Don’t miss, The People Just Do Nothing Story

Wednesday: Kurupting the Industry: The People Just Do Nothing Story; (BBC1, 10.35pm)

By Claire Cartmill
Tuesday, 10th August 2021, 5:00 pm

From Spinal Tap to The Office (both in its British and American incarnations), the mockumentary has proved to be a great format for comedy.

It definitely worked for the sitcom People Just Do Nothing, which followed the antics of MC Grindah, DJ Beats and their mates, who run pirate radio station Kurupt FM, broadcasting UK garage and drum and bass music from Brentford in West London, and claiming to have “over 100 listeners”.

The series chronicled the lads’ ups and downs, particularly their tangled personal lives with other halves Miche and Roche, leaving viewers in stitches with one breath, and aghast in the next as the series evolved.

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Chabuddy G, Grindah, Beats, Steves, Fantasy and Decoy

So far, so meh, you might think, especially if the grime music scene ain’t your bag, but bear with us. There was something incredibly special about People Just Do Nothing, and you really don’t need to know anything about the music at its heart to enjoy it. It actually began as an online series of mostly improvised YouTube webisodes, and among the audience was producer Jon Petrie, who offered to try to get the show a TV pilot.

It was duly broadcast on the BBC iPlayer in 2012, and an initial series was swiftly commissioned, followed by another, and another…

Creators Allan Mustafa, Steve Stamp, Asim Chaudhry and Hugo Chegwin (yes he is Keith’s nephew) had arrived, and they would put their stamp on a total of five series before the curtain came down in 2018.

The tight-knit quartet, who knew each other inside out and long before the show won BAFTA and Royal Television Society awards, brought a crackling energy to the screen, creating characters who may not always have been 100% likeable (we’re looking at you MC), but were always authentic and true to themselves.

If that wasn’t enough of a reason to love it, the show also provided a platform for the wickedly talented Lily Brazier, who plays Miche. But if you think the gang had gone gently into that good night, you’d be wrong. The Kurupt FM crew are preparing to release their first feature film: People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan, and in this documentary are sharing their story so far.

As well as the main cast, executive producer Ash Atalla, producer Jon Petrie and director Jack Clough, as well as superfans Clara Amfo, Martin Freeman and Dizzee Rascal, plus Kurupt FM collaborator Craig David, will also share their favourite memories from the series and offer their insights into what made it such a success.

Commissioning editor Ben Caudell, said: “It’s the ultimate rags to riches story: the journey that the PJDN gang made from online amateurs to full-fledged professional movie idols is an incredible one and a fascinating insight into how doing your own thing can build to comedy superstardom. It’s a thoroughly entertaining ride – if you thought documentaries were all about unsolved murders and poisoned fish, think again, here’s a doc you can actually laugh at.”

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