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Episodes cast for
"Lead Balloon" (2006) More at IMDbPro »

Season: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Year: 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2011


Season 1


Season 1, Episode 1: Rubbish

4 October 2006
Grumpy, not wholly successful comic Rick Spleen lives with his girlfriend Mel, a placid talent agent and his grasping daughter Sam, who is dating the thick Ben. Eatern European housekeeper Magda completes the household. Rick and his American co-writer Marty are having problems with material for a recycling campaign and a corporate show for a loan company, which means that it ends up in the bin, along with the fruit cake given Rick by local café owner Michael. Rick finds that his stuff has been well and truly recycled after an article appears in the paper by a journalist who has been rifling through his bin.

Season 1, Episode 2: Wayne

11 October 2006
Rick's insomnia is not helped by the noisy paper boy Wayne who arrives just as he is trying to drop off and a visit to the sarcastic female newsagent is to no avail. When the toaster breaks down Rick lies to the electrical shop man about when he bought it,resulting in more sarcasm and the need to buy a new toaster. Unfortunately Rick has been 'borrowing' spoons from Michael's cafe and Michael wrongly believes that the toaster is a gift to atone for Rick's taking the spoons. And so an unsatisfactory day is followed by another sleepless night.

Season 1, Episode 3: £5000

18 October 2006
After taking Magda's advice to rub vodka on his cut eye - which makes it more painful - Rick agrees to sponsor Michael's charity skipping marathon but realises that,due to a misunderstanding,he will owe him five grand and not a fiver. His offer of a five hundred pound flat rate is refused so Rick has to take drastic action - 'accidentally' running Michael over, and getting arrested as a result.

Jack Dee ... Rick Spleen
Ian Ashpitel ... Graham McLean

Raquel Cassidy ... Mel

Anna Crilly ... Magda

Sean Power ... Marty

Antonia Campbell-Hughes ... Sam

Rasmus Hardiker ... Ben

Tony Gardner ... Michael

Owen Brazendale ... Community Support Officer
John Seaward ... Awards Guest (uncredited)

Season 1, Episode 4: Allergic

25 October 2006
Rick is working with comedy legend Bob Fairchild but takes a dislike to him and deliberately gives him coffee, knowing that he is allergic to caffeine. Next day he hears that Bob has died. The success of his appearance on panel show 'Bullet In The News' and the awareness that he has not killed Bob after all cause Rick to get drunk. This is not a good idea as, on returning home, he finds Mel consoling Bob's daughter Fiona, one of her clients, and he lets the drink do some rather unfortunate talking.

Season 1, Episode 5: Pistachio

1 November 2006
Rick buys a pistachio coloured motor scooter, which causes general derision and comments that it makes him look gay. He decides that the purchase of a leather jacket would give a more butch semblance but his paranoia about being mistaken for a gay leads to some unfortunately homophobic comments at the Annual Hairdressers Awards. After a run in with Mr. Tilak, the stroppy dry cleaner over some 'invisible' mending, Rick ends up painting his scooter black.

Season 1, Episode 6: Fatty

8 November 2006
When chat show host Adam Greene ribs him about being overweight Rick decides to exercise at the local gym. Unfortunately, when another gym user comments on his weight and Rick attributes it to the side effect of cancer treatment, the other man turns out to be a genuine cancer sufferer. Rick finds a missing cat in the garage and Magda returns it to its owner for a hundred pound reward, but a guilty Rick donates the money to a cancer charity. When the cat owner's son makes him give the money back, he too comments on Rick's weight - and, to round off a perfect day, Ben breaks Rick's DVD player.

