The Cornwell Estate. Phil Cornwell. Copyright: Curtains For Radio / BBC.

The Cornwell Estate

BBC Radio 4 sitcom. 10 episodes (2 series), 2008 - 2010. Stars Phil Cornwell, Tony Gardner, Daisy Haggard and Abigail Hollick.

Press Clippings

Andrew McGibbon's fantastic (in every sense) comedy The Cornwell Estate had the ridiculously versatile Phil Cornwell in completely Euro-bonkers mode as Hank Zuttermilk, the Dutch lorry driver - his English an explosion of suffixed 'ishes' - his wardrobe an implosion of seventies weekend hippy gear. What makes this series work so well is the preposterousness allied with minute observation in both the writing and performance.

Moira Petty, The Stage, 25th November 2010

The welcome new series of Andrew McGibbon's The Cornwell Estate had its star, in episode two, playing a Newcastle comic banned by matrimonial injunction from entering the city centre. Instead, he devised a high altitude messaging system by attaching one of his publicity posters to a homing pigeon to semaphore reparation to the teenage daughter he had never met.

The series' co-creator Phil Cornwell plays a different character in each episode, the style of which is pitched midway between Alan Bennett and Alan Partridge. Coincidentally, the breathtakingly talented Cornwell once played a DJ in I'm Alan Partridge. This is comedy drama which holds its nerve, not always going for the obvious joke, bundling nerdiness up with edginess. The opener had Cornwell as a teacher muddling his way blindly through a minefield of potential racism as he tries to coax ethnicity from pupils whose origins may have been far-flung but who were firmly rooted in Potter's Bar.

Moira Petty, The Stage, 11th November 2010

Comedian Phil Cornwell leads a different fictional life each week in his new comedy series. Every one, however, draws on his real-life experiences of growing up on a tough London housing estate. For openers, here he is as Dave Kafka who's just come out of jail and moved in with his grandad. Dave fancies himself as a bit of a lad. The thing is, he's nothing of the kind compared to Grandad, who really is a hard case. A very good cast, good production and sharp script make it sound both real and surreal. Listen via a computer to see it, too.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 17th December 2008

Cockney geezer Dave Kafka shows us around his estate in the first episode of this amusing spoof kitchen-sink documentary series starring comedian Phil Cornwell - the man behind the world's greatest Mick Jagger impression. Dave has just been released after 'doing nine moon of bird', and is keen to let everyone know about his lawbreaking exploits. But is Dave all mouth and no trousers? Cornwell's observation of the London wide-boy patois is spot on, so much so that you might have trouble understanding him if you're not au fait with the lingo.

Gary Rose, Radio Times, 17th December 2008

Phil Cornwell (Dead Ringers, Stella Street) heads the cast of this new sitcom from Andrew McGibbon. Dave Kafka is a typical Cockney geezer, returning to a London housing estate after a spell 'inside'. Felix Dexter and Tony Gardner also star. Intriguingly, this radio show will also be broadcast as a film on BBC interactive (i.e., via the red button). How will that work, I wonder?

Scott Matthewman, The Stage, 12th December 2008