15 Storeys High

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15 Storeys High
15StoreysHighS1+2DVD.jpg
DVD cover for the 2007 release of 15 Storeys High series 1 & 2
Created by Sean Lock
Martin Trenaman
Mark Lamarr (as Mark Jones)
Mark Nunneley
Directed by Mark Nunneley
Starring Sean Lock
Benedict Wong
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 12
Production
Producer(s) Phil Bowker
Running time 30 min
Release
Original network BBC Choice
BBC Three
BBC Two
Original release 7 November 2002 – 18 March 2004

15 Storeys High is a critically acclaimed / BAFTA-nominated British sitcom, set in a tower block. The main characters are Vince Clark, a depressed, sardonic recluse played by Sean Lock, and Errol Spears, Vince's optimistic whipping boy, played by Benedict Wong.

Radio series[edit]

Both radio shows (Sean Lock's 15 Minutes of Misery and Sean Lock: 15 Storeys High) were recorded in front of a studio audience. The theme tune used on both radio series is the 1960s song "England Swings" by Roger Miller.

Sean Lock's 15 Minutes of Misery[edit]

The show's original incarnation was a radio series entitled Sean Lock's 15 Minutes of Misery. It was broadcast weekly on BBC Radio 4 in the "Late Night on 4" comedy slot at 11.00pm. It ran for six episodes between 30 December 1998 and 3 February 1999. The show was written by Sean Lock, produced by Dan Freedman and starred Lock, Kevin Eldon and Hattie Hayridge.[1]

Sean Lock: 15 Storeys High (Radio 4)[edit]

Lock's second series was entitled Sean Lock: 15 Storeys High, and it was also broadcast on Radio 4's "Late Night on 4" comedy slot and written by Sean Lock and Martin Trenaman and produced by Chris Neill. These series each consisted of five half-hour episodes. Series one aired from 24 November 1999 to 22 December 1999, and starred Lock, along with Felix Dexter, Jenny Eclair, Tim Mitchell, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Chris Pavlo and Peter Serafinowicz. Series two aired from 24 November 2000 to 22 December 2000, and included roles from Dan Freedman, Alex Lowe, Dan Mersh, Paul Putner, Rob Rouse and Chris Neill.[2] The 15 Storeys High radio series used a different method to present the events going on in other flats in the tower block. It dispensed with the idea of Sean listening in on others using "Bugger King", replacing it with a voiceover simply announcing the flat number of the subsequent scene. The show introduced Sean's flatmate Errol (played by Serafinowicz in series 1, episodes 2–5).

Episodes[edit]

Series one[edit]

  1. The Entry Phone
  2. The Dead Swan
  3. Jolly Shopper
  4. The New Sofa
  5. The Sticky Patch

Series two[edit]

  1. The Stolen Plough
  2. Billy Two Nans
  3. The Pigeon Lady
  4. Decorating The Bathroom
  5. Errol's Girlfriends

TV series[edit]

In 2002, 15 Storeys High was made into a television show which ran for two series, each series consisting of six half-hour episodes. In the television series, Lock's character was named Vince (he was simply Sean Lock in the radio series). Vince's flatmate Errol Spears was played by Benedict Wong. The TV shows were not recorded with a live audience.

The series was written by Lock, Trenaman and Mark Lamarr (credited under his real name, Mark Jones), and directed by Mark Nunneley. In the second TV series Lamarr is also credited as a writer. Digital comedy channel Gold began showing repeats of the first series during September 2014 as part of their After Dark comedy line-up schedules.

Episodes[edit]

Series 1 (2002)[edit]

Episode Title Written by Directed by Viewers
(millions)[3]
Original airdate
1 "The Sofa" Sean Lock & Martin Trenaman Mark Nunneley TBA 7 November 2002
Vince decides to advertise for a new flatmate and ends up with unemployed student Errol. When he decides to get a new sofa, the day ends in tragedy when he ends up losing his Tesco clubcard and two voluptuous women decide to force themselves upon him.
2 "The Model" Sean Lock Mark Nunneley TBA 14 November 2002
Nothing goes smoothly when Vince teaches a model to swim, leading to a confrontation with a very jealous husband. Meanwhile, Errol finally itches a scratch he needed to itch, but it results in him having to entirely redecorate Vince's bathroom.
3 "Blue Rat" Sean Lock & Martin Trenaman Mark Nunneley TBA 21 November 2002
A bargain energy drink from an Eastern European supermarket causes Vince a few problems. Meanwhile, Errol gets a job down at the local fish market, but is unaware that his new bosses are constantly winding him up with fictitious traditions.
4 "Ice Queen" Sean Lock Mark Nunneley TBA 28 November 2002
Vince falls in love with his upstairs neighbour, but finds it difficult to pierce her icy exterior. Meanwhile, a bible-spouting Jehovah's witness causes trouble for Vince when he turns up on his doorstep in a number of different guises.
5 "Pool Kids" Sean Lock & Martin Trenaman Mark Nunneley TBA 5 December 2002
A war of words between Vince and the local kids causing trouble at the swimming pool threatens to escalate into all out war after fireworks are posted through his letterbox, and posters of him being labelled the messiah for bald people being put up around town.
6 "Dead Swan" Sean Lock Mark Nunneley TBA 12 December 2002
Vince decides to have his holiday snaps from two years ago published, but a photo of him holding a dead swan taken by his ex-girlfriend leads to him being accused of a crime that could have him facing a lengthy term in prison.