Season 2


Season 2, Episode 1: Giraffe

15 November 2007
Rick appears as the celebrity oracle partnering a woman on a game show Trick or Treat,naming the blue whale and not the giraffe as the world's tallest mammal. Not only does he end up on the Dunces and Dorks website of dumb quiz show answers but has to make good his promise to his partner that he will buy her the star prize car if they fail to win it. His efforts to buy a cheap car and pass it off as the prize lead to yet another brush with the law whilst he causes a domestic crisis by insulting Magda,prompting her to threaten to give notice.
Michael Fenton Stevens ... Trevor
Gail Kemp ... Linda Parsons

Jack Dee ... Rick Spleen

Raquel Cassidy ... Mel

Sean Power ... Marty

Anna Crilly ... Magda

Tony Gardner ... Michael

Antonia Campbell-Hughes ... Sam (as Antonia Campbell Hughes)

Rasmus Hardiker ... Ben

Ralph Ineson ... Bob Marlin

Alan McKenna ... Policeman
Chris Wilson ... Arresting Police Officer (uncredited)

Season 2, Episode 2: Hero

22 November 2007
Rick gains heroic status after dissuading a suicidal paedophile from jumping to his death and cashes in on his new fame by asking the man he recognizes as a television producer to dinner to discuss a new project. However not only is Magda's dinner so foul it gets thrown out but the man is in fact the roofer who did some work for Rick previously so he has to pretend that he wants a new conservatory in order to save face.

Season 2, Episode 3: Points

29 November 2007
Rick is caught speeding and sees that if he gets three more points he will be disqualified from driving. His attempts to persuade Marty, Mel and newly-qualified driver Magda to take the rap all fail and he ends up having to attend a speeding management course where he is humiliated by a sarcastic group leader. Michael asks him to front a campaign to save the local library but changes his mind on learning that Rick owes outstanding library fines and got into a ruck with the librarian as a result.

Jack Dee ... Rick Spleen
David Cann ... Mr Randall

Raquel Cassidy ... Mel

Sean Power ... Marty

Anna Crilly ... Magda

Tony Gardner ... Michael

Antonia Campbell-Hughes ... Sam (as Antonia Campbell Hughes)

Rasmus Hardiker ... Ben

Matilda Ziegler ... Fiona (as Matilda Zeigler)

Alan Carr ... Darryl Pinkton (voice)

Season 2, Episode 4: Idiot

6 December 2007
Rick agrees to take part in an appeal for the Human Cellular Combustion Syndrome charity - on behalf of people whose illness causes them to spontaneously combust. However it is a spoof and he has been set up and made to feel an idiot, After a row with Marty over who really writes his material Rick reluctantly agrees to an interview with one of Mel's clients,ice-skater Gina Therese,but feels an idiot again after the interview involves his being towed onto the rink in a giant ice skate.

Jack Dee ... Rick Spleen

Rufus Jones ... Brendan Carter / Vince

Raquel Cassidy ... Mel

Sean Power ... Marty

Rasmus Hardiker ... Ben

Anna Crilly ... Magda

Antonia Campbell-Hughes ... Sam (as Antonia Campbell Hughes)

Leo Bill ... Garry

Tony Gardner ... Michael
Davina Myles ... Gina Therese

Season 2, Episode 5: Sick

13 December 2007
Rick would rather be working on his new project,a show called 'Lying or Flying' but,when Mel goes down with the flu he agrees to take her calls for her,which proves harder than he expected. Magda offers her home-made soup to help Mel but as ever she has brought a recipe for disaster. Michael,who does not believe in illness,hosts a Third World Awareness Day at the cafe and Sam cons Rick into buying a T-shirt in its support.

Jack Dee ... Rick Spleen
Jane Robbins ... Jackie

Sean Power ... Marty

Amit Shah ... Adam

Raquel Cassidy ... Mel

Anna Crilly ... Magda

Tony Gardner ... Michael

Rasmus Hardiker ... Ben

Antonia Campbell-Hughes ... Sam (as Antonia Campbell Hughes)

Christopher Douglas ... Pharmacist
George Keeler ... Tommy Giggles

Season 2, Episode 6: Debacle

20 December 2007
On the face of it Rick is - for a change - an amazing success when he performs a stand-up routine for the Ganton Perinex pharmaceutical company but unfortunately prospective investors take some of his comments to heart and his success is short-lived. By the same token was it really such a good idea to get Michael's metal-detecting holiday a slot on a Wish You Were Here type show?

