Twenty Twelve. Image shows from L to R: Siobhan Sharpe (Jessica Hynes), Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville). Copyright: BBC
Twenty Twelve

Twenty Twelve

  • TV sitcom
  • BBC Two / BBC Four
  • 2011 - 2012
  • 13 episodes (2 series)

Mockumentary about the team organising the London Olympics. Stars Hugh Bonneville, Jessica Hynes and Olivia Colman. Also features Amelia Bullmore, Karl Theobald, Vincent Franklin, Morven Christie, Samuel Barnett and more.

Press clippings Page 5

In the first of a new run of the Olympics mockumentary Twenty Twelve, the hapless Games organisers were - as usual - struggling to fix a series of semi-consequential problems with signature incompetence. It's the same jokes all over again, and, like the most worn-out Sorkinisms (recycled material), they become less and less funny with each repetition. Still, in spite of myself, I chuckled at the Nathan Barley-esque names for the employees of PR company Perfect Curve: "Senior Trend Analyst, Coco Lomax; Information Architect, Barney Lumsden; and Viral Concept Designer, Karl Marx."

Tim Walker, The Independent, 11th July 2012

Twenty Twelve review

With the end of the Games only a month away now, one of the things I'm already preparing to miss is Twenty Twelve.

Caroline Frost, The Huffington Post, 11th July 2012

Olympic sitcom in real life security breach

Olympic officials grant permission to film in a highly restricted security area, to a television sitcom satirising Olympic security. Said sitcom - a heavily trailed BBC prime time show - is then broadcast, creating an actual real life security risk. Only it's not satire, it's real life.

Tom Peck, The Independent, 11th July 2012

The blockheads from the Olympic Deliverance Committee return for three episodes before the Games begin. As usual, Ian Fletcher (Hugh Bonneville, who should win every comedy award going) and his quarrelsome minions are wading through a towering mess of inconsequence, PR drivel and pointless bureaucracy.

There are problems with the Olympics travel advice pack, which is too dull and needs a "brand refreshing exercise" so is renamed, with exquisite vacuousness, Way to Go. This is all down to dead-eyed halfwit Siobhan (Jessica Hynes), who seeks to "dial in visual noise".

Then Ian has a disastrous, painfully funny meeting with a nervous and inept police chief, the head of the "catastrophisation unit", who quite obviously has no grasp of her job or the business end of a starting pistol. A joy.

Alison Graham, Radio Times, 10th July 2012

As the Games get closer, the pressure is ratcheted up along with the mangling of the English language. Tonight, we're treated to 'preliminals', 'additionality' and even 'catastrophisation'. Two episodes remain of this pitch-perfect sitcom before London is finally judged by the world. Hopefully, we'll soon discover that the Olympics aren't, after all, being coordinated by doormats, pedants and jargon-spouting 'creatives' who can't locate a world beyond the latest focus-group findings. This week, the Americans are in town, checking security arrangements for their various 'high value' envoys. Not a great time for a row to erupt about the possible customisation of starting pistols to fire live rounds. Oh, and the stadium's post-Games legacy is still a problem. Exit Spurs and West Ham, enter Dagenham and Redbridge FC...

Phil Harrison, Time Out, 10th July 2012

What must the actual Olympics deliverance team think of this brilliant, searing satire, in which each scene is a beautifully crafted showcase of staggering incompetence?

As it returns for three new episodes, Kay (Amelia Bullmore) goes even more off-piste to find future uses for the stadium, while saintly Ian (Hugh Bonneville, super as the straight man) has a meeting with the police 'catastrophisation' unit about starting guns that you just know is going to end in, well, catastrophe.

Metro, 10th July 2012

Twenty Twelve, BBC Two, review

Benjamin Secher reviews the return of BBC Two's spoof Olympics comedy Twenty Twelve.

Benjamin Secher, The Telegraph, 10th July 2012

TV review: Twenty Twelve

Ready, steady, bang - who shot Hugh Bonneville with the starting pistol?

Stuart Jeffries, The Guardian, 10th July 2012

As London's big moment looms ever closer, the Bafta-nominated Olympic-themed sitcom returns for a final run of three episodes. This curtain-raiser, entitled Catastrophisation, opens with 32 days to go until the Games. Newly divorced Head of Deliverance Ian Fletcher (the excellent Hugh Bonneville) chairs his usual succession of interminable meetings, rammed with well-observed management-speak: "going forward", "win-win", "no-brainer" and other such babble. Lord Coe's on the phone, flapping about transport. Boris is worried about bikes. Everyone's obsessed with "sustainable post-Games legacy". Translation: desperately trying to flog the stadium to anyone who fancies it. Meanwhile, a delegation of American officials arrives to check security arrangements. As usual, Jessica Hynes as clueless branding consultant Siobhan Sharpe and Karl Theobald as incompetent infrastructure guru Graham Hitchins steal most of the laughs. Twenty Twelve's subtly satirical style is much gentler than The Thick of It or Veep but it does share one quality with those shows: as you're chuckling, there's also a creeping sense that somewhere this is all actually happening.

Michael Hogan, The Telegraph, 9th July 2012

This is the least on-message sitcom imaginable: you have to wonder how the London Olympics types feel about being painted as inept morons bouncing from one strategy buzzword to the next. This week, legacy expectations of the Olympic Stadium are downgraded from Spurs or West Ham to Dagenham & Redbridge FC, before the Americans arrive to assess security concerns over dodgy starting pistols. It's almost too realistic to be funny, and - considering the bill for the real thing - a bit like rubbing sandpaper on a nasty graze.

Ben Arnold, The Guardian, 9th July 2012

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