FM. Image shows from L to R: Dom Cox (Kevin Bishop), Jane Edwards (Nina Sosanya), Lindsay Carol (Chris O'Dowd). Copyright: Granada Productions.

FM

ITV2 and Channel 4 sitcom. 7 episodes (pilot + 1 series), 2006 - 2009. Stars Chris O'Dowd, Kevin Bishop, Nina Sosanya, O-T Fagbenle, Ophelia Lovibond, Daniel Kaluuya and Oliver Lansley.

Press Clippings

What is it with ITV putting their best original content on their obscure channels late at night? They stick this wittyish sitcom on after Gossip Girl and the absolutely woeful Celebrity Juice. The final episode of the series shows how it has grown from an uncertain start into a show that can actually make you laugh. Chris O'Dowd is blessed with a comic presence and the rest of the cast back him up manfully. Yes, it tries too hard - the swearing is too self-conscious - but the impressively consistent "cool" nature of special guests (Charlatans this week) is somehow admirable. Because of the nature of music, it will date horribly and with ITV spiralling down the tubes they won't make a second series, so you may as well catch this final episode.

TV Bite, 1st April 2009

It's the final episode of this sitcom, which is set in an independent radio station and has been more good than bad. Chris O'Dowd (The IT Crowd) plays Lindsay Carol, a passionate but uncool DJ. After last week's unfortunate attempt to move into television, he and his sidekick Dom Cox (Kevin Bishop) deal with an appearance by the rock band The Charlatans.

Simon Horsford, The Telegraph, 1st April 2009

Artless but just-watchable sitcom set in an indie-rock radio station. The occasional fun puns and blasts of physical humour break the sweary, simplistic monotony.

Radio Times, 4th March 2009

This sitcom set in a radio station playing indie music from a Brick Lane HQ isn't brilliant. It's on ITV2 so it doesn't have to be. But it's a lot better than most recent BBC3 comedy output and we'll definitely be watching again.

The Custard TV, 26th February 2009

British TV comedy is more and more influenced by the fast, gag-rich American model; no bad thing (it's great to have Frasier and Will & Grace in the mornings). FM is set in an indie radio station and features a DJ who's uncool, his spiky producer and a potty-mouthed sidekick who was once in a boyband and desperate to regain his glory.

The writers Ian Curtis and Oliver Lansley cleverly parlayed dirty and silly jokes while somehow convincing Guillemots and Marianne Faithfull to get involved. The producer thought her boyfriend was boring and was about to dump him when she discovered Faithfull was his mother. Too late: she got dumped. The comedy of losers is a British speciality: FM skilfully continues the tradition.

Tim Teeman, The Times, 26th February 2009

FM Review

I can't say I didn't laugh at all, but almost all of the good in this episode came from Chris O'Dowd's doomed attempts to impress his co-workers, and he shouldn't be having to carry the show alone.

Anna Lowman, TV Scoop, 26th February 2009

FM is a new sitcom, with the same kind of vibe as The IT Crowd - we're in the workplace, the stars are a woman and two blokes, one of whom is funny Irishman Chris O'Dowd. OK, so the "sit" is different. FM takes place at an indie radio station (it's FM as in frequency modulation). But the "com" is similar - puns and witticisms, misunderstandings, awkward situations. Old-school then, to be polite. Or lame, if you prefer.

The longest-running gag is that O'Dowd somehow gets himself a slot as a proper DJ in a club, even though he doesn't know how to do it - couldn't even mix a metaphor. So he cheats, gets a CD of mixes off a kid (a black character who wears a baseball cap back to front and says "bro" a lot, slightly embarrassingly), and just pretends to be playing vinyl and scratching and doing all that. Guess what, the CD gets stuck (as it was always going to), and he's made to look like an idiot. Do you get it?

There is the odd glimmer of hope. I woke up at one uncharacteristically shocking - and uncharacteristically funny - line. It's too rude to repeat here, but if you saw it you'll know the one I mean (yup, the one about mother-loving). And it has walk-on (kinda) celebrities - in this one, Justin Hawkins from the Darkness, the Guillemots, and Marianne Faithfull in the distance. Celebrities can be funny. We, the jury, will stay out for one more episode, then. But I'm not over-hopeful. It's a brave thing to set a sitcom in a radio station. The last one I can think of is Frasier. No pressure, then.

Sam Wollaston, The Guardian, 26th February 2009

A trio of Guillemots banging away on the piano is not the only reason FM gave me hope for the future of the British sitcom, though they undoubtedly helped. This radio station romp, with Chris O'Dowd and Kevin Bishop as Smashey & Nicey for the noughties, oscillated so wildly between cool and naff it was as weird as watching Morrissey chitchat with Adrian Chiles on The One Show.

Though it's certainly the greatest radio-based sitcom since Frasier, FM can't decide whether it wants to be down with the kids of give 'em a kick up the skinny jeans. It tries too hard and not hard enough, throwing in rubbish jokes and sharp one-liners with scant regard for quality control, yet somehow - unlike the over-praised No Heroics, its closest cousin - it's actually funny.

That's largely down to the sheer likeability O'Dowd and Bishop bring to the pair of ludicrous out-of-touch muppets they are playing. The kind of DJs who got into it because they like the sound of their own voices not because of anything as daft as the music, they're past their shelf life and they know it. But that doesn't mean they're going to let any young'uns muscle in on the act.

It's no instant classic and there's nothing much in the way of a plot but FM has its finger sharply on the ageism dial like no other sitcom. Drag yourself away from the comedy genius of Robert Webb doing a Jennifer Beals impression and give it a go.

Keith Watson, Metro, 26th February 2009

For its new sitcom about indie radio DJs, ITV2 has poached some top C4 talent: Chris O'Dowd from The IT Crowd, Star Stories' Kevin Bishop and, er, Nathan Barley's Nina Sosanya. There's an enormous amount of self-conscious special guestery - first scene includes Justin Hawkins (from The Darkness) and suddenly it's 'The Guillemots are ready to record'. There are a some good moments - Chris O'Dowd comfortably slips into playing the same hapless role as The IT Crowd's Roy and Kevin Bishop's former boyband 2s Up is well observed. As a first episode they're allowed some room to set up the characters but it will need more jokes in future. Also, the swearing is all wrong.

TV Bite, 25th February 2009

When Harry and Paul took DJs apart in the 1990s with Smashie and Nicey, the controller of Radio 1 sacked long-established names to lose the station's clich├ęd image. Now, we're not saying that this new comedy starring Chris O'Dowd and Kevin Bishop, which spoofs the current crop of DJs, will do the same, but it can't hurt to pray very hard.

What's On TV, 25th February 2009