Avatar BBC New Sitcom of the Year 2024 Awards

Good morning and welcome to the BBC New Sitcom of the Year 2024 Awards ceremony.

The year 2024 has been an interesting one so far and that level of interest is not about to let up any time soon that’s for sure. Sitcoms are the gift that keeps on giving because no matter what happens in the world, there will always be situations with comedy sprinkled into them like chocolate flakes on a 99 ice cream. Some days all I do is stumble into sitcoms, they’re everywhere! I found one in my pencil case last week and had to show it to the head of BBC comedy in case it was worth the money (it wasn’t).

People have brought into question why you would hold an awards ceremony not even halfway through the year, but you know what? We love celebrating so much that it was only fair that we got to do it more than usual. Have you looked out a window recently? I know I need something to spruce up my moose, so to speak.

It therefore boils down to our three contenders to wow you in the hope of winning that prestigious award. Take it away:

Knees Up
Jenny Knees cannot get a leg up in life. She has worked every day since she left university with nothing much to show for it apart from a mediocre flat with a mediocre flat cat and her flatmate, Sandra. One night she’s out drowning her sorrows at the local pub when she drunkenly boasts to a stranger that she can arrange a party better than anyone else in Manchester. In the morning she wakes up to find a deposit of £200 in her pocket and a list of required items on the back of a napkin. Some of the items though are very unusual and it’s going to take all her moxie and some funny conversations to get it all set up in time. It seems Jenny has undoubtedly signed up for a new line of work.

When the first party is a raging success, there’s another patron waiting the next day. In-between having to go to her regular job she has to plan the next one and the next, each party getting wilder and wilder. Something is bound to get out of control.

Can Jenny get a grip on everything or will the temptations of money, fame and power go to her head? Also will Sandra ever get the phone number of that guy with the lovely eyebrows? Hilarity will ensue no matter what.

Toxic Tosser
What do you get when you take the outdated ideals of a past generation and mix them into 21st century life? You get a recipe for disaster, hilarious disaster.

An ill-advised collaboration between the writers of Mrs Brown’s Boys and possibly some guy who worked on ‘Bless Thy Neighbour’ back in the seventies, Toxic Tosser takes you on a rollercoaster ride with Tony Topic, a man who was somehow frozen in 1975 and thawed in 2025. When he is released, Tony has to deal with all the quirky aspects of the modern world: over-priced food shopping, transgender people, openly gay men and women, diminishing energy supplies, the threat of nuclear war and TikTok. How will he manage this? With the help of his new friend, Gary Whiteguy.

Together they will tussle with these new ideals and try to make Tony understand that behaving and speaking the way he does is no longer acceptable. Can Tony stop touching every young woman he finds? Can Gary make him see that racial prejudice is actually a bad thing and should not be shouted down the high street? Will Tony ever be able to face spending over a quid for a Mars bar? Hilarity will ensue no matter what.

Think about Me
Typical safe BBC sitcom about a man and a woman living together and them discovering all the differences between one another. Jeff likes leaving the toilet seat up but Marnie likes it down. Marnie leaves her clothes all over the bedroom floor and Jeff prefers to have them in the wardrobe. Jeff sometimes likes a pint down the local with his lad mates and Marnie, feeling neglected, tells him that making time for one another is important and if he’s willing to sit down and listen to her concerns she feels that they can reach an equilibrium where each person gets what they want without them having to compromise or, at the worst, separate completely.

Stars an average looking man with some hot woman who doesn’t really know it. Hilarity will ensue no matter what

There you have it folks, our three contenders for the top prize. Vote now either using the psychokinetic energy of your untapped minds or the BBC comedy app. The winner will be announced in a little over a fortnight’s time (if the writer is struggling for a post at the end of the month) or perhaps you already know the winner? If you do, keep it to yourself.

Avatar Cat in the way

Cats like to get in the way. Sitting in the middle of the hallway or on top of the thing you’re trying to use.

Still, I’ve never seen a cat so wilfully in everyone’s way, or giving off such a determined display of not giving a damn, as this cat.

For reasons I cannot explain, this cat is sitting right in the middle of the main entrance to the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford, one of the largest and busiest hospitals in the south of England. Everyone just had to go around it.

Stupid cat.

Avatar One from the Archives – ‘You Don’t Weep’

(A cynical young man sits at a table judging, that’s you (Kevin), and two men walk past).

Chris: Look at that cynical young man there.
Ian: What’s he doing?