Jack Dee ... Rick Spleen

Raquel Cassidy ... Mel

Anna Crilly ... Magda

Sean Power ... Marty

Rasmus Hardiker ... Ben

Antonia Campbell-Hughes ... Sam (as Antonia Campbell Hughes)

Tony Gardner ... Michael

Vincent Franklin ... Barry

Craig Parkinson ... Simon Russell
Fiona Bruce ... Herself
Fia Parry ... Ganton Perinex Pharmaceutical Employee
Alex Liang ... Japanese Investor (uncredited)

Season 2, Episode 7: Rita

26 December 2007
Rick has a small role in a film starring former Hollywood great Rita Stetler,Michael's father's pin-up girl but Rick considers it unprofessional to ask Rita for the autograph that Michael's father wants so he forges her signature. Then comes the news that Rita has been taken ill and is unlikely to come to Britain. Will Rick get away with it or will Alan,the lazy,football-obsessed electrician who is installing new power points in Rick's house,drop him in it?

Season 2, Episode 8: Lucky

3 January 2008
Rick feels he deserves more out of life than endless corporate gigs for the likes of the Greenway supermarket chain so that when the call from Hollywood to write for a star comic comes he sees it as his ticket to fame - except that the call is actually for Marty,who jets off to the States. Initially Rick feels that he will make a bigger success as a solo writer but,beset by Sam and Ben's failed dog-walking scheme and Michael's accounts of his visits to cuddle parties,Rick is only too pleased to see that Marty has turned the job down.

Season 3


Season 3, Episode 1: Gas

13 November 2008
At a charity auction Rick opens the bidding for a waistcoat worn by late rock star Graham Evans but finds himself stuck with it when nobody else wants to outbid him. He also notes Ambrose,Michael's father,with another man,their conduct suggesting that they are a gay couple. Michael refuses to believe it but,at the disastrous reopening of the cafe as a trendy restaurant,Rick's suspicions about the two men are confirmed. Meanwhile Magda moves in with Rick and Mel after the boiler in her flat is leaking toxic gas and Rick discovers that Graham Evans' waistcoat is indeed very valuable. Unfortunately he has given it to Ben,who cut it up as part of his textiles project at college.

Season 3, Episode 2: Panda

20 November 2008
With Magda now a permanent fixture in the house and addicted to daytime chat shows and Michael confused after the revelation about Ambrose, Rick finds some solace in the fact that he is to feature in 'Where Are You From?',a television show which traces celebrity's ancestors. As he explains to Marty his real name is not Spleen but Shaw - which causes Magda to think he is Chinese. With a name like Rick Shaw he had to become a comedian in order to defend himself against school teasing. Unfortunately,however, his ancestry is considered too dull for the show but Sam and Ben actually stir themselves to make a record and put it on YouTube.

Jack Dee ... Rick Spleen

Raquel Cassidy ... Mel

Sean Power ... Marty

Rasmus Hardiker ... Ben

Antonia Campbell-Hughes ... Sam (as Antonia Campbell Hughes)

Anna Crilly ... Magda

Tony Gardner ... Michael

Richard Lintern ... Calvin

Bruce Mackinnon ... Commercial Director

Season 3, Episode 3: Fax

27 November 2008
After scoring minus twelve, the lowest score ever in the history of pretentious radio panel game 'Watch Your Language' Rick's day gets even worse when his email system crashes and he has to go into an estate agents pretending to buy a house in order to use their fax system to send a script,resulting in his having to view a house. Michael is in therapy regarding Ambrose's sexuality and Magda is looking forward to a car boot sale but the best news is that Sam and Ben's song could be used on a television commercial.

Season 3, Episode 4: Karma

4 December 2008
After surviving a near-death experience in the television studio, Rick decides that life is sweet and,to Marty's cynical amazement,becomes placid and positive,letting insects go free and not even blowing his top when Magda sells his father's war medal in a boot sale. And then he seems likely to have landed the star role in a television series. Can he really have found good Karma? Or,since he is Rick Spleen,will it all go down the drain,like Sam and Ben's relationship?

