Beast (BBC1, 2000-2001)
Beast is a sitcom that ran for two series in the early-2000s and it was yet another great show created by Simon Nye, I have enjoyed a lot of his work. It starred Alexander Armstrong long before his game show host years as Nick and the premise was rather straightforward really: he is a vet who doesn’t like his job or animals, and that’s where most of the comedy in the show comes from.
He has inherited a successful practice in Gloucestershire from his father but he enjoys doing anything apart from having to treat animals, and he especially has a fear of guinea pigs. One of the few reasons he continues in his job is because he often tries to flirt with the young women who come to the practice to have their pets treated and he knows he can get a lot of money out of them.
Also working alongside Nick is his receptionist Kirsten who is good at her job and often flirts with him, played by Doon Mackichan. Since I started writing this blog I have been surprised to realise how many great comedy shows she has been in over the years. By all means your Dawn French and by all means your Miranda Hart and so on but I really am starting to think that Doon is one of the best female comic actors that this country has produced and definitely deserves more credit for her work over the years.
Also working alongside Nick are some other vets, the rather dull Andrew (Steven Alvey) and the posh Briony (Sylvestra Le Touzel), and he doesn’t get on with them. Completing the main quintet of characters is the dozy young trainee Jade who was played by Emma Pierson who seemed to be in a lot of things at the time but I haven’t seen her on TV so much lately.
I do remember watching some episodes of Beast at the time and enjoying them and even though it wasn’t a massive success there were a lot of funny moments in the show along with lots of good performances so I was pleased when Network finally released both series featuring all 12 episodes on DVD last year. I particularly remember an episode that concluded with Nick riding along a street naked on a pig after he lost a bet. Well it is an image that is rather hard to forget really.