Ideal (TV series)

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Ideal
342x192 Ideal Series 5 Titlecard.png
Ideal title card for Series 6
Created byGraham Duff
StarringJohnny Vegas
Nicola Reynolds
Sinead Matthews
Graham Duff
Darren Walsh (Director)
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of series7
No. of episodes53 (List of episodes)
Production
Running time28 minutes
Production companyBaby Cow Productions
Release
Original networkBBC Three
Original release11 January 2005 (2005-01-11) –
30 June 2011 (2011-06-30)

Ideal is a British dark comedy television series originally broadcast on TV channel BBC Three, created by Graham Duff and produced by BBC Comedy North and Baby Cow Productions. It stars Johnny Vegas as small-time cannabis dealer Moz.

It is set in Salford, Greater Manchester, chosen because Duff was familiar with the area, having done many stand-up gigs there during his youth. Most of the series takes place in Moz's flat and revolves around the eclectic array of characters who visit Moz to buy cannabis, socialise or both.

The closing theme is "Song of the Oss" from the album Nuada: Music Inspired By the Film the Wicker Man composed by British band Candidate. The series features a number of tracks by Californian hip hop group Ugly Duckling, and Pizzicato Five.

It was broadcast on BBC Three in the UK, on entertainment channel 3e in Ireland and on ABC2 in Australia.

First broadcast in 2005, seven series have been shown; the most recent ended on 30 June 2011.

After the seventh series aired, Ideal was cancelled by the BBC. Following the announcement, writer and creator Graham Duff wrote to fans: "As some of you may have heard, the BBC have decided against commissioning an 8th series of Ideal. The reason given was that the new channel controller wanted to make a clean sweep. It is a source of both pride and frustration that, at the point of cancellation, Ideal was attracting its biggest ever audiences, its highest profile guest stars and its best ever reviews. And the show is now being screened in more countries than ever before - from America to Finland and beyond."

Characters[edit]

