British Comedy Guide

The Entire Universe. Image shows from L to R: Brian Cox, Eric Idle. Copyright: BBC / Guy Levy.

The Entire Universe

BBC Two comedy revival of Rutland Weekend Television. 1 episode in 2016. Stars Eric Idle, Brian Cox, Arlene Phillips, Jonty Stephens and others.

The Entire Universe. Eric Idle. Copyright: BBC / Guy Levy.

The Entire Universe: Photo preview

One of the highlights of the BBC's Christmas 2016 schedule looks set to be The Entire Universe.

Written by Eric Idle and his long-time musical collaborator John Du Prez (Spamalot's composer), the show aims to tell the story of how the Universe was created through comedy songs and sketches. It also sees the return of Rutland Weekend Television!

The Entire Universe. Image shows from L to R: John Du Prez, Eric Idle. Copyright: BBC / Guy Levy.

The show is presented by Eric Idle and Professor Brian Cox.

The Entire Universe. Image shows from L to R: Brian Cox, Eric Idle. Copyright: BBC / Guy Levy.

The premise is that Professor Brian Cox will initially appear in the manner to which he is accustomed by giving an auspicious scientific Christmas lecture. However, upon turning up to the infamous Rutland Weekend Television, he soon realises he has actually been booked to appear in a major musical put on by the Muriel Tritt School of Music and Dance.

The Entire Universe. Image shows from L to R: Eric Idle, Brian Cox. Copyright: BBC / Guy Levy.

However, the show must go on... so Brian soon finds himself trying to present his lecture.

The Entire Universe. Image shows from L to R: Noel Fielding, Warwick Davis, Brian Cox. Copyright: BBC / Guy Levy.

Warwick Davis portrays 'The Big Bang'...

The Entire Universe. Warwick Davis. Copyright: BBC / Guy Levy.

Noel Fielding has been given the role of Einstein...

The Entire Universe. Noel Fielding. Copyright: BBC / Guy Levy.

Meanwhile, Hannah Waddingham has to convey the concept of 'Time'...

The Entire Universe. Hannah Waddingham. Copyright: BBC / Guy Levy.

Brian's long-time Infinite Monkey Cage co-presenter Robin Ince is on hand to "keep order"...

The Entire Universe. Image shows from L to R: Robin Ince, Tim Peake, Warwick Davis, Brian Cox, Eric Idle. Copyright: BBC / Guy Levy.

There are songs performed by Eric Idle to look forward to...

The Entire Universe. Image shows from L to R: Noel Fielding, Eric Idle, Warwick Davis. Copyright: BBC / Guy Levy.

and sketches...

The Entire Universe. Image shows from L to R: Noel Fielding, Warwick Davis, Hannah Waddingham. Copyright: BBC / Guy Levy.

The show has been choreographed by Arlene Phillips.

The Entire Universe. Image shows from L to R: Eric Idle, Muriel Tritt (Arlene Phillips). Copyright: BBC / Guy Levy.

Throughout the hour-long programme, Brian continues to patiently mentor Eric in an attempt to make up for his entire lack of education in science.

The Entire Universe. Image shows from L to R: Brian Cox, Robin Ince, Eric Idle, Noel Fielding, Warwick Davis, Hannah Waddingham. Copyright: BBC / Guy Levy.

The BBC says: "The result is an extraordinary explosion of comedy, music and dance depicting the birth of The Entire Universe - in just one hour!"

The Entire Universe. Image shows from L to R: Brian Cox, John Du Prez, Eric Idle, Hannah Waddingham, Noel Fielding, Warwick Davis. Copyright: BBC / Guy Levy.

The Entire Universe. Image shows from L to R: Robin Ince, Eric Morecambe (Jonty Stephens), Ernie Wise (Ian Ashpitel), Brian Cox, Eric Idle, Hannah Waddingham, Warwick Davis, Noel Fielding. Copyright: BBC / Guy Levy.

The Entire Universe is on BBC Two on Boxing Day at 9:30pm. Here's the trailer:

Published: Monday 28th November 2016

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