Will Smith.

Will Smith (I)

Scarfolk blog to be turned into TV comedy drama

A TV series being developed around Scarfolk Council, Richard Littler's twisted blog about a 1970s North West England town that did not progress beyond 1979.

British Comedy Guide, 19th July 2018

Channel 4's social worker sitcom Damned ends after two series

Channel 4 has confirmed that Damned, the sitcom about social workers starring Jo Brand and Alan Davies, has ended after two series.

British Comedy Guide, 8th June 2018

Jo Brand's Damned is back on our screens; a sitcom whose first series I watched but struggle to remember any memorable moments. Brand writes the show alongside co-star Morwenna Banks and The Thick of It's Will Smith whilst also starring as Rose; the hapless social worker who spends most of the episode dealing with a shoe soiled by her family's new puppy. This week's episode was based on a tip-off the team the received which saw Al (Alan Davies) investigate the case of a sex-worker who was seeing clients whilst her two children were in the house. Rose and Al believed her children were truanting although the investigation later revealed that Elena was working to put her kids through private school. This story was an involving one, especially the conclusion which saw Elena's children taken from her despite Al's belief that she was a good mother. However, it didn't fit in with an episode which also saw Rose dealing with dog faeces on her shoe and the newly-promoted Martin (Kevin Eldon) making vegan fudge for his colleagues which was predictably inedible. Unlike her previous caring-focused comedy Getting On, Brand struggles to incorporate the gags in Damned with the darker elements of the plot such as the investigation into Elena and her children. I think this is because the jokes are more obvious in Damned and it's almost as if Brand, Smith and Banks feel that they have to create lowest common denominator humour for the Channel 4 audience. This is a shame as Damned is a sitcom that I want to succeed as I like everyone involved and the subject matter is one that I'm interested in. Damned's best moment are the sequences where we hear the calls that the team at Elm Heath Children Services field on a daily basis. Meanwhile, the introduction of social work student Mimi (Lolly Adefope) provides another authentic subplot as Brand and company are able to demonstrate the disparity between her studies and the reality of children's services. The pursuit of Mimi by the office's oddball Nitin (Himesh Patel) also provides some humorous moments as he attempts to persuade boss Denise (Georgie Glen) then he should be Mimi's mentor, a plea that falls on deaf ears. Overall, the first episode of Damned's second series had its moments but I found that the obvious gags didn't gel with the darker nature of the central storyline. However, I'm going to keep watching as it's a comedy that never outstays its welcome and features likeable characters played by an ensemble cast of actors who I really like.

Matt, The Custard TV, 17th February 2018

TV review, Damned, C4

Are sexual abuse and sex trafficking suitable subjects for comedy? My gut instinct would say no but the first episode of the second series of social worker comedy Damned somehow managed to incorporate these subjects and make serious points along with succesful jokes. The writers - Jo Brand, Morwenna Banks and Will Smith - and the cast - deserve full credit for going where few programmes fear to tread. Imagine Ken Loach collaborating with Ricky Gervais.

Bruce Dessau, Beyond The Joke, 15th February 2018

Damned: this gentle comedy is a rare gem

Damned is a rare achievement: noble in his depiction of human weakness, soaringly ambitious while trapped in humdrum surroundings, and deeply empathic in prising laughs from desperate circumstances.

Gabriel Tate, The Telegraph, 14th February 2018

TV preview, Damned

Human degradation was never so funny.

Sean O'Grady, The Independent, 9th February 2018

Damned to return to Channel 4

Social work sitcom Damned is coming back to Channel 4 for a second series, starring Jo Brand, Alan Davies and Isy Suttie.

British Comedy Guide, 10th February 2017

TV review Damned, Channel 4

A very funny show, thanks to bravura performances from Jo Brand, Himesh Patel, Kevin Eldon and Isy Suttie.

Sean O'Grady, The Independent, 28th September 2016