Count Arthur Strong (TV series)

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Count Arthur Strong
Genre Sitcom
Created by
Based on Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show! 
by Steve Delaney
Written by
  • Steve Delaney
  • Graham Linehan
Directed by Graham Linehan
Composer(s) Jon Boden
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 13
Executive producer(s)
  • Richard Daws
  • Jon Rolph
  • Gregor Sharp
Producer(s) Richard Boden
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s)
  • Komedia Entertainment
  • Delightful Industries
  • Retort TV
Distributor FremantleMedia
Original network BBC Two (2013)
BBC One (2015–present)
Picture format 16:9 1080i
Audio format Stereo
Original release 8 July 2013 (2013-07-08) – present

Count Arthur Strong is a BBC sitcom written by Steve Delaney and Graham Linehan. Delaney portrays the title character in the series, a reboot of the character from the radio programme Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show![1] The series focuses on the meeting between Count Arthur Strong, an eccentric, semi-retired music hall performer, and Michael Baker, the bookish son of his former comedy partner.[2]

On 21 May 2015, a third series completed filming in August 2016.[3]


  • Steve Delaney as Count Arthur Strong, an elderly, pompous, out-of-work actor from Doncaster with delusions that he is a show-business legend. The character has been described as "a mixture of physical and mental clumsiness, mirthful malapropisms and Tourettic tics, whose pride forbids him from ever conceding fallibility, even as his world crashes around him".[4]
  • Rory Kinnear as Michael Baker, a writer. Michael, a shy, bookish and quiet man, is using Arthur's anecdotes to help write his late father's biography.[5]
  • Chris Ryman as Bulent, the irascible, hot-tempered owner of Arthur's local café, who is constantly irritated by Arthur's bumbling.[5]
  • Zahra Ahmadi as Sinem, Bulent's younger sister with a sense of humour.[5]
  • Andy Linden as John the Watch, an enigmatic regular at the café and close friend of Arthur's.[5]
  • Dave Plimmer as Eggy, a quiet, gentle, melancholy café regular obsessed with eggs and conspiracy theories.[5]
  • Ruth Posner as Katya, a café regular and Arthur's greatest fan. (Series 1)[5]

Production and broadcast[edit]

In 2009, it was reported that Delaney would be working on making a television version of Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show! for Talkback Thames and BBC Two,[6] and further that Graham Linehan and Jeremy Dyson were working on a project for TV called Count Arthur Strong's Entertainment Game.[7] The quiz show format was subsequently dropped in favour of a sitcom.[8]

The first episode of Count Arthur Strong was recorded on 10 January 2013 at Pinewood Studios. Written by Steve Delaney and Graham Linehan, it co-starred Rory Kinnear as the son of the recently deceased Max Baker, Count Arthur's erstwhile comedy partner. Michael Baker (Kinnear) sets out to track down Count Arthur after the death of his father in order to write a biography.

The television project heralds a new chapter in the life of Count Arthur Strong as compared to the character in the radio series. None of the characters from the radio programme are featured (Geoffrey, Wilf Taylor, Sally Marsden etc) and the series is set in London[9] rather than Doncaster. The cafe is run by a stroppy Turkish character called Bulent (Chris Ryman) and his sister; Arthur's "biggest fan" is Katya, an elderly Polish lady (Ruth Posner).

The series was recorded in front of a live audience from January to February 2013 at Pinewood Studios.[10]

The first episode of six began broadcast on BBC2 on 8 July 2013, with one episode each week airing thereafter.[11] The first episode was watched by 971,000 viewers, less than half of BBC2's slot average over the previous three months.[12] Episodes 4, 5 and 6 were subsequently moved from Mondays, 8.30 pm, on BBC Two, to Tuesdays, 8 pm, on the same channel.[13]

A second series was commissioned, but aired on BBC One after moving from Two. The series was recorded at Pinewood Studios between 6 June 2014 and 18 July 2014. The second series began broadcasting on BBC One on 6 January 2015.[14]


The first series was shown on BBC Two.

