The Royal Bodyguard. Captain Guy Hubble (David Jason)
The Royal Bodyguard

The Royal Bodyguard

  • TV sitcom
  • BBC One
  • 2011 - 2012
  • 6 episodes (1 series)

Sir David Jason stars as newly promoted Royal Protection Officer Captain Guy Hubble, a man unquestionably totally out of his depth. Stars David Jason, Geoffrey Whitehead, Timothy Bentinck and Tim Downie.

Press clippings

BBC looks set to axe The Royal Bodyguard

The BBC look set to axe Sir David Jason's new comedy The Royal Bodyguard after just one series following a slating from critics and a slump in ratings.

Leigh Holmwood, The Sun, 15th February 2012

After one last stupe­fyingly unfunny episode, The Royal Bodyguard was consigned to the scrapheap of television history. "I'm afraid I've squashed your sausage sir," spluttered ancient Guy Hubble as the handful of remaining viewers reached for the off switch. Out of respect for Sir David Jason, let us never mention this ­debacle again.

Kevin O'Sullivan, The Mirror, 5th February 2012

David Jason's new sitcom has hugely disappointed, getting panned by critics while ratings have tumbled. Beeb execs will be breathing a sigh of relief that it's already the last episode. It sees hapless security chief Guy Hubble (Jason) put in charge when the princess attends a hen night. Predictably he quickly loses her, and soon the bumbling bodyguard ends up requiring personal protection of his own. We doubt we'll be seeing a second series.

Michael Hogan, The Telegraph, 27th January 2012

Dave Spikey: 'How did The Royal Bodyguard get on TV?'

An interview with Dave Spikey.

Alex Fletcher, Digital Spy, 26th January 2012

The Royal Bodyguard takes a tumble

BBC1 David Jason sitcom falls well below 3 million viewers - less than half of what it began with two weeks ago.

John Plunkett, The Guardian, 10th January 2012

There now follows a public service announcement: The Royal Bodyguard is the latest series from Mark Bussell and Justin Sbresni, the writers of defective Ben Miller vehicle The Worst Week Of My Life.

Even if you weren't privy to that TV insider knowledge before tuning in, engorged and undoubtedly sleepy at the fag end of Boxing Day, you probably had your suspicions within the first minute. That was how long it took for the plucky actor/stuntman playing the newly beloved Prince Philip to be kicked in the face by a horse.

Long-standing employees of both ITV and BBC, Bussell and Sbresni deal heavily in the physical origami and mimeographed pratfalls of farce, and Worst Week - the name now universally shortened as a mark of fiscal respect, since the format has sold in 120 territories - was their industry klondike. With the evergreen and ever-game David Jason as its bumbling fulcrum, The Royal Bodyguard felt like the writing partnership consciously cashing in their hard-earned commercial clout; as well as scripting duties, they shared directing and producing responsibilities too. They must also share the blame.

The concept isn't terrible. The 71-year-old Jason plays gormless career soldier Guy Hubble, hand-picked by the Queen to handle royal security, despite being a Frank Spencer-grade disaster magnet: think Some Monarchs Do 'Ave 'Em. A gifted physical performer, the artist formerly known as Del Boy never seemed less than totally committed in his calamitous role, be it in full military uniform, bowling club blazer or Pa Broon underwear. But in this first episode, where Hubble somehow thwarted a royal assassination attempt at a Commonwealth conference in a Scottish hotel, the direction was flabby and slapdash. Even boilerplate farce relies on precise timing, and everything seemed more than a little off. It doesn't bode well for the rest of the series, and made me nostalgic for Dangermouse, a 30-year-old animated series where Jason proved he could sound dapper, dashing and absolutely charming in the service of Her Majesty.

Graeme Virtue, The Scotsman, 3rd January 2012

David Jason's 'The Royal Bodyguard' dips to 4.5m

David Jason sitcom The Royal Bodyguard suffered a dip in the ratings week-on-week, overnight figures indicate.

Ben Lee, Digital Spy, 3rd January 2012

The Royal Bodyguard... oh dear. No laughs. With all due respect, national treasure Sir David Jason is simply too old to play ­Buckingham Palace's answer to Inspector Clouseau.

A bumper Boxing Day for BBC1 as eight ­million loyal fans tuned into the great man's first comedy role since Del Boy. But to call this ­swirling mass of ­outdated clichés ­"comedy" was a bit of a stretch. Expect reduced ­ratings for tomorrow's feeble instalment.

Sir David was never famous for physical slapstick. Why try ­playing the clown at the age of 71? He looked like a pensioner in pain.

The alleged humour revolved around ­accidental hero Guy Hubble's undeserved elevation to protecting the Queen. To the ­exasperation of ­everyone except Her Majesty. Hee hee... he's ­hanging from the ­balcony in his ­underpants. Ho ho... he's ­karate chopping an empty suit of armour. Ha ha... he's making a mess of eating a ­lobster. Oh God.

A younger more ­athletic actor might have made it ­slightly funnier. But with such dire material, what would be the point?

Kevin O'Sullivan, The Mirror, 1st January 2012

A look at The Royal Bodyguard

I'd tried to avoid too much press before seeing The Royal Bodyguard myself, but saw that some people were saying slightly curious things about it, comparing it to Jonny English, as if that were a bad thing.

James Cary, Sitcom Geek, 1st January 2012

There's a tacit assumption swirling around the Christmas schedules that people's critical faculties will somehow be suspended at this time of year. In other words, they can be palmed off with any old tripe. Possibly there's something in this, but there are limits and The Royal Bodyguard exceeded every one of them.

This is a new sitcom starring David Jason as an accident-prone royal bodyguard, which on my seasonal ho-ho meter at least scored absolutely no hos at all.

As if in tacit acknowledgement of its lack of originality, Jason kept doing that little sideways jink of his neck that he used to do as Del Boy.
Every joke came signposted from about 10 miles away. When Jason lent against a grand piano, you could bet your last dollar on the certainty that the lid was going to come crashing down - and sure enough it did. And when he tried to eat a lobster - with a knife and fork, I'm afraid - there was a dreadful inevitability about his drinking the contents of the finger bowl.

John Preston, The Telegraph, 31st December 2011

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