(Intense close-up of your (Kevin’s) face)

Chris: He’s judging fruit because even though it carries qualities that can assist with a sexy, varied diet, too much can still mess with your face podge.
Ian: Oh, THAT!
Kev: Leave me alone, let me judge in peace.
Ian: But don’t you realise that fruit doesn’t mean you any harm? It doesn’t have a hidden agenda.
Chris: It’s not out to get you.
Kev: I don’t care! Not enough people *cannot read what the bottom line says due to bad photocopying*
Ian: Look at the beauty of that lemon! It’s perfectly cylindrical, it’s smoothness, it’s balance of danger and sweetness. Doesn’t it make you want to…
Kev: CRY? No. NEVER!
Chris: Surely it must, sir. You are no golem.
Kev: No. I never cry.

(Shock horror: SEVERE GASP)

Ian: He doesn’t cry.
Chris: This imbalance will be bad, awful, awful bad.
Ian: Care to explain with the use of this delicate pulley system?
Chris: No. Follow me.

(Ian and Chris walk offscreen to a white board)

*Presumably Chris is talking* Man. Man doesn’t want to cry but he does. He has to or this happens.

(An explosion goes off)

Ian: What was that?
Chris: That’s what happens when you try to fuck with nature.
Ian: Oooooooooooooooooooooooo.
Chris: To put it like this, if man does not cry, the emotional chumblies vibrate and vibrate. If liquid is not spilt then they catch fire and the whole body explodes.
Ian: Science is mean!
Chris: It sure is, Timmy.
Ian: It’s Ian.
Chris: Okay.

(Back to Kevin) (?)

Ian: So this man needs to cry.
Chris: Exactly.
Ian: So how do we do that?
Chris: If science can cause a perfectly healthy individual to explode then science can also be harnessed for good.
Ian: Holy pickles!
Chris: What we need is…

(Quick shots: plunger, onions, copy of the film ‘Steel Magnolias’)

Then all we need to do is…

(Chris plungers the side of Kev’s head, then he rubs onions into his eyes, lastly he shows him a copy of ‘Steel Magnolias’ on the telly)

Ian: It sounds easy.
Chris: It’s already done (close up of Chris) Romeo Dunne.

(The cynical man is sat crying at his table)

Chris: Oh dear.
Ian: What’s wrong with him?
Chris: It appears as though the science was too much for him. He’s been turned into a jibbering idiot.
Ian: Is that why he’s sat crying over some knives?
Kev: (between sobs) They just… don’t get the same respect… as forks. It’s so upsetting.
Chris: We may need to think about this some more. He’s gone from one extreme to the other. I expect if you hold anything up in front of him he’ll cry even harder.

(Ian holds up a yo-yo, Kev weeps harder)

Ian You were right.
Chris: We need MORE SCIENCE!

(Quick shots: plunger, iron pipes, a copy of ‘Universal Solider’)

Chris plungers back tough back (?) into Kevin’s head, sticks the pipes down his back).

Chris: Not too much ‘Universal Solider’, Timmy, we don’t want him as cynical as he was before.
Ian: Ten four.

(Kev sits at a table)

Ian: How do you feel?
Kev: I’m not sure. I’m a little teary (pulls a face) but I’m also extremely pissed off at this Kinder Egg. The toy on it is crap.
Ian: Is that a result?
Chris: I guess it’ll have to do!

(Both Ian and Chris freeze in mid-hearty chuckle. Kev falls off his chair)


Chris: Crying is perfectly natural. Everyone does it, even pigeons and wolverines. They don’t do it in public but hidden behind those bushes and up on those high buildings they are bawling like bitches.
Ian: Here’s a tip, cry into a towel. It muffles the noise and catches the excess, thus removing the need for tissues.
Chris: Thank you, Timmy.
Ian: How often do you cry, sir?

(close-up of Chris’ face)



Avatar Newsboost – Livin’ La Vida Liar

Shock news today as female inspiration for hit single by Ricky Martin reveals that a lot of the information contained in the song is, “factually incorrect”.

Bernadette ‘Bernie’ Wendell of Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, held a press conference in her home town earlier on today to set the record straight.

She was completely unaware that the song was about her for twenty-five years and it was only when a friend recently played it to her that she recognised some of the key characteristics of the woman in the song as relating to her.

“I was completely taken aback when I realised the song was about me. I had relocated to Thailand for a few years because of work so when it was first released in 1999 I never got to hear it. Latin American pop music wasn’t really their kind of thing over in that side of the world. When Doris, my neighbour, was playing the song during a recent barbeque, you know, when the weather was briefly nice on that weekend, you know the one, I hear the lyrics and BOOM I knew it was about me.”

