TV: Hospital People, Episode Two, BBC1

If you want simple sitcom laughs you can't go far wrong with Hospital People. This new comedy starring Tom Binns in a variety of wigs and outfits doesn’t miss a trick, whether it is daft visual gags, clever verbal gags or just plain stupid innuendo. It’s not groundbreaking and it is about as far as you can get from, to pluck a comedy at random, Inside No 9, but if you’ve had a hard day flopping down in front of this could be just what the senior registrar ordered.

In this week’s episode there is a security scare at Brimlington Hospital. The staff are collecting for charity and manager Susan Mitchell (Binns) thinks she has been robbed by a masked man - it is actually hapless cheerful earful hospital DJ Ivan "he's bonkers" Brackenbury dressed as a cowboy.

If you can suspend belief for thirty minutes the subsequent nonsense is fun to watch as things spiral out of control and the wing has to be evacuated. Special guest Car Share’s Sian Gibson plays security boss Hilary who - and you really will have to put your brain in neutral to accept this – has a crush on Brackenbury.

Elsewhere psychic healer/porter Ian has problems of his own – he really should have seen them coming – and wannabe entertainer Father Kenny shows off his new keyboard. Both characters are also played by Binns, whose speciality seems to be creations with absolutely zero self-awareness. Susan Mitchell, for example, has no idea that she speaks in innuendo: “No-one’s coming in my batcave without my consent…”.

There are whiffs of Phoenix Nights, David Brent and of course Car Share here, and the latter comparison is not just because Sian Gibson is playing another lovelorn character. Brackenbury’s cheesy pop music also echoes the soundtrack to Peter Kay’s series. Although Brackenbury is so useless I doubt if he could even get a try-out in the graveyard shift on Forever FM. 

Friday, April 28, 9.30pm, BBC1.

Read a review of Hospital People Episode One here.

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