Season 3, Episode 5: Spikey

11 December 2008
The bad news for Rick is that his appearance on Phil Randall's phone-in show was a typical disaster and that Mel has offered to pay for Magda to return home for her sister's wedding. The good news is that Sam has split up with Ben but it gets worse when she seems to be going out with the ultra-gormless Spikey,who calls Rick Dick and is a 'walking bio-hazard'. Rick and Mel are invited to a dreadful play written by one of Mel's clients,who turns out to be a former stand-up. The play's high-spot is when Ben's phone,which Rick has in his possession,goes off at a crucial moment,a fact which gets reported in the local paper's review of the play to Rick's embarrassment. At least Rick can save some money when it turns out that Magda's sister's wedding is off as the groom is already married .And Sam goes back to Ben after Spikey puts himself in hospital after trying to illegally reconnect his electricity.

Jack Dee ... Rick Spleen

Raquel Cassidy ... Mel

Antonia Campbell-Hughes ... Sam (as Antonia Campbell Hughes)

Anna Crilly ... Magda

Sean Power ... Marty

Tony Gardner ... Michael

Rasmus Hardiker ... Ben
Alex Lowe ... Phil Randell

Bronson Webb ... Spikey

Ronan Vibert ... Sir Kenneth Albright
Lorna Watson ... Susan

Alex Macqueen ... Brendan (as Alex MacQueen)

Nadia Cameron-Blakey ... Camilla Raines

Season 3, Episode 6: Mistake

18 December 2008
The printers have wrongly spelled Rick's name as Bick on his letter-heads so that when Magda brings her sister to stay Rick pays her to alter the mistake with typing fluid but she runs out and has to improvise. Mel's office is being redecorated so she works from home with her secretary Izzy,who has quite an effect on Marty though Magda dislikes her. Rick overhears Mel trying to pitch one of her clients to appear on a game show and rings up the producer to sabotage the man's chances. What he has failed to realise is that Mel was actually trying to put Rick forward for the show so once again he has shot himself in the foot. Nor do Sam and Ben's attempts to cook food to sell at a rock festival go down well with Clive from next door.

Jack Dee ... Rick Spleen

Raquel Cassidy ... Mel

Sean Power ... Marty

Anna Crilly ... Magda

Antonia Campbell-Hughes ... Sam (as Antonia Campbell Hughes)

Rasmus Hardiker ... Ben

Tony Gardner ... Michael

Rob Jarvis ... Printer

Eleanor Matsuura ... Izzy
John Biggins ... Clive Gray

Season 3, Episode 7: Nuts

23 December 2008
Following an incident involving Clive's mother during a performance of 'Peter Pan' in which he is starring,Rick looks forward to Christmas with just Mel and himself. But then Mel feels the need to invite Magda,in mourning for her country's late president whilst Ben,sacked from the Christmas post,asks himself over. Despite his professed disdain for the festive season Marty also shows up when his flight to the sun gets postponed and Rick takes pity on Michael,doomed to spend Christmas alone when his chat-room girlfriend dumps him. Rick is even prepared to ask the dreadful Clive in for a drink but Michael,unwittingly high on the contents of Sam's special mince pies,gives the bore a piece of his mind. All in all a Christmas to remember even though the tree is shedding its needles and Rick's mother has yet again sent him a hamper full of useless things.

Jack Dee ... Rick Spleen

Raquel Cassidy ... Mel

Anna Crilly ... Magda

Sean Power ... Marty

Antonia Campbell-Hughes ... Sam (as Antonia Campbell Hughes)

Tony Gardner ... Michael

Rasmus Hardiker ... Ben

Will Poulter ... Sweet Throwing Boy (as William Poulter)
John Biggins ... Clive Gray
Alex Lowe ... Radio DJ

Season 4


Season 4, Episode 1: Pig

31 May 2011
With no gigs coming in but anxious to plug his partly-written novel Rick sees the chance to gain self-publicity when a Sunday newspaper comes to do an At Home interview with Mel. He even buys a pig to make him seem more interesting but Mel orders him to return it and the shop is shut. Since nobody will mind the pig during the interview he is forced to hide it in the house during the journalists' visit but of course it escapes and his efforts to recapture it leave Rick with egg on his face. Sort of. And then he learns that he will not be mentioned in the article.

