Sarah Dempster

  • Actor, writer and script editor

Press clippings

We Forced A Bot To Write This Show review

There's much talk about whether Artificial Intelligence will ever outperform humans in their jobs. Well, this silly Radio 4 comedy proves that people can take on bots at their own game - and defeat them with the power of ridicule.

Steve Bennett, Chortle, 21st December 2023

Horrible Histories is back and brilliant as ever

Nothing falls flat in this rambunctious sketch show, which 'makes history look less crap' with dazzling writing and pop pastiches.

Sarah Dempster, The Guardian, 25th May 2013

Youngers: more Byker Grove than The Wire

It's down on the Peckham streets with E4's curiously old-fashioned urban drama.

Sarah Dempster, The Guardian, 16th March 2013

Blandings is just the ticket, by jove

BBC1's new Wodehouse adaptation is a trouser dropping farce of the old school.

Sarah Dempster, The Guardian, 12th January 2013

Will Hattie be the last to get the BBC biopic treatment

Nostalgic retellings of the lives of Tony Hancock, Kenneth Williams, and Eric & Ernie have been ratings winners, but fictionalised accounts can land the Beeb in hot water.

Sarah Dempster, The Guardian, 15th January 2011

An evening devoted to Channel 4's longest-running comedy begins with a documentary charting its rise from "masochistically pure" crania-cam caper to Grade II-listed institution. While Messrs Mitchell, Webb, Bain & Armstrong provide insights, there are classic clips, celebrity interventions and mildly vexing Skype contributions from international fans ("I love . . . zzrrgnn . . . Superhan . . . ack . . . mazing . . ."). This is followed by the latest - Christmas-set, excruciating - episode from the current series and two viewer-voted favourites: the wedding day finale of series four and the one with the magic mushrooms and gastric flu. What larks, Mark!

Sarah Dempster, The Guardian, 24th December 2010

Robert Lindsay thinks Christmas is rubbish (studio lolz). Then he meets Ainsley Harriott and realises that it's actually much, much worse (applause, end credits). There have been funnier world wars.

Sarah Dempster, The Guardian, 24th December 2010

Season's greetings from Auntie's Reckless Nostalgia department, where Ronnie Corbett is sitting in a corner, tweaking his glasses as he panic-knits gags for this 80th birthday bun-fight. Intended as a celebration of the minute octogenarian's career, it's a peculiar affair, with famous guests (Richard Wilson, Rob Brydon, Catherine Tate) scattered like novelty pencil toppers among wilting sketches about dongles and trapped wind. Still, there's an air of genuine affection to proceedings, and Corbett's way with a one-liner remains one of light entertainment's most enduring marvels. "I have my own treadmill at home. I'm only doing widths at the moment . . .")

Sarah Dempster, The Guardian, 24th December 2010

Matt "Little" Lucas and David "Britain" Walliams return with a mockumentary centred on a budget airline called Fly Lo. The direction is slick, and "difficult second album" syndrome is avoided via an equal opportunities approach to racial stereotypes. Among the grotesques is gregarious Afro-Caribbean coffee-stand proprietor Precious, globular airline poobah Omar Baba and Irish trolley-dolly Feargal ("I'm one of 10 brothers. We're all gay. Except for Finbar. He's bi"). Economy class all the way.

Sarah Dempster, The Guardian, 24th December 2010

Roger and Val - and other boring TV couples

At its best "dull couple" comedy captures with affection the minutiae of everyday mundanity. At its worst, it's just people in jumpers talking about power tools.

Sarah Dempster, The Guardian, 16th August 2010

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