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People Just Do Nothing is a British television mockumentary sitcom that was first broadcast by BBC Three on 20 July 2014. Created and performed by Allan Mustafa, Steve Stamp, Asim Chaudhry and Hugo Chegwin, the programme follows the lives of MC Grindah (Mustafa) and DJ Beats (Chegwin), who run Kurupt FM, a pirate radio station broadcasting UK garage and drum and bass from Brentford in west London.
The show follows a mockumentary format, and was the first BBC Three programme to premiere on its iPlayer service. In 2017, it won the BAFTA award and Royal Television Society award for Best Scripted Comedy. The four main actors have also formed a musical act that tours in character as "Kurupt FM".
People Just do Nothing is a mockumentary, in which the characters give interviews to the camera and are taped in a loose, documentary fashion. An off-screen interviewer is occasionally heard. The "documentary" follows the fortunes of "Kurupt FM", a pirate radio station broadcasting UK Garage from a flat in Brentford, west London. The main characters are MC Grindah, DJ Beats, DJ Steves, and their entrepreneurial manager, Chabuddy G. The show follows their personal lives, with a strong focus on their relationships with their respective female partners such as Miche and Roche.
All of the characters have an inflated sense of their own talent and success; Steve Stamp, who portrays Steves, said "A lot of talented people don't have enough confidence, but then there's a lot of stupid people with no talent who have loads of confidence ... All our characters are super confident; they're just not good at what they do." The characters fail to recognise their lowly status, with Grindah regularly making comments like "We're going global, but you will very much have to be in the Brentford area to hear us." The show plays off of their stupidity; Rachel Aroesti of The Guardian has said, "Every character is really, quite comfortingly, dense, and their inability to read scenarios correctly is the source of nearly all the comedy." The show was summarised by Jamie Clifton of Vice as:
You don't need to know anything about garage to get it; the humour is in the hopelessness. Most of the principal characters are completely deluded in some way – Chabuddy, who believes his wife loves him, when she clearly does not. Or Grindah, who claims to reign over all MCs from a pirate station that only broadcasts five miles into London. You laugh at their failures, but it's a weird kind of schadenfreude because every character is so endearing you want them to succeed, not relentlessly embarrass themselves in front of a TV crew.
Cast and characters
Allan Mustafa as Anthony "MC Grindah" Zagrafos, the emcee and founder/leader of the radio station.
Hugo Chegwin as Kevin "DJ Beats" Bates, the principal DJ. Beats is a loyal friend of Grindah, but is sometimes mistreated by him.
Asim Chaudhry as Chabuddy G/Charlie, a failed local entrepreneur. Enthusiastic and ambitious but severely deluded, his hare-brained ideas usually bring chaos to the group.
Steve Stamp as Steven "Steves" Green, a dim-witted habitual drug user and the runt of the litter at Kurupt FM. His grandmother originally owns the flat from which the station broadcasts.
Lily Brazier as Michelle Louise "Miche" Coleman, Grindah's girlfriend and, later, wife. She works at a hair salon, and idly dreams of becoming a famous model.
Olivia Jasmine Edwards as Angel, Miche's young daughter. Grindah accepts Angel as his daughter, but it is implied she was fathered by Decoy. Portrayed by Licia Hedlund-Green in the pilot.
Daniel Sylvester Woolford as Decoy, a friend of Grindah and Beats and also a DJ at the radio station. It is implied that Decoy is the biological father of Miche's daughter Angel.
Ruth Bratt as Roche, Beats' girlfriend, a security guard at a local cash and carry. Roche loves Beats but is averse to the radio station, and to Grindah.
George Keywood as Craig, Roche's son from a former marriage, a lazy teenager who spends most of his time at home playing Call of Duty.
Maria Louis as Aldona, Chabuddy's unloving wife from Poland (series 1 – 2). Portrayed by Magda Rogoz in the pilot.
Victoria Alcock as Carol, Miche's mom.
Tiff Stevenson as Tanya, Miche's boss at the salon.
Marvin Jay Alvarez as Fantasy, a DJ at Kurupt FM.
The four main actors were friends for years before they began making the show. They were brought together through Hugo Chegwin; he had known Steve Stamp since childhood, became friends with Asim Chaudhry at college, and met Allan Mustafa through a mutual friend. They all had experience DJing or MCing on pirate radio in their youth, and no ambition to be actors. Mustafa said, "I rapped at the time, but we never really ended up making music. We just watched The Office a lot and smoked weed." In the late 2000s, Chegwin and Stamp had a "fake garage crew" on a real station called KuruptFM. Chegwin and Mustafa began creating characters and filming them, and were further inspired when they watched the BBC documentary series Tower Block Dreams, about London's underground music scene, and found the participants amusing. MC Grindah was based on a pirate radio boss from the series. Stamp and Chaudhry became involved, and the foursome began improvising material and putting it on YouTube under the name "Wasteman TV".
The YouTube videos were seen by producer Joe Petrie, who worked with Ash Atalla – a former producer for The Office – at Roughcut TV. Petrie later explained, "It wasn't fully-formed, but the more you watched it, the more you could see there was proper detail to the characters. I had no idea about garage, really, but I just loved them as comic creations." Atalla arranged to produce a pilot episode for BBC Three, released in August 2012. The pilot was the most shared video on iPlayer that month, and the BBC ordered a full series.
