Antonia Campbell-Hughes

  • Actor

Press clippings

Jack Dee's Rick Spleen is back for another series of suburban angst and tonight he's trying to write his first novel.

He's also desperately trying to make his family seem more interesting than they really are when a magazine comes to interview his partner Mel (Raquel Cassidy) for an "at home with...".

The most interesting thing about Mel and Rick is that they're still together despite having nothing in common.

Is there some mind-blowing sexual chemistry going on behind closed doors that we don't know about?

If so, I think we should be told. But what they need, Rick decides, is some exotic kind of pet - like a pig.

Like Rick's novel, the plot is a little short on inspiration, but the performances, especially from Antonia Campbell-Hughes and Rasmus Hardiker - as his teenage daughter Sam and boyfriend Ben - and Anna Crilly, as Magda, keep things ticking over.

Jane Simon, The Mirror, 31st May 2011

The start of a fourth series for Jack Dee's downbeat sitcom, in which his character, the unsubtly named Rick Spleen - a washed-up, cynical comedian - goes around being annoyed by things. He's hardly cast against type: it's essentially Jack Dee playing Jack Dee, so if you like Jack Dee it will go down very well. In this episode, he's trying to write a novel and to persuade his wife Mel (the excellent Raquel Cassidy) to allow a Sunday newspaper to do a feature on them. Good support comes from Spleen's teenage daughter (Antonia Campbell-Hughes).

Tom Chivers, The Telegraph, 27th May 2011

Although it's easy to understand why Jack Dee's surly sitcom has survived to a third series, you need an electron microscope to find the humour in it these days.

And now that Rick's daughter Sam (played by Antonia Campbell-Hughes) and boyfriend Ben (Rasmus Hardiker) have inexplicably stopped their weekly demands for money, the best bit of the show each week (apart from Magda, obviously) is turning out to be the pre-title sequence when we see Rick at work.

The Mirror, 20th November 2008

Jack Dee's back with a second series of his (written with Pete Sinclair) hugely enjoyable BBC2 sitcom Lead Balloon.

Dee's portrayal of cantankerous, middle-aged comedian Rick Spleen has more than a touch of a media-class Tony Hancock to it - a character whose talent for digging himself into holes is second only to a grave-digger's.

One of the main joys of Lead Balloon is its small cast of supporting characters, comprising Rick's supremely patient wife (Raquel Cassidy), staggeringly vague daughter Sam (Antonia Campbell-Hughes), their permanently unheppy Polish home help Magda (brilliantly played by Anna Crilly) and his far-smarter co-writer Marty (Sean Power).

Even as minor a role as over-familiar local cafe owner Michael (Tony Gardner) is a perfectly formed, fully drawn character.

Every one of them was on top form, producing a just about flawless half hour of delightfully miserablist comedy. Lead Balloon is sure to go down well again this winter.

James Walton, The Telegraph, 16th November 2007

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