Series 1 (2013)[edit]

No. # Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1 1 "Memory Man" Graham Linehan Steve Delaney & Graham Linehan 8 July 2013 (2013-07-08)
Michael Baker tracks down Count Arthur Strong, a music hall performer and former partner of Michael's recently deceased father, for help with his father's biography.
2 2 "" Graham Linehan Steve Delaney & Graham Linehan 15 July 2013 (2013-07-15)
Michael gives Arthur a laptop in return for helping him write his father's biography.
3 3 "The Radio Play" Graham Linehan Steve Delaney & Graham Linehan 22 July 2013 (2013-07-22)
Arthur is given a small role in a radio play when the original actor is unable to attend the recording.
4 4 "Arthur's Big Moment" Graham Linehan Steve Delaney & Graham Linehan 30 July 2013 (2013-07-30)
The customers lock themselves in to the café's back room during a riot. Arthur takes the opportunity to entertain this captive audience with his one-man musical act.
5 5 "Doctor Two" Graham Linehan Steve Delaney & Graham Linehan 6 August 2013 (2013-08-06)
After Michael is bitten by one of Arthur's dog-sitting dogs, he and Arthur pay a visit to the hospital. Their friend Katya comes with them but dies unexpectedly.
6 6 "The Seance" Graham Linehan Steve Delaney & Graham Linehan 13 August 2013 (2013-08-13)
The café clientele are depressed after the death of Katya. Arthur holds a seance in an attempt to contact her to say a final goodbye.

Series 2 (2015)[edit]

The second series of Count Arthur Strong sees a shift to BBC One and a later time slot of 10:35pm.[15]

No. # Title Directed by Written by Original air date
7 1 "The Heist" Graham Linehan Steve Delaney & Graham Linehan 6 January 2015 (2015-01-06)
Michael returns, to discover that Arthur has written a novel, which is now sitting in his agent's office. However, when Michael learns that Arthur's book is full of salacious showbiz gossip, he and the café gang stage a heist to retrieve the manuscript.
8 2 "The Day the Clocks Went Back" Graham Linehan Steve Delaney & Graham Linehan 13 January 2015 (2015-01-13)
A broken heart and the clocks going back leads to a mix-up at 3,000 feet, where Arthur is mistaken for a flying instructor.
9 3 "We're Listening" Graham Linehan Steve Delaney & Graham Linehan 20 January 2015 (2015-01-20)
Spurred on by sleepless nights and noise pollution on his street, Arthur decides to run for local elections.
10 4 "Stuck in the Middle" Graham Linehan Steve Delaney & Graham Linehan 27 January 2015 (2015-01-27)
A conman rues the day he tangled with Arthur.
11 5 "Still Life" Graham Linehan Steve Delaney & Graham Linehan 3 February 2015 (2015-02-03)
When a documentary team start to do a profile of Michael, Arthur's new career as a living statue threatens to steal the show.
12 6 "The Affair" Graham Linehan Steve Delaney & Graham Linehan 10 February 2015 (2015-02-10)
In the aftermath of yet another 'trouser fire', Arthur moves in temporarily with Michael.
13 7 "Fame at Last" Graham Linehan Steve Delaney & Graham Linehan 17 February 2015 (2015-02-17)
Arthur gets a job as a television psychic and the resulting fame starts to go to his head.

Series 3 (2016)[edit]

A third series was confirmed to air in 2016, [3] recording was completed at Pinewood Studios in August 2016


The first series of Count Arthur Strong was nominated for Best Situation Comedy at the 2014 BAFTA awards.[16]

DVD release[edit]

The first series of Count Arthur Strong was released on 19 August 2013. In September 2013, BBC WorldWide recalled all the DVDs due to a picture fault.[17]


  1. ^ "Count Arthur Strong – News". August 2012. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Count Arthur Strong – BBC2 Sitcom – British Comedy Guide". Retrieved 17 May 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "BBC - BBC One announces brand new series of Count Arthur Strong - Media Centre". Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  4. ^ "Arthur Series Commissioned by BBC2". Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "TV Show new character details released". 1 July 2013. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  6. ^ Burrell, Ian (18 May 2009). "Count Arthur strikes comedy gold for his devoted creator". The Independent. Retrieved 18 May 2009. 
  7. ^ "BBC Two Counts on Arthur". Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide. 27 May 2010. Retrieved 30 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "Count Arthur Strong gets a BBC Two sitcom series". Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  9. ^ "Count Arthur Strong". Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  10. ^ "Count Arthur Strong – Production Details". Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  11. ^ "TV Series to air 8th July on BBC2". Retrieved 20 June 2013. 
  12. ^ Plunkett, John (9 July 2013). "BBC2's Count Arthur Strong draws fewer than 1m". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "Count Arthur Strong > Episode Guides". Retrieved 4 August 2013. 
  14. ^ "Graham & Steve interview". Retrieved 14 February 2014.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  15. ^ "Count Arthur transfers to BBC ONE". Retrieved 17 October 2015. 
  16. ^ Ben Lawrence (18 May 2014). "TV Baftas 2014: the winners in full". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 May 2014. 
  17. ^ ""Count Arthur Strong" Count Arthur Strong (DVD) at BBC Shop". BBC Shop. Retrieved 17 October 2015. 

External links[edit]