Mrs Wendell, now married with three children, was asked how she came to meet Mr Martin given the distance between Grimsby and Puerto Rico, where the singer was living at the time. “Enrique was here doing some promo work. You know that transition period between when he was singing in Spanish and thinking about moving to English? He was over ‘ere working the clubs, trying out some new material. Me and him had a bit of a brief spark and we dated for a few weeks when he was in the area. He did love a bit of Yellowbelly cheese I can tell you.”

Mrs Wendell then went on to explain the inconsistencies with the song lyrics.

“He’s such an exaggerator. One time he came over to mine soaking wet so I told him to take his clothes off so I could put them through the drier. Whilst the cycle was on, my favourite song came on the radio and we danced outside in the back garden. The neighbours thought we were mental but that was the kind of thing you did in the late 90’s. Nobody gave a flying fuck. All that sorcery nonsense? I didn’t like walking under ladders, I hardly think that makes me “into” superstitions.”

One of the lowly journalists towards the back of the room then asked if she was also guilty of having, “a new addiction every day and night,” and whether she’d ever slipped drugs into Mr Martin’s drinks. “If anything, it’s the other way round. One time I felt awful, had the squits for a few days. I asked him to buy me some Immodium from the chemist on the way to mine. What did he do? He bought Dulcolax ‘cos he got confused and wasn’t sure. I didn’t check the bottle, took one and it was like a brown wave all night. Horrendous!”

The times and dates of Mrs Wendell’s account seem to match up with Mr Martin’s work schedule at the time, at least according to what little information we have to hand. Mr Martin and his publicist are yet to comment.

Avatar Bit of a fail

I had big plans, huge plans. These plans were colossal and they were monstrous.

If you tried to eat them then you’d either break your jaw trying to fit them in your mouth or you’d have to stop maybe halfway through because you couldn’t have anymore, you were stuffed to the max. They were gigantic.

My marvellous post will have to wait for another time. Until then, feast your eyes on this quiche that my brother served us the last time we were in Leeds. He kept bigging it up (no pun intended), saying how epic it was, how it dwarfed a regular sized quiche and…

Well, it is slightly larger than your average quiche and that’s about it. When you compare it to the Duplo brick though it looks humongous.

Avatar Four Word Reviews: The Christmas Album

It’s April, which means that rising sense of child-like excitement you feel is thanks to Christmas. Here in the Four Word Review lounge we like to crack out a Christmas album around this time of the year (see previous scrapes with Mahalia, Streisand, Bublé and Jewel); now, as the log crackles on the fire and the snow falls outside, it’s time to drop the needle on another. Unfortunately the only festive album I seem to have in store is this one: it’s “The Christmas Album” by the Tweenies.

Cover of The Christmas Album by the Tweenies

Read More: Four Word Reviews: The Christmas Album »

Avatar Obligations

I’m a man of my word and let nobody say otherwise (unless it’s me stating I’m going to get new tyres for my car because I keep saying it and I still haven’t done it yet). It’s this simple principle that I stick to in order for people to believe and trust me as their brother, boyfriend, friend or tree surgeon.

When I recently returned home to visit family, my brother surprised me with the admission that they had been round the charity shops and my nieces had bought some video games for me. A lovely gesture, or course, and one which didn’t initially fill me with a sense of dread. It was only when I remembered the quality of video games available in charity shops that my stomach turned upside-down and inside-out: previous years FIFA games, cricket and other lame sports titles, shovelware Nintendo Wii games where the quality is the same as my arse.

I was handed four Nintendo DS titles and, boy, am I a lucky person. Four excellent condition clangers for my collection. I am not a snob, dear reader, for as the keen chef can tell the good fruit from the bad fruit I can let you know mostly what a good game is and what isn’t. This stack was given to me to review by my brother and that is exactly what I am going to do. I certainly don’t want to play them and you certainly don’t want to read what I have to say, yet this is how it’s going down.

It was either that or trade them in for 40p.

Avatar Suggested new slogan

Ten years ago, when the New Beans was still new, we had a discussion about a marketing slogan for the website. Eventually we settled on Pouring Beans: The Thinking Man’s Casserole which adorns all of our advertising to this day.

Since then a whole decade has gone by, and I wonder if it’s time for a new slogan to appeal to the world of 2024. Until recently I wasn’t sure what I could ever suggest that would beat the current one, but a visit to a coffee shop bathroom in London last week gave me the answer.

One Team. One Pream. We.