  • Moz (Johnny Vegas): a small-time cannabis dealer who has been dealing for a number of years from his flat in Salford which he used to share with his girlfriend Nicki but now shares with his new girlfriend Jenny. He deals only in the many varieties of marijuana and sees himself as 'providing a crucial service to the community". Moz rarely sets foot outside the front door of his apartment and seems to have no concept of keeping the flat tidy.
  • Nicki (Nicola Reynolds): Moz's girlfriend for the first four series. She and Moz have a love/hate relationship, with Nicki constantly nagging Moz about the state of the flat. Nicki can be very assertive and openly opposed to several of Moz's more distinctive shortcomings.
  • Cartoon Head aka Golova Sharzh (James Foster, series one / David Sant, series two): a man who never speaks and always wears a mask resembling a cartoon mouse.
  • Craig / Steve (Seymour Leon Mace): the irritating loner Craig wasn't originally one of Moz's regular clients but after someone has recommended Moz as a good dealer to him, he keeps pestering Moz to let him visit the flat.
  • 'Psycho' Paul Nevin (Ryan Pope): originally a rival dealer to Moz, Psycho Paul now works with Cartoon Head.
  • PC Phil Collins (Tom Goodman-Hill): Moz's mate and also his chief supplier. PC is a police constable for the Greater Manchester Police. He supplies Moz with weed which has been seized from other dealers during raids. PC is a useful contact for Moz, tipping him off as to what the latest police activity is - information which proves vital when the CID plan to raid the flat.
  • Troy (Tony Burgess, also co-writer): Moz's half-brother.
  • Kuldip (Ronny Jhutti): a former close friend of Moz. A relatively successful DJ (which Troy resents), he has a regular slot as a DJ at the local nightclub. He often boasts to Moz about the number of white label records he has in his box.
  • Judith (Joanna Neary): moves in across the hall from Moz at the start of series two. She is a timid, demure necrophiliac who is constantly saying "sorry". She soon becomes the dealer's potential love interest; they are mutually attracted but he is disgusted at the idea of her having sex with dead bodies.
  • Jenny (Sinead Matthews): a dim-witted young adult who becomes Moz's girlfriend near the end of series four.
  • Felix (Des O'Malley): the teenage father of Jenny's baby.
  • Stemroach (David Bradley): the sinister gangland boss who employs Cartoon Head and Psycho Paul as his henchmen.
  • Brian (Graham Duff, who is also creator and writer of the show); a very camp and flamboyant homosexual.
  • Colin (Ben Crompton): a bouncy, childlike petty criminal who is usually on probation, as he frequently reminds people.
  • Carmel (Hanne Steen): a Spanish escort.
  • Sangita (Sunetra Sarker): one of Moz's regular customers for a period.
  • Yasuko (Haruka Kuroda): a bubbly and naive Japanese woman with a cleaning compulsion.
  • Derrick (Alfie Joey): another regular customer whose obsession with vegetables Moz finds very boring.
  • China (Natalie Gumede): along with her friend Asia, is one of Moz's regular clients.
  • Asia (Rebecca Atkinson): friend of China's, who finds Moz to be repulsive.
  • Silicon Valets (pronounced "Silicon Valleys"): Lee and Jason together are Silicon Valets, a pop group of indeterminate quality and style, who drop by to buy drugs and brag about their success.
  • Kim and Miko (Jessica Peh and Haruka Abe): Friends of Yasuko who are members of a Japanese girl band.
  • Tanya (Emma Fryer): Colin's sister and also baby Sanjeev's health visitor.
  • Alan (Peter Slater): the foreman of the builders who renovate Moz's flat after the fire.
  • Marco (Andrew Lawrence): Alan's assistant builder.
  • Reverend Jeff "Fist" Fistwick (Graham Duff; uncredited and in a mask): His flat is usually dark and unlit and Fist seems to spend a lot of time watching people come and go, seemingly with sinister intent.
  • Chen (Hon Ping Tan): a member of the Low Triad, initially working for Min Yin Low.
  • Tony (Dan Li): also a member of the Low Triad, initially working for Min Yin Low.
  • Keith (Mick Miller): Moz's long lost stepfather.
  • Xavier (Michael Kofi): a member of Psycho Paul's gang. He is infatuated by how comfortable one of Moz's chairs is.
  • Dawn (Julia Davis): Jenny's mum who has cataracts.
  • Jake/Dinos (Dylan Edwards) & (Sam Fletcher): Conjoined Twins.
  • Carol (Jo Enright): Keith's blind girlfriend.
  • Tilly (Janeane Garofalo): Moz's new neighbour in flat 6.
  • Mr. Rupani (Vincent Ebrahim): Moz's landlord, as well as the landlord of the other flats in the block.
  • Jess (Elinor Crawley): Nicki's sister/daughter.[1]
  • Amanda with the weird eyes: An unseen character (save for one scene in the final episode of series one, in which she is only seen from the back).

Guest stars[edit]

Guest stars have included Graham Fellows (as Dr Persil), Sean Lock (as Natalie/Nathaniel, Brian's transgender partner), Mark Radcliffe, Jason Manford (as Jack), Mark E Smith (as Jesus Christ), Paul Weller, Kara Tointon, Barry Adamson (as Brian's hitman boyfriend), Alan Yentob (as himself) and Rula Lenska (as the Red King).

Series overview[edit]

Series Episodes Originally aired
Series premiere Series finale
1 9 11 January 2005 (2005-01-11) 27 December 2005 (2005-12-27)
2 8 14 March 2006 (2006-03-14) 2 May 2006 (2006-05-02)
3 8 20 March 2007 (2007-03-20) 8 May 2007 (2007-05-08)
4 8 28 April 2008 (2008-04-28) 16 June 2008 (2008-06-16)
5 6 11 May 2009 (2009-05-11) 15 June 2009 (2009-06-15)
6 8 17 August 2010 (2010-08-17) 5 October 2010 (2010-10-05)
7 6 26 May 2011 (2011-05-26) 30 June 2011 (2011-06-30)

Episodes[edit]

Each series of Ideal has a different coloured title sequence. Series 1 was sepia; the Christmas special was red; Series 2 was blue; Series 3 was green; Series 4 was purple; Series 5 was red; Series 6 was yellow and Series 7 is bondi blue.