Season 4, Episode 2: Dead

7 June 2011
Rick is peeved that everybody goes overboard for Mel's client,rival comic Dan Arrow-Smith who,unlike Rick,is up for a clutch of awards but,just for once,fortune smiles on Rick as,following his commercial for car polish,he is chosen to fill in for the holidaying male presenter of the Bargain Channel,Britain's premier shopping channel. Admittedly some of his jokes are considered politically incorrect but he actually manages to get the job on a permanent basis -though only after the regular host chokes to death on a canape.

Jack Dee ... Rick Spleen

Raquel Cassidy ... Mel

Sean Power ... Marty

Anna Crilly ... Magda

Tony Gardner ... Michael

Rasmus Hardiker ... Ben

Antonia Campbell-Hughes ... Sam (as Antonia Campbell Hughes)

Matthew Marsh ... Chuck

Sophie Winkleman ... Donna

David Schaal ... Bargain Channel Producer

Season 4, Episode 3: Shoddy

14 June 2011
Rick gets the chance to co-present the Bargain Channel but gets annoyed with Marty who takes a shine to the female anchor Donna,causing Rick to fluff his lines. At the funeral for Darren,the man he replaced on the show,Rick humiliates himself with his ill-advised effort to impress Donna by taking Holy Communion and later has to lie when Clive from next door returns a shoddy garden ornament purchased through the Bargain Channel.

Jack Dee ... Rick Spleen

Sean Power ... Marty

Raquel Cassidy ... Mel

Anna Crilly ... Magda

Rasmus Hardiker ... Ben

Antonia Campbell-Hughes ... Sam (as Antonia Campbell Hughes)

Tony Gardner ... Michael

Sophie Winkleman ... Donna

Donna Berlin ... Floor Manager
John Biggins ... Clive
Billy Boyle ... Priest
Mick Slaney ... Mourner

Season 4, Episode 4: Off

21 June 2011
Jobless after the Bargain Channel fiasco Rick kicks around the house wondering if Magda really did break her arm when she tripped on a broken pavement or if she is shamming in order to sue the council. Then he has the idea of starting a stand-up comedy course but it is poorly attended and a session on how to deal with hecklers is sabotaged by Michael. Council employee Libby is in the audience though and,impressed by Rick,gives him funding to give a work-shop at Belford maximum security prison. This goes very well indeed- until he is taken hostage at knife point by burly inmate Donald.

Season 4, Episode 5: Blade

28 June 2011
Donald orders everybody else out of the library, explaining to Rick that he has taken him hostage in order to be provided with a chess set, denied him on safety grounds. He is a fairly jocular kidnapper, even getting Rick to play Twenty Questions to guess his crime - killing a rival drug dealer. He gets Rick to open up about his own insecurities which bores him so much he falls asleep, allowing Rick to tiptoe out of the room, though in his press conference Rick gives a more heroic account of his escape.

Jack Dee ... Rick Spleen

Robbie Coltrane ... Donald
Adam Stevens ... Journalist
Judith Faultless ... Journalist
Nick Wallace ... Press Photographer

Season 4, Episode 6: End

5 July 2011
Rick's prison hostage situation has made him a bankable celebrity again - though Marty is suspicious of the true facts - and he is invited to host the Brave Britain awards. However Clive uses the event to coerce Rick into approving a ramp for his mother's wheelchair,forcing Rick to take drastic action whilst Donald sends a messenger to make Rick admit publicly how he really escaped from the siege. One of these events will increase Rick's popularity but the other will have the opposite effect.

Jack Dee ... Rick Spleen

Raquel Cassidy ... Mel

Sean Power ... Marty

Anna Crilly ... Magda

Tony Gardner ... Michael

Rasmus Hardiker ... Ben

Antonia Campbell-Hughes ... Sam (as Antonia Campbell Hughes)

Michael Simkins ... Newscaster
John Biggins ... Clive
Sarah Belcher ... Production Manager
Gary McCormack ... Donald's Messenger (as Gary Mccormack)
Dan Twine ... Awards Waiter

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