You should watch… Twenty Twelve

Sick of the Olympics already? Trust me, watch Twenty Twelve and you’ll fall in love with them all over again, even if it is for all the wrong reasons.

For those of you haven’t seen it, Twenty Twelve is a satirical comedy looking at the London 2012 Games. It follows the group of people in charge of putting the Games together, who are mostly inept, always messing the simplest of things up in spectacular fashion, and really, really funny.

The cast is led by Hugh Bonneville, who plays Ian Fletcher, head of Olympic deliverance. Despite having a crazy ex-wife who always used to give him grief and has now just chucked him out, he would be able to get most things done, if only it wasn’t for his team.

They include Graham Hitchens (played by Karl Theobald), whose attempt to come up with the Olympic Torch relay route looked like a two-year-old child had scribbled on a map of Britain; Kay Hope (Amelia Bullmore), the head of sustainability who spends more time annoyed at people mixing sustainability up with legacy to do any work; and Nick Jellett (Vincent Franklin), who plays a stereotypical dour northerner.

My personal favourite character is Siobhan Sharpe, played by Jessica Hynes. Siobhan is PR for the Olympic deliverance team, knows nothing, and spends a lot of time saying “yah” and “tell me about it”. I love her. 

Siobhan’s highlights include thinking Muslims are not people who follow Islam, but rather people who follow the religion of Muslimian, and, with her PR team, coming up with the slogan Jubilympics to describe the summer’s two biggest celebrations. She is a genius.

The great thing about Twenty Twelve is that it takes real life Olympic news and then gives them a comic twist. So the episode about protests against having equestrian events in Greenwich Park was based on the views of real protestors, only the real protestors didn’t leave a giant pile of steaming horse dung outside the offices of the London 2012 organisers. 

Twenty Twelve ran for a very short first series in 2010, and an even shorter second series earlier this year (I recommend you search YouTube for clips), but thankfully it’s back ahead of the opening of the Olympic Games. The first episode back, called Catatrophisation, includes a focus on what will be done with the Olympic Stadium after the Games, a real-life problem facing Games’ organisers; shows Graham getting into his usual scrapes; and has Siobhan and her team trying to come up with a sexy name for the Travel Advice Pack. Oh, and someone has been caught converting Olympic starting pistols to fire live rounds.

The Olympic Games may be coming round too fast for some people, but Twenty Twelve can’t start soon enough for me. 

Twenty Twelve is on BBC2 on Tuesday, July 10 at 10pm.

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