Paul Merton: The Series (1991–1993)
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Episode #1.1 

Paul gives his unique and bizarre views on everything from what people get up to in Turkish baths to the secret life of his children.




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Episode complete credited cast:
Various Characters
Andy Greenhalgh
Robert Harley ...
Various Characters
Colin Higgins
Lou Hirsch ...
Jim Weaver
Polly Irvin
John Irwin ...
Various Characters
Colin McPhillamy ...
(as Collin Johnson)
Diana Kent
Geoffrey McGivern ...
David Murray (as Geoff McGivern)
Robert Swann
Roger Walker


Paul gives his unique and bizarre views on everything from what people get up to in Turkish baths to the secret life of his children.

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Release Date:

25 September 1991 (UK)  »

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User Reviews

"He's Wearing A Wig!"
12 December 2008 | by (Ambrosia) – See all my reviews

Picture the scene; a man is idly browsing the goods on sale at a tobacconist's kiosk. The owner ( Paul Merton ) asks: "Can I help you?". "I'm just looking!" the man says, to which the owner sarcastically replies: "You're not just looking. You're hearing as well. Now you're speaking.".

We cut to a field where over a soundtrack of bleating sheep, breaking glass and church bells, letters on telegraph wires spell out the show's title: PAUL MERTON THE SERIES.

On a busy train, Paul is amused by a fellow passenger's obvious red wig, but says nothing. A ticket inspector enters the carriage, causing Paul to panic as he remembers he forgot to buy one. 'Wiggy' is escorted to the guard's van for having a two year old ticket on his person. Relieved at not having been rumbled, Paul punches the air in triumph. In so doing, he draws attention to himself.

In a publisher's office, McNulty, the author of a new book on Alfred Lord Tennyson, is sounded out for having crudely plagiarised other works. The entire twelfth chapter comes from a book on chickens. In the heat of the row both publisher and author reveal themselves to be fake characters in 'Mission: Impossible' style masks. Several changes of identity later, they stand exposed as husband and wife. Cue emotional reunion.

Back at the kiosk, Paul ( sporting a miniature office desk on his head ) tells us: "I've got a book at home about the paranormal. I did not buy it, it just appeared in my room one night!".

I think by now you should have a fair idea of the general level of humour. Other surreal flights of fancy are set in a sauna bath, where Paul miraculously conjures up a pint and a cheese ommlette while imprisoned in a wooden box, Paul as a father who tells his lovely daughter Jennifer on her birthday she is ( wait for it ) NOT adopted, and a World War 2 P.O.W. sketch in which he covers for the escapees by carrying with him at all times a pole containing stuffed dummies designed to resemble the absent men.

Merton's influences are plain for all to see: 'At Last The 1948 Show', 'Marty', 'Not Only But Also', and yes, 'Monty Python'. He also brought back something that had been missing from television comedy for some time - visual humour.

Alas the show did not make the impact it deserved. It ran only to two seasons, and is presently unavailable on D.V.D.

Funniest moment - Paul's line: "My ambition is to ask Lee Harvey Oswald, can you remember where you were when Kennedy was assassinated?".

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