Series 1 (2005)[edit]

# Title Writers Original air date
1"The Rat"Graham Duff11 January 2005 (2005-01-11)
Nicki is getting fed up with Moz not paying her enough attention, PC turns up with a delivery, and a strange man wearing a cartoon mask lets himself into the flat. Moz also has to contend with a couple of unwelcome visitors in the shape of a rat and rival dealer Psycho Paul.
2"The Seduction"Graham Duff18 January 2005 (2005-01-18)
While Nicki is away, Moz tries to play by attempting to seduce one of his new customers after seeing her at a nightclub where his best mate Kuldip is a DJ. However, the rat from the previous episode has other ideas.
3"The Boyfriend"Graham Duff25 January 2005 (2005-01-25)
Colin (who's still on probation) tells Moz about the body found across the road with its hand cut off, China's got a new boyfriend, and Nicki returns. Moz find the severed hand and believes the cat brought it inside.
4"The Affair"Graham Duff1 February 2005 (2005-02-01)
Moz remembers the severed hand in the pocket of his jacket and isn't sure what to do with it. But it's another busy day so he doesn't have time to give it much thought. Craig throws a tin of crabmeat through Moz's window to try to get his attention and Colin steals Nicki's secret polaroids.
5"The Backpacker"Graham Duff8 February 2005 (2005-02-08)
A face from Nicki's past arrives unexpectedly wanting to stay, the polaroids from behind the bathroom cabinet go missing and re-appear, and Moz is selling red weed.
6"The Party"Graham Duff15 February 2005 (2005-02-15)
It's Moz's birthday, and all Nicki has bought him is a sandwich, Bombay mix and party umbrellas, so she decides to throw him a party in the flat.
7"The Pregnancy"Graham Duff22 February 2005 (2005-02-22)
Nicki takes a pregnancy test. The severed hand makes a return. Moz's stalker (Craig) is back, and spends some quality time with Cartoon Head. When Moz says they should go out clubbing, Cartoon Head shoots Craig.
8"The Body"Graham Duff1 March 2005 (2005-03-01)
It's a very bad day for Moz who just about manages to keep it together, but then Craig's brother turns up looking for him and recognises his favourite carrier bag.
Special
9"An Ideal Xmas"Graham Duff27 December 2005 (2005-12-27)
While Moz tries to enjoy a seasonal spliff his pregnant girlfriend snogs a woman in the bathroom, dead Craig's twin brother sucks a hitman's nipple, and Moz's mum makes a surprise entrance with a karaoke machine. And there's an emotional queen's speech, as freshly dumped Brian pours his heart, and more, out all over Moz's shoulder.

Series 2 (2006)[edit]

# Title Writers Original air date
1"The Stag Do"Graham Duff14 March 2006 (2006-03-14)
Nicki's moved in with Sangita while Moz has a nervous new neighbour, Judith. Derrick and Yasuko are due to get married and Moz is asked to be best man. Cartoon Head has a special surprise for the stag do.
2"The Landlord"Graham Duff21 March 2006 (2006-03-21)
Moz wakes up next to someone shocking, discovers two hundred pairs of trainers in his living room, fills his kitchen with foam and finds out his landlord's on the way round.
3"The Hydroponics"Graham Duff28 March 2006 (2006-03-28)
Cartoon Head and Psycho Paul come to collect the stolen trainers they stored in the flat. Cartoon Head's appearance frightens Judith and when Moz comforts her, Nicki appears to collect her stuff and gets the wrong idea.
4"The Séance"Graham Duff4 April 2006 (2006-04-04)
Moz makes a startling discovery about his new love. Scary OAP Mrs Coneybear arrives to perform a séance and a plain clothes cop becomes trapped in the loft.
5"The Boss"Graham Duff11 April 2006 (2006-04-11)
The undercover cop makes his escape having left a hidden camera in the attic. Psycho Paul, Cartoon Head and Steve appear, wanting to use Moz's flat in which to hide their prospective kidnap victim. Moz is not happy but Mr. Stemroach, the gang's boss - who speaks through an electronic voice-box - turns up and offers Moz two hundred and fifty pounds if he will oblige.
6"The Guest"Graham Duff18 April 2006 (2006-04-18)
With a kidnap victim stashed in the flat, Moz tries to deflect a succession of unwanted guests. But his world is bent even further out of shape when the magic mushrooms kick in.
7"The Delivery"Graham Duff25 April 2006 (2006-04-25)
When the PC tips him off about an imminent drugs bust, Moz has to get rid of every last scrap of evidence. Meanwhile Colin falls in love and Nicki goes into labour.
8"The Money"Graham Duff2 May 2006 (2006-05-02)
Nicki wants to leave Moz, Judith wants to go out with him, the PC wants to fight him, and the gang want to pay him. But all Moz really wants is for the fire brigade to hurry up.

