The Radio Times logo
We may earn commission from links on this page. Our editorial is always independent (learn more)

Blackball

  • Comedy
  • Drama
  • 2003
  • Mel Smith
  • 92 mins
  • 15

Summary

Comedy set in the world of crown-green bowls, starring Paul Kaye. When amateur bowler Cliff Starkey beats a reigning champion in a county match, his call-up for the England side looks assured. But an act of bad sportsmanshop results in him being given a lengthy ban. However, Cliff's bad-boy image attracts the attention of a ruthless American agent.

Advertisement
Powered By
IMDB

Review

A star rating of 1 out of 5.

This thoroughly charmless comedy is rooted in the same kind of so-called humour that one hoped had died out in the 1970s with the likes of Bless This House and On the Buses. Paul Kaye plays Cliff Starkey, a young, obnoxious bad boy of bowls who's quite rightly blackballed by his stuffy Torquay club, then reluctantly re-instated to take on the visiting Aussie champions. The club needs the young rebel's prodigious talent to win the match, while Starkey can only prosper under the steadying influence of the club's veteran champ (James Cromwell). Can the home team triumph? Against the Aussies? Well, this is a fantasy after all, though one that is anything but convincing. Despite a likeable cast (that features Johnny Vegas and, surprisingly, Vince Vaughn), the laughs here are way off-target. This Brit-flop won't be bowling anyone over.

How to watch

Loading

Streaming

Credits

Cast

rolename
Cliff StarkeyPaul Kaye
Ray SpeightJames Cromwell
Kerry SpeightAlice Evans
MutleyBernard Cribbins
TrevorJohnny Vegas
Rick SchwartzVince Vaughn
BridgetImelda Staunton
Alan the PipeJames Fleet
Giles WiltonDavid Ryall
Hugh the SideburnsIan McNeice
Chairman CollinsKenneth Cranham
Mark DoohanMark Little
RefereeTony Slattery
Jon SnowJon Snow
BBC producerRobert Duncan

Crew

rolename
DirectorMel Smith

Details

Theatrical distributor
Icon
Released on
2003-09-05
Languages
English
Guidance
Swearing.
Available on
video and DVD
Formats
Colour
Advertisement

RadioTimes.com is getting better. Fresh new look, redesigned programme hub, richer content…

FIND OUT MORE
Advertisement

Sponsored content