Credit where it is due

Twenty Twelve is an award-winning BBC comedy series, a mockumentary following the organisation of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

In Twenty Twelve, the Olympic Deliverance Commission (ODC ) has the responsibility to organise the games, while overcoming meddling politicians, logistical issues, production errors, infrastructure problems, people with limited skills and unusual human qualities, and troublesome contributors.

The Games was an award-winning Australian television series on the ABC, a mockumentary following the organisation of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.

In The Games, the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (SOCOG) had the responsibility to organise the games, while overcoming corruption and cronyism in the Olympic movement, bureaucratic ineptness in the New South Wales public service, people with limited skills and unusual human qualities, and unethical behaviour within politics and the media.

The similarities were blindingly obvious from reading the blurb about Twenty Twelve.

And when the show came out in the United Kingdom last year, The Games writer and actor, New Zealand's own John Clarke, formerly Fred Dagg and the funniest man New Zealand has ever produced, complained.

He said he and Ross Stevenson had pitched their show to the BBC, and it was not picked up. Instead, something very similar turned up years later. It seems dead wrong.

The only saving grace one can find in Twenty Twelve, starting on UKTV on Friday at 9pm, is that it is dead funny.

It stars Hugh Bonneville, who, of course, was the Earl of Grantham in Downton Abbey. Who could hold a grudge against the Earl of Grantham, or any show that he is in?

I can't.

Bonneville is Ian Fletcher, head of deliverance, who is in charge of a team of people with some clear flaws.

They include Siobhan Sharpe, head of brand, played by actress Jessica Hynes, who was in the exceedingly funny movie Shaun of the Dead.

Again, who can hold a grudge etc, etc?

I can't.

Siobhan wants to "ramp it up", "take it to the next level" and "go viral". Pushed on what any of those things actually mean, she has to admit it comes down to launching a website. Siobhan will remind you of some marketing people in Dunedin, believe me.

Karl Theobald is Graham Hitchins, head of infrastructure.

Karl was Dr Martin Dear in the exceedingly funny TV series Green Wing.

Again, who can hold a grudge etc, etc?

I can't.

Graham has plans for London's transport and traffic systems, but clearly knows nothing about them.

My suggestion for those with ethical qualms about this situation is to buy or hire a copy of The Games, and enjoy it, paying homage to John Clarke before thoroughly enjoying Twenty Twelve.

You will laugh.

 

- Charles Loughrey

 

 

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