Series 3 (2007)[edit]

# Title Writers Original air date
1"The Night"Graham Duff20 March 2007 (2007-03-20)
Moz attempts to hide his drugs when born-again Christian builders come to work in his flat, while Nicki begins to wonder if a lack of sleep is causing her to hallucinate. Meanwhile, Judith is spotted carrying a suspiciously large sack into her flat.
2"The Christians"Graham Duff27 March 2007 (2007-03-27)
Moz is forced into performing an exorcism on childminder Jenny, while Nicki becomes even more convinced that she is losing her mind. Meanwhile, Brian decides to become a goth and PC falls in love with China.
3"The Pyramid"Graham Duff3 April 2007 (2007-04-03)
Moz certainly has his hands full as his mother Sheila reappears and tries to interest him in a decidedly dodgy pyramid selling scheme in which she has been caught up, in addition to which Cartoon Head and Psycho Paul arrive at the flat with the glamorous Helena intent on shooting a blue movie and, to cap it all, Nicki gets involved in a road accident.
4"The Nest"Graham Duff10 April 2007 (2007-04-10)
Moz gets an unwelcome visit from notorious gang leader Stemroach, while the discovery of a wasp nest in the loft turns out to have terrible consequences for the born-again Christian builders.
5"The Bath"Graham Duff17 April 2007 (2007-04-17)
Moz's attempts to have a relaxing bath are constantly thwarted by a series of interruptions, including people wanting advice, a shoulder to cry on and drugs - as well as a bizarre murder.
6"The Set-Up"Graham Duff24 April 2007 (2007-04-24)
With Nicki out celebrating on her hen night, Moz reluctantly agrees to help the Police Constable to set up Stemroach. Meanwhile, Cartoon Head and Psycho Paul have a dastardly plan of their own to get him and once more Moz's flat becomes the scene of a show-down.
7"The Crabs"Graham Duff1 May 2007 (2007-05-01)
Moz is trying his best to enjoy his stag night, but Judith has had a party mask glued to her face, three crabs have got loose in the flat and Jesus has just appeared in the loft.
8"The Wedding"Graham Duff8 May 2007 (2007-05-08)
It's the morning of Moz's wedding and he's just woken up next to another woman. Now all he has to do is get rid of her, overcome his nerves, deflect the advances of a very demanding Judith and save Brian from a psychopathic Christian.

Series 4 (2008)[edit]

