Nathan Barley (2005– )

TV Series  -   -  Comedy
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 2,398 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 5 critic

After publishing a rant about 'idiots' - frantically hip, ignorant scenesters - Dan Ashcroft finds these same people embracing him as his idol and his nerves constantly tested by his biggest fan, moronic scene personality Nathan Barley.

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Series cast summary:
Nicholas Burns ...
 Nathan Barley (7 episodes, 2005)
 Dan Ashcroft (7 episodes, 2005)
 Claire Ashcroft (7 episodes, 2005)
 Rufus Onslatt / ... (7 episodes, 2005)
 Ned Smanks (6 episodes, 2005)
 Jonatton Yeah? (6 episodes, 2005)
 Toby (6 episodes, 2005)
 Pingu (6 episodes, 2005)
 Jones (5 episodes, 2005)
 Sasha (5 episodes, 2005)
David Hoyle ...
 Doug Rocket (4 episodes, 2005)
Joe Van Moyland ...
 Mudd (4 episodes, 2005)
 15Peter20 (3 episodes, 2005)
 Nikolai the Barber (2 episodes, 2005)
 Paul Chipes (2 episodes, 2005)
 Robin (2 episodes, 2005)
Celia Meiras ...
 Dajve Bikinus (2 episodes, 2005)
 Shop Assistant (2 episodes, 2005)
Franck Alba ...
 Mandolin Man (2 episodes, 2005)
 Monika (2 episodes, 2005)
 Troll (2 episodes, 2005)
Vincenzo Nicoli ...
 Paolo (2 episodes, 2005)


Dan Ashcroft, a bad-tempered and chaotic journalist working for hip magazine 'Sugar Ape', believes that he is surrounded by what he calls 'idiots': hedonistic scenesters who care about nothing but the latest trend. Nathan Barley is a prime example of this species, so logically he and his website '' are a hit with Dan's dim-witted workmates. No matter how much Dan tries to avoid him, Nathan keeps causing awkward situations for both Dan and his sister, earnest film-maker Claire. Can the rise of the idiot be stopped? Written by Cineastin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Parents Guide:





Release Date:

11 February 2005 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Box of Slice  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(6 episodes)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In 15Peter20's exhibition, there is a photograph that appears to show political activist 'Mark Thomas VI' urinating through the letterbox of Number 10 Downing Street. See more »


Nathan Barley: [approaches hairdresser] Alright, my man!
Hairdresser: Sit.
Nathan Barley: Yeah, stout.
Hairdresser: What style?
Nathan Barley: Geek Pie.
Hairdresser: [impatiently hands him illustrating board] Draw.
Nathan Barley: [begins illustrating] It's kind of long here, yeah, but short here like its been done at random, but if you look closely, eh, you can see that it hasn't, 'cept you can't tell that... and it's got a few of these in it, yeah paint... lids.
[hands hairdresser small paint tins]
Nathan Barley: .
See more »


Featured in 50 Most Shocking Comedy Moments (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

A futuristic, layered comedy
21 November 2005 | by (Albion) – See all my reviews

I came to Nathan Barley one Friday night totally by accident, as i am usually out and about on weekend nights. I stumbled on it and was immediately sucked in by their world. It may have got the lowest ratings channel 4 have ever received on a Friday night, but its popularity in DVD format shows its cult following. HMV (Leeds)sold out in their first week and had to re-order another 200 or so due to unexpected sales. The comedy depicts an image-conscious world where most of the characters are working in the media spectrum, either in newspapers (Dan Ashcroft), documentaries (Claire Ashcroft) or in websites/music or anything else he can get his idiotic hands into (aka Nathan Barley). The show is the typical 6 episodes. It centres mainly around the 'friendship' between Nathan Barley and Dan Ashcroft. Barley loves Ashcroft and wants to be just like him (e.g. copying haircut, salmon/scrambled egg coffee) but Dan Ashcroft despises him for being 'the King of the Idiots' and for wanting to sleep with his sister. Just as Dan seems to be winning his little personal duel against Barley, things go wrong for him. The comedy is layered and warrants multiple watches. I have watched 'The Mighty Boosh' last week to see what all the fuss was about. I personally believe Nathan Barley to be a far better comedy. More development of characters, better use of language, more money spent on design, interesting take on London society. Futuristic yet still very accessible, i recommend Nathan Barley to anyone. Even my dad managed a few laughs. It has catchphrases and songs, and games (Barley's take on paper, scissors, stones) and slogans (Suga Rape)and a high number of laughs per minute. It is worth buying the DVD just for the booklet of stencils and slogans and 'political comments' which accompanies it. Futures yeah! Would have been nice if Vince Noir (off 'the Mighty Boosh') had been given a better part. If Peep Show was the comedy of 2004, in the words of Ricky Gervais, perhaps Nathan Barley will end up being the new comedy of 2005. Believe.

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