British Comedy Guide

Lead Balloon. Rick Spleen (Jack Dee). Copyright: Open Mike Productions.

Lead Balloon

BBC Two sitcom. 27 episodes (4 series), 2006 - 2011. Stars Jack Dee, Raquel Cassidy, Sean Power, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Rasmus Hardiker, Tony Gardner and Anna Crilly.

Lead Balloon

Sitcom starring Jack Dee as Rick Spleen, a grumpy misanthropic stand-up comedian whose life is plagued by let downs and embarrassment

Genre
Sitcom
Broadcast
2006 - 2011
Channels
BBC Two, BBC Four
Episodes
27   (4 series)
Starring
Jack Dee, Raquel Cassidy, Sean Power, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Rasmus Hardiker, Tony Gardner and Anna Crilly
Writers
Jack Dee and Pete Sinclair
Director
Alex Hardcastle
Producer
Alex Hardcastle

Rick Spleen is a successful but disillusioned stand-up comedian. He spends his days hosting corporate events such as The Heating and Ventilation Awards, arguing with his co-writer Marty and trying to hide his incompetence from Mel, his partner.

Rick is a habitual liar, but as he is not a very good one it is a trait which more often than not lands him in a deep hole... which he invariably then digs himself into even deeper when he piles more flimsy lies on top of the previous ones.

Being out of pocket is something that particularly riles Rick, but with his laid-back daughter Sam and her equally lazy boyfriend Ben always coming up with excuses for needing money, his wallet is rarely full.

Ironically it is Rick's tightfistedness that causes him the biggest financial losses though; eventually he always ends up paying for the damage his lies have caused.

In the final fourth series of Lead Balloon Rick tries to write a book, he becomes a presenter on a downmarket shopping channel, and sets up a stand-up comedy workshop. There's also an episode in which for a full half-hour Rick is stuck in a room with a prisoner (special guest star Robbie Coltrane).

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