The One.... Ronnie Corbett. Copyright: BBC / Little Britain Productions
The One...

The One...

  • TV sketch show
  • BBC One
  • 2010 - 2012
  • 4 episodes (1 series)

A series of one off comedy specials for BBC One. Ronnie Corbett, Jasper Carrott, Lenny Henry & Griff Rhys Jones are the stars.

Press clippings

As Griff Rhys Jones made much of the phrase "unexpected item in baggage area", in an unexpected one-off celebration of, well, him. This was old-fashioned sketch stuff, none the worse for it really but therefore traditionally hit and miss, but his "unexpected item in baggage area" was the second-best bit. Rhys Jones's slumpy hangdog angry-old-man shtick gets better as he gets older (possibly aided, I seem to remember, by a period of depression) and never more so than when having to deal with, basically, a greedy robot programmed by a moron. There was also - this was the best bit - a reunion of Rhys Jones and Mel Smith, doing their men-in-white-shirts-blathering face-to-face stuff, which was very subtly scripted by John O'Farrell and reflected the real-life schism between the two, begun 16 years ago and now, at least face-to-face, resolved. Tantrums can, with age, become wearying.

Euan Ferguson, The Observer, 22nd January 2012

The One Griff Rhys Jones review

It was surprising that this half hour had turned out to be a genuinely odd little pleasure, as opposed to a tired retread of comedy's nearly-forgotten landscapes.

Liam Tucker, TV Pixie, 17th January 2012

The One Griff Rhys Jones review

History, as it often isn't, has not been as kind. Their comedy about ordinary blokes now seems gruellingly ordinary.

Jasper Rees, The Arts Desk, 17th January 2012

To an entire generation, Griff Rhys Jones might be famous for being the man who takes Rory McGrath and Dara O'Briain sailing, climbs mountains, and presents It'll Be Alright On The Night.

The last in this series of three sees him back at the BBC performing the kind of sketches that made him a household name on Not The Nine O'Clock News and Alas Smith and Jones.

And while the humour is so comfortably old-fashioned your first impression might be that these sketches have been sitting in a drawer since the 1990s, on closer inspection you'll see that there's a whole new bunch of modern obsessions to joke about.

The Reservoir Dogs spoof featuring Griff as Mr Green and former EastEnder Larry Lamb is a lovely mix of the old and the new. But one sketch about firearms in schools, is so mis-judged it wouldn't be a laughing matter in this or any decade.

Griff's other guest stars, Hugh Bonneville, Tom Hollander and Kevin McNally, are well chosen.

But the real draw of the night sees him reunited with his comedy and business partner Mel Smith for a brand new head-to-head sketch - their first together in 16 years.

After resurrecting the comedy of Lenny Henry and Jasper Carrott, there are plenty of other folk who were funny in the 80s who we'd like to see dusted off. More please.

Jane Simon, The Mirror, 16th January 2012

"We want to return to the old-fashioned comedy sketch standard," the young lad from the BBC tells Griff Rhys Jones. "There'll be a set with sofas, fat suits and highly coloured wigs, and you dressed as a woman,"he adds encouragingly, as if Jones needed persuading back into the comedy spotlight.

Some impressive guest stars (Hugh Bonneville, Tom Hollander and Larry Lamb among them) pop up in sketches that certainly have that old-fashioned comic quality - you could safely watch them with your granny. However, it's the updating of their trademark Alas Smith & Jones head-to-head sketch with his old partner Mel Smith that really makes this special.

It's the first time they've performed it for 15 years and, as Smith and Jones meander their way through a discussion about their alleged rift, they come to realise that friendship is important and grudges are irrelevant. "It's taught me the value of camaraderie," concludes Mel. "Well ... it is a lovely cheese," agrees Griff.

Jane Rackham, Radio Times, 16th January 2012

Surprisingly, this is the funniest so far of these one-off sketch shows by faded comedy stars. Maybe it's because Griff Rhys Jones has moved successfully on to other TV ventures, but he's clearly not taking his return to comedy too seriously and as a result the laughter flows quickly and easily. Hugh Bonneville, Tom Hollander and Larry Lamb are among the excellent supporting players in sketches skewering everything from bankers' bonuses to football supporters. Plus, 16 years on, there's even a face-to-face with his old Alas Smith and Jones partner, Mel Smith.

Gerald O'Donovan, The Telegraph, 13th January 2012

Review: The One Jasper Carrott (BBC1)

Taken as a whole, The One Jasper certainly wasn't great, but the strength of Carrott's stand-up material was better than I expected without longtime writers Mike Whitehill and Steve Knight (although I missed hearing another of his rambling "true stories", like the one about the vicious cat he had to pickup using a vacuum cleaner, or the infamous garden mole).

Dan Owen, Dan's Media Digest, 10th January 2012

Before I start I should point out that I've never really been a huge fan of Lenny Henry, but I must admit that The One Lenny Henry wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. For me his stand-up was better than his sketches, particularly the material about film piracy and trying not to be funny when performing Othello.

However, most of the sketches were a bit dull, lacklustre in places and in several cases thought he was overshadowed by those alongside him; in particular Peter Serafinowicz and Omid Djalili.

On a final note, during the show Henry gave a short rant about obituaries, saying that when he dies his will probably read "Premier Inn Bloke Dies." I'd just like to say: "Whose fault is that exactly, Lenny?"

Ian Wolf, Giggle Beats, 9th January 2012

Review: The One Lenny Henry (BBC1)

I'm guessing this Friday night slot would have gone to Stephen K. Amos, had his own show not flopped so catastrophically last year. So instead the BBC have revived their only other black comedian of note: the enduring Lenny Henry, who appears to have stopped ageing since 1995.

Dan Owen, Dan's Media Digest, 7th January 2012

Remember when they gave Ronnie Corbett his own show last Christmas and called it The One Ronnie? The idea is the same here, as we start a trio of shows involving veteran comics (Griff Rhys Jones and Jasper Carrott follow) who revive old characters and link up with guest stars. Lenny Henry has more old characters than most, and revives memories of sex-obsessed old gent Donovan Bogarde and "cru-shall" Brixton DJ Delbert Wilkins, now coming at us via YouTube.

The best sketch is a showcase for Peter Serafinowicz, playing a white bloke who can't stop talking in black patois, and there are decent spoofs of Twilight and Cee Lo Green videos.

David Butcher, Radio Times, 6th January 2012

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