TV: Stath Lets Flats, C4

OK, let's kick the elephant in the room out of the door first. Hapless London lettings agent Stath (Jamie Demetriou, who co-writes this with Robert 'Friday Night Dinner' Popper) is in the tradition of David Brent. He's inappropriate, hapless, hopeless and probably only has a job at Michael & Eagle lettings agency because his dad runs the company. 

But apart from the fact that this new sitcom is executively produced by Ash Atalla, who also worked on The Office 17, yes 17 years ago, that's kind of where the similarity ends. When it comes to knob jockey twats Stath is in a different league. It's hard to see how his dad's company has avoided going under with him working for them. I guess it shows how many people are desperate to rent flats in London (oops, sorry, I forgot this is fiction for a moment).

In the opening scene-setter we find Stath nicking a viewing from his colleague Carole (Katy Wix), showing the potential renter around the flat while the alarm deafens them and then having a confrontation with Carole in public. It couldn't really happen, could it? Or maybe it could? He also pushes someone quite hard. He has a nervous energy that is scary.

Elsewhere we meet Stath's low-wattage sister Sophie (real-life sister Natasia Demetriou) who makes her dimwit brother seem as bright as Stephen Fry. She has a bit of a thing for Stath's colleague Al (Alastair Roberts), but it doesn't really look as if it is going anywhere. And nor is Sophie – she is so thick she gets lost just sitting at the bus stop opposite the office.

There is plenty going on here though. Tom Stourton plays a slick rival working next door but doesn't do much in this pacey episode except argue over where a wheelie bin should be kept. It's Jamie Demetriou who holds things together. In the best scene he has to evict a pigeon from a loft ("I'm not approaching a beak"), causing slapstick mayhem in the process. 

It's about time C4 had a brand new hit. Marc Wootton's High & Dry didn't quite hit the spot, but maybe Stath Lets Flats is the one. I wouldn't let Stath anywhere near my flat but I'll watch him on my television. Through my fingers mostly. 

On a sad note this series is dedicated to Alex Beckett, the talented actor who died suddenly earlier this year. He plays fellow negotiator and Muse-obsessive Marcus.

Stath Lets Flats, Wednesdays from June 27, C4, 10pm - read an interview with Jamie Demetriou here.


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