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.

Press clippings Page 4

Chickens review

Despite its slight courseness in parts, Chickens is really very delightful. It is written very well and enjoys a talented cast with comedy experience.

Jay Freeman, Scene Mag, 3rd September 2011

Comedy Showcase has a decent pilot-to-series turnover, and this promising writing debut from Inbetweeners Simon Bird and Joe Thomas looks set to continue that trend. Bird, Thomas and Jonny Sweet, best known for his role as Cameron in When Boris Met Dave, play three feckless young men who, for various, unconvincing reasons, have avoided first world war conscription. Chickens feels unfinished in places, but the performances are sharp.

Gwilym Mumford, The Guardian, 2nd September 2011

Inbetweeners' fans, don't miss this, ­whatever you do. The hilarious sitcom pilot was written by and stars the programme's Simon Bird and Joe Thomas, plus their sketch show collaborator, Jonny Sweet.

The year is 1914 and as the First World War rages throughout Europe and the three of them are safely sitting out the carnage in a cottage in Kent.

They're not playing schoolboys any longer, but as the only able-bodied young men left in the village, they're despised by all the women. But Bert (Jonny Sweet), in particular, is unperturbed. He's barely even aware that there's a war going on and sees this as an opportunity to pull all the women who are left - starting tonight with a grieving widow at her husband's funeral.

His tactless chat-up line: "Aah, come here, grumpy guts!" is comedy gold. In terms of period detail, Chickens is about as faithful as Blackadder Goes Forth, which is not very, but I laughed my head off throughout this - and you will, too.

The Comedy Showcase strand, now in its third year, is a try-out for new comedies and Channel 4 is being uncharacteristically coy about whether it plans to ­commission a full series.

It won't make a decision until all of the pilots have been aired, but this is by far and away the best new comedy to come out of this exercise.

If Channel 4 can't see that already, it must be mad.

Jane Simon, The Mirror, 2nd September 2011

It's the summer of 1914 in the sleepy Kentish village of Rittle-on-Sea and almost all the young men have gone to war. Left behind are the uptight Cecil, whose flat feet mean he fails the Army physical; conscientious objector teacher George; and philanderer Bert, who is barely aware there is a war on. Together they are the pariahs of the village.

It's an intriguing set-up for comedy, but the humour is very broad - unsurprising as it is written by and stars The Inbetweeners' Simon Bird, Joe Thomas and their sketch show partner Jonny Sweet. They've basically crafted The Inbetweeners Do the Great War; their characters are so similar to those of the series, there's even a deranged headmaster - the imperious Rupert Vansittart - and a piece of cringe-inducing toilet humour. It could do well if picked up for a series.

David Crawford, Radio Times, 2nd September 2011

Chickens review: Hentertaining

As introductions go, the trio of young writers have succeeded in creating something warm and amusing, which has plenty of potential. However said potential will need to be realised quickly because there are no knock-out laughs to speak of yet. That's one of the few things which does separate it from The Inbetweeners.

Sean Marland, On The Box, 2nd September 2011

Simon Bird worried that Chickens won't live up to hype

Simon Bird says the success of The Inbetweeners is a "double-edged sword" and is worried his new sitcom Chickens won't live up to its hype.

The Sun, 1st September 2011

Inbetweeners stars Simon Bird and Joe Thomas, along with comedian Jonny Sweet, write and head the cast of this period sitcom pilot set during the First World War. For reasons including flat feet and conscientious objection, three young men are left back home while their peers fight on foreign soil. Can they overcome their cowardly reputation in their sleepy village and win favour with the local ladies? It's a neat set-up that comes across like The crossed with Dad's Army and dressed in three-piece tweed.

Michael Hogan, The Telegraph, 1st September 2011

Chickens: What The Inbetweeners did next

Two of the stars of Britain's most successful film comedy ever have written their own sitcom - and it's a little bit feminist, finds Adrian Lobb.

Adrian Lobb, The Guardian, 29th August 2011

Inbetweeners look for new Chickens run

Inbetweeners stars Joe Thomas and Simon Bird play First World War avoiders in Channel 4's Chickens.

The Telegraph, 26th August 2011

Simon Bird interview

The Inbetweeners and Friday Night Dinner star Simon Bird returns to C4 with Chickens, a new comedy pilot set in WWI about three men of fighting age who don't go to the Western Front for various reasons.

Mary Comerford, TV Choice, 23rd August 2011

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