Marion And Geoff (BBC2, 2000-2003)
This is a sitcom that starred Rob Brydon, and this was the one that really helped to make his name as a comic actor, long before Gavin And Stacey (although he had already been on TV for about a decade even at this point as a host on some little-seen satellite channels late at night). One notable thing about Marion And Geoff is that these people actually don’t feature.
The only regular cast member was Keith. He is a taxi driver who is going through a divorce, after Marion left him for her work colleague Geoff. In the first series, every episode was only ten minutes long, and consisted of Keith in his car reflecting on life. Far from being downbeat about the whole situation, he always tries to be optimistic, feeling that somehow it could be worse.
He is constantly talking about his now estranged wife and his two sons, even though they have no more interest in seeing him. Looking on the bright side of life is definitely a help to him, as he slowly realises that his marriage and career are falling apart. This soon did well enough with viewers for there to be a DVD release and win some awards, and further shows expanded on the idea.
After the first series, there was the one-off A Small Summer Party, where for the first time we see Marion and Geoff, and this is the point where the marriage reaches the end. And then there was a second series, this time the episodes were half-an-hour long. Keith has now moved on in his life somewhat, but he still misses his wife and the two children, without ever really realising that the feeling isn’t mutual.
After this, Brydon went on tour to perform on stage as Keith. And finally, there was The Keith Barrat Show, which was a comedy chat show. Brydon in character would interview real-life celebrity couples, hoping to discover their secrets of a long and happy marriage, whilst offering plenty of advice of his own. He does believe that life can’t be anything but “nice”, however you feel.