DECADE-ENHANCING COFFEE table staple by SUE TOWNSEND adapted reasonably, if rather needlessly, for the screen and starring GIAN SAMMARCO as the spotty, ‘thing’-obsessed adolescent nerd misunderstood by his parents, adored by his grandma and, of course, profoundly in love with Pandora, as Ian Dury’s rousing theme recited. Barely a script change, with much of it in monologue with Adrian in his bedroom, staring into the mirror while reading extracts from the diary. Beetroot-loving octogenarian bigot Bert Baxter provided a final role for BILL “ARMY GAME” FRASER, while the rest of the cast were spot on: JULIE WALTERS and STEPHEN MOORE as the hard-drinking, forever-rowing parents and BERYL REID as the thin-lipped, potty grandma. LINDSEY STAGG played Pandora, who wasn’t anywhere near as ravishable as we’d expected. Sequel THE GROWING PAINS… was also done, to lesser effect, mainly as Walters had been replaced by LULU, who just wasn’t as convincing as a woefully bad matriarch. Childbirth, running away from home, “touch her bust”, Falklands campaign maps, “we shall, we shall wear red socks”. Not at all bad. Sammarco played the character again, in all but name, in a bad run of high street bank adverts, winking at the cashier and everything. Has since vacated “public eye” radar screen.
TV CREAM SAYS: RUBBISH LATTERDAY BBC SEQUEL FOUND ADRIAN AS INCAPABLE CHEF
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We’ve lost interest in these in recent years, not just because we find Jonathan Ross totally insufferable and because so much current comedy is pretty rubbish, but also because part of the appeal used to be the chance to see clips of Stewart Lee and Simon Amstell on primetime ITV. Not quite so exciting now it’s on such a self-consciously alternative channel, but here they plough on anyway.
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