Gimme Gimme Gimme (BBC2, 1999-2000, BBC1, 2001)
This is a sitcom that launched in the late-90s and quickly went on to become a success, because it was a remarkably loud and lively show, you definitely couldn’t forget it once you’d seen it. The idea of Gimme Gimme Gimme was that it featured two flatmates in London who were both constantly on the search for the perfect man – but the twist was that one of them was female, and one of them was male.
In the mid-90s, I really enjoyed watching sitcom The Thin Blue Line, mostly because of the performance of James Dreyfus, so it was very good seeing him again turn up in this one and show off his enjoyable style again. Also starring was Kathy Burke, who was previously best-known for contributing to some of Harry Enfield’s shows, but after this, there was no doubt that she could deal with a leading role.
Burke starred as Linda, who wore some rather horrid clothes, had big glasses, bright orange hair, and enjoyed a drink and a party. She simply couldn’t understand why men just didn’t instantly fall in love with her. Linda’s flatmate was Tom, who was an actor, although he often spent his time resting and was rather frustrated at his lack of roles. The only Baftas he ever won were in his dreams. Most of the episodes seemed to consist of Linda and Tom bickering with each other, few sitcoms have contained as much shouting.
Yet there was still plenty of room in the show for even more outrageous characters. Their landlady was Beryl, and also living nearby were a couple, who made it rather clear that they were managing to have a rather active and successful love life, and often wore shirts with their name on. There was always plenty of action, and the show managed to stand out, partly because it was unashamedly crude.
There were 19 episodes of Gimme Gimme Gimme in three series. As it launched in 1999, at the end of that year, there was somewhat inevitably, like just about every other show that was on TV at the time, a “millennium special”, and this featured some guest stars, including Melinda Messenger. The show ended up doing well enough to be promoted to BBC1 for its final series.
It just about managed to keep up the camp craziness to the end though, with ever more ridiculous plots including Linda discovering a shock secret son. Gimme Gimme Gimme also went on to be repeated rather frequently on various channels including UK Gold, and all of the episodes have been released on DVD, although they don’t contain any extras.