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


Sky One and Channel 4 sitcom about men avoiding going to war. 7 episodes (pilot + 1 series), 2011 - 2013. Stars Simon Bird, Joe Thomas, Jonny Sweet, Sarah Daykin and others.

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.

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


    Cast & crew

    Regular cast
    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), Joe Thomas (George), Jonny Sweet (Bert).


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