British Comedy Guide

The Comic Strip Presents.... Copyright: Comic Strip Productions.

The Comic Strip Presents...

Gold and Channel 4 comedy drama. 41 episodes (pilot + 5 series), 1982 - 2016. Stars Adrian Edmondson, Rik Mayall, Nigel Planer, Peter Richardson, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Robbie Coltrane and others.

Five Go To Rehab

New special in which the original characters parodied from Enid Blyton are revealed to have failed to live up to their ideals and been forced to confront the modern world.

Full synopsis

The Comic Strip Presents.... Image shows from L to R: Peter Richardson, Adrian Edmondson, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French. Copyright: Comic Strip Productions.

In 1982, The Comic Strip Presents debuted with Five Go Mad In Dorset, a punchy parody of the Famous Five stories, complete with exciting adventures all washed down with lashings of ginger beer. Incredibly influential, the original and hilarious comedy now returns.

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the series, original writers Peter Richardson and Pete Richens have penned a riotous romp, set in Dorset, starring Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Adrian Edmondson, Peter Richardson, Nigel Planer, Robbie Coltrane and Stephen Mangan.

The famous children's characters have been brought back from the past to confront today's modern world, but this time they must account for their outmoded racist and sexist views. But the quintet seem blissfully unrepentant as they gather for a reunion on Dick's birthday in leafy Dorset - still a magical land of rolling hills, woods, ruined castles and dodgy villains in big black cars.

Dick (Ade Edmondson) has changed little since those early years and is now Assistant Manager for Plasmold, a plastic guttering company in Dorking. Eager to rekindle the joys of their Famous Five youth, he has engineered a few surprises for their reunion. However the others are not as keen to revisit their past. George (Dawn French) is a struggling alcoholic with a string of ex-husbands behind her and only faithful Timmy by her side. Julian (Peter Richardson) having disappeared to Equatorial Guinea for many years, apparently working for a dubious 'charity', is now also in need of a stint in rehab. Anne (Jennifer Saunders) the pretty shy one never did become the 'perfect housewife'. Now a militant feminist / animal rights campaigner, she lives life on the edge of a nervous breakdown.

The famous five are met along the way by a number of familiar faces. Robbie Coltrane returns as a guest house landlady and lecherous Gypsy. Stephen Mangan plays a sexually charged actor, eager to impress Anne and Nigel Planer returns as a police inspector and sinister barmaid. Rik Mayal plays an evil villain who is determined to decapitate a terrified Julian and Daniel Peacock also makes an appearance as snubbed Toby Thurlow who has had 30 years to plan his revenge on the famous five.

Broadcast details

Wednesday 7th November 2012
60 minutes


  1. Thursday 8th November 2012 at 12:00am on Gold
  2. Saturday 10th November 2012 at 10:00pm on Gold
  3. Monday 12th November 2012 at 10:20pm on Gold
  4. Tuesday 1st January 2013 at 10:00pm on Gold
  5. Wednesday 2nd January 2013 at 11:05pm on Gold
  6. Sunday 6th January 2013 at 9:05pm on Gold
  7. Monday 7th January 2013 at 11:40pm on Gold
  8. Sunday 8th September 2013 at 9:00pm on Gold
  9. Thursday 12th September 2013 at 1:15am on Gold
  10. Wednesday 1st January 2014 at 9:55pm on Gold
  11. Friday 3rd January 2014 at 1:35am on Gold
  12. Sunday 29th June 2014 at 11:45pm on Gold
  13. Monday 30th June 2014 at 2:20am on Gold
  14. Friday 25th July 2014 at 9:00pm on Gold
  15. Saturday 26th July 2014 at 1:35am on Gold
  16. Friday 31st October 2014 at 12:40am on Gold
  17. Friday 26th June 2015 at 11:40pm on Gold
  18. Saturday 27th June 2015 at 3:00am on Gold
  19. Wednesday 20th January 2016 at 11:15pm on Gold
  20. Thursday 21st January 2016 at 2:50am on Gold
  21. Saturday 17th February 2018 at 2:40am on Gold

Cast & crew

Guest cast
Adrian Edmondson Dick
Dawn French George
Peter Richardson Julian
Daniel Peacock Toby Thurlow
Robbie Coltrane Gypsy
Jennifer Saunders Anne
Phil Cornwell Rooky
Felix Dexter Chendri
Stephen Mangan Constable
Stephen Marcus Dirty Douglas
Rik Mayall McVitty
Nigel Planer Inspector
Robbie Coltrane Landlady
Nigel Planer Barmaid
Joshua Lindon-Emms Young Julian
Solly Bowyer Young Dick
Ella Craft-Stanley Young George
Lily Laight Young Anne
Colin Michael Carmichael Crook Actor
Mike Sanchez Crook Actor
Christine Sweetman Mrs D
Chris Devlin Barman
Kevin Feaviour Sergeant
Robbie Carwithen Dog Thief
Michael Hurley Dog Thief
Writing team
Peter Richardson Writer
Peter Richens Writer
Production team
Peter Richardson Director
Nick Smith Producer
Michael Wood Executive Producer
Nick Smith Editor
Ross Porter-Ward Editor
Simeon Halligan Production Designer
Brian Burrows Composer


The Comic Strip Presents: Five Go To Rehab

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Comic Strip, original writer Peter Richardson has returned to the English countryside for a brand-new Comic Strip adventure, also starring Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Adrian Edmondson, Nigel Planer, Robbie Coltrane and Stephen Mangan.

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