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Genre Sketch show
Directed by Iain Davidson
Starring Robert Florence
Iain Connell
Louise Stewart
Kirsty Strain
Allan Miller
Richard Rankin
David Allan
Gerry McLaughlin
Theme music composer John Mark Williams (Series 1), Over the Wall (Series 2)
Opening theme "Stripadilla" (Series 1), "Thurso" (Series 2)
Country of origin Scotland
Original language(s) Scots &
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 19
Executive producer(s) Colin Gilbert
Ewan Angus
Producer(s) Rab Christie
The Comedy Unit
Location(s) Greater Glasgow
Editor(s) Calum Ross
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) The Comedy Unit
Original network BBC Two Scotland (Series 1 & 3)
BBC One Scotland (Series 2)
Audio format Stereo
Original release 25 February, 2009 – 17 July, 2015
External links

Burnistoun is a Scottish comedy sketch show broadcast by BBC Scotland, written by the Scottish comedians Iain Connell and Robert Florence. The show is produced by The Comedy Unit.[1]

Burnistoun is set in a fictional Scottish town in the greater Glasgow area. Characters include Kelly McGlade; Burnistoun's answer to Beyoncé; Paul and Walter, the disturbingly odd brothers that run an ice cream van; Jolly Boy John, who tells the things that make him "For Real" to the accompaniment of a happy hardcore soundtrack ; McGregor and Toshan (the "quality polis"), best friends Scott and Peter and the Burnistoun Butcher, a serial killer who is unhappy with the way he is being portrayed by the media. The town's name is derived from the Springburn and Dennistoun areas of Glasgow, where Florence and Connell, respectively, grew up.[2]

Connell and Florence have previously written sitcoms Empty and Legit and created characters for Chewin' the Fat and The Karen Dunbar Show.[citation needed]

The third and final series started filming in January 2012 and began its run in August 2012, ending in September.[citation needed]

In 2015 BBC Scotland confirmed a 30-minute special of Burnistoun, which was entitled Burnistoun's Big Night and was broadcast on 17 July, 2015.

In 2016, BBC Scotland confirmed another special episode entitled Burnistoun Goes To Work will be broadcast over Christmas.


The pilot was broadcast by BBC Two Scotland on 25 February 2009 and repeated on 29 March 2010. On 20, 22 and 25 January 2010, audience reaction screenings were shown at the Odeon Cinema, Springfield Quay, Glasgow, where approximately 240 minutes of unfinalised sketches (missing music, sound effects and visual effects) were shown to assist the production team in their choice of material for the forthcoming series. The first episode of series one aired on 1 March 2010 at 10pm on BBC Two Scotland.

Burnistoun ran for three series from 2010 to 2012. Each series contained six episodes for a total of eighteen episodes. Each episode ran for thirty minutes, composed of various unconnected sketches with a few running gags and characters (see below).

Recurring characters and situations[edit]

  • Scott and Peter: Scott (Florence) and Peter (Connell) are two friends that live in the town. The two frequently argue, often over things Scott does found by Peter to be strange or embarrassing. Scott and Peter are among the only characters to have been used throughout the show's run.
  • Kelly McGlade and the Sloppy Seconds: An aspiring girl band, led by namesake Kelly McGlade (Florence), along with two other girls, Carly (Kirsty Strain) and Emma (Louise Stewart). Sketches with the band frequently feature the aggressive and hot-tempered Kelly getting into fights with her detractors or chastising Carly and Emma. Kelly was killed off in the final episode of the first season by the town's murderer, the Burnistoun Butcher, as she was under the impression that he would be her new manager.
  • DJ Jesus: A recurring gag in the first series only, where a series of everyday sounds are created in a pattern by people. The camera then pans up to reveal that Jesus (Connell) is creating the pattern by DJ-ing. He is then caught and told off by his father, God (Florence).
  • The Burnistoun Herald: The town's newspaper. Many sketches of varying topics are set in the headquarters of the paper, often centered around the bumbling, technologically-challenged editor (Florence).
  • Paul and Walter: Paul (Connell) and Walter (Florence) are two seventeen-year-old brothers who constantly argue whilst running the ice-cream van. Paul is the disciplinarian, and is often exasperated with Walter's behaviour. Walter sees him as a parental figure, despite the fact that they are both seventeen. Walter, conversely, is very childish, often acting like a five-year-old. He often uses the word "anyway" as a form of punctuation. The two frequently get into trouble for insulting their customers or getting into petty fights right in front of them. The ashes of the brothers' dead "mammy" are frequently brought up. The boys' father is never mentioned. After being used extensively in the Series 1 and the first part of Series 2, they were killed off when their van rolled into the ocean.
  • The Burnistoun Butchers: The town murderer (Connell) is deeply upset and frustrated that he is so often confused with the actual butcher (Florence). He is last seen in season 2 locked up in Doberman Man's holding cells, though is still being confused with an actual butcher.
  • MC Hottie Boxtrot (Richard Rankin): A DJ from the town; he once controversially called Burnistoun a "shithole" on public radio.
  • Burnistoun DJ (Connell): The town's DJ, who is frequently annoyed by the odd guests (often played by Florence) that appear on his show.
  • Jolly Boy John (Connell): A man who makes videos of himself doing strange things in his room 'FOR REAL.'
  • Alex Ciderson (Florence): Another character who was kept throughout the run of the series, Alex Ciderson is the head of his eponymous company. The Alex Ciderson company sells a variety of things, many of which are strange or pointless, such as a scarecrow used for scaring away teenagers (which doubles as a sex toy), a large plastic jaw mask used to conceal a person's braces, and clones of Alex himself. In the show, Alex Ciderson is always seen in commercials for his products. He speaks in a high-pitched, reedy voice.
  • Biscuity Boyle (Florence): A washed-up former athlete who is now overweight and in poor condition. Biscuity Boyle sketches often see him promoting his own endeavours or trying to win people's respect by calling himself "Burnistoun's favorite son." However, his clumsiness and social awkwardness always follow him, and sketches usually see him accidentally farting in somebody's face, with his trousers falling down shortly afterwards.
  • 'the quality polis': MacGregor (Connell) and Toshan (Florence) are two bumbling, clumsy policemen, who, despite always referring to themselves as "quality polis," often make the situations they are investigating worse.
  • Doberman Man (Florence): The town's superhero, Doberman Man was once a chubby young boy who was bitten by a Doberman, turning him into a crime fighter. He is constantly haunted, however, by the fact that he is a virgin.
  • Big Sanny Tolan's boy (Connell): Doberman Man's archenemy and nemesis, who is actually just a man who used to tease him for being a virgin in school.
  • Joe (Connell) and Barry (Florence): Two working-class men in a same-sex relationship who are always worried about going places and doing things that appeal to a specific demographic outside their own. Sketches often end with them saying that they'll go 'up eh road.' This gag was used in Series Three.
  • Burnistoun Kilty Club: Harry MacLauderie (Florence) sings various songs in "braid Scots" at the Kilty Club, before switching to Standard English for the last line, which is always about a famous current celebrity of pop culture phenomenon.
  • Scottish History with Robert Clach: A documentary presenter (Connell) who frequently re-enacts Scottish battles, often attacking unsuspecting people admiring the local scenery. Due to his long hair and energetic style, Robert Clach is often thought to be a parody of Scottish historical documentary presenter Neil Oliver.

Live show[edit]

In March 2015, Connell and Florence created a live stage show based on Burnistoun, entitled Burnistoun: Live and For Real. The show, held at the Kings Theatre in Glasgow, featured Connell and Florence, supported by series regulars Louise Stewart and Gerry McLaughlin, bringing to life sketches and beloved characters such as the Quality Polis and Jolly Boy John.[3] The show generated a very positive response from both fans and critics, and due to its success, more shows were scheduled for August 2015.[4] The show also played at the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.