‘Burnistoun’ – Episode 3.1

What on Earth is Burnistoun, some of you – in fact, most of you – will undoubtedly ask. I myself had only vaguely heard of it previously and had never seen it prior to last night, primarily because I don’t live in Scotland, so (like the rest of those in the UK living outside of Scotland) had had Burnistoun cruelly hidden from me, tucked away exclusively on BBC 2 Scotland. That is such a shame because this show is brilliant!


Hilariously inventive and original sketches dominated the half-hour episode! You’ll have to catch the show on iPlayer to understand what the following references mean but bear with me: ‘Cappuccino’, ‘Thanks’, ‘Breathalyser’ and ‘Outraged Man in the Bar’ were all inspired and just proved how ridiculous the BBC are being by keeping this gem for Scots only. It’s teetering on tragic that such genuinely funny comedy is hidden from possible huge fans, like myself.


I’m not going to pretend that Burnistoun doesn’t have its faults, however. Some sketches are, admittedly, damp squibs, such as ‘Balls’, ‘Jolly Boy John’ and ‘Social Networking’. With this trio it just seemed that we ‘got’ the joke within the first ten seconds and there was no need to drag them out for a further couple of minutes. In fact, even at a mere ten seconds, I can’t imagine the jokes being any funnier than they were at around two minutes – they just weren’t particularly strong. Thankfully, though, this trio of poor sketches were in the minority and overshadowed by the aforementioned great ones.


I absolutely loved The Armstrong and Miller Show when it was revived by the BBC and I think the humour in Burnistoun is in a similar vein. Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller have an eye for detail and this show’s writers and stars Iain Connell and Robert Florence certainly do, too. They pick up on odd phrases and situations and are able to make them into really funny sketches. The ‘Cappuccino’ sketch which I mentioned earlier is ludicrous, it could easily have been dreamed up by Harry Hill or Noel Fielding so ridiculous is it, yet it stems from an everyday situation – ordering a cappuccino in a cafe! If Connell and Florence are ever granted the chance to be exposed across the whole of the UK, they could become very, very popular!


I really do urge you – whether you be a die-hard comedy fan or not – to watch Burnistoun on BBC iPlayer on this link (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01m2dqr/Burnistoun_Series_3_Episode_1/) or, if you have Sky, catch it every Monday at 10pm on BBC 2 Scotland (Sky Channel 970), which it is criminally exclusive to.

Twitter – @UKTVReviewer


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