TV Review: Peter Kay's Car Share Unscripted, BBC1

Peter Kay is not known for pushing artistic boundaries, so it was certainly interesting to see an improvised episode of his hit sitcom Car Share. Whether it worked, however, was another matter.

Even the scripted episodes have a loose feel, with large chunks of each instalment often consisting of John (Kay) and Kayleigh (Sian Gibson) shooting the breeze as they travel to and from work. But the exchanges have presumably been worked on and honed and only the best bits left in.

Here the chatting certainly felt natural, but that meant that – while I presume the episode was also edited and bits cut out – there were some flatter moments and it didn't always flow so smoothly. Just like real life you could argue. Although if it was entirely realistic how come they were driving for thirty minutes and were still in Manchester as the credits rolled - surely they should have been closer to Liverpool or some other northern city by the end? 

Conversations were frequently prompted by the 1980s hits that were played on Forever FM. So when Edywn Collins' A Girls Like You came on they tried to work out the signs to look for if you were having a stroke (Collins had a stroke a few years ago). This led on to trying to work out what the ingredients of a Club sandwich were. 

Elsewhere Kay did a Roland Gift impersonation while The Fine Young Cannibals' Ever Fallen In Love played and Kayleigh offered viewers a quick snatch of her Heather Small. It was this part of the half hour that highlighted an issue with this one-off episode. There was no reference to the possible relationship between John and Kayleigh that was left as a cliffhanger at the end of the last series. The standalone episode did end with them discussing a possible takeaway-based date, but the tone here was very different and casual and didn't remotely tug the heartstrings.

It was telling that the funniest moments were actually the scripted ones - the visual gags that rolled past in the background such as the bus heading to "Vengabus", or the corner shop called Halaldi. You couldn't make it up. Except that they did. 

The final – scripted – episode airs on May 28.


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