Bleak Expectations’ TV adaptation


The BBC’s Dickensian radio spoof Bleak Expectations is being adapted for television, according to the Guardian and others.

Obviously this is great news for a fantastic writer and a talented cast, but I’ve got mixed feelings about it – I love Bleak Expectations; it’s one of the funniest shows around – but like Hamish and Dougal, a lot of the gags have been written (brilliantly) for radio, and work best in that format, so I have this worrying feeling that a TV adaptation would kill the humour. I have visions of canned laughter and watered-down scripts.

Possibly I’m just a bit sniffy of having something I love becoming more commercial and well-known (a bit like I was with Mitchell and Webb and Little Britain, both of which I much preferred on the radio), but successful radio shows being turned into TV always make me twitchy.  Also, I get a bit pissed off that TV always seems like the glittering prize, and radio sitcoms aren’t commended on their own merit.

On the bright side, Bleak Expectations’ scriptwriter Mark Evans and producer Gareth Edwards are on-board, so signs are good, and hopefully this will be the dawn of a great new TV show, not the end a brilliant radio series.

(Update – according to BE castmember, James Bachman, on Twitter, it’s not an adaptation per se, but a totally different Victorian spoof, called ‘Old Shop of Stuff’ with Mark Evans on scripting duties – good news!)

Here’s a clip from the first radio series and Mr Gently Benevolent’s evil laugh for your listening pleasure:

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