British Comedy Guide

The Old Guys. Image shows from L to R: Tom (Roger Lloyd-Pack), Roy (Clive Swift). Copyright: BBC.

The Old Guys

BBC One sitcom. 12 episodes (2 series), 2009 - 2010. Stars Roger Lloyd-Pack, Clive Swift, Jane Asher, Katherine Parkinson, Justin Edwards and Vincent Ebrahim.

Press Clippings

First of all, I need to say a big "Hello!" to Tom (Roger Lloyd Pack), who you can see reading this column in the opening scenes of tonight's episode. Never let it be said that We Love Telly is open to bribery but any shows wanting to be Pick Of The Day in future... let's just say that you know what you have to do.

That's a principle Tom would certainly agree with because tonight he manages to score himself a smartphone in exchange for his daughter's hand in marriage - and I think we all know who got the best end of the deal there.

It's the last in the current series, which has got sprightlier and more adorable by the week. And Tom's making the most of his chance to spend quality time with Sally (Jane Asher) as they thrash out the details of Amber's wedding to Sally's son, Steve.

Katherine Parkinson makes a welcome return as Amber and as well as a new fiancé, she's also got a new hobby to be rubbish at: gardening. "Weeds, flowers - how are you supposed to know?" she despairs as she's confronted by an incriminating wheelbarrow. "Garden­­ing is just racism for plants!"

Jane Simon, The Mirror, 13th August 2010

The Old Guys Review: The Unfunny Couple

Aside from sporting the worst theme tune to accompany a sitcom in living memory, The Old Guys is a horrid confection of cheap BBC comedy and an ill-conceived, poorly handled premise.

Jamie Steiner, On The Box, 13th August 2010

Katherine Parkinson returns to the series tonight as Tom's hopeless daughter, Amber. She and her boyfriend, Steve, have decided to get engaged, despite having a wonderfully rubbish relationship: she likes to watch Ken Hom's Hot Wok of an evening while he instant messages on the internet. Naturally, Tom isn't about to stand in the way of their non-romance, and for one simple reason: Steve is Sally's son, so the wedding offers Tom plenty of chances to cosy up to the object of his affections as they plot the arrangements together. The trouble is, does that colour his judgement of the whole event? What ensues makes for an enjoyable final episode: look out for Roy's worldly marriage advice to Steve, and Amber's description of yoga: "Basically, it's just breathing for show-offs."

David Butcher, Radio Times, 13th August 2010

The second series of this gentle sitcom about two OAP housemates comes to an end. Amber (Katherine Parkinson) has persuaded her uptight boyfriend Steve to propose. Sally (Jane Asher), the snobby mother of the groom, plans a lavish wedding. Amber's father Tom (Roger Lloyd Pack) panics at the cost and even considers flogging his beloved motorbike. Not so much bad as boring.

Toby Danzic, The Daily Telegraph, 13th August 2010

This week, a hospital farce. Sally has to go in for a knee operation and enlists the help of the ever-competitive Tom and Roy in keeping her spirits up. It leads to far-fetched developments that may remind you dimly of One Foot in the Grave - there are the same dashes of black-edged absurdity, with events culminating in a scene at an undertaker's. Roy gets into a situation where he has to pretend to be Welsh and Tom gets excited about earning himself a place in the medical textbooks. But it's the minor details that really lift things, such as Tom's halloumi habit or Sally's love of Coast.

David Butcher, Radio Times, 6th August 2010

After inauspicious beginnings, this second series of the pleasant, harmless comedy about a couple of old codgers in Beckenham has warmed up. In this fifth episode, Tom (Roger Lloyd Pack) and Roy (Clive Swift) negotiate their only friend Sally's (Jane Asher) stay in hospital, which causes the two men at least as much trouble as it causes her after Tom is waylaid by vanity and Roy by his eagerness to please. Though the jokes are hardly risqué, it moves at pace, and Swift and Lloyd Pack have a snappy camaraderie.

Ed Cumming, The Daily Telegraph, 6th August 2010

Roy and Tom's wildest dreams actually come true tonight when Sally (Jane Asher) temporarily moves into their house. She's having her bathroom repaired and how can they refuse a damsel in distress? Simon Blackwell has written a gem of an episode as the pair of them go all-out to impress Sally with their five-star hospitality.

Annoyingly though, Sally seems far more interested this week in going off on exciting day trips with cafe owner Rajan (Vincent Ebrahim) who also fancies his chances. It's a simple set-up packed with memorable one-liners. But funniest of all perhaps is Roy (Clive Swift) serving up giant-sized cheese straws, and his rather adorable attempts to avoid hearing any news during the day.

Jane Simon, The Mirror, 30th July 2010

Building work drives Sally (Jane Asher) into the home of the Pensioners Behaving Badly for a week. As Tom says, "God has answered my mad prayer." While the boys suffocate her with aromatherapy candles, Rajan takes the opportunity to spirit her away on endless dates (great eyebrow work from Vincent Ebrahim). Also contains a heartfelt requiem for TV's golden age, with the speculation that if Peter Ustinov were around today, the only way he would get 70s-style audience figures would be if he were to "ice-skate naked while Ant and Dec fed him koala testicles."

Ali Catterall, The Guardian, 30th July 2010

Tonight's is the best episode so far. Nothing fancy, just well observed, cheekily inventive and full of good lines. I loved Tom and Roy's baffled exchange about scented candles and why women like them so much. I'm sure it's a question that has crossed a few men's minds over the years. The reason for the discussion is that Sally (Jane Asher), the object of Roy and Tom's helpless, hopeless desires, is having her bathroom done, so she comes to stay with them, and they proceed to fall over themselves to impress her with their domestic arrangements. Naturally, they overdo it - nobody really needs kedgeree and kidneys for breakfast. It's such a good episode that even Vincent Ebrahim as Rajan, the pushy local café owner, comes into his own at last, proving to be a love rival and, annoyingly, much better at flirting with Sally. But it's Roger Lloyd Pack as Tom who steals the honours: his roguish old rebel is in danger of turning into a classic.

David Butcher, Radio Times, 30th July 2010

Ageing housemates Tom (Roger Lloyd Pack) and Roy (Clive Swift) continue to trade quick-fire gags in this old-fashioned sitcom. Tonight, Tom gets a surprise when Sally (Jane Asher) turns up asking to use the shower - "God has answered my mad prayer" - but before long she's moving in for the week, causing the men predictable grief.

Chris Harvey, The Daily Telegraph, 30th July 2010

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