There are larks aplenty down in the Valco aisles as Sky's passable ensemble comedy opens its store for Christmas Eve. John Thomson slips straight into the role of star employee Tim, as store manager Gavin (Jason Watkins at his busybody best) is hoping to break the record for the shop's highest takings. What could possibly go wrong? Cue robbers holding the staff hostage, with their fate in the hand of have-a-go hero Gavin. Knockabout fun.Hannah Verdier, The Guardian, 24th December 2017
Finding a show's humour and tone often takes more than one series, says Alex Smith.Alex Smith, Broadcast, 26th November 2016
I like workplace comedies. The office is such a claustrophobic place and you're compelled to spend most of your day there, sitting next to people you may find unbearable, loud, or whiffy. But what if your workplace is a supermarket? You have the same old problems as the sad office worker, but members of the public are thrown into the mix. Any maniac can just wander in off the street and demand to know why you won't sell him Buckfast at 8.10am.
Yes, the supermarket is a good place for a sitcom, and let's enjoy it now before Amazon's warehouses make them a thing of the past. The sixth series starts tonight in your friendly local branch of Valco. The star of the show, as ever, is Jason Watkins as the cheery store manager, but some of the cheer is dampened by a new and monstrous sales rep, played by Rufus Hound.Julie McDowall, The National, 7th November 2016
The sixth series of the supermarket sitcom opens with Gavin deciding to take better care of Valco's customers by selling healthier food. That's sure to go down well. Ex-Corrie star Georgia May Foote and comedian Rufus Hound join what is now one of Britain's longest-running sitcoms. There's a good reason why it's lasted such a while - it's just hilarious.The Sun, 7th November 2016
A sixth series for the supermarket comedy which, although neither original nor overly ambitious, manages to trundle along nicely with a gentle brand of laughs and a smattering of familiar faces. The new Valco area manager is announced, but Gavin isn't sure about management's decision. Elsewhere, Margaret is hooked on scratchcards and overfamiliar sales rep Duncan Trench (Rufus Hound) arrives in Warrington with big business cards and an even bigger ego.Hannah J Davies, The Guardian, 7th November 2016
Christmas means one thing for a retail powerhouse such as Valco. Sharply elbowing such concepts as peace and goodwill into a fridgeful of expired perishables, Gavin comes to the conclusion that fisticuffs over discounted, low-end audiovisual equipment isn't just for Black Friday, and decides to open the store. All other festivities are put on ice as a result, leading to disquiet among the retail ranks. While unlikely to rank alongside Blackadder's Christmas Caro, a decidedly modern take on the Dickens classic.Mark Gibbings-Jones, The Guardian, 23rd December 2015
It's "Black" Christmas Eve at the discount supermarket Valco: as well as bargains being snapped up by hordes of feral shoppers, there are new and familiar faces in the sitcom that attracts top-quality comic actors, then doesn't do quite enough with them. Gavin (Jason Watkins) has become a Scrooge-like hard man, denying his staff a party and prowling around for vulnerable team members he can corral into working on Christmas Day. Will the return of Julie (Jane Horrocks), the tender guidance of rival store manager Cheryl (Sarah Parish) or the arrival of mysterious head-office enforcer Frank (Richard Wilson) lead to a softening of his spirit?Jack Seale, Radio Times, 16th December 2015