# Title Writers Original air date
1"The Pains"Graham Duff28 April 2008 (2008-04-28)
When Moz is rushed to hospital with a suspected heart attack, his girlfriend Nicki reignites her affair with PC. Meanwhile, Moz's long lost dad Keith tries to offload some stolen widescreen TVs.
2"The Past"Graham Duff5 May 2008 (2008-05-05)
Moz reminisces about 1993, the year he first moved into the flat. He looks back on the times where he first met Nicki and Cartoon Head, was almost killed by Stemroach and started dealing.
3"The Vodka"Graham Duff12 May 2008 (2008-05-12)
When Moz gets a visit from a drunken Jenny, things soon get out of hand. The builders remove Moz's broken boiler, but what will happen to Lee who is still trapped inside?
4"The Secret"Graham Duff19 May 2008 (2008-05-19)
Despite Moz and Jenny's best efforts to keep their affair secret, it seems like everybody knows what is going on. Everybody except Nicki, who is too busy having her own illicit affair with PC
5"The War"Graham Duff26 May 2008 (2008-05-26)
Released from the boiler Lee comes up with inspiring song lyrics inspired by his ordeal whilst a cash-strapped Colin and a violent guy called Xavier join Psycho Paul's gang, turning Moz's flat into a training camp under the instruction of Stripes, another mask-wearer. Meanwhile, all is not well between Judith and Cartoon Head.
6"The Birthday"Graham Duff2 June 2008 (2008-06-02)
Nicki's birthday party does not go entirely according to plan. Moz splits up with Jenny, Nicki splits up with PC and mysterious neighbour Fist kidnaps Kim and Miko.
7"The Television"Graham Duff9 June 2008 (2008-06-09)
It is all change for Moz as Nicki moves out and new love Jenny moves in. When Keith finally delivers a new widescreen TV, it is almost too big to fit in the flat.
8"The Future"Graham Duff16 June 2008 (2008-06-16)
Moz and Jenny's cosy love situation is thrown into chaos when Psycho Paul's gang hole up in the flat with two members of the Triad as hostages. Fist has some unusual plans for Alan. In the end, Cartoon Head, Psycho Paul, and Steve finally go their separate ways.

Series 5 (2009)[edit]

# Title Writers Original air date
1"The Healer"Graham Duff11 May 2009 (2009-05-11)
Moz decides to turn over a new leaf and stop dealing. His girlfriend Jenny is in a coma and seems to see the world as one big song-and-dance routine in a series of dream sequences, and Moz receives a string of visitors - all of whom believe they can snap her out of it.
2"The Temptation"Graham Duff18 May 2009 (2009-05-18)
With his girlfriend in a coma, Moz finds it increasingly difficult to resist the charms of a series of attractive female callers. Meanwhile, Brian falls in love with a conjoined twin and Alan attempts to escape the clutches of the evil Fist.
3"The Red Bag"Graham Duff25 May 2009 (2009-05-25)
Moz promises Jenny that he will get a 'proper' job and attempts to use the Salford Gazette to find one. Carol realises she has murdered Alan and Troy has a new uniform.
4"The Documentary"Graham Duff1 June 2009 (2009-06-01)
Cartoon Head tries to bully Moz into dealing heroin and leaves a brick for him to sell. Silicon Valets turn up with a documentary crew in tow and when PC turns up he is forced to arrest Moz. Psycho Paul decides to get into the lucrative business of human trafficking.
5"The Chance"Graham Duff8 June 2009 (2009-06-08)
It's Colin and Carmel's wedding day and Moz makes plans to skip the country with Jenny in light of his possible incarceration. Meanwhile, Brian makes a shocking discovery about his new boyfriend.
6"The Passports"Graham Duff15 June 2009 (2009-06-15)
Moz and Jenny plan to leave the country with stolen passports. Judith decides to throw in her lot with her lover Marco. Steve, Psycho Paul and Xavier have a plan to set up a new business in human trafficking. However, something goes wrong...

Series 6 (2010)[edit]

