Brenda Blethyn

ITV to recommission Kate & Koji

ITV is to recommission its new studio sitcom, Kate & Koji. The comedy stars Brenda Blethyn as a cantankerous seaside café proprietor, and Jimmy Akingbola as an asylum-seeking African doctor.

British Comedy Guide, 2nd June 2020

Kate and Koji serves up an odd couple for our times

Interviews with stars Brenda Blethyn and Jimmy Akingbola.

Georgia Humphreys, The Sunday Post, 25th March 2020

What a pedigree Kate & Koji appeared to have. Co-stars in Brenda Blethyn and Jimmy Akingbola, written by Guy Jenkin and Andy Hamilton (Drop The Dead Donkey, Outnumbered), and a bonkers-but-might-work premise about an asylum-seeking African doctor setting up a temporary surgery in a seaside caff in exchange for square meals from the reactionary biddy of an owner.

My, it's grim, and what were you at all thinking, our sainted Auntie Vera? There are jokes about 70s TV detectives, oat milk, newfangled "podcasts". One running gag is that everyone looks to their phones after the microwave pings. It is amusing precisely once. At one stage Kate (Blethyn) reprimands Koji (Akingbola) for getting pedantic about apostrophes with "all right Doc, no need to go all Rees-Mogg on us!", as if one had to go to Eton (because it's posh, see!) in order to have an outside chance of grasping the basics of the English language: it's that kind of lowest-com-denom writing. Utterly unhelped - in fact, hog-tied at the knees - by a canned laughter track that gives it not just the content but the feel of something that could have surfaced a full 30 years ago. There's even a rival - snobby - interfering councillor in the shape of Barbara Flynn.

It's not unsalvageable. There's a (slight) warmth to be had in Kate's unthawing towards the 21st Century, her refreshing lack of the old prejudices. Some gags show spark, but you don't even get to enjoy the spark, already tensing at the collective awfulness of the wave of laughter that you know is bound to tsunami in.

Euan Ferguson, The Observer, 22nd March 2020

Kate & Koji: Over 5 million viewers watch new ITV sitcom

Over 5 million viewers tuned in to Kate & Koji, ITV's new studio audience sitcom starring Brenda Blethyn and Jimmy Akingbola.

British Comedy Guide, 19th March 2020

Kate & Koji review

Kate & Koji is funny - and funny enough to make me snort with laughter. The script is well-honed by Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin, who wrote Outnumbered. But what raises this show far above the ordinary are the performances by Brenda Blethyn and Jimmy Akingbola as the title characters.

Christopher Stevens, Daily Mail, 19th March 2020

Kate & Koji review

Whisper it, but ITV could just have created that rarest of creatures - a mainstream sitcom that's constantly funny; deserving of critical praise as well as strong audiences.

Steve Bennett, Chortle, 18th March 2020

Kate & Koji revels in outdated prejudice

The makers of Outnumbered have created a distasteful comedy about a cafe owner and an asylum seeker, that even the talent of Brenda Blethyn and Jimmy Akingbola can't save.

Ammar Kalia, The Guardian, 18th March 2020

Katie & Koji doesn't shy away from the truth

Although from very different worlds, it's soon evident they share similar traits, including a dogged determination to never back down.

The Herald, 14th March 2020