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Beautiful People (BBC Sitcom, Olivia Colman)

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Beautiful People BBC Sitcom, Olivia Colman

Perfectly suited to Jonathan Harvey, sitcom Beautiful People, based on the memoirs and childhood life of Simon Doonan (the creative director of Barneys in New York), follows young teenage Simon (Luke Ward-Wilkinson), who is quite simply desperate to escape his mid 1990’s Reading home town and become a window dresser in a major American department store.

Really though, one suspects the Beautiful People of the title are not the glamorous types that Simon is so keen to mix with but his amazing family and their friends, from Mum Debbie (Olivia Colman), wine making Dad Andy (Aidan Mcardle), his bling obsessed Aunty Haley (Meera Syal) and his best friend Kyle (Layton Williams).

Harvey has a fine ear for the absurd and surreal and also isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. Each, funny, episode begins in New York with the twenty something Simon thinking back to some incident of his earlier years. Most episode titles begin How I Got My…

Guest stars were pretty high profiles and included the likes of Brenda Fricker, Frances Barber and a sountrack album of cover versions (including a duet between Kylie and Danni Minogue) featured in the series was also released.

Cast: LUKE WARD-WILKINSON as Simon Doonan(aged 13); OLIVIA COLMAN as Debbie Doonan; MEERA SYAL as Aunty Hayley; AIDAN McARDLE as Andy Doonan; LAYTON WILLIAMS as Kyle; SAMUEL BARNETT as Adult Simon; SOPHIE ASH as Ashlene Doonan; SARAH NILES as Reba; GARY AMERS as Sacha

Writer: Jonathan Harvey / Theme Music: Dan Gillespie Sells, Ian Masterson / Costumes: Annie Hardinge / Production Design: Dennis De Groot / Producer: Justin Davies / Executive Producer: Jon Plowman

UK / BBC Two (BBC Productions) / 12×30 minute episodes / Broadcast 2 October 2008 – 18 December 2009