Roman's Empire

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Roman's Empire
Genre Comedy
Created by Harry Williams
Jack Williams
Starring Mathew Horne
Neil Dudgeon
Montserrat Lombard
Sarah Solemani
Scarlett Rose Patterson
Carla Mendonça
Chris O'Dowd
Nicholas Burns
Morwenna Banks
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 6 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Sophie Clarke-Jervoise
Producer(s) Ben Cavey
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Tiger Aspect Productions
Distributor Endemol UK
Original network BBC Two
Picture format PAL (576i)
Original release 12 April (2007-04-12) – 17 May 2007 (2007-05-17)
External links

Roman's Empire was a British television comedy show starring Mathew Horne, Neil Dudgeon, Chris O'Dowd, Montserrat Lombard and Sarah Solemani. Written by brothers Harry and Jack Williams (sons of writer Nigel Williams) as their TV writing debut, the programme's first episode was shown on BBC Two on 12 April 2007.


The programme centres around Leo, the ex-boyfriend of businessman Roman Pretty's middle daughter Nikki, who still works and lives with the family. Nikki's new boyfriend, Seb, has a shady past, which Leo tries to reveal to the Pretty family but usually ends up making himself look a fool. His best mate Jase is married to the eldest sister, Jenny, and is constantly attempting to get away from her and their new-born daughter.

After a complaint from Roman in a restaurant, Japanese chef Mr Hokkasawa loses his job. He had sworn that he would never use his sword again but later takes the job of the Pretty family gardener. Mr Hokkasawa is always plotting against Roman, but falls for his youngest daughter Kelly. All the characters live in a large house owned by Roman, which is where the majority of the story is set.


Running gags[edit]

The obvious Roman references can be seen throughout the series, most notably with the family "forum" and the lack of a male heir for the empire. There is also an incestuous undercurrent, though this seems to be due to the close-knit nature of the family. There is, however, one reference to Roman's whole-body massages.

The family is not averse to nudity, with Nikki declaring she will go to the Squid premiere naked in response to Leo's comment about clothing (Roman following suit), and Seb's infamous Wang Shapes.

Although apparently a shrewd (and morally corrupt) business man, Roman seems to lack certain common sense, and this is reflected on his insistence about the non-existence of geography, most notably Romania (the name for his theme park as inspired by Jase's scribbled escape plan) and later Rio de Janeiro (or Rio, as a combined Roman/Leo empire).

Mr Hokkasawa was sacked from his job as a waiter in Yuki's Japanese restaurant at Roman's insistence (due to Nikki's unfounded accusations of Mr Hokkasawa looking at her legs, which are under the tablecloth). From this point on Mr Hokkasawa plots his revenge, taking up his samurai vows once again, and finding employment as the Pretty gardener. His initial plot of luring Roman to his death in the potting shed (now redecorated as a Japanese house) fails as it is Kelly who is drawn by the sprinklers. Mr Hokkasawa is stuck by her beauty and decides it would be dishonourable to kill Roman and take his daughter as a wife. This becomes a running joke, as each time Mr Hokkasawa is tempted to kill Roman he is also reminded of his love for Kelly.

As Mr Hokkasawa speaks very little English, and as the rest of the cast do not speak Japanese, he often says things direct to the face of Roman, for example his plans to kill. As Roman says, "a wonderful language."

Seb is a rugby-playing man's man who likes men but who is not homosexual. He does, however, enjoy a man-tangle. "It's what men /do/."

Jase hates the family, his wife Jenny and their baby. He tried to leave twice before the series but was foiled firstly by the death of Jenny's grandfather, and secondly by her announcement of her pregnancy. Throughout the series Jase plots a number of ways of getting out and moving to, for example, Thailand "where the women are cheaper than rice."

Seb always greets Leo with the phrase "Hey, mate!".

Present status[edit]

Roman's Empire was not recommissioned by the BBC and was to remain as a one-off series. Sarah Solemani and Mathew Horne appear in Jack Whitehall's Bad Education (TV series)

A pilot episode of an American remake of Roman's Empire has been commissioned by ABC, as a co-production between Tiger Aspect, Katalyst, and CBS Paramount. It was expected to star Nick Thune.[1] As of October 2012, there has been no further production on the U.S. version.


External links[edit]