The Gobetweenies. Image shows from L to R: Lucy (Phoebe Abbott), Mimi (Sarah Alexander), Joe (Mark Bonnar), Tom (Finlay Christie). Copyright: ABsoLuTeLy Productions.

The Gobetweenies

BBC Radio 4 sitcom. 16 episodes (3 series), 2011 - 2013. Stars Sarah Alexander, Mark Bonnar, Finlay Christie, Phoebe Abbott and David Tennant.

Press Clippings

The eclectic north-London family is back for a second series in this popular comedy drama from writer Marcella Evaristi. Sarah Alexander and Mark Bonnar play divorced parents Mimi and Joe, who find common ground in the trials and tribulations of their children Tom and Lucy.

In this first episode, Joe talks Tom out of garroting his mother's fictional creations, "You are a boy, boys are crap at sneaky", while Mimi bursts Lucy's inflated ego as she prepares to audition for the school production of Oliver!

At times, this squabbling suburban sitcom feels all too familiar, retreading the same tired path as the Brockman family in Outnumbered. However, the razor-sharp dialogue, disarming charm and excellent cast more than make up for its shortcomings.

Tom Goulding, Radio Times, 6th July 2012

More neatly observed, finely tuned comedies by Marcella Evaristi about modern dilemmas of shared parenting, starring Sarah Alexander as Mimi, the thrice-married mum, with Mark Bonnar as Dad (replacing David Tennant, who played him in the first series last year). Their two children are Tom (he'll be 11 now) and teenage Lucy, played by Finlay Christie and Phoebe Abbott (and very well too) about to get her mother's full attention in this first of six episodes. Marilyn Imrie directs, for independents Absolutely Productions. And there's more good news, in that there are six episodes, rather than the four of the first series. Make the most of them because big budget cuts seem to be digging into the schedule in ways that limit new programmes. Any day now across the whole schedule radio is repeating many more programmes than it once did. Sometimes that's not a bad thing, one person's repeat being another person's first hearing. But as Radio 4, in particular, produces more new programmes across a greater variety of genres than other networks, it is bound to restrict innovation and is already affecting how digital Radio 4 can use more recent programmes.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 29th June 2012

If though, you are one of those people who want to hear more about north London, or indeed the talented David Tennant, who pops up like a specially resilient strain of ground elder in every part of our cultural experience these days, then The Gobetweenies is for you. It features the kind of hands-on, amicably divorced parents who discuss Duchamp's urinals with their children over tea. Mimi, played by Sarah Alexander, is "a smart award-winning children's fiction writer" intent on 24/7 education. As one of her children says, "anything you ever want to talk about it's bingo, she's off to get a book." David Tennant as Joe frets satirically about the agony of children having to shuttle between two sets of parents, and decides to move back in. Phoebe Abbott, who sounds uncannily like Pip in The Archers, plays an irritating child very convincingly. Anyone who rues the day that "parent" became a verb will hate this, but to the rest of us it's all very recognisable. It's occasionally funny. Whether that makes it satire is another matter.

Jane Thynne, The Independent, 12th May 2011

Dysfunctional families are always a good source of comedy, and they don't come much more dysfunctional than the extended family of Tom and Lucy Millar. They are the children of divorced parents Joe and Mimi, now both on their third marriages, and are constantly being shuttled between their two homes. Played by newcomers Finlay Christie and Phoebe Alexander with consummate ease, their bickering and camaraderie in the face of their parents' idiosyncrasies feel totally natural. David Tennant's Joe is just a dad wanting to do right by his kids, while Sarah Alexander is excellent as the anxious Mimi. It could be classed as Outnumbered for radio, but that would be doing a disservice to a nuanced comic take on life among the chattering classes of north London.

David Crawford, Radio Times, 6th May 2011

David Tennant plays Joe, father of 10-year-old Tom and teenage Lucy. He's no longer married to Mimi (Sarah Alexander). She's on marriage three now but both parents try hard to keep the ties that, naturally, will bind them all at least until the two children have finished school. So there's lots of driving around, talking on mobile phones, picking up and bringing back, trying not to contradict each other. But it's all very wearing so Joe has a bright idea. Is is practical? This comedy by Marcella Evaristi shows every sign of being neatly drawn from life.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 6th May 2011

The Gobetweenies, Radio 4, preview

Gillian Reynolds previews a Radio 4 comedy about divorced parents, starring David Tennant.

Gillian Reynolds, The Telegraph, 28th April 2011