Friday 14 December

The Catherine Tate Show Friday 14 December, 9.25pm

With an extraordinary ear for mimicry and a sure sense of character and comic timing, The Catherine Tate Show presents a variety of unique and quirky characters in this widely-acclaimed sketch show.

The Catherine Tate Show has become a major hit in British comedy, with the catchphrases from this collection taking on a life of their own. The show earned Catherine a British Comedy Award for Best Newcomer in 2004 and a BAFTA nomination in 2005, while critics continue to sing Tate’s praises as the most exciting female comic around. The Guardian has said; “it’s difficult to recall a comic performer/writer with quite this degree of timing, delivery and inventiveness;” while The Times says the series is “sharply observed, cleverly written, and performed with a versatility that is genuinely amazing”.
Characters from everyday life are parodied to the extreme as the talented actress morphs through accents and wigs. Her motley crew of characters include: Bunty Carmichael, the Doncaster Spinners’ best majorette but, at 31, the oldest by about 20 years; Elaine, the Death Row wife who has found love with a convicted murderer awaiting execution; Nan Taylor, who is visited every day by her grandson Jamie and is sweet one minute, then foul-mouthed and racist the next; and Aga Saga Woman, a middle-class parody who helps her children deal with daily traumas such as “Daddy couldn’t find any good brie on his business trip to France.”

The first episode of the series also features Ben and Karen; new parents determined not to let their first baby dictate how they live their lives. They become so uptight about waking their baby they end up eating in their car when they go for a meal with friends. Then there’s fan-favourite Lauren Cooper, a 15-year-old fly-girl who would rather be right than happy. Lauren will never back down in an argument, even if she is completely cornered.

Tate has said that she bases many characters on people she knows. Her mother is the inspiration for the character of Margaret, a woman who is frightened of her own shadow; anything unexpected sends her screaming like she has a severed limb. An Essex couple called Paul and Sam are happily married but slightly simple, and find everyday situations completely hilarious. They are based on a couple Tate knows, but apparently they are not aware of this despite enjoying the sketch. There’s even a character called Allie who is ‘partly based’ on Tate herself. Allie is an extremely tactless woman, who unintentionally offends people when introduced to them at parties.

With major comic talents like Dawn French saying, “Catherine Tate is far too talented and must be destroyed immediately;” you can’t afford to miss TV2’s The Catherine Tate Show, Friday 14 December, 9.25pm.

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