Many journalists have commented that the show is heavily influenced by The Office. David Renshaw has said, "At times, Grindah's delusion in relation to his own success, talent and likeability is a mortifying dance away from full David Brent." Chabuddy G has been described as "an Asian Del Boy", of Only Fools and Horses. The actors have named their primary influences as The Office, This is Spinal Tap, Alan Partridge, Ali G, Laurel and Hardy, and Mike Leigh.
Writing and filming
Writing credits go to Allan Mustafa and Steve Stamps, but the cast are given freedom to improvise their dialogue and sometimes film scenes spontaneously. By the third series, Mustafa estimated that material was "70/30 percent improvised". Chaudhry explained, "When you've been doing a character for six years, you can just snap into it – you know how they'd react in any situation", adding that he is continuously inspired by his father, "because he's like a real Chabuddy G, just not as ridiculous". The dialogue is often heavy with 21st century London slang. Much of the filming took place at Chesterton Court on the South Acton housing estate, before it was demolished. Series three was shot in Peckham, south-east London. All locations are based on the Haverfield Estate in Brentford, where Chegwin and Stamp grew up.
Series 1 (2014)
Series 2 (2015)
Series 3 (2016)
Series 4 (2017)
People Just do Nothing has received positive reviews. After the release of the first series, Alex Fletcher of Digital Spy called it "the best British comedy in years", and lamented that few people were aware of its "comedic genius". He added, "it packs in more genuine belly laughs in one episode than most recent sitcoms have done in their full lifetime, and [has] nailed that quintessential British sense of humour where we're able to laugh at our own humiliating inadequacies ... it feels like it belongs in the company of modern comedy greats such as The Office, Peep Show and Phoenix Nights." Gerard O'Donovan of The Telegraph gave the pilot episode four stars out of five, and said, "Entertaining, and absolutely of its time, People Just Do Nothing certainly serves up some good laughs and I look forward to the next three parts."
For the second series, David Renshaw of The Guardian said it was "a welcome return from the gang", and commented "Despite its larger-than-life characters, People Just Do Nothing's success lies in its believability ... You get the feeling that if you drove out to Brentford you might actually run in to them." He especially praised the comedy provided by DJ Steves and Chabuddy G. Rachel Aroesti, also of The Guardian, said "the episode where Grindah panics after taking a pill at his club night has good claim to be the comic highlight of 2015".
Aroesti gave the third series a highly positive review: "In an age of bleak comedy that barely makes you snigger, one show has been keeping up the lost art of making people laugh – the hilarious, half-witted pirate radio mockumentary." She added, "[the show] is not an old-fashioned sitcom by any stretch – it's understated, meta and set in a niche subculture – but it is truly traditional in its comedy: beats are hit and joke quotas filled, scene in, scene out." She appreciated that the series also "decided to go for the dramatic jugular. The final episode of this series offered fans a precious opportunity to laugh and cry at exactly the same time ... By making you care about the characters (even the monstrosity that is MC Grindah – a David Brent with malicious intent), viewers will now have two reasons for tuning in."
Awards and nominations
The show started life in 2010 as "Wasteman TV", a YouTube series that was filmed and edited by Asim Chaudhry (Chabuddy G) before the BBC commissioned a pilot on 17 August 2012, which became the most shared iPlayer show for the month. A four-part series was eventually commissioned, which first aired on iPlayer in July 2014, then on terrestrial television the following month. A second series, of five episodes, aired in July 2015.
In October 2015, the BBC announced it had commissioned a third and fourth series of People Just Do Nothing, both consisting of six 30-minute episodes. The BBC confirmed Series 3 & 4 would initially be available on the new online BBC Three and later screened on BBC Two.
Episode one of series three premiered on BBC iPlayer on 17 August 2016. Episodes of series three were released weekly on iPlayer and then broadcast the following week on BBC Two. Series four began on iPlayer on 15 August 2017, and was also broadcast on BBC One on Saturday evenings.
In Australia, the series premiered on 12 August 2015 on Channel [V]. The show was added to Netflix US in May 2017.
In March 2017 the cast appeared alongside musician Ed Sheeran in a spoof music video for the charity Comic Relief on BBC One.
The DVD of the first three series was released in November 2016. The boxset included specially recorded commentaries from the first two series and unseen extra footage.
Kurupt FM live
The four main actors, along with "Decoy" and "Fantasy", tour nightclubs and music venues as "Kurupt FM", where they appear in character. They have also played music festivals including Glastonbury and Reading and Leeds. Mustafa said in 2016, "We all wanted to be musicians when we were younger. So now, in a way, it's like we're living out what we didn't get to do, playing all these festivals. We get two sick jobs: we get to film and we get to fuck around on stage and be headliners." Stamp added, "And because we're in character, we can sort of get away with whatever. Like my shit mixing; it's because I'm Steves, not because I'm a shit DJ." On-stage guests have included grime artists Stormzy and Big Narstie.
People Just Do Nothing at BBC Online
People Just Do Nothing on IMDb
People Just Do Nothing at British Comedy Guide
People Just Do Nothing at Radio Times
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_Just_Do_NothingSource: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_Just_Do_Nothing