The Grumpy Guide To... returns to BBC2 on Sunday 27th March with a fresh gaggle of Grumpies venting their spleen on the most unpleasant yet inescapable aspect of daily life: work. Whether it’s looking for work, commuting to work, actually doing the work, surviving your work colleagues or quitting work, every single step of the career ladder is fraught with frustration. In this hour-long programme, the Grumpies let rip on the soul-destroying routine of hard graft.
First to the office, a hell-hole of boredom and discontent, where colleagues barely speak unless to berate and humiliate or worse still, flirt with each other. By email. "I don't think there can be anything more soul destroying," says NEIL MORRISSEY.
Corporate culture is one big bugbear, made worse when it demands actual enthusiasm. ALISTAIR McGOWAN remembers, "This telesales firm insisted that when you had sold something...you had to stand up and go, 'Qualification Alistair!' And everyone was supposed to applaud in the middle of their phone calls. And if you then completed the sale you stand up to say 'Verification Alistair!'" - pretending to be American - "it was the most embarrassing thing I think I've ever had to do."
Whilst the mind-numbing routine of work is no life for a Grumpy, who need an outlet for their frustration, be it inane banter or office crushes. Often rebellion is the only answer, and the Grumpies offer ingenious ways to beat the system. As KATY BRAND admits, "I liked finding places to escape, little nooks and crannies...where you could tuck yourself in and not be found…otherwise you just become just a number - you absolutely have to keep a sense of your own autonomy - you have to break the rules."
Even socialising at the grindstone does not lighten the load. Staff bonding away-days and paint-balling sessions are not to be tolerated. Instead, the Grumpies salute the skivers, the time-wasters and the stationery stealers, and stick two fingers up at the boss. MARK RADCLIFFE gives his version of a working day. "An eight-hour working day ought really, if you're coming in about half nine, you sort of crank up and get started about ten. A bit of a coffee break at 11.15, and then 12.00 you start thinking about lunch - you probably put a good steady couple of hours in the morning. If you got an hour for lunch you probably want to stretch that out a quarter of an hour either side, then in the afternoon you'll get back up to speed at about 2.00...at about 4pm you're thinking 'That'll probably do it.' So four hours in an eight-hour day, I think that's a very fair shift.”
Grumpy contributors include: RONNI ANCONA, KATY BRAND, JON CULSHAW, SHOBNA GULATI, ALISTAIR MCGOWAN, JOHN MOLONEY, NEIL MORRISSEY, RUSSELL KANE, SHAPPI KHORSANDI, SARAH PARISH, MARK RADCLIFFE, MARK STEEL and JOHN THOMSON. Narrated by GEOFFREY PALMER, The Grumpy Guide to Work is written, produced and directed by NINUSHKA OLLER-STRACEY.
Grumpy Guide to Work airs on 27th March 2011 on BBC Two.
For more information please contact Claudia Christie or Dan Lloyd at Avalon Public Relations on: 020 7598 7222 / firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
LIBERTY BELL PRODUCTIONS
Liberty Bell Productions, which was formed in autumn 2002, is based in Newcastle and London, and specialises in the production of television documentaries and features, factual entertainment, current affairs, drama-documentary and youth programming. Recent productions include: Al Murray’s German Adventure (BBC FOUR), Lakes on a Plate (Channel 4), Angels (Sky Arts), Willie's Wonky Chocolate Factory (BBC TWO), Portillo on Thatcher: The Lady’s Not For Spurning (BBC FOUR), The Alastair Campbell Diaries (BBC TWO), Three Men Go To Scotland (BBC TWO), The Grumpy Guides to… (BBC TWO), Three Men in Another Boat (BBC TWO), Grumpy Old Men (BBC TWO), Grumpy Old Women (BBC TWO), Why We Went to War (More 4), Don't Get Me Started (Five), Real Life: Beating Breast Cancer (ITV1), The Meaning of Life (BBC ONE) and The Widow’s Tale (BBC TWO). Liberty Bell is currently in production with new programmes for BBC ONE, Channel 4 and SkyArts.
WHAT THE PRESS HAS SAID ABOUT PREVIOUS LIBERTY BELL PRODUCTIONS:
Al Murray’s German Adventure
"Murray makes a fine TV historian: interested, articulate and knowledgeable…A breathless hour around a stunning, wintery Germany that will probably leave most viewers wanting more on everything…Al Murray would be our man for the job."
Gabrial Tate, Times Out
Portillo on Thatcher: The Lady’s Not For Spurning
"Gordon Brown and David Cameron should watch it. Tony Blair should get a hold of a tape and reflect on what might have been. Media bosses who only commission films if they portray politicians as corrupt and mad should take note also… I know people with only a passing interest in politics who were gripped."
Steve Richards, The Independent
The Alastair Campbell Diaries
"Just as DVD extras allow you to see the human fallibility that lies behind the polished exterior of the finished film, Campbell’s diary fills in the engrossing trivia of off-stage politics… it is completely engrossing."
Thomas Sutcliffe, The Independent
The Widow’s Tale
"This complex and moving film is one of the television highlights of the year so far."
Andrew Male, The Sunday Times
Grumpy Old Men
"The whole programme put me into an uncharacteristically, seethingly good mood… Wonderful stuff."
A.A. Gill, The Sunday Times