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Series / Bellamy's People

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Bellamy’s People is a 2010 BBC comedy series done in the style of a rockumentary. It stars Rhys Thomas as Gary Bellamy, the fictional host of the popular radio show, Down the Line, of which this is a spin off. It follows Bellamy as he travels around the country asking the many people he meets about modern Britain and what it means to be British. Some of the people Bellamy meets are long time callers to his radio show, but many he meets are totally new to this series. And all of them are completely weird.It starred several of the cast members of The Fast Show, including Paul Whitehouse, Charlie Higson and Simon Day. Whitehouse and Higson also directed it.

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This series provides examples of the following tropes:

  • The Alcoholic: Implied with Ian Craig-Oldman, who tells Gary he doesn’t drink any more right before downing a large shot of whiskey. He drinks in almost all of his sketches and is often drunk enough to totally forget what he is talking about.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Vetch. He really seems to fancy Ian Knowles, the leader of the cult he is a part of.
  • Big Eater: Graham Downes. A typical snack for Graham is three bowls of Sugar Puffs.
  • Camp Gay: Geoffrey Allerton. He isn’t ridiculously camp, but he is still very effeminate and has a definite camp tone to his voice.
  • Christianity Is Catholic: Subverted with Sam Maitland, who is a parish worker at a Church of England church.
  • Cult: Ian Knowles runs a cult in Wales called ‘The Garden’, and goes by the name ‘Inspire’.
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  • Cloudcuckoolander: Gerhardt Winkle. He goes off on tangents and spends most of his time looking a bit high.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: A lot of what Mike Archer and Hugh Fenwick say about the Modern British Army is this.
    Mike: The main thing about the Modern British Army is that it is British, and it is also modern.
    • Also occurs when Gary is talking to Mr Khan, who calls himself the Community Leader of the Muslim community in Leister (although no one else in the community seems to know this):
    Gary: So what does being a community leader entail?
    Mr Khan: Leading the community.
    • This bit:
    Gary (Voice Over): Here is Ian on current affairs programme: The Current Affairs Programme.
  • Eye Scream: We never see exactly what is behind Shadowman’s eye patch, but for Gary to get that squicked, it must be pretty gross.
  • Fangirl: Trisha Webb, who runs Gary’s fan club, ‘Bellamy’s Babes’. Although she does sometimes come across as more of a Stalker with a Crush.
  • Grumpy Old Man: Humphrey Milner is an aversion of this trope. He is genuinely kind and friendly, and probably one of the few nice people Gary meets. It is also lampshaded when he tells Gary how he always hoped he would never turn out as a grumpy old man.
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  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It is ridiculously easy to set off Tony Beckton’s temper. And you do not want to anger that man.
  • In-Series Nickname: Several times over the series, Gary is referred to as ‘Gal’.
  • Jive Turkey: Early D. Most of what comes out of his mouth is totally incomprehensible, and Gary, along with the audience, often has no idea what on Earth he is talking about.
    • Early D’s London slang is discussed in one sketch when Gary tells Humphrey about it. Humphrey finds it fascinating and asks Gary to teach him some more slang.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Graham Downes and his mum have a relationship like this. They bicker constantly and call each other names, but it is clear that they don’t mean it, and really care about each other.
  • No Party Like a Donner Party: One of Ian Craig-Oldman’s stories is about how he was in a plane crash and left stranded in a mountain range. He goes on to explain how he managed to survive until help arrived: he ate two nuns and a priest.
    Ian: Tasted like chicken. (Laughs)
  • Political Correctness Gone Mad: To Martin Hole, almost every aspect of modern society is this.
  • Running Gag: Almost every sketch with Ian Craig-Oldman will have him giggling whilst recounting a time he embarrassed himself when he got drunk and ‘pissed in Cubby Broccoli’s hat’. In one sketch, he reveals that a variation of this happened at Buckingham Palace, where he urinated in Princess Margret’s hat and got himself banned.
  • Shrinking Violet: Martin, the vicar of Sam Maitland’s church, is a complete nervous wreck, and comes across as very shy. He looks incredibly nervous when he sees Gary interviewing Sam, and nervously stammers his way through his scene, whilst constantly asking if they want him to leave. He also manages to drop his cup of tea and make a complete mess. Whilst Sam clears this up, Martin hovers nervously in the background.
  • Spin-Off: Mr Khan was so successful that he got his own sitcom, Citizen Khan, making his rant about the BBC needing more Muslim television rather Hilarious in Hindsight.
  • Unusual Euphemism: When Gary meets Ian Knowles, who runs the cult known as ‘The Garden’, Ian talks a lot about how God Inspired him, and how it is his job to Inspire his followers. However, the more he says ‘Inspire’, the more obvious it becomes that ‘Inspire’ is just a euphemism for sex.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: In episode eight, Gary pukes all over the ground right in front of the camera.
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