Previously on Radio 4, then BBC2 and now BBC1, the adventures of Steve Delaney’s confused music-hall veteran – directed and co-written for TV by Graham Linehan – have often been described as ‘Marmite’: you either love it or hate it.
Speaking at the 2013 Edinburgh TV Festival, former BBC2 boss Janice Hadlow said this wasn’t something she wanted to shy away from. “Strong flavours”, even if they can be “divisive”, are OK by her.
And it looks like her gamble – plus a switch to BBC1 in a post-watershed slot – has paid off, with overnight ratings jumping to 1.83 million, up from 971,000 at the end of series one on BBC2.
Indeed, while some will never be convinced…
I am so offended that BBC1 are wasting airtime on Count Arthur Strong possibly the worst comedy since errrr the dawn of time #bbcone
— Michael Bolton (@MichaelBoltonA) January 7, 2015
Dear #countarthurstrong – please, PLEASE go back to radio. The TV series is woefully unfunny & you've lost your funniest characteristics.
— Three From Leith (@threefromleith) January 7, 2015
#CountArthurStrong on TV, still just doesn't seem right to me, far far better on radio
— George Bernard Shaw (@Melonhead999) January 6, 2015
There was an awful lot of love on Twitter as the second series kicked off last night:
For some, Count Arthur Strong is an aspiration
Like most character comedy, the trick with Count Arthur Strong is learning to love him. And I do! Making him my role model for when I'm old!
— Some Melodious Plot (@LostCertainties) January 7, 2015
For others, he’s a voice of reason
Thank goodness for the return of Count Arthur Strong to our screens. A voice of reason.
— Chris (@ChrisWLamb) January 7, 2015
Capital letters always mean excitement
Absolutely ADORE Count Arthur Strong & it's so lovely to see it back on tv. Thanks @Glinner & team!
— Jessamyne ?️? (@jmbriscoe) January 7, 2015
Delaney’s co-star Rory Kinnear earned high praise
S2Ep1 of Count Arthur Strong, I dare say Rory Kinnear has become even better at comic timing & dead-pan double takes.Talk about versatility!
— Yuko Kato (@naveltreatment) January 7, 2015
Next door had better buy some ear plugs…
— Diane Hopkins (@vpdiane) January 7, 2015
Favourite shows were being blasted out of the water
— In Front of Ira! (@StLaurensDay) January 7, 2015
There were tears
— Judith (@75judi) January 7, 2015
Some already want more…
Count Arthur Strong excellent – half hour flew by (already counting down the days until next weeks show)!
— VoiceOfAmbridge (@voiceofbramley) January 6, 2015
There were some, unexpected, responses
Count Arthur Strong was so good. I laughed so hard some pee came out my nose.
— Chris Grady (@atlasbagshaw) January 6, 2015
Others have already watched it three times…
Watched tonight's Count Arthur Strong again. For a third time. Love it so much.
— Daniel (@sirdanielmeyer) January 6, 2015
Missed out? Linehan has a suggestion
— Graham Linehan (@Glinner) January 6, 2015