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Series / Chance in a Million

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Chance in a Million was one of the earliest sitcoms for Channel 4, first airing in 1984. Written by Andrew Norriss and Richard Fegan (who would both go on to create The Brittas Empire), it stars Simon Callow as Tom Chance. Chance has a tendency to get into trouble thanks to unlucky coicidences, although he is oblivious to this and doesn't care too much. With him is his long suffering girlfriend Alison Little (Brenda Blethyn), who he met on a blind date.


This show provides examples of:

  • Acquainted with Emergency Services: The police have arrested Chance so many times for matters that are completely coincidental that they actually now have orders not to arrest him.
  • Birthday Episode: “The Birthday Party” is about Tom trying to throw a birthday party for Alison which naturally goes wrong.
  • British Brevity: The show ran for a total of 18 episodes over 3 series.
  • Character Tics: Chance would have a tendency to pause in conversation to drink an entire glass of beer in one gulp.
  • Doomed Autographed Item: The titular character is revealed to have a cricket bat signed by Alec Bedser (an English Cricketer) as one of his most prized processions in “Honour Thy Father And Thy Mother”. Naturally, it gets chewed up by an Alsatian who lives next door in that very episode.
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  • Epunymous Title: A Sitcom about a man named Tom Chance who was frequently the victim of incredibly unlikely circumstances. Thus, he was the man to whom the proverbial 'chance in a million" would always happen.
  • Ironic Name: He is not as lucky as his name would imply.
  • Meaningful Name: Tom Chance winds up having extremely improbable things happen to him by chance.
  • Plague of Good Fortune: Tom Chance was a man whose life was a neverending series of unlikely coincidences. It eventually reached the stage where the local police were ordered to never arrest him for anything, no matter how suspicious the circumstances.
  • Shot in the Ass: According to “Stuff of Dreams”, one of his previous girlfriends left him when she was shot in the butt by a tranquilser as she was peeing outside by people looking for an escaped leopard.
    • Someone’s finance gets shot in the butt due to a hair-trigger gun accidentally going off in “The Taxman Cometh” as well.
  • Verbal Tic: Chance only seems to be capable of speaking in short stacatto sentences.
  • Wedding Finale: The series ends with the marriage of Tom Chance and Alison Little.