# Title Writers Original air date
1"The Business"Graham Duff17 August 2010 (2010-08-17)
After nine months away, Moz and Jenny return home to find several surprising changes. Not least of which being his ex-girlfriend, Nicki, taking over his hash dealing business.
2"The American"Graham Duff24 August 2010 (2010-08-24)
Moz and Jenny's plans to move to Italy are thrown into disarray when Moz learns he has been removed from the most wanted list. Brian is dumped by Nathaniel.
3"The Kill"Graham Duff31 August 2010 (2010-08-31)
Judith and Jake embark on an ill-advised plan to kill Cartoon Head. Meanwhile, Moz discovers that Cartoon Head's gang are involved in black market organ trading.
4"The Poster"Graham Duff7 September 2010 (2010-09-07)
Moz agrees to help Tilly with her new range of stained T-shirts. Jenny mistakenly believes that Moz has dumped her and gets into all kinds of trouble.
5"The Lapse"Graham Duff14 September 2010 (2010-09-14)
Moz finds himself falling for the charms of both his ex-girlfriend Nicki and his sophisticated American neighbour Tilly.
6"The Accident"Graham Duff21 September 2010 (2010-09-21)
When Moz discovers that Keith and Carol have been kidnapped by the Low triad, he asks Cartoon Head's gang for assistance - something he will soon have good reason to regret.
7"The Ear"Graham Duff28 September 2010 (2010-09-28)
Finding themselves with a body to dispose of, Moz and Psycho Paul call on the services of the sinister Doctor Persil (played by Graham Fellows). Meanwhile, Moz's dad Keith learns that his kidnappers are deadly serious.
8"The Housewarming"Graham Duff5 October 2010 (2010-10-05)
Whilst Nicki throws a monster fancy dress party, Tilly hosts a pretentious soiree upstairs. Moz is desperately trying to scrape together the ransom money to release his kidnapped dad.

Series 7 (2011)[edit]

# Title Writers Original air date
1"The Police"Graham Duff26 May 2011 (2011-05-26)
Moz plots to win back the heart of his true love, Jenny. However, when he discovers she has joined the police force, his plans are thrown into disarray.
2"The Debtors"Graham Duff2 June 2011 (2011-06-02)
A penniless Moz calls in his debts. However, his mates seem very reluctant to pay him back. Jess falls under the spell of masked hit man Cartoon Head.
3"The Brothel"Graham Duff9 June 2011 (2011-06-09)
Moz and Nicki start running rival hash dealing businesses, but a price war soon kicks off with each attempting to undercut the other. Across the landing, Brian and Carmel have opened a brothel.
4"The Paintings"Graham Duff16 June 2011 (2011-06-16)
Mistakenly believing Moz to be an avant garde artist, Tilly arranges for him have an exhibition. Jess and Cartoon Head experiment with ketamine and find themselves way out of their depth.
5"The Love"Graham Duff23 June 2011 (2011-06-23)
Moz tries to turn his friendship with Tilly into a full-blown relationship. Colin hires his estranged wife Carmel as an escort girl.
6"The Red King"Graham Duff30 June 2011 (2011-06-30)
Moz comes face to face with a gang of deadly gingers known as the Red Mist. Carmel has to choose between Colin and Jake, whilst Yasuko leaves Derrick for Fist.

Awards and nominations[edit]

In November 2006, Ideal received the award for Best Comedy Programme at the Royal Television Society North West Comedy Awards.[2]

DVD release[edit]

A box set of series one (excluding the Christmas special episode) was released in the UK on 7 November 2005. It includes the following extras:

  • Making of Ideal
  • Out-takes
  • Deleted scenes
  • Commentaries from Johnny Vegas (Moz), Graham Duff (creator, writer, Brian and Reverend Fistwick) and Henry Normal (executive producer).

The second series (including the Christmas special) was released on DVD on 19 February 2007,[3] the third series on 9 June 2008,[4] the fourth series on 13 April 2009, and the fifth series on 19 July 2010. The sixth series was released on 11 October 2010. The seventh and final series was released on 25 July 2011.

Film[edit]

A film based on the TV series was planned. The last update was this in June 2012. Baby Cow executive Henry Normal told Chortle: "It's going to be set in the same place, with many of the same characters. We even bought the physical set from the BBC, our co-producers on the TV series. We are aiming for it to be quite a dark psychological comedy-thriller". As of 2019, there has been no word of the film being in production.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Curtis Brown".
  2. ^ "Royal Television Society Regional Centres' Awards 2006/7" (PDF). Royal Television Society. p. 7. Retrieved 17 February 2011.
  3. ^ Ideal - Series 2 [DVD]: Amazon.co.uk: Johnny Vegas, Dan Zeff: DVD
  4. ^ star84. "Play.com - Buy Ideal: Series 3 (2 Discs) online at Play.com and read reviews. Free delivery to UK and Europe!".
  5. ^ "Ideal: The Movie - Film".

External links[edit]