Celebrities and politicians are lampooned by a talented team of impressionists in this comedy sketch show.
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Jon Culshaw ...
Kevin Connelly ...
...
Mark Perry ...
Jan Ravens ...
Jess Robinson
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Storyline

A talented group of impressionists perform a variety of topical comic sketches sending up politicians, celebrities and other well-known public figures. Written by Mark Smith <msmith@osi.co.uk>

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Comedy

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15 March 2002 (UK)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In radio recordings of the show the actors ask the audience for impressions to do as a warm up. See more »

Quotes

BBC Announcer: You're watching BBC four. Quiet, isn't it?
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Connections

Featured in Hitler: The Comedy Years (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Better on radio
7 January 2004 | by See all my reviews

Listen to this on R4, and some of the impressions are aurally stunning. Jan Ravens' Anne Robinson is amazingly accurate, as is Jon Culshaw's Tom Baker/Dr Who (pity that it is out of date). Mark Perry must have cursed the day that Robin Cook resigned, as his unintelligible rants were a highlight. The biggest praise I can bestow on the show is that there have been several occasions (eg the Archers) where I am unable to tell whether it is Jon Culshaw, Mark Perry or Kevin Connolly doing the voice (Jan Ravens of course is fairly obvious, though). The show also built up its share of catchphrases, the favourite of which is "OH NO" as spoken by Ruth Archer (Americans probably haven't a clue who that is!). The spoof phone calls were a bit hit and miss, and usually funnier when the victim is a celebrity, like when Jon Culshaw as Brian Perkins called the real Brian Perkins.

All the above comments were about the radio show. The problem with transferring to TV is making the impressionists look like the people they're lampooning, and here the show falls down. The skill of the vocal mimicry can't disguise the fact that Jan Ravens cannot look like Sophie Raworth, Anne Robinson, Kirsty Wark or Nigella Lawson. Mark Perry is obviously quite a big man, considerably larger in stature than his voices (David Dickenson, Robin Cook), and Kevin Connolly always resembles himself. In fairness Jon Culshaw - "in character" - looks like a couple of his victims, but that's about it. The material - which seemed so sharp on the radio - is a bit tired in comparison. The "Candid Camera" stunts are as variable as the spoof phone calls, but you have to admire Jon Culshaw's improvisational skills in the various ridiculous situations in which he involves unsuspecting members of the public. My own favourite was "Michael Parkinson" interviewing people at a bus stop. Still a good if disappointing watch.

Keen eyed readers will notice that I have not referred to Phil Cornwell. I can only assume that he is in the show to give the idea that anyone can get on, however bad the impersonation. Yes, I do not see how he is able to share the stage with the four others, who do have talent for vocal mimicry. Phil Cornwell may have a sharp eye for comedy, but he is not an accurate impressionist. All the characters on Stella Street were OTT caricatures and were never meant to be seen as accurate, but that's not good enough on this show, where his Greg Dyke/Michael Caine is by far the biggest irritation.


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