TV review: Peter Kay's Car Share, BBC One (3 stars)

Northern wag’s new project is like The Royle Family in a motor

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Review: Peter Kay's Car Share

After a few episodes of his new comedy vehicle, the everyman appeal of Peter Kay will remain something of a mystery to those who have never quite got on board with the bitter and garlic bread-pushing Lancashire funnyman.

Four writers are in tow for Car Share (including Kay and his co-star Sian Gibson), and they have opted to pitch this as a kind-of Royle Family relocated from living room to company car, similarly featuring lengthy, awkward silences broken by earthy dialogue which veers from utterly inconsequential to subtly unlocking tiny clues of character development.

John (Kay) and Kayleigh (Gibson) are chucked together via a car scheme cynically hatched by their supermarket employers. At first, they are wholly reticent of each other but the ice is pretty much broken through a rather unfortunate urine-splashing incident. Things do start to spice up a bit in its third instalment when Kayleigh (clearly still sozzled from the previous night’s socialising) arrives for her morning lift with hair wildly unkempt, shirt untucked and minus a shoe.

Given the gritty vérité of the show (and John’s status as an assistant manager), what should have happened next was Kayleigh being turned back round and sent home to pull a sickie – but then, this is telly. Nonetheless it’s a welcome change of pace, ramped up further when Reece Shearsmith hitches a ride in the back to play the store’s slightly unhinged fishmonger.

A touch of the Reggie Perrins is provided with the slightly downtrodden Kayleigh occasionally daydreaming that she is an empowered woman, inspired by the nostalgic tunes she loves (and John hates) on Forever FM. There’s a slightly unfortunate waft of homophobia about some of the first-episode banter and the ‘will they / won’t they?’ undercurrent is as predictable as it is tedious.

Those who have tapped into Kay’s northern ‘charm’ will lap this up; the rest of us can just be thankful that Paddy McGuinness doesn't make an appearance.

Peter Kay’s Car Share will be available on BBC iPlayer Fri 24 –Tue 28 April, before screening on BBC One, Wed 29 Apr, 9.30pm.


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1. Cat Brehme26 Apr 2015, 9:14am Report

This is nothing to do with whether you like Peter Kay's style of comedy or not. Car Share is utterly dull, unfunny, unimaginative and lacking inspiration. The only reason this got commissioned is because of Kay. Any other unknown writer would've had this script shoved up their backside and quite rightly so. Absolutely awful.

2. Per Ryl27 Apr 2015, 2:34pm Report

You know what would have improved Car Share?

Something funny - or dramatic - or slightly interesting. Instead it is as entertaining as watching - well, tedious people in a car. Truly dreadful crud - avoid it.

3. Andrea Wilson11 May 2015, 1:53pm Report

absolutely love Carshare.....think you need a sense of humour and wit to appreciate the cleverness of this new comedy! i hope that we are treated to more series as i for one am a big fan! the negative commenters might want to stick to watching the usual boring soaps or whatever rocks their boat! each to their own though!

4. John Davies21 May 2015, 2:36pm Report

The first two comments are spot on. The third comment makes no sense at all.
It is not the viewer lacking in sense of humour or wit, it is the script that is devoid of anything humourous. If this series was a colour it would be beige.

5. Dee Jones22 May 2015, 10:35pm Report

amazed to read comments 1 , 2 & 4 as I , like comment 3 Andrea, thought this was an absolute joy to watch. So funny , so cleverly written an so different.
I can't wait to buy it on DVD and hope a second series is on television soon to brighten up the usual trash that's on there.

6. Libby Ross4 Jun 2015, 5:50pm Report

Commenters 1, 2 and 4 obviously need to gain a sense of humour to see that carshare is the best that's been on the BBC. A great sitcom that is cleverly written and never fails to make me laugh. My family and I absolutely love it and hope to see more series soon! Those negative commenters though, must have no idea of humour or imagination-im sure many people will agree with me.

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