Why is People Just Do Nothing ending? The BBC comedy stars explain why series 5 will be the last
How did a sitcom about a tiny pirate radio station become a Bafta hit – and potentially a movie in the making?
How did People Just Do Nothing, the sitcom about a tiny pirate radio station in a high rise, graduate from a micro-documentary series on YouTube to scoring multiple Bafta nominations?
Here's everything you need to know about the hit spoof comedy and its fifth series, starting Monday 12th November at 10pm on BBC2.
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What's People Just Do Nothing about?
People Just Do Nothing is a spoof show about a bunch of ne’er-do-wells trying to broadcast illegal station Kurupt FM from a west London tower block. It has graduated from viral webisodes to four critically acclaimed series on BBC3 – and, now, with series five, a promotion to BBC2.
Like Alan Partridge, The Office’s David Brent or Kurtan from This Country (the BBC's hit Cotwolds-set mockumentary that’s the most obvious heir to People Just Do Nothing), it’s a comedy about men with delusions of grandeur who refuse to grow up. Lovable losers, basically.
“Our first Bafta nomination was for series two, which was quite early, and that was just insane,” recalls Asim Chaudhry, who plays Chabuddy G, serially failing entrepreneur and Kurupt FM’s inept manager. “Peep Show was nominated!” he marvels of such “proper” comedy shows alongside which the four college friends now found themselves ranked.
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“I don’t think we were knowledgeable enough to understand how important those nominations were,” admits Hugo Chegwin, who plays music producer Beats, to Radio Times. “But when we got the Bafta I was like, wow, that’s a big accomplishment.”
Watch the series 5 trailer below
What's going to happen in series 5?
As Grindah (Allan Mustafa) turns 33 in the upcoming series, much to his chagrin, it’s time for everyone to move on. Can a bloke in his early 30s still maintain the fiction that he’s a hotshot musician and pirate radio mogul – especially when their tower block is facing demolition? It might finally be time to put away childish things and accept adulthood, which in Grindah’s case could mean leaving his “manor” and moving to Essex.
“The show’s about friendships and relationships,” says Mustafa, “and the issues they go through could be translated to any world. It’s essentially about these best friends who want to follow their dreams but it’s so late in life, and they didn’t go about it the right way. They don’t want to grow up.” They are, again, “a bunch of idiots having to go through a huge life change”
Grindah lives with long-suffering Miche (as in Michelle) and a daughter, Angel, who isn’t his, not that he’s noticed. Beats is partner to “Roche” (as in Rochelle), a security guard who very much wears the trousers in the house, and is stepdad to her slothful, computer-game-playing man-mountain of a son, Craig. In the previous series poor lost soul Steves was haunted by the death of his nan – literally haunted, he thought.
And what of Chabuddy G?
“His story is quite dark in this series. He’s got a glimmer of hope in that he’s moved out of his van and in with Carol,” Chaudhry says of Miche’s rapacious cougar of a mum. “But he’s become her personal sex slave. It’s a case of be careful what you wish for: he likes sex, and his older ladies, but it’s too much for him. Now he’s got it all the time and he’s literally her prisoner. But he does also go back to his old scamming ways.”
Why is the show ending?
The show's success means that having the four principals in one place is a rarity. People Just Do Nothing is beloved of millennials, music fans and students of comedy, which means they’re in big demand for other projects. Chaudhry, most notably and quirkily, is the gormless face of British Airways’ current in-flight safety films.
All of which goes some way to explaining why the imminent fifth series is the last. “Every series has got bigger,” reflects Steve Stamp (who plays the most drug-addled character, Steves). “We’ve gone from us trying to write pirate radio stories, to stories about family and people dying, people getting married. There are only so many big life events you can do. You either start toning it down again and taking it back to the smaller stories. Or you keep it big and go out with a clear, high message about what the show has been about.”
As Hugo Chegwin (Beats) notes, “You don’t have to like weed or garage or be from London to enjoy the show."
Those may be the top notes on the affably geezer-ish People Just Do Nothing, but at heart it’s a comedy about modern urban family life.
Will there be a film of People Just Do Nothing?
Stamp confirms that he’s halfway through writing a script for a People Just Do Nothing film. Obviously all concerned have their eyes on an Inbetweeners-level box-office prize.
Will the small-screen team’s big-screen adventures, true to comedic form, take them abroad?
“We’re going somewhat with them,” confirms Stamp, rebutting too-obvious suggestions of a Mediterranean party island. “We’re going to take them out of their comfort zone.”
And after that?
“We’ll be back working in the call centre!” hoots Mustafa.
People Just Do Nothing series 5 begins Monday 12th November at 10.00pm on BBC2