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Series / Twenty Twelve

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BBC Mockumentary sitcom about the fictional Olympic Deliverance Executive in the run-up to the 2012 London Olympic Games. Made by the people behind People Like Us and a Spiritual Successor to that show. Eventually received a follow-up, W1A.

Also alleged to be influenced to a greater or lesser degree by Australian show The Games though the BBC has denied any connection.

Not to be confused with the Roland Emmerich-directed apocalypse film (spelt Two Thousand Twelve as opposed to Twenty Twelve), which focusses around a very different set of disasters around an event scheduled for 2012. If you were looking for the 2012 doomsday prediction itself, see Mayan Doomsday.


  • All for Nothing: Most episodes' "A"-plots end like this, with something the team has been working hard to get right ultimately being scrapped.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: The fact that Sally is obviously head-over-heels in love with Ian is an elephant that remains strenuously ignored by everyone in the room. He starts out entirely oblivious, but increasing hints that he's noticed the UST emerge late in the series.
  • Artistic License – Geography: In-universe, Graham Hitchens' answer to the problem of ensuring that the Olympic torch relay will pass within a certain distance of 90% of the population is to redraw the map so that the major cities are closer together.
  • As Himself: Lord Coe. And in the last episode, Aled Jones.
  • Berserk Button: Kay Hope is Head of Sustainability. DO NOT suggest she has anything to do with Legacy.
  • Big Eater: Head of Infrastructure Graham Hitchens is constantly seen surrounded by and/or eating copious amounts of outrageously-flavoured junk food.
  • Bilingual Backfire: In the second episode, Kay angrily corrects the interpreter who calls her "Head of Legacy" in Portuguese.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: Dave Wellbeck is utterly, utterly awful at public speaking, to the point of Cringe Comedy.
  • Catchphrase: Many of which cross over with Verbal Tic;
    • Ian Fletcher: "So that's all good then".
    • Sally Owen: "...not a problem!"
    • Kay Hope: "I really think that".
    • Graham Hitchens: "Classic". (Meant in the way that other people would say "Typical!")
    • Siobhan Sharpe: "What the thing is, is...", "OK, yah", "Holy shit."
    • Nick Jowett: "...I'm from Yorkshire!" or "I don't care who you are!"
    • Daniel Stroud: "Enjoy!"
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Sally is this toward Ian, regarding every other woman as a threat - right down to the nurse who changes the dressing on Ian's gunshot wound.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Siobhan Sharpe. Several of the other characters seem to have a tenuous grip on reality at times too, especially Kay.
    • "Viral Concept Designer" Karl Marx sticks out as one of these even in the Cloud Cuckoo Land of Perfect Curve.
  • The Comically Serious: The terminally inept Dave Wellbeck and his disastrous public speaking.
  • Crawl: Any time the team's misadventures make the news, there's a ticker along the bottom of the screen. The stories are invariably throwaway jokes that wouldn't fit into the show anywhere else.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: "500 Day" is 500 days before the Olympic Games start. It is marked with a "500 Day Day" for which the team organise a special event, the "500 Day Day Day".
  • Granola Girl: Kay Hope kind of has to be in order to be Head of Sustainability. Almost all of her ideas come across as overly safe, boring and politically correct.
  • Hipsters: PR company Perfect Curve and its Nathan Barley-esque staff.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Fletcher's PAs, Sally Owen and Daniel Stroud.
    • As far as the actual deliverance team goes, Fi Healey is the only one who actually manages to impress Ian with her competence and creativity.
    • Siobhan also has her own hyper competent sidekick in Coco.
  • I Meant to Do That: Ian's default position after any PR blunder. Sometimes it even works.
  • Life Imitates Art: Given that there's a large-but-finite number of things an Olympic Organising Committee have to organise, and the show's whole premise was that all of them would cause problems, it was inevitable that they'd be on target with a few of them. The problems with the countdown clock were particularly prescient.
