London Irish (2 stars)

London Irish

A crude, witless sitcom that swaps lovably daft characters for crass stereotypes and creative silliness for tedious blarney

(Channel 4 DVD)

London Irish, they said, was a ‘bold’ new comedy series. ‘Bold’, then, might be saying ‘cunt’ as many times as it’s possible to get away with in 25 minutes. Or it could be about having sequences hinting at paedophilia and barging straight down the barrel of necrophilia. Which is not to say that relentless cussing or borderline subject matter can’t be brilliantly funny (The Thick of It, Nighty Night and Curb Your Enthusiasm all prove the case for witty depravity), but London Irish is as witless as it’s gruesome.

An Irish comedy featuring a drunk, a dimwit, a scatterbrain and a seemingly sensible fella who is ultimately dafter than the rest put together might make you think of Father Ted. Except this lot swap a priests’ house for a pub, Craggy Island for London, lovably daft characters for crass stereotypes and creative silliness for tedious blarney. And as if we didn’t need any more reminding of what constitutes a joyfully good sitcom, up pops Ardal O’Hanlon with a beard and an Ulster accent. But even the ghost of Dougal McGuire can’t perk up this dire affair.

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