Help (UK TV series)

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Help
GenreComedy
StarringPaul Whitehouse
Chris Langham
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes6
Production
Running time30 minutes
Release
Original networkBBC Two
Original release27 February (2005-02-27) –
3 April 2005 (2005-04-03)

Help is a BBC television comedy series first screened on BBC Two in 2005. Written by and starring Paul Whitehouse and Chris Langham, it concerns a psychotherapist (Langham) and his therapy sessions with a variety of patients, almost all of whom are played by Whitehouse.

Peter Strong, the diffident psychologist, has an obsession with his receptionist Rebecca (played by Alison King) and also has regular appointments with his own therapist (who is also played by Whitehouse), the only times when the scene leaves Peter's office. Other performers are Mark Williams and Olivia Colman in cameos as patients, Alison Senior as a patient's wife, and Langham's real-life daughter Emily as a patient's precocious daughter. Two of the most frequent patients are Gary (the only role Whitehouse plays with no make-up), who initially uses his therapy sessions to escape from his wife; and Monty, an elderly Jewish taxi-driver whose wife is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Others include an Eastern European father, a magician and a TV presenter.

The show was released on Region 4 DVD, but has so far remained unreleased in the UK. Interviewed by Ben Thompson for The Guardian in 2005, Langham said, of his writing partnership with Whitehouse:

The way Paul works is to try and come up with a phrase that suits a particular voice ... That's the grain of sand around which the pearl of a character forms. Once he's found that voice, he's volcanic - it all comes out of him in a stream of consciousness which I can't type fast enough to keep up with. Then my rather less glamorous and exciting job would be to take that stuff and shape it, which was fine by me, as I'm kind of obsessed with structure.[1]

In 2007 the development of Pedro, a character in the proposed second series - which was never made - became a focal point of Langham's trial.

Swedish version[edit]

A Swedish remake, Hjälp!, was broadcast on Swedish television in 2007-2009. The psychologist Jeanette Plaszczyk was played by Stina Ekblad.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ben Thompson (26 March 2005). "When therapy is the best laughter". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 14 November 2015.

External links[edit]