Jim Tavaré Pictures Presents… (BBC2, 1995)
This isn’t the comedy show that I planned to review. I actually wanted to take a look back at The Jim Tavaré Show, because I do remember watching some episodes, and also because it’s a rather rare example of a home-made comedy show on Channel 5 in the late-90s. Unfortunately, there seems to be no trace of this online at the moment.
So instead I thought that I would review a different comedy show from his career. I don’t remember this one from the time, but once I came across the description, I just had to see some of this for myself, and thankfully there is some of this on YouTube. Tavaré started out in stand-up comedy, and eventually he perfected his routine, which usually featured him playing a double-bass as he told his jokes.
This was then turned into a TV show, which must have a unique idea. Jim Tavaré Pictures Presents… was another dialogue-free sitcom with fairly short episodes (just like Les Lives and Harry Hill’s Fruit Fancies that were on BBC2 around the same time). This was a variation on his stand-up act, as Tavaré lived in a world where romances with a double-bass were commonplace (his was credited as “Bassie”), and he ended up getting into all kinds of adventures.
At a time when there were a lot of quirky comedy shows on TV, this one still managed to stand out. This was a very lavish and creatively put together show, and I definitely approve of what I saw. Also among the writers and cast was Al Murray, who was about to become a familiar comedy name himself. Another thing I couldn’t help but notice was that Tavaré had some hair, because I always thought that he was bald.
There was only one series of Jim Tavaré Pictures Presents…, and as far as I know, there was no repeat run or VHS release, it was just another one of those shows that came and went. Beyond this and his Channel 5 show, Tavaré is probably best-known to viewers for being among the cast of The Sketch Show, and anyone who has worked alongside Lee Mack and Tim Vine must have something going for him. As far as I know, he’s still out there touring to this day.