Exiting the cosy surrounds of Little Britain, via an uncertain visit to the States, David Walliams and Matt Lucas arrived on BBC One last year with a new show, with all new characters and some very high expectations.

Come Fly with Me is far more than an airport bound Little Britain Part Two as the documentary format allows for some slow burning character development which wasn’t always a feature of the preceding show. One Vicki Pollard sketch was much like another and there’s mileage in the catchphrase comedy, particularly with these two clearly having the time of their lives and choosing to rarely simply rely on the characters doing nothing but spouting the usual lines, but CFWM is a little different, and is all the better for it.

With Come Fly with Me their scene is set in and around an airport with low-cost airline Fly-lo providing the basis for the various dregs of human ghastliness on offer. The snobbish first class stewardess is Walliams at his best with barely contained hatred lining up very nicely with the torrent of sycophancy towards the business class passengers. Lucas has Taaj Manzoor, the clueless member of the ground staff and camp as a Christmas Cruise steward Fearghal O’Farrell and what you begin to notice as the various storylines play out is that what the pair have done is take the obvious conventions, give us the easier jokes initially and then develop against type.

As was true with Little Britain it is when the pair are on screen together that it all comes together with the feckless check-in ladies Melody and Keeley and the terrifying Martin Clunes obsessed Japanese schoolgirls Asuka and Nanako being memorable (though perhaps for the wrong reasons). It’s a carnival of the miserable and the mindless and, while it hasn’t reached the heights of their previous work, there is much here to enjoy and the promise of better to come.



The highlight of the whole Blu-ray package is the hourlong behind the scenes documentary Come Fly on the Wall, presented by Mark Lawson which is comprised of

It’s a very enjoyable an enlightening hour, a million miles from the perfunctory studio-approved talking heads backslap which is the norm here. The two are very candid about their fears, their abandoned ideas for the show (a hotel was proposed at one point, then sensibly retired), the accusations of racism and their working relationship. I actually enjoyed this documentary a little more than some of the shows themselves and it’s one of the best bonus features I’ve seen this year. Highly recommended.


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