Series 2 (2004)[edit]

Episode Title Written by Directed by Viewers
(millions)
Original airdate
1 "Vince the Shirker" Sean Lock, Martin Trenaman & Mark Lamarr Mark Nunneley TBA 12 February 2004
Vince falls for the aqua aerobics instructor, Stacey, while Errol tries to conquer his phobia of saying "no". Later, Vince takes co-worker Darren out for his birthday, but his plans to take him to a surprise party organised by Stacey go badly wrong when a thug loses his jacket.
2 "Car Boots and Pigeon Shit" Sean Lock, Martin Trenaman & Mark Lamarr Mark Nunneley TBA 19 February 2004
Car-boot sales, pigeon droppings and ping-pong enthusiasts converge to create a bad day for Vince. To make matters worse, a bunch of local estate kids have taken to smoking weed in the lifts, and Errol decides to take up bodybuilding after returning home stoned.
3 "Holiday" Sean Lock, Martin Trenaman & Mark Lamarr Mark Nunneley TBA 26 February 2004
Vince attempts to go on holiday, leaving Errol alone in the flat with strict instructions. Things don't go to plan, however, when an argument with the check-in receptionist leads to Vince ripping up his ticket and ending up insulting Finnish people in a number of different ways.
4 "Plough" Sean Lock, Martin Trenaman & Mark Lamarr Mark Nunneley TBA 4 March 2004
Vince wakes up after a night out and realises he has stolen a plough. He tries to return it, but later discovers that while drunk, he wrecked a graveyard. However, the vicar is more interested in becoming friends with him. Errol takes Vince's advice and tries to become less 'boring'.
5 "The Baby" Sean Lock, Martin Trenaman & Mark Lamarr Mark Nunneley TBA 11 March 2004
Vince applies for the job as manager of the swimming pool. Errol starts smoking after using a nicotine patch as a replacement bandage.
6 "Errol's Women" Sean Lock, Martin Trenaman & Mark Lamarr Mark Nunneley TBA 18 March 2004
Vince's depression has caused Errol, who has become irresistible to the ladies, to seek help.

Filming locations[edit]

The flat in which Vince lives was actually filmed in a studio with large pictures of the adjacent tower blocks as a backdrop. All other flats in both series are real, and are located in the Brandon Estate, Kennington, London. The British science fiction drama Doctor Who has also used this location. The location of the swimming pool, in which Vince works as a lifeguard, is Ladywell Leisure Centre in Lewisham, South East London in the first series. (map). In the second series, the swimming pool used is in the basement of the Shell Centre next to Waterloo station. The Elephant and Castle Shopping centre is also used as a location in several episodes, notably the Sundial restaurant and the Bowling alley.

Series one was initially broadcast on BBC Choice (the forerunner to BBC Three) from 7 November 2002 to 12 December 2002. Series two was broadcast from 12 February 2004 to 18 March 2004.[4]

The show starred Sean Lock and Benedict Wong. Additional cast members included Dan Mersh, Bill Bailey, Aml Ameen, William Tomlin, Steven Webb, Mark Lamarr, Toby Jones, Tracey-Ann Oberman, Felix Dexter, Paul Putner, Perry Benson, Simon Godley, Melanie Gutteridge, Peter Serafinowicz, Michael Greene and James Bachman.

DVD[edit]

The second series was not released on DVD alone until both series were released as a two-disc set on 17 February 2007. The extras include commentaries by Phil Bowker, Mark Lamarr, Sean Lock, Mark Nunneley and Martin Trenaman and a conversation with Sean Lock and Mark Lamarr, entitled 'Writing 15 Storeys'.[citation needed]

Awards[edit]

In 2003, 15 Storeys High was nominated for a BAFTA in the Best New Director category for its unique style, and innovative shots.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "epguides.com". Sean Lock's 15 Minutes of Misery a Titles & Air Dates Guide. Archived from the original on 1 August 2008. Retrieved 18 August 2008. 
  2. ^ "epguides.com". Sean Lock: 15 Storeys High a Titles & Air Dates Guide. Archived from the original on 17 August 2008. Retrieved 18 August 2008. 
  3. ^ http://www.barb.co.uk/whats-new/weekly-top-30?
  4. ^ "epguides.com". 15 Storeys High a Titles & Air Dates Guide. Archived from the original on 18 August 2008. Retrieved 18 August 2008. 

External links[edit]