wed 21/04/2021

Bellamy's People, BBC Two | reviews, news & interviews

Bellamy's People, BBC Two

Bellamy's People, BBC Two

Bogus radio host makes satirical transition to the small screen

Born out of the spurious Radio 4 phone-in show Down The Line, created by Fast Show veterans Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson, Bellamy’s People takes bogus broadcaster Gary Bellamy out on the road and in front of the cameras to meet his public. On Radio 4 (before being unmasked as a spoof), Bellamy was bombarded with angry listeners decrying his sexism, racism and all-round witless stupidity.

As portrayed on telly by Rhys Thomas, Bellamy seems slightly less likely to suffer a fat lip, and is a subtly calibrated mixture of vanity and ingratiating chumminess. Yet, as he trundles ostentatiously around the country in his Union Jack-adorned Triumph Stag, keen to be seen rubbing shoulders with a cross-section of multicultural Britain, the extent of Bellamy’s dimness and self-obsession is systematically revealed.

Bellamy pretends that the show is about meeting his listeners, but it’s really all about him. During his encounter with Sixties rock manager Ian Craig-Oldman (played by Whitehouse as a ringer for former Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham), Bellamy responds to Craig-Oldman’s stream of drunken abuse (“My God! What a cock the young Gary Bellamy was!”) with the sulky protestation, “But I’ve won awards!”

Feigning interest in a conversation with the earnest parish worker Sam Maitland, Bellamy gets it into his head that God and religion are “a little bit like snowboarding”, and keeps harping on about it until he forces the discussion to a halt. Trying to get pally with thuggish ex-con Tony Beckton (Simon Day), the inept Bellamy ends up grovelling in terror as Beckton energetically mimes an armed robbery.

Behind its deadpan and gently farcical exterior, Bellamy’s People asks some surprisingly pertinent questions. By chance, on the day that a row broke out about the NHS’s erratic treatment of the morbidly obese, one of the characters, Graham Downes, is a 23-stone man too fat to leave his bed in his mum’s house in Harlow. He spends all day surfing the net and eating Sugar Puffs.

And if you ever wondered how somebody becomes a “community leader”, meet Mr Khan “at the heart of the Asian community in Leicester”. “What does that entail? What does a community leader actually do?” pesters Bellamy, as Mr Khan puffs himself up and struts around glad-handing the local shopkeepers. It quickly becomes evident that none of them has ever heard of him. Could this show become a post-Fast Show classic?

Watch Bellamy's People here on BBC iPlayer

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the show is gust busting funny some people might not get it because they are expecting nasty humour like little Britain or the office but this comedy goes beyond stereotypes i hope they keep all the characters for the next show because we all need grown up humor every now and then.

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