  • Like Is, Like, a Comma: One of Siobhan's many Verbal Tics. Graham also does it, to a lesser extent.
  • Literal Metaphor: Ian is hospitalised after literally shooting himself in the foot. Naturally, the press love it.
  • Mockumentary
  • Of Course I Smoke: Kay pulls this when she realises that Ian and Fi's smoke break allows them to have conversations that she's not part of.
  • Only Sane Man: Ian Fletcher thinks he is, and part of the conceit of the show is that he's presented as if he is. There isn't really one at all, though bluntly-spoken Yorkshireman Nick Jowett usually comes the closest.
  • Realistic Diction Is Unrealistic: Averted. Characters hem and haw, interrupt, talk over each other, pause awkwardly, talk nonsense to cover their ignorance, litter their speech with verbal tics and buzzwords...
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Obviously, it's based on the London Olympics. Also more significant to the trope, Olivia Colman being unavailable for the second half of series two and her character being replaced by a gender-flipped but otherwise Suspiciously Similar Substitute.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Ian, quite often, in conjunction with I Meant to Do That, e.g. conjuring up some convoluted artistic media statement to explain away the fact that, due to an almighty cock-up by Siobhan, the Olympic countdown clock actually counts up.
  • The Rival: Once the office gets a new employee in charge of Legacy on top of the one in charge of Sustainability, the claws come out, since Kay was already annoyed that nobody could tell the difference.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: Ian is alarmed to see that the website is riddled with spelling errors only a day before its launch.
    Ian: This, though, it's just a little thing, but this... "Olypmic"? Is that some kind of, uh..?
    Barney: Oh yeah, that, you know, that's just, like, spelling. [beat] We can change that any time. [beat. Ian gives him a prompting look] I mean do you want me to-
    Ian: [cheerfully] Well, why not?
    Barney: [hesitantly changes it to "Olypicm"] There. That better?
    Ian: Well it's different.
  • Running Gag: Ian's difficulties with the card-entry doors and inability to fold his folding bike without injuring himself.
  • Serious Business
  • Sixth Ranger: Fi Healey, head of Legacy. Most of the office take to her immediately, but Kay is annoyed at the confusion absolutely everyone shares between Legacy and Sustainability, and Fi's greater popularity just makes her dislike her even more. Sally also seems (quietly) worried about her flirting with Ian. Also a Sitcom Arch-Nemesis.
  • Spanner in the Works: Ian Fletcher's best-laid plans are constantly broken by politically correct red tape, causing him to resort to smoking very early on in the series.
  • Trolling Translator: The interpreter in episode 2.
    Ian: [in Portuguese] I'm sure you will find the Olympic Park as inspiring as we do.
    Interpreter: [in English] He thinks you will find the Olympic Park as exciting as he is.
    • She ïntroduces Kay to the delegation as Chefe do Legado, or Head of Legacy in Portuguese. When Kay angrily corrects her, she deadpans "Chefe do Legado".
    • After getting lost:
    Siobhan: Okay guys, so just to keep you up-to-date we're in pretty good shape and as you can see, we're gonna be taking you right through the center of London today!
    Interpreter: [in Portuguese] The bus has been driving in the wrong direction. We are turning around now.
    • Siobhan identifies a building at Olympic Park as the Velodrome. Kay says it's the Aquatic Center. The interpreter? "Here is another building."
    • At the end of the episode, Ian gives another speech trying to spin the disastrous day. The interpreter translates the whole thing as, "Okay this is mainly bullshit now."
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Lord Coe's appearance at the end of episode two was clearly meant to be a surprise, but it seems nobody thought to tell the publicity people to keep it secret, so it was mentioned in just about every pre-transmission article about the show as well as in the trailers.
  • Twice Shy: Ian and Sally, both afflicted with crippling cases of British Stuffiness.
  • Will They or Won't They?: Ian and Sally, at least once he gets divorced and notices that she's obviously crazy about him. Gets a Bolivian Army Ending as Ian appears to be about to ask her to come with him to Italy.