Massive. Image shows from L to R: Tony (Johnny Vegas), Danny (Ralf Little), Shay (Carl Rice). Copyright: BBC


  • TV sitcom
  • BBC Three
  • 2007 - 2008
  • 7 episodes (1 series)

Sitcom set around the launch of Manchester's hottest new music record label, Shady Records. Stars Ralf Little, Carl Rice, Johnny Vegas, Paul Kaye, Christine Bottomley and more.

Press clippings

Filing clerks Danny (Ralf Little) and Shay (Carl Rice) share a long cherished dream to run their own record company. Danny's gran dies, leaving him £10,000, and before she is cold in her grave they have set up Shady Music. Their first job is to recruit talent to the label and what better way than to hold a Battle of the Bands night?

All this occurs within the first ten minutes of Massive, cutting to the chase with commendable brevity. Nothing kills a new sitcom quicker than a wade through exposition in episode one.

And to its credit, Massive succeeds in keeping up a cracking pace for its full 30 minutes. We see the pair bicker over their musical tastes, strut around in their new capacity as entrepreneurs, rent rat-infested offices and stop at bus stops to ask Jim Morrison lookalikes if they can sing.

It's all very entertaining and good-natured, with several good moments. Little and Rice work well with each other, and Johnny Vegas is on hand to lend comic support as Shay's kleptomaniac dad. Actually, I think I may have seen a bit too much of Vegas lately, which is ironic since he's clearly lost a lot of weight.

Harry Venning, The Stage, 22nd September 2008

Blog Review

Massive is not laugh a minute, but it does have a surprisingly high number of laughs per episode, even if some of them come from some not desperately subtle comedy and from the background characters rather than the dreamers themselves.

The Medium Is Not Enough, 17th September 2008

Review of Massive

The characters of Danny and Shay are bland. They're into their music and they like drinking. That's about it, really. At the other end of the scale, the two girls that make up the band HereKittyKitty and the Manny the DJ (Paul Kaye) are close to being nothing more than simplistic caricatures. HereKittyKitty are a singing version of Viz's Fat Slags. They're fat and they're coarse. Isn't that funny! Er... no. DJ Manny takes a lot of drugs. Isn't that funny! Er... no.

David Sharpe, Cool Blue Shed, 17th September 2008

Massive is another silly new sitcom with Johnny Vegas. He's moved from Benidorm to Manchester, but the level of comedy hasn't changed much - all gentle roguishness, mice, too much Strongbow, falling over and exaggerated facial expressions. There's an element of X Factor about it: we're setting up a new record label, and there's a battle-of-the-bands contest to get the operation up and running. But there's much more drama in the real X Factor, and more humour. The best thing in this is a pea-soup coloured Austin Allegro. Nice wheels.

Sam Wollaston, The Guardian, 15th September 2008

Review of Massive

Another grim/grin-up-north sitcom from BBC3 that has lots of good qualities and looks like it'll be worth sticking with.

The Custard TV, 15th September 2008

According to The Radio Times, Massive is a 'hip' new sitcom about Mancunian mates setting up a record label. But I am well past 40 and a dedicated Radio 3 listener, and there wasn't a single pop reference here I didn't get - what sort of a definition ofhipnessisthat? The mates are Shay and Danny, played by Carl Rice and Ralf Little, who evidently hasn't been deported to the Moon in reprisal for Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps after all. We have a sorry excuse for a legal system in this country. Damian Lanigan's script has a sprinkling of good lines, mostly delivered by Johnny Vegas, as Shay's thieving dad. Prison's all right, he said. Couple of years, read a book, do some sit-ups and out the other end. But too many of the jokes are predicated on the assumptions that fat girls are unattractive but frequently gagging for it, and that alcoholics do the funniest thing.

Robert Hanks, The Independent, 15th September 2008

In this hip new sitcom, Johnny Vegas plays a small-time crook called Tony. We first see him crawling into a bedroom, fingers outstretched for his slumbering son's wallet. Amusing as it is to watch Vegas squirm around on the floor, the role of hapless ne'er-do-well isn't exactly new to Manchester-based comedy... In this insalubrious flat, however, dreams can come true: the son awakes to find best mate Danny (Ralf Little) has inherited £10,000. The pair decide to set up a record label and everyone, from Tony's cider-swigging wife to the estate agent, wants to be signed. There's some great facial gymnastics from wannabe rapper Swing but, apart from that, this opening double bill doesn't quite hit the mark. Let's hope it's simply a question of fine-tuning.

Claire Webb, Radio Times, 14th September 2008

That two of the stars of this new music business comedy had been in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and Ideal doesn't bode well. And yet on the strength of the double-episode opener it looks quite promising. Likeable chancers Danny (Ralf Little) and Shay (Carl Rice) bonded over indie rock band Oasis and now dream of opening this century's version of Factory Records. When Danny is left £10,000 in his nan's will, the pair set out to fulfil their dreams by setting up Shady Music. In a disused fish warehouse with furniture nicked from an orphanage by Shay's dad, Tony (Johnny Vegas), they begin by trying to sign their first band - and their options are very limited.

Simon Horsford, The Telegraph, 13th September 2008

Does Massive hit the right note?

An interview with Ralf Little and Carl Rice.

James Rampton, The Independent, 9th September 2008

Got the post-holiday September blues? Then can I recommend a new TV double act to put a smile on your face? Along with the rest of the cast who star in upcoming BBC3 Manchester comedy series Massive.

Ralf Little and Carl Rice play Danny and Seamus, best mates since they bonded over Oasis in 1994. The on screen chemistry between Ralf and Carl gives the six-part series a head start.

The first two episodes are not to be missed. Just some of the delights include Johnny Vegas as Shay's petty criminal dad Tony. Plus Beverly Rudd and Faye McKeever as Droylsden bun-shop divas HearKittyKitty.

Created and written by Damian Lanigan, Massive is yet another burst of fresh air from BBC Comedy North.

Ian Wylie, Manchester Evening News, 8th September 2008

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