Not Going Out. Image shows from L to R: Lee (Lee Mack), Lucy (Sally Bretton). Copyright: Avalon Television / Arlo Productions
Not Going Out

Not Going Out

  • TV sitcom
  • BBC One
  • 2006 - 2023
  • 100 episodes (13 series)

Fast-paced, gag-packed studio sitcom starring Lee Mack and Sally Bretton. Also features Hugh Dennis, Abigail Cruttenden, Geoffrey Whitehead, Deborah Grant, Bobby Ball and more.

Not Going Out. Image shows from L to R: Benji (Max Pattison), Charlie (Finley Southby), Lee (Lee Mack), Lucy (Sally Bretton), Molly (Francesca Newman). Copyright: BBC

Key details

2006 - 2023
100 (13 series), plus 2 outtakes and short specials
Lee Mack
Lee Mack, Sally Bretton, Hugh Dennis, Abigail Cruttenden, Geoffrey Whitehead, Deborah Grant, Bobby Ball, Francesca Newman and more
Lee Mack, Daniel Peak, Andrew Collins, Paul Kerensa, Simon Evans, Peter Tilbury, Simon Dean, Derren Litten and more
Alex Hardcastle and Nick Wood
Alex Hardcastle, Nick Wood, Charlie Hanson, Jamie Rix, Richard Allen-Turner, Lee Mack, Jon Thoday, Sally Debonnaire and more

Not Going Out is a light-hearted, fast-paced mainstream sitcom based around the life of a man un-burdened by ambition or drive. Lee deflects criticism and bad news with his trademark wit and one-liners but deep down he is looking for love, a steady job and a flat he can call his own.

In the first series Lee stayed in the flat with an American health fanatic called Kate. Their easy-going, comfortable friendship steadily moved onto potentially romantic ground - a situation complicated by the fact that Lee's best mate Tim was Kate's previous boyfriend.

Kate moved back to America before Series 2 started. Unable to buy the flat himself due to his enduring inability to earn a steady income, Lee was forced to rent the spare room from the flat's new owner - Tim's ambitious younger sister Lucy. Series 3 continued with this premise.

Series 4 saw Lee still desperate to win the affections of his flatmate, Lucy. But it still wasn't plain sailing... and it wasn't just Lee's complete lack of drive getting in the way! Not only are friends Tim and Daisy on hand to cause problems, but Lee also had to cope with stolen drugs, missing OAPs, long-lost daughters and a coma.

In the fifth series Lee turned rocker when he joined Tim's band, cheered on by Tim's ditzy girlfriend Daisy. He also took on the role of carer for his scrounging father; injured himself training for a fun run; and proved his manliness by camping in a dark spooky forest.

Series 6 opened with Tim away, working in Germany. That didn't mean Lee's life got any easier, however, with incidents involving rabbits and childrens' parties, therapy, amateur dramatics, and a particularly eventful skiing holiday with both Lucy and Daisy. However, a boating adventure may offer the chance Lee's long been wishing for...

Series 7 saw the will-they-won't-they tension between Lee and Lucy reach new highs, with Lee eventually proposing to Lucy.

Series 8 picks up the couple's story seven years later. The pair now live in a comfortable semi-detached home in Walton-on-Thames with their three kids: Charlie, and twins Benji and Molly. How has layabout Lee survived these dramatic life-changes? How do the not-so-new parents find the joy/relentless onslaught of bringing up kids?

As if children weren't enough to keep the couple crashing from one near-disaster to the next, factor in Lee's lovably feckless father, Frank, close friends in the form of the world-weary (or more specifically, wife-weary) Toby and uptight ice-queen Anna. At least Lucy's more dependable parents are on hand, but we know what Geoffrey and Wendy make of their daughter's life choices, and more specifically her wisecracking husband.

The family adventures continue across Series 9 to Series 13.

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Additional details

Also known as
  • NGO (Acronym)
Camera set-up
Theme tune by Alex Hardcastle. Sung, we believe, by Stephen Triffitt.

Website links

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Friday 6th October 2006 at 9:30pm on BBC One
Next repeats
  1. Series 10, Episode 7: Saturday 1st June at 9pm on Dave
  2. Series 10, Special: Saturday 1st June at 9:40pm on Dave
Most recent repeats

Recording details

  • Teddington Studios - Series 1 - 3, 6 and 7
  • BBC Television Centre - Series 4 and 5
  • Gate Theatre and Theatre 503 - Read-throughs
  • Curzon Soho - 2015 special screening
  • BBC Elstree Centre - Series 8
  • Pinewood Studios - Series 9-13
  • RADA Studios - Series 10 Christmas special screening
  • Brooklands and Two Rivers Shopping Centre (Staines) - Series 10 Christmas special locations
  • Tabard Theatre - Series 11 & 13 read-throughs
  • Chiswick Theatre - Series 12 read-throughs

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