Common As Muck

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Common As Muck
Common as Muck.JPG
Series One title caption
featuring Bernard, played by Richard Ridings
Created byWilliam Ivory
StarringEdward Woodward
Roy Hudd
Tim Healy
Neil Dudgeon
George Raistrick
Nimmy March
Kathy Burke
Ian Mercer
Ending themeOriginal music by The Other Two
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series2
No. of episodes12
Executive producersMichael Wearing
John Chapman (producer)
Running time50 mins
Original networkBBC One
Original release7 September 1994 (1994-09-07) –
12 February 1997 (1997-02-12)

Common As Muck is an English comedy drama serial made by the BBC about the lives of a crew of binmen. It ran for two series. Both were nominated for a BAFTA Television Award for Best Drama Series.


Actor Role
Edward Woodward Nev Smith
Neil Dudgeon Ken Andrews
Richard Ridings Bernard Green
Tim Healy Foxy
Stephen Lord Jonno Fox
Roy Hudd John Parry
June Whitfield Irene Watson
Kathy Burke Sharon
Terence Rigby Dougie Houd
Saeed Jaffrey Nat Prabhakar
Lesley Sharp Christine Stranks
Freda Dowie Dulcie Green
George Raistrick Mister Arnold
Paul Shane Mike Roberts
Tony Melody Nev's Friend
William Ivory Vinny
Simon Ashley Stan
Anthony Barclay Sunil Prabhakar
Michelle Holmes Marie
Nimmy March Denice Andrews

Series One (1994)[edit]

The first series concentrated on the trials and tribulations of a team of bin men through a number of politically motivated moves by the local council to privatise the refuse collection of the fictional town in which the series is set. The main characters are pitched against the corrupt council leaders and are seen to be taken over by a contractor and ultimately triumphing over an increasingly corrupt management. The first series featured Tim Healy, whose character died in the penultimate episode and therefore did not appear in the second series.

  • Episode One 7 September 1994
  • Episode Two 14 September 1994
  • Episode Three 21 September 1994
  • Episode Four 28 September 1994
  • Episode Five 5 October 1994
  • Episode Six 12 October 1994

Series Two (1997)[edit]

The focus of the second series shifted away from the refuse disposal theme, with the opening episode showing the main characters being made redundant; subsequent episodes followed the lives of the characters, showing them experimenting with a number of different jobs including window cleaners, painters and decorators and in the case of Nev Smith coping with retirement after serving 45 years on the bins. A number of new characters were introduced into the second series including those played by veteran actors Frank Finlay, Paul Shane and June Whitfield and a minor role for James Nesbitt as a parish priest. The Complete Series 2 DVD was released on 24 November 2014.

  • Episode One 8 January 1997
  • Episode Two 15 January 1997
  • Episode Three 22 January 1997
  • Episode Four 29 January 1997
  • Episode Five 5 February 1997
  • Episode Six 12 February 1997


Owing to the long period of time between the two series the original series was repeated on BBC One in late 1996 immediately prior to the screening of the second series the following year. It was also repeated in full on UK Gold in 1999. The two series were also re-shown on the now-defunct satellite channel Granada Plus in 2002.

Filming locations[edit]

Commercial release[edit]

Series One and Two are available to buy on DVD. Both boxsets were released in 2014, March and November respectively.

External links[edit]