian Fletcher, "all good".

Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent, 22nd December 2012

Hugh Bonneville was at the centre of my favourite dramatic creation of the year, Twenty Twelve. His character, Ian Fletcher, was head of the Olympic Deliverance Commission.

"Deliverance" was a typical word for members of the commission to use. Throughout the series, the level of debased language was high, if you follow me.

Until the actual Olympics arrived and ruined everything by being delivered rather better than the show had led us to expect, the bunch of blunderers portrayed by the show looked and sounded as if they could have stayed up there forever. My favourite cretin on the squad was Siobhan Sharp, played by Jessica Hynes. Some critics thought that her hooting patter was unlikely but it matched a lot of the PR stuff to be heard in what I am increasingly reluctant to call real life.

Clive James, The Telegraph, 17th December 2012

Head of Deliverance Hugh Bonneville discusses the future of John Morton's hugely popular mockumentary.

Written by Susanna Lazarus. Radio Times, 8th December 2012

James Lachno enjoys the second series of Twenty Twelve, the BBC's hilarious comedy satire on the organisation of the Olympic Games.

Written by James Lachno. The Daily Telegraph, 17th August 2012

Twenty Twelve is a gold medal standard British comedy featuring a hideously hilarious performance from Jessica Hynes.

Written by Sharon Lougher. Metro, 9th August 2012

Sadly but inevitably, and inevitably brilliantly, the finis to Twenty Twelve. (Did you realise they couldn't even call the series 2012 because of "copyright" impositions by the gun-toting corporate carbohydrated school-sports greedfest?) The big question is whether Ian and secretary Sally did or didn't. Go away on holiday together.

The clue came in his earlier meandered musings to her about what he might do after these seven years of Olympic and divorce hell. "Nothing exotic. Just... rent somewhere in Umbria. Maybe some little village up a hillside, get up late, breakfast in a shaded courtyard... wander down to the bar in the old square in the evening, sit outside with a book and cool bottle of Pinot Grigio kind of thing." Not a bad premise, Ian, and the look on Olivia Colman's stoic, lovely face, yearning to give an unasked "yes", was paintable.

Of course they went. And that's all good then. But somehow, please, a spin-off.

Euan Ferguson, The Observer, 29th July 2012

Last night's flag blunder at Hampden Park was just the latest in a long line of embarrassing administrative errors at major sporting events...

Written by Ellie Walker-Arnott. Radio Times, 26th July 2012

Now here's the thing, this where we are with this: Twenty Twelve is over before we've even started. The gold medal send-up of London 2012's endless list of committee-led cock-ups - tickets, mascots, logos - signed off just in time for Friday's Olympics opening. It caught the mood of hoping for the best, fearing the worst and not quite believing we've actually got this far spot on. It's all good.

Keith Watson, Metro, 25th July 2012

The writers left us dangling on the edge of a conversation between Ian and Sally, a cruel trick for viewers, but a fitting metaphor for the team who, let's face it, haven't properly signed off on anything else.

Written by Caroline Frost. The Huffington Post, 25th July 2012

The last episode of Twenty Twelve (and it pains me to even write those words) went out with a Sopranos finish, cutting to black at a critical moment as Ian worked himself up to say something of large significance to Sally. I still can't work out whether this was a cruel withholding of a consummation we've been longing for, or a wise decision to let us fill in the blank ourselves. But I can't hold it against the series, which has ridden the razor's edge between straight transcription and satirical exaggeration with near-perfect balance. Highlights this week included the discovery that the opening fireworks might trigger the army's ground-to-air missiles and last-minute glitches with a cultural commission involving mass bell ringing (that one was transcription surely). Lowlights next week include the fact that it isn't on any more and we have to swallow our Olympibollocks neat.

Tom Sutcliffe, The Independent, 25th July 2012

This was an exceptionally bold TV idea, to keep apace with current events and constantly spin them into ├╝ber-comedy. No one could have foreseen how tough the last three episodes would turn out to be, but the programme always had a secret weapon: its G&S-like appreciation of language.

Written by Ismene Brown. The Arts Desk, 24th July 2012

This was a typically subtle finale to what's been a perfectly played and painfully close-to-home satire. It's been funny because it's true.

Written by Michael Hogan. The Daily Telegraph, 24th July 2012

Over at Twenty Twelve (BBC2), the bad days are piling up. In the series finale we are counting down to handover day. With 18 days to go, there seems no solution to the problem of the opening ceremony fireworks setting off the MoD's ground-to-air missiles; the national bell-ringing celebration has received two entries and been repurposed by Siobhan as a competition with celebrity judge Sting, if she can just call in a favour from Davina McCall's pilates instructor Samphire; no one on the Deliverance team has made the shortlist for the Director of Posterity job; and Ian is still having "to think on his feet until he finds out where they've taken him".

It is a good job this was the last episode (even if it did leave the Sally/Ian, will they/won't they question cruelly, cruelly unresolved). As real-life events began increasingly to mimic their supposedly fictional counterparts (both have had security botches, desperate measures to mitigate bad ticket sales and coachloads of people getting lost through driver incompetence and there is every chance that McCall's pilates instructor is indeed fielding innumerable calls from everyone from Seb Coe down) it seemed increasingly likely that the opening ceremony in London would begin and end with the two merging streams creating an event horizon and swallowing the entire thing, Boris Johnson, Siobhan and every other implausible creation in between. Ah, well. Maybe next time.

Lucy Mangan, The Guardian, 24th July 2012

'Can we afford a last minute disaster or not?' wonders Hugh Bonneville's Ian Fletcher. The deliverance team manages to stumble over the finishing line tonight but, as ever, they're more Derek Redmond than Usain Bolt. Tonight's minor crises include a putative bell-ringing ceremony involving Aled Jones and a conceptual artist, and concerns about the fireworks at the opening ceremony triggering the ground-to-air missiles. Still, at least they haven't had to call in the army to provide security. The end hedges its bets slightly - surely this late in the day, writer John Morton must have been tempted to offer us some closure - but overall, this has been an exponentially multiplying delight and a triumph of English self-deprecation. Now to find out if the truth can be stranger than fiction...

Phil Harrison, Time Out, 24th July 2012

There are fears that the fireworks at the Opening Ceremony will trigger ground-to-air missiles in London. Perhaps, wonders a member of the heroically dim Deliverance Committee, they could be incorporated into the display, even though the weapons "can't tell the difference between a Roman candle and a hijacked Airbus".

There are other problems: the Games' electric cars are under-powered, no one has thought to organise the national bell-ringing (called, with terrible, pin-brained inevitability, the Big Bong), and three of the team are fighting for the Director of Posterity job. But really, the last episode of this wonderfully silly comedy is all about the great unspoken love between Sally and Ian (Olivia Colman and Hugh Bonneville). Can they ever be together?

Alison Graham, Radio Times, 24th July 2012

The best sitcom of 2012 (and 2011) comes to an end tonight.

Yes, it's time to wave a teary farewell to Twenty Twelve (BBC2, 10pm).

Amid nonsensical PR-speak, the calamity-ridden organisation makes its final blunders. There are so many good things about this show.

Like Jessica Hynes as the wonderful Siobhan. Someone please give this woman her own spin-off.

Mike Ward, The Daily Star, 24th July 2012

This witty, take-no-prisoners satire ends with Hugh Bonneville and his Deliverance team preparing to hand over to the Live team (God help them). But there's still room for last-minute initiatives - Aled Jones being roped into a bell-ringing event called The Big Bong, for example - and disasters. If the Opening Ceremony fireworks end up being virtual rather than actual, you'll know why.

Sharon Lougher and Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Metro, 24th July 2012

Few people have made a greater mark on the public imagination in the build-up to the Games than Ian Fletcher, the can-do, two-wheeled driving force of Twenty Twelve.

Written by John Morton. The Daily Telegraph, 23rd July 2012

Granted, the recent debacle over employing security guards trumps fiction, but it's still sad to bid farewell to Twenty Twelve. That's principally because it's a comedy that brilliantly skewers both group-think idiocy and the personal rivalries inherent to all organisations. In the final episode, there are 10 days left until the Live Team takes over from the Deliverance crew, time enough for a difficult meeting with Danny Boyle's bruising fixer, Kevin Thingie, a competition to compose an Olympian peal of church bells and for the ever-elusive Seb Coe to be "called away to a last-minute argument".

Jonathan Wright, The Guardian, 23rd July 2012

With a certain sporting event looming, it's the last ever episode of this marvellous mockumentary. As the Olympic Deliverance Team prepare to hand over to the Live Team, last-minute panics still need resolving. The fireworks planned by Danny Boyle for the opening ceremony will trigger the Army's ground-to-air missiles. Charging stations for the official Olympic electric cars work so slowly, the entire fleet will soon be stationary. And the special "Big Bong" peal of church bells, supposed to ring nationwide, has so far attracted only two entries. Cue BlackBerry-addicted "branding guru" Siobhan (Jessica Hynes) salvaging the crisis by roping in a celebrity. Will she land Sting or settle for Aled Jones?

Just to add tension, three colleagues have applied for the same post-Games job, with the shortlist about to be announced. Come handover day, Lord Coe isn't around to make his planned speech, having been "called away to argue with animal rights groups about a sheep", so Ian (Hugh Bonneville) steps in. Can he make it a rousing send-off? And will his excruciating but rather moving romantic tension with PA Sally (Olivia Colman) be resolved? Smart, superbly played and painfully close-to-the-bone.

Michael Hogan, The Daily Telegraph, 23rd July 2012

In Twenty Twelve, Owen (Olivia Colman) hasn't actually declared her love for her Games-organising boss, but at least she's back as his PA to slice through "legacy", "diversity", "inclusivity" and all that rot, just as she would the lemon drizzle cake with which she keeps him sweet.

Aidan Smith, The Scotsman, 22nd July 2012

Twenty Twelve - The final three episodes of which are on iPlayer - seems to be a strange source of pride for some people, who argue that very few countries would allow their public service broadcasters to paint their officials in such unflattering light on the eve of the Olympics. Sadly, the fun, and the series, ends this week, as the team hand over control to a hopefully more capable bunch.

The Guardian, 21st July 2012

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