Comic Relief. David Budd (Richard Madden). Copyright: BBC.

Richard Madden

It started life in 2003 as a blog by London ambulance technician Brian Kellett.

Back then, his musings on the job were entitled Random Acts of Reality. It became a book, Blood, Sweat and Tea, a radio play and now it's been turned into a TV series.

Even before it's aired here in Britain, an American version is already in the ­pipeline.

Written by Tony Basgallop, (Teachers, Hotel Babylon) this comedy drama is a strangely ­schizophrenic production.

On the one hand it seems to be straining to be a rude Channel 4 sitcom, filled with the usual quota of very bad language and sex scenes both gay and straight.

The opening line, "One female, mid-20s, looks like a slightly older Miley Cyrus...", played out against the medical drama cliche of slo-mo heroes and a lush ballad on the soundtrack, certainly leads you to expect the rest of the episode to be just as funny.

But it's also got a psychology ­textbook in its back pocket plus a brain and a conscience - three things that get in the way of comedy.

Our trio of paramedics, Stuart, Ashley and Rachid, played by Rhys Thomas, Richard Madden and Kayvan Novak, have attended a bad ­road-traffic accident and have been sent for counselling.

Warned of the mood swings that adrenaline coursing through their bodies will cause, Stuart decides to fight it - just to prove that he's more than a bunch of chemical reactions.

How much of tonight's first episode is based on real life is debatable, but it you want to wade through eight years of blogs to find out, then by all means, be my guest.

Jane Simon, The Mirror, 27th June 2011

Richard Madden interview

Richard Madden is a young man with a lot to shout about. Soon to star in 999 comedy Sirens, the 24-year-old actor is already a fans' favourite in HBO's epic medieval fantasy drama Game of Thrones...

Steve Hendry, Daily Record, 26th June 2011

Sirens looked promising on paper. Based on Tom Reynolds's popular blog, Random Acts of Reality, which wryly chronicled his time as an emergency response technician in the London Ambulance service, it stars three decent young actors - Rhys Thomas (from Bellamy's People), Kayvan Novak (Chris Morris's film Four Lions) and Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) - as cynical, laddish paramedics striving to treat their often harrowing work as just another day at the office. Unfortunately, it turns out to be one of those comedy-dramas that is neither funny nor dramatic. It combines Green Wing's irritating air of unreality with Skins's desperation to appear edgy, meaning that the banter just doesn't ring true, while the tediously frequent sexual encounters are even less believable.

Sam Richards, The Telegraph, 26th June 2011

Sirens cast interview

Rhys Thomas, Kayvan Novak and Richard Madden talk about filming Sirens...

Mary Comerford, TV Choice, 21st June 2011