Chickens. Image shows from L to R: Cecil (Simon Bird), George (Joe Thomas), Bert (Jonny Sweet). Copyright: Big Talk Productions


  • TV sitcom
  • Sky One / Channel 4
  • 2011 - 2013
  • 7 episodes (1 series)

Sitcom set in a sleepy English village during the first world war. It follows three young men who are not on the front line fighting. Stars Simon Bird, Joe Thomas, Jonny Sweet, Sarah Daykin, Emerald Fennell and more.

Episode menu

Series 1, Episode 1

It's Bonfire Night and the women of Rittle-on-Sea are struggling to decide who should be the Guy they burn, whittling their options down to three.

Preview clips

Further details

Chickens. Image shows from L to R: Cecil (Simon Bird), Bert (Jonny Sweet), George (Joe Thomas). Copyright: Big Talk Productions

It's 1914, the Great War rages, millions of men have shipped off to join the fight, yet in the sleepy English village of Rittle-on-Sea, three young chaps, Cecil, George and Bert, have stayed behind.

Cecil would love to have earned his battle stripes and has all the makings of a brave soldier, but isn't physically fit to fight on account of his flat feet. Pacifist teacher George, on the other hand, has no intention of being a part of the conflict because he fundamentally disagrees with it, and Bert, well, he hasn't got a clue what's going on, an outstanding liar and unscrupulous cad who should be in the army and has no legitimate reason not to be.

Lumping the boys together and labelling them cowards, the ladies of Rittle-on-Sea are none-too pleased about their decision to stick around, including Cecil's sister Agnes and Winky, George's increasingly embarrassed fiancée.

It's Bonfire Night in this opening episode and the women are struggling to decide who should be the Guy they burn, whittling their options down to three.

In the meantime, Cecil is forced to join the Needlework Guild to demonstrate his commitment to the war effort, which, in turn, prompts an annoyed George to step up his anti-war activities. Bert and Agnes also come to a mutually-beneficial arrangement.

Broadcast details

Thursday 22nd August 2013
Sky One
30 minutes


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Friday 23rd August 2013 11:00pm Sky1
Sunday 25th August 2013 10:00pm Sky1
Wednesday 28th August 2013 9:30pm Sky1
Sunday 21st December 2014 12:35am Sky1

Cast & crew

Simon Bird Cecil
Joe Thomas George
Jonny Sweet Bert
Sarah Daykin Winky
Emerald Fennell Agnes
Louise Ford Gracie
Amy Dawson Dot
Vicki Pepperdine Hesta
Eileen Davies Gladys
Emma Fryer Nellie
Guest cast
Sophie Steer Rita (Milk Lady)
Writing team
Simon Bird Writer
Joe Thomas Writer
Jonny Sweet Writer
Tim Key Script Editor
Production team
Ben Palmer Director
John Rushton Producer
Kenton Allen Executive Producer
Caroline Leddy Executive Producer
Lucy Lumsden Executive Producer
Matthew Justice Executive Producer
William Webb Editor
Julian Nagel Production Designer


Chickens - Meet The Chickens

As the Great War rages, our nation's heroes are fighting the good fight on foreign soil. But in one sleepy English village, three fellows remain...

Featuring: Simon Bird (Cecil), Jonny Sweet (Bert) & Joe Thomas (George).

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