White Van Man. Ollie (Will Mellor). Image credit: ITV Studios.

White Van Man

Will Mellor stars as a man who reluctantly takes over his father's painting and decorating business, and is really not suited to the role

2011 - 2012  (BBC Three)
12 (2 series)
Will Mellor, Joel Fry, Naomi Bentley, Clive Mantle, Georgia Moffett
Adrian Poynton
ITV Studios

Ollie reluctantly puts his dreams of running a restaurant on the back burner when his ailing father turns to him to take over the family handyman business. Unfortunately for Ollie, the business comes complete with a dodgy van, some questionable tips and an even dodgier assistant.

Meanwhile, Ollie tries to scrape a living while doing the right thing and somehow always managing to fail at both.

First there's Darren, his incorrigible liability of an assistant who manages to upset either Ollie, their clients and usually both while doing his best to do as little as possible. In the midst of this is Ollie's old crush from catering school days, Emma, not only a successful restaurateur but back in town and looking to set up a new business.

There's also Darren's sister, Liz, who works behind the counter at the local hardware shop. She's one of Ollie's only true admirers - although even he's not quite sure just how serious her admirations are.

Out of his depth, and out of pocket, Ollie's only option is to get on with learning the ropes.

Our Review: Here at The British Comedy Guide, we really enjoyed White Van Man's first series. It wasn't amazing, but boasted a great ensemble cast, plenty of laughs, and a sub-plot running through the series that drew us in.

With the second series the quality seemed to step up a notch: the plots seem to be tighter, there were more laughs, some great pathos thrown in, and the tension was constructed so it was almost tangible. Plus, a great sound-track to boot.

Like many people we worry about the state and future of British sitcom at times, but it's fair to say that White Van Man has helped to restore our faith that there are writers and producers still working today who know how to make something good.