This Is Jinsy. Image shows from L to R: Maven (Justin Chubb), Sporall (Chris Bran). Copyright: The Welded Tandem Picture Company
This Is Jinsy

This Is Jinsy

  • TV sitcom
  • Sky Atlantic / BBC Three
  • 2010 - 2014
  • 17 episodes (2 series)

Surreal comedy set on a fictional island inhabited by a range of oddball characters. Created by Chris Bran and Justin Chubb. Stars Justin Chubb, Chris Bran, Alice Lowe, Geoffrey McGivern, Janine Duvitski and more.

Press clippings

This Is Jinsy duo return with musical album

The creators and stars of This Is Jinsy have released a brand new album of music "from the tune-well of ancient Jinsy folk-strumming and gullet-warbling".

British Comedy Guide, 18th October 2018

This is Jinsy - Series 2 review

There are several moments in this series where it really steps up and delivers some unforgettable classic bits of writing.

James Turner, The Digital Fix, 13th February 2014

Arbiter Maven is in jumpy mode, suspecting that terrorist ciphers are lurking in knitwear patterns in tonight's visit to the unique isle of Jinsy. A bewigged and knitted-onesie-wearing Stephen Mangan guests as Mr Lovely, of Mr Lovely's Lovely Jumper Shop, whose lovely jumpers fuel Maven's paranoid tendencies by feeding the islanders' insatiable demand for retro knitwear. So Maven issues a ban on the sinister garments - there's no pulling the wool over his eyes.

Carol Carter and Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Metro, 5th February 2014

For pure imagination, there's currently little to match Chris Bran and Justin Chubb's sitcom about the parochial island vaguely inspired by their native Guernsey. This week, the ineffectually autocratic Arbiter Maven tries to stop residents from celebrating the festival of Nacken. They ignore him, sneaking off to the Moosic tavern for a night of revelry, with entertainment provided by Master Croog and Rex Camalbeeter. Trouble ensues, however, when a certain someone is awoken. Rob Brydon guests.

David Stubbs, The Guardian, 29th January 2014

Radio Times review

This is the one the fans have been waiting for. It's the festival of Nacken so, ignoring Arbiter Maven's edict to take their Nightly Bye pill and sleep in peace, the residents hit the Moosic Tavern for a Dionysian all-nighter.

Inspired by Sky's smart decision to package up all the songs from series one into a music special two years ago, creators Chris Bran and Justin Chubb deliver a whole episode of catchy, weird sing-along folk. It's safe to say the pair, who write the series in a room full of musical instruments and switch constantly between script and song, own a copy of The Wicker Man.

Amid all the strange duos played by Bran and Chubb is guest star Rob Brydon as the beefy, Springsteen-esque Rex Camalbeeter. His song Female Badger will stay in your head for a week.

Jack Seale, Radio Times, 29th January 2014

Now is Threesday at Tidetime Ten after Noon Day Gush on the unique comedy isle of Jinsy, where we find Arbiter Maven hankering after a shiny pendant bestowed upon star pupils by girls' etiquette teacher Miss Penny. Dame Eileen Atkins is the sparkling talent in tonight's guest spot, joining comedy genii Justin Chubb and Chris Bran as the daily whirl spins around them, tonight featuring a singing obituary for those who succumbed to a dodgy quiche. It's a big 'woof' from us.

Carol Carter and Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Metro, 22nd January 2014

Radio Times review

Eileen Atkins is this episode's celebrity guest, playing the head of a girls' finishing school that Arbiter Maven (Justin Chubb) wants to infiltrate, so he can get one of their nice silver pendants. Before long he and Sporall (Chris Bran) are in party dresses and pigtails, learning how to work a fringed umbrella - but the school has a dark and silly secret.

As usual, the irrelevant songs and sketches provide the biggest laughs: a sung obituary for the victims of a bad quiche, an ad for psychotropic chewing gum, and folk singer Melody Lane with the plaintive ballad I Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really Really.

Jack Seale, Radio Times, 22nd January 2014

It's such a shame Jinsy aren't in the Eurovision Song Contest because tonight's offering from the island's superstar folk diva Melody Lane, the potential smash-hit Five Special Potatoes, has got douze points written all over it - in tiny letters only legible to lice.

Yes, it's more inspired silliness from the Jinsy crew, with Arbiter Maven in fear of his life when an astrologer (Katy Brand), who specialises in rat bottom readings, prophesies his imminent demise.

Carol Carter and Larushka Ivan-Zadeh, Metro, 15th January 2014

Radio Times review

Arbiter Maven's official duties are banal - as this peach of an episode opens, he's judging a contest to find Jinsy's best bucket with a face drawn on - but at least they're not usually dangerous. So when a fortune-teller predicts he'll be assassinated during a sunset duck-impersonation ritual, he takes action.

He can't skive it, since if he doesn't appear, tradition dictates he be relieved of his duties and replaced by a duck. So he finds a doppelganger, who unfortunately turns out to be a fairground lag who behaves like a cross between Old Man Steptoe and Sid Vicious. A My Fair Lady parody ensues, with Cronenbergian overtones and a superb double performance from Justin Chubb.

In the Moosic Tavern, elderly duo Retch & Hoik make a welcome return to the stage. Their composition Deborah is the sort of song the Undertones would have written if they'd been around in the 1920s and had known a transvestite plumber.

Jack Seale, Radio Times, 15th January 2014

This Is Jinsy is one of those weird British comedies, like The League of Gentleman and The Mighty Boosh, whereupon a first viewing, it seems inaccessibly strange but, given time, you come to embrace its eccentricities.

It's a learning experience. Here, Stephen Fry joined the cast as a coiffured professor obsessed with fine hair, whose arrival bagan a string of events that culminate in an ancient wig coming to life and terrorising the residents. Of course.

There's a lot to be said for unadulterated, often creepy silliness. Jinsy's best moments are its tiny asides: someone holding a newspaper with the headline "COW DIES"; a TV show (hosted by Greg Davies in drag) called Punishment Roundup; something named The Singing Obituaries. It's very silly, but very worth it.

Will Dean, The Independent, 9th January 2014

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