The Comic Strip Presents.... Credit: Comic Strip Productions
The Comic Strip Presents...

The Comic Strip Presents...

  • TV comedy drama
  • Channel 4 / BBC Two / Gold
  • 1982 - 2016
  • 41 episodes (5 series)

Periodic series of satires and spoofs that helped bring alternative comedy to the mainstream and forge a comedy reputation for then-new Channel 4. Stars Adrian Edmondson, Rik Mayall, Nigel Planer, Peter Richardson, Jennifer Saunders and more.

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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.

Preview clips

Further details

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


Show past repeats

Date Time Channel
Thursday 8th November 2012 12:00am Gold
Saturday 10th November 2012 10:00pm Gold
Monday 12th November 2012 10:20pm Gold
Tuesday 1st January 2013 10:00pm Gold
Wednesday 2nd January 2013 11:05pm Gold
Sunday 6th January 2013 9:05pm Gold
Monday 7th January 2013 11:40pm Gold
Sunday 8th September 2013 9:00pm Gold
Thursday 12th September 2013 1:15am Gold
Wednesday 1st January 2014 9:55pm Gold
Friday 3rd January 2014 1:35am Gold
Sunday 29th June 2014 11:45pm Gold
Monday 30th June 2014 2:20am Gold
Friday 25th July 2014 9:00pm Gold
Saturday 26th July 2014 1:35am Gold
Friday 31st October 2014 12:40am Gold
Friday 26th June 2015 11:40pm Gold
Saturday 27th June 2015 3:00am Gold
Wednesday 20th January 2016 11:15pm Gold
Thursday 21st January 2016 2:50am Gold
Saturday 17th February 2018 2:40am 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
Pete Richens (as 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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