This is the latest series from Craig Cash and Phil Mealey, who wrote BBC2's quietly brilliant Early Doors. Cash also co-wrote (and played Dave in) The Royle Family, so there's pedigree here. You'd expect wry Mancunian wit and warm character comedy - and that's exactly what you get. The story centres on Steve Coogan as Bing, a lovable but hopeless chancer given to joking his way out of trouble. He leads not so much a hand-to-mouth existence as hand-to-bookies, and so spends much of the time in the doghouse with girlfriend Bernadette (beautifully played by Lisa Millett). There's quality support from Bernard Hill as Bing's dad, whose idea of babysitting is to wake his grandson up for an evening of tall stories about how he gave Hitler a Chinese burn. And Cash and Mealey turn up as bin-men. It's gently amusing, with a loving attention to detail, but don't expect belly laughs - it's